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Origins And Development Of The Concept Of Sustainable Development In International Law

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Chapter Summary

The evolution of the concept of sustainable development has been elaborated at great length elsewhere. The origin of the concept of sustainable development cannot be exactly dated. In international relations and international law the concept of sustainable development is a recent development. In the early 1970s several factors led States to realize the detrimental impact of human activity on the environment. At about the same time the concept of sustainable development surfaced in the international community and international law. International treaty law and non-binding documents are increasingly incorporating references to sustainable development in specific contexts. Parallel to embracing sustainable development in an increasing number of international legal documents, also national and regional laws and conventions recognise the concept. The United Nations Adoption of the 2000 Millennium Development Goals, which include a clear commitment to environmental sustainability, indicates another important step toward global acceptance of the concept of sustainable development.

Keywords: international treaty law; national laws; regional laws; sustainable development



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