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Conceptual Constructions: Common Heritage of Mankind and Common Concern of Mankind

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Chapter Summary

The concepts of common heritage and of common concern of mankind disclose a spatial and temporal dimensions, and call for special attention and world-wide cooperation, with the corresponding rights and duties pertaining to present and future generations, bearing in mind the needs and aspirations of humankind. The construction of the concept of common heritage of mankind in distinct domains of Public International Law emerged from the acknowledgement of common interests. The concept of common heritage of mankind has likewise found expression in the evolving International Law of Bioethics. The concept of "common concern of mankind" has deliberately avoided proprietary connotations, and has proved particularly suitable to address global environmental issues. The conceptions of common heritage and of common concern of mankind embody universal solidarity and social responsibility, emanate from human conscience, reflect basic values of the international community as a whole, and strengthen the notion of an international ordre public.

Keywords:bioethics; common concern; common heritage; humankind; international law; mankind



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