Secondly, several Latin American countries played a pivotal role in these negotiations: Mexico and Costa Rica in particular, who were quite positive regarding the draft Pact without necessarily supporting its binding nature, expressed regret over the lack of time allowed for a more in-depth exchange of ideas. We can also question the virtual absence of major environmental NGOs, the voices of which are so important during the negotiation of multilateral environmental agreements MEAs.
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Ultimately, the draft Pact, along with any type of binding instrument, has been implicitly rejected. The final text 1 adopted at least confirms an objective that has already been entrusted to the United Nations Environment Assembly UNEA , that of making preparations for the 50 th anniversary of the Stockholm Conference, to be held in ; it provides detail on some parts of its agenda and calls for plans for a draft declaration in this context.
For international environmental law IEL and for global environmental governance in the institutional sense, this therefore refers to discussions to be held within this 3-year deadline, a period that will have to be used well if this conference is to have such an ambitious outcome. Besides the obvious disappointment in the result, what can we interpret from these very intense negotiations?
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Have we missed an opportunity or dodged a bullet, and what perspectives can be outlined for the future? Two interpretations are possible. For the Pact to be considered as a lost opportunity, it would need to be a positive initiative that could have had an effective follow-up but would have failed for purely anecdotal or circumstantial reasons. This is not the case.
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In reality, the Nairobi negotiations revealed a major lack of consensus regarding the very objective of the Pact, namely: to consolidate a set of principles that remain in a soft law state, and to make them legally binding and therefore citable in national courts, and in parallel to address the fragmentation of IEL. Many countries and experts are not in favour of this approach and regard the fragmentation of IEL as inherent to environmental governance. This could be solved by empirical and practical means, such as the bringing together of chemical conventions or common reporting.
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The failure of the draft Pact can also be regarded as a risk avoided, as well as the beginning of a positive perspective. The view that a risk has been avoided is a reasonable assumption if a small majority, which could perhaps have been envisaged from the outset, had adopted the draft negotiation of a new treaty.
Many countries, including the most significant ones, would not have signed the future Pact and their contributions to the negotiation would have weakened its content, particularly the scope of principles already acquired. Others would have signed but not ratified, which is common.
In addition, finally, many countries would not have allowed their citizens or their NGOs to invoke international law before the national courts. Many countries committed to the environmental cause had feared this outcome. CWith this perspective removed, and based on the recommendations of the working group, the pathway may be clear and sufficient time freed up ahead of for intensive efforts on IEL implementation. The rights-based approach could be one of its elements. If such a trajectory becomes possible and all interested parties invest in it, then the time dedicated, money spent, and CO 2 emitted for the three Nairobi negotiating sessions will not have been in vain.
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Geopolitics of the draft Pact: a foregone conclusion? All major cities including Ahmedabad and Mumbai are now well connected with air network. In addition to air travel, there are both national highway and express highway between Ahmedabad and Mumbai. Why then the Bullet Train is given such a priority and made out to be a prestigious proposition?
There are other ways to benefit from Japan-India friendship and socio-economic cooperation. A simple calculation proves that the Bullet Train Project makes neither economic sense nor puts on priority the pressing multi-modal public transport needs, with last mile connectivity and appropriate and complementary land use planning that will benefit all, in the emerging New India.
Many more such questions need answers from the Modi Government.
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