Global Environment

National Action Plan for Agenda 21 -Chap. 39

[Agenda 21] National Action Plan for Agenda 21

Chapter 39 INTERNATIONAL LEGAL INSTRUMENTS AND MECHANISMS

It is very significant that a framework to deal internationally with the environment and development over a wide spectrum was formed as a result of negotiations at the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in a relatively short period of time.

There presently exist international conventions to deal with individual environmental problems, including the prevention of marine pollution, the protection of the ozone layer, the regulation of the transboundary movement of hazardous waste, the protection of species, and the prevention of global warming, among others.

In addition to steadily implementing such existing frameworks, it will be important for the international community to study the possibility of the establishment of new frameworks, as necessity arises.

The basic standpoint of Japan concerning this area is as follows, and Japan will continue to positively participate in the formulation of related international laws, as well as in the process of implementing such laws.

(1)
As regards the field of the environment, with cooperation and coordination being promoted for the individual international conventions, and centering around the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), it will be necessary for initiatives to be taken for the formulation of new international laws for problems which cannot be dealt with by existing frameworks. Furthermore, it is expected that the International Law Commission and international non-governmental organizations (the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, [IUCN], etc.) will put their specialized knowledge to use to provide beneficial contributions to these activities.
(2)
As regards studying measures for the prevention of large-scale environmental destruction, as undertaken by the UNEP, in addition to studies being made concerning the problems of large-scale environmental destruction, not only that which occurs during times of military conflicts, but also that which occurs during times of peace, Japan believes that studies should be pursued by the United Nations General Assembly and its 6th Committee.
(3)
As regards improvement in international cooperation for the safe management of nuclear energy, Japan believes that importance should first of all be placed in improving cooperation within existing frameworks, including that of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Due to the fact that the assurance of nuclear safety is a common task shared by countries around the world, Japan is actively involved in activities aimed at the early adoption of the Nuclear Safety Convention (tentative name). Japan believes that the said convention should be one of an incentive nature, which respects sovereignty, independency, and self-help, since nuclear safety should be primarily ensured by the responsibility of countries with nuclear installations.
(4)
From the relationship between individual environment-related conventions, and from trade-related problems, it is anticipated that many problems will occur in the future, which require coordination. In order to deal with such problems, it will be necessary to practically apply methods for settling disputes under existing frameworks, as well as to further improve these methods, and Japan believes that further studies should be made concerning coordination activities in the existing mechanisms for settling disputes.

Ministry of the Environment Government of Japan

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