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23 Envtl. Pol'y & L. 1 (1993)

handle is hein.journals/envpola23 and id is 1 raw text is: 

     The United Nations General Assembly has now completed what Rio requested. One of the resolutions adopted
 concerns the institutional arrangements to carry this out (see report on page 2), and incorporates details on the
 establishment of the Commission on Sustainable Development, which a spokesman has stated should not turn into a
 world-wide environment enforcement agency ... (nor) become eco-cops. But we shall see how it develops. In this
 respect, we wish Nitin Desai all the best in commencing this important work.

                                             *       *        *

    Mostafa Tolba retired as Executive Director at the end of'92 after working for nearly two decades with UNEP (see
 also page 14). The general opinion is that although he was not always an easy person and took often a tough line
 with Governments and staff, he always sought consensus, and achieved much. The history ofthe United Nations in the
 environmental sphere will always be linked positively with Tolba's name. We hope now that his knowledge, not only
 of the subject area, but also of the politics behind the problems, is wisely used in the future.
    I appreciated the special relationship I had with him and enjoyed particularly our many short, substantive
 meetings. We knew that whatever we discussed, we could rely on one another.
    The GA  has elected Elizabeth Dowdeswell of Canada for afour-year term, as UNEP Executive Director. Among
 other things, she was her country's principal delegate to the IPCC meetings. We wish her every success in the task
 ahead, but know that it will not be too easy to follow this special predecessor and to manage the infrastructure he

    Recent tanker accidents have illustrated once again that something must be done to accelerate and implement on
 a global scale, the regulations introducedby the United Nations InternationalMaritime Organisation (IMO) in March
 last year (see last issue at page 348). However, it is unrealistic to expect to throw out all the old ships - this would
 be economically impossible - but for these much stricter routing and harbour provisions must be proscribed. The
 standards of all ships could also be so increased as to make them non-insurable and uneconomic if they cannot follow
 the requirements. Another problem is that shipsflyingflags of convenience, seen to comprise the main culprits, will
 not necessarily conform with the newIMO regulations. Probably the only solution willbe -finally - to introduce a flag
 liability withfinancial implications or a green insurance card as a minimum requirement to enter a harbour, which
 would ensure that the countries concerned could no longer ignore the issues involved.

    European ChemicalNews   has cited the industry's opinion that it will regard the meeting in Copenhagen to update
 the Montreal Protocol (see report on page 6) as a success since environmentalists largely failed in their efforts to
 speed up the change to non-ozone depleting substances and HCFC producing companies have not lost the return
 on their investments. For us, that is a theme the new World Industry Council (see pages 17 and 54) should take up.

    In a number ofconferences, the search for a consensus text includes checking to see ifsomething similar has been
agreed  upon. Experience has shown that many participants arrive with a collection of previous treaty texts and a
private collection of soft law - some of them cut out of this Journal!.
    ICEL, as a help especially for its members, publishes a collection of all existing international environmentally-
related agreements, and has now added to this a collection of international environmental soft-law*. The loose-leaf
form allows texts to be detached for meetings and the collection to be adapted to the changing developments in this

                                                                                          21 January 1993

* Published by Martinus-Nijhoff, ISBN 0-7923-2070-0.


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