The Pact

Where are we now?

The Pact project was presented for the first time in Paris on June 24, 2017, within the framework of an international event organized in the Sorbonne University’s Grand Amphitheater with attendance from several affluent individuals in environmental conservation, including Laurent Fabius, Ban Ki-moon, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mary Robinson, Anne Hidalgo, Laurence Tubiana, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal and Nicolas Hulot.

September 19, 2017 the Pact project was presented in New York to the UN by the French President Emmanuel Macron to celebrate the world summit, bringing together several governmental Heads of States, for the 72nd anniversary of the UN General Assembly Session. For this occasion, the Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, the President of the UN General Assembly, Miroslav Lajčák, as well as the Executive Director of the UN Environment (UN Program for the environment), Erik Solheim, manifested their support for the project.

May 10, 2018, UN General Assembly adopted the resolution « Towards a Global Pact for the Environment » launching the negotiations between the States (resolution A/72/L.51 of 10 May 2018).

 Read here the text of the resolution.

The resolution was adopted by 142 votes in favour, 5 votes against (United States, Russia, Syria, Turkey and the Philipines) and 7 abstentions (Saudi-Arabia, Bielorussia, Iran, Malaisia, Nicaragua, Nigeria and Tadjikistan). It opens the floor to negotiation of such a Pact by organizingthe project’s terms of review by UN bodies. It includes:

  • The report presentation by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, to the General Assembly, identifying the eventual gaps in international environmental law towards the end of 2018;
  • The creation of a open-ended working group, open to all State members, in charge of examining this report and to discuss the necessity of elaborating the project in terms of a new international treaty.

September 5-7, 2018 the working group held a first organizational meeting in New York. They scheduled the next three meeting that will be held in Nairobi in January, March, and May 2019.

In December 2018, the United Nations Secretary-General published his report on the Global Pact Environment. The report, titled “Gaps in international environmental law and environment-related instruments: towards a global pact for the environment”, underlines that international environmental law and its effectiveness could be strengthened by a comprehensive and unifying international instrument that gathers all the principles of environmental law. Such an instrument could better the harmonization, the predictability and legal security.

In June 2019, in terms of the working group tasks, if the need for a Global Pact for the Environment is confirmed, the UN General Assembly could adopt a second resolution, in light of the negotiations on the Pact contents. In the case of successful negotiations, the Global Pact for the environment could be adopted in the coming years at an ad hoc international conference, then giving States the option to ratify.