The United Nations have often seemed to be completely worthless to me while I was growing up. I never took the time to find out much about them until recently. I stumbled upon a book that was written by one of the members of the committee in charge of setting up the world’s first international court which will, amongst other tasks, ensure impunity for international crimes ceases to exist, naming George W. Bush as one of the examples of those who need to be sued a.s.a.p. That did it – I suddenly became much more interested. Even though the date is set for 2048, I have a newfound faith in humanity.
While reading some of the files that are listed, I came across a charter that specifically details all the laws concerning nature, sustainability and international rights for them. It is actually every country’s responsibility to ensure their natural resources are looked after and well maintained, including all citizens and international organizations. Surprisingly enough, there is a clause that states that those that wage war must do so without damaging nature… which I’m sure most world leaders disregard. How many even know about this law?
Interestingly enough, it even adds that it is not only permitted, but encouraged as much as possible, by the UN, to organize groups in order to ensure all laws are respected and none are violated. Read this excerpt, taken straight from the UN’s file:
21. States and, to the extent they are able, other public authorities, international organizations, individuals, groups and corporations shall:
(a) Co-operate in the task of conserving nature through common activities and other relevant actions, including information exchange and consultations;
(b) Establish standards for products and manufacturing processes that may have adverse effects on nature, as well as agreed methodologies for assessing these effects;
(c) Implement the applicable international legal provisions for the conservation of nature and the protection of the environment;
(d) Ensure that activities within their jurisdictions or control do not cause damage to the natural systems located within other States or in the areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction;
(e) Safeguard and conserve nature in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
This, of course, includes all forms of wildlife such as whales, seals, dolphins, wolves, deer, and any animal on the endangered species list or on the brink of being added.
How do you feel about these laws? Who believes that the UN will manage to, eventually, limit the damage caused to the environment by taking the criminals to court?
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Image credit: Tobias Akerboom (at hutmeelz)