United Nations Conference on the Human Environment 1972 (Stockholm Conference)—snapshot
United Nations Conference on the Human Environment 1972 (Stockholm Conference)—snapshot

The following Environment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • United Nations Conference on the Human Environment 1972 (Stockholm Conference)—snapshot
  • Background
  • Key issues during negotiations
  • What did the Stockholm Conference achieve?
  • The Declaration
  • The Action Plan
  • The Resolutions
  • What is the legacy of the Stockholm Conference?
  • International impact
  • Impact on Europe

United Nations Conference on the Human Environment 1972 (Stockholm Conference)—snapshot

TitleUnited Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm Conference)
LocationStockholm, Sweden
Attendees113 country representatives attended, together with over 400 inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations
Conference dates5–16 June 1972
SubjectSustainable development, international environmental politics

Background

The Stockholm Conference is regarded as a pivotal point in the development of modern environmental law. It was the first intergovernmental conference devoted to environmental issues and acknowledged that environmental protection is a major issue which affects both the well-being of people and global economic development. It draws on broad general environmental policy goals and objectives rather than setting down specific obligations.

The conference’s recognition of the need to revitalise the ties between humanity and nature led to the creation of various environmental institutions in the UN. Importantly, it also led to the development of key national and international environment instruments, including:

  1. 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea

  2. 1985 Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, and

  3. 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants

In its mid-1968 session, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), decided to add the convening of an ‘International Conference on the Problems of the Human Environment’ to its agenda, following a proposal by the Swedish Government, see ECOSOC Resolution 1346 (XLV), and the United Nations (UN) General Assembly (General Assembly) Resolutions 2398

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