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Two environmental priorities internationally now are:

  1. Climate Change Mitigation
  2. Biodiversity Conservation

Convention on Biodiversity

CBD has failed in its original goal of reduce the loss of biodiversity significantly by 2010. Next meeting of CBD is scheduled for 2012 in New Delhi.

Cartagena Protocol

On biosafety. It is a part of the CBD.


Ramsar Convention

On wetlands. 1972. 25 sites from India

Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer


Rotterdam Convention


On the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade.

Signed: 1998                       Effective: 2004

Signatories: 73                   Parties: 128

Stockholm Convention

On Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) aims to eliminate or restrict the production and use of POPs.

Signed: 2001                       Effective: 2004

Signatories: 152                                Parties: 169

Basel Convention

On the control of transboundary movements of hazardous waste and their disposal

Signed: 1989                       Effective: 1992

Signatories: 51                   Parties: 175



Codex Alimentarius

CA is a collection of internationally recognized standards, codes or practice, guidelines and other recommendations relating to foods, food production and food safety developed by the FAO and WHO.




Wassenaar Arrangement

On export controls for conventional arms and dual use goods and technologies. It is a multilateral export control regime with 40 participating states (india is not yet a member: Nov 2010). Its secretariat is located in Vienna.

Estd: 1996

It is the successor to the cold war era Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls.

The Australia Group

The Australia Group (AG) is an informal forum of countries which, through the harmonisation of export controls, seeks to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical or biological weapons.

Est: 1985


Missile Technology Control Regime

The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) is an informal and voluntary partnership between 34 countries to prevent the proliferation of missile and unmanned aerial vehicle technology capable of carrying a 500 kg payload at least 300 km.

Est: 1987

Treaty Year Parties Provisions
Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty 1972 US-Soviet Union To limit ABM systems used in defending areas against missile delivered nuclear weapons

US unilaterally withdrew in 2002

Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) 1996/Not in force   Will come into force 180 days after it is ratified by all 44 annex 2 countries. India, US, Pakistan, Israel are Annex 2 countries.


India, Pak, N. Korea havnt signed

Partial Test Ban Treaty 1963   Banned nuclear tests in atmosphere, underwater and in space.
NPT 1968/1970 189 Major non-parties: India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel.

N Korea withdrew in 2003.

Iran is a party

3 pillars: non proliferation, disarmament, peaceful use

Interim Agreement on Offensive Arms (SALT I) 1972 US-Soviet Union  
Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT II) 1979 US-Soviet Union Replaced SALT I. US withdrew from SALT II in 1986.
Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty 1987   Global ban on short and long range nuclear weapons systems, as well as intrusive verification regime
Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) 1991/1994 US-Soviet independent states Limited long range nuclear forces
START II 1993/never put into force Russia – US  
Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT or Moscow treaty) 2002/2003   Ambiguous. US and Russia agreed to reduce their strategic nuclear warheads to between 1700 and 2200 by 2012
New START 2010/2011 Russia – US Replaces SORT. Reduces nuclear warheads by about half. Will remain into force until at least 2021.


International Conference on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation was held in Tehran in 2010. US didn’t attend.

Security Related

Treaty Year Parties Provisions
Biological Weapons Convention 1972/1975 163 Bans the production of biological and toxin weapons
Chemical Weapons Convention 1993/1997 188 Depository: UN Sec Gen

Prohibits the use and production of chemical weapons

Non-parties: Angola, Burma, Egypt, Israel, N. Korea, Somalia, Syria

Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons 1981/1983 109 Restricts the use of certain excessively injurious conventional weapons
Convention on Cluster Munitions 2008/2010 Parties: 108. Sign: 55 Prohibits the use, transfer and stockpile of cluster bombs


Civil Nuclear

Treaty Year Imp points
Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage 1963/1977 Operator’s liability limit at not less than 300 mn SDR


International Ownership

Treaty Year Major Points
UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 Defines  territorial waters. Territorial sea – upto 12 nm

Contiguous zone – from 12 nm upto 24 nm

EEZ: from 12 nm to 200 nm (includes contiguous zone)


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