Ukraine demands Russia be suspended from multilateral environmental agreements and their governing bodies

9 March 2022, 03:25 PM

Ukraine calls on the parties to major environmental treaties to suspend  such treaties with regard to the aggressor country and terminate Russia's membership in governing and advisory bodies. Relevant appeals were sent to 13 UN conventions:

-The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants,

-The UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes,

-The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora,

-The Convention on Biological Diversity,

-The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer,

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-The UN Convention to Combat Desertification,

-The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal,

-The Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management,

-The conventions on wetlands of international importance, mainly as waterfowl habitats,

-The Convention for the Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution,

-The Convention on the prohibition of military or any other hostile use of environmental modification techniques,

-The UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage,

-The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Ukraine also appealed to the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program to exclude Russia from its International Coordinating Council.

Under the mentioned conventions, the aggressor state committed itself at the international level to protect and preserve the environment on the principles of: the equal rights and self-determination of peoples; the sovereign equality and independence of all states; non-interference in the domestic affairs of states; the prohibition of the threat or use of force; and universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.

Russia is grossly violating universal principles and norms of international environmental law, showing disrespect to all contracting states:

The Russian invasion of the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone has led to a loss of effective control over the Chornobyl NPP Shelter, including spent nuclear fuel storage facilities and radioactive waste disposal sites, and has jeopardized international environmental security as a whole;

the shelling of the reactor unit and the capture of the Zaporizhzhya NPP by Russian militants created a threat to the nuclear and radiation safety of the whole world;

as a result of the invasion, Ukraine's natural heritage is suffering irreparable damage;

more than half of the Ramsar sites in Ukraine are used by the Russian armed forces during hostilities against the Ukrainian people. These are  primarily areas on the coasts of the Azov and Black Seas and in the lower reaches of the Danube and Dnipro rivers.

By carrying out a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the aggressor state is violating international law, human rights, nuclear and radiation safety, and global peace in general.

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