The annual dinner, now hosted by the International Council of Environmental Law and WCEL, was held on 25 May in New York City to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the International Law Commission of the United Nations and its contributions to the field of environmental law.
The International Council of Enviornmental Law (ICEL) and WCEL honored the International Law Commission of the United Nations (ILC) for its pioneering work in the field of environmental law at a dinner on 24 May 2018 in New York City. The ILC had gathered in New York at UN Headquarters for sessions in commemoration of its 70 years of work based at the UN Office Geneva. The ILC has many significant accomplishments, including its articles on the Non-Navigational Uses of International Water Courses that set out the environmental standards for transboundary rivers and lakes. Furthermore, its Draft Articles on Prevention of Transboundary Harm from Hazardous Activities are essential to clarifying state responsibility to honor their duties under Principle 21 of the Stockhom Convention.
Eduardo Valencia-Ospina, President of the ILC, addressed the dinner (remarks provided in video below), as did Luis Almagro Lemes, Secretary-General of the Organization of American States, and Justice Antonio Herman Benjamin, WCEL Chair. The dinner was also an opportunity for Pace University to confer its Elisabeth Haub Award for Environmental Diplomacy and Law on Professor Stephen McCaffrey (see separate report here), who served as ILC special rapportuer on the topic that became the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses. Professor Nilufer Oral, Chair of the ICEL Bureau, and Professor Nicholas Robinson, Executive Governor of ICEL, toasted the work of the ILC.
The dinner was attended by most of the ILC Members and a number of guests. By coincidence, the ILC presentation by Professor Murase on the elements of laws for the protection of the atmosphere, took place on 24-25 May. Environmental law was very much in the air! This dinner, usually hosted solely by ICEL in Geneva each year, was the first to be co-hosted with WCEL. In 2019, the dinner will return to Geneva and a new tradition will begin for ICEL and WCEL to be co-hosts.
by Professor Nicholas Robinson, Executive Governor of ICEL and WCEL Chair Emeritus