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Newsline: U.N. environmental diplomacy has evolved since first conference 50 years ago

In 1972, acid rain was destroying trees. Birds were dying from DDT poisoning, and countries were contending with oil spills, contamination from nuclear weapons testing and the environmental harm of the Vietnam War. Air pollution was crossing borders and harming neighboring countries. At Sweden’s urging, the United Nations brought together representatives from countries around the world to find solutions. That summit — the U.N. Conference on the Human Environment, held in Stockholm 50 years ago on June 5-16, 1972 — marked the first global effort to treat the environment as a worldwide policy issue and define the core principles for its management. From a diplomacy perspective, the Stockholm Conference was a major accomplishment. (https://www.upi.com/Voices/2022/05/31/UN-environmental-diplomacy/6601654001119/) It led to the creation of the U.N. Environment Program to monitor the state of the environment and coordinate responses to the major environmental problems. The 50th anniversary of the Stockholm Conference is an important opportunity to think about development rights and responsibilities for the future while using environmental diplomacy today to preserve and regenerate the Earth.

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