The issue, international organization for the protection of the environment perhaps more than those in any other area of international law, is characterized by the contestation of the policies and aspirations of developing and industrialized countries. The discussions which preceded the 1972 Stockholm Conference concerned partly the type of international institutional arrangement required for addressing the environmental problems. As regards the institutional reforms with respect to international environmental governance (IEG), the main question is whether to focus on the existing global institution, i.e. UNEP, or to create a new functional international organization. After almost five decades of existence, turning UNEP into a ‘specialized agency’ within the UN system is a reasonable move. It would meet the long-felt need to elevate its status and equip it with the necessary competence and financial stability for the demanding task it should have as an efficient global environmental organization.
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