Since the concept of sustainable development became part of international law and policy at the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992, the number of treaties attempting to find international solutions to sustainable development challenges has increased exponentially. Accordingly, over the last 25 years, sustainable development has become an essential part – explicitly and implicitly – of the negotiation, interpretation and implementation of international treaty law. It has been included as part of the object and purpose of global treaties ranging from climate change, to biodiversity, to human rights, to trade and investment. Likewise, contemporary sustainable development provisions address intersecting – and increasingly integrated – environmental, economic and social justice policies and concerns.
Against this backdrop, the purpose of the 2-day roundtable is to track and build knowledge about recent innovations in the negotiation, interpretation and enforcement of international treaties relating to sustainable development. It will convene learned discussions between experts and students from around the world at the intersections of law, international relations, economics and social and natural sciences, while also engaging specialists from the public sector, the private sector and civil society.
This event will consist of a series of expert panels on sustainable development solutions in international environmental law, indigenous treaties, and trade and investment law, as well as breakout sessions to discuss innovations in the use of international law for SDG implementation, particularly SDGs 2 (hunger), 7 (clean energy), 13 (climate change) and 15 (biodiversity). There will also be an open guest lecture in the evening on the intersection of rights and international sustainable development law, followed by a panel discussion.