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I think it was a perfectly appropriate response, shared by the List I would think.
CSI: Berkeley... We'll have to get Wiltrud a Who song as a theme!

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From: International Law Librarians List (Int-Law) [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of lenore glanz [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Sunday, November 14, 2010 4:03 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [Int-Law] elusive U.N. conference documents

Dear Int-Law members.
That rosy haze you see on the horizon is my blushing.  I mean to send my response to Wiltrud only.
With apologies,
Lenore

--- On Sat, 11/13/10, Wiltrud Harms <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: Wiltrud Harms <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: [Int-Law] elusive U.N. conference documents
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Saturday, November 13, 2010, 1:16 AM

Hi Christine:

I am afraid my response to your INT-LAW post comes too late since you needed the requested information a couple of days ago. I didn't see a response on the List yet, so I am assuming that you did not obtain the  wanted report of the Second Committee (established by the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment)? Well, our UN Documents Collection here at Boalt Hall does not hold this U.N. document either and since it is not available online, there are no GENERALLY  AVAILABLE U.N. documents that could verify the quote found in Patricia Birnie's book referring to statements made by Japan and the Netherlands in the Second Committee (and, by the way, the Harris article just refers to P. Birnie's book).

Nevertheless, Christine, I became interested in your question and thought it might be useful for those list members  who need to work with U.N. documents to describe what I found out today:

(i)  Scanning the report on the conference in the ODS or in hard copy, one cannot find the Report of the Second Committee (on subject areas II and V) reproduced. Even though paragraphs 170-259 of the  conference report describe very briefly the actions taken by the Second Committee on the various draft recommendations, which is followed by extremely brief summaries of statements and actions taken by the Conference itself in plenary meetings THERE IS NO REFERENCE PROVIDED  TO A DOCUMENT SYMBOL OF THE REPORT OF THE SECOND COMMITTEE.  Usually,  U.N. documents provide the document symbols to other U.N. documents which they mention.  The absence of such a reference here made me think that this committee report may perhaps have been issued as sort of an "in-house" document?

(ii) Perusing Annex IV of the conference report, which is entitled: List of Documents Before the Conference (p. 75), there was also no reference to be found to the Report of the Second Committee presented to the Conference for the consideration in plenary meetings. However, the list indicated that documents A/CONF.48/7 and 10 covered subject areas II and V (the topics covered by the Second Committee) and that A/CONF.48/INF.1 provided "Information on Conference Documents".
Fortunately our library holds these UN masthead documents. I found that the first two documents did NOT contain your wanted Report of the Second Committee but information on the topics to be covered by the Committee; I also found that A/CONF.48/INF.1 only provided A PROVISIONAL LIST OF OFFICIAL CONFERENCE DOCUMENTS  ... AND OF INFORMATION DOCUMENTS.  Perusing Boalt's volume of brittle A/CONF.48/... mimeographed documents I found an additional information document (A/CONF.48/INF.7) titled:
LIST OF CONFERENCE ROOM PAPERS  BEFORE THE CONFERENCE.  This made me hopeful that I might find the Second Committee report mentioned here because conference room papers are usually not given general (only limited or in-house) distribution.

It took a few minutes until I found listed in very poor print:
A/CONF.48/CRP.12/Add.1 ........ Report  of the Second Committee.   Part II - Environmental aspects of natural resources management (subject area II).

This entry finally provides us with the explanation why you could not find the Report of the Second Committee. The Report was before the Conference but not in form of an official UN document to be distributed to the general public. It was only issued as a conference room paper.

(iii) In my opinion there should definitely have been a footnote in the printed Report of the UN Conference such as:  "The Report of the Second Committee was only issued in the form of two conference room papers, symbolled A/CONF.48/CRP.12 and A/CONF.48/CRP.12/Add.1 which were not generally distributed".

Similarly, the reference in P. Birnie's book to the statements of Japan and the Netherlands lack a documentary reference. We can assume that the exchange between these two countries is mentioned in the Report of the Second Committee dealing with subject area II, A/CONF.48/CRP.12/Add.1. I would think that the author mistakenly called the conference room paper "the UNCHE report" although it was only the Committee's report (which is  not generally available).

Christine, this was a tricky document request which I could only pursue because of our library's wonderful U.N. masthead documents collection.

I think it is helpful to remember that not all U.N. reports issued for CONFERENCES, SEMINARS AND SPECIAL MEETINGS are issued as "U.N. documents" (which can be distributed generally). I have learned that sometimes a document may need to be issued in such a hurry during a conference or seminar for the work at hand that the usual editorial steps could not be taken in time.  In such cases a certain item may be issued only as a "conference room paper" (with fewer editing and translation requirements) although its substance might be so significant that it would have been much better in the interest of international law researchers if it could have been issued as a UN document.  However, SOME U.N. conference room papers have gotten a wider circulation for certain reasons. If I am searching for a CRP. I usually try several UN online sources and finally GOOGLE. For example, I was surprised, when I retrieved via a simple GOOGLE search for "A/CONF.48/CRP." (with quotation marks) nine items, the first of which is a conference room paper, A/CONF.48/CRP.3.  If you access this you'll see that it is a very informal looking conference room paper looking quite different than a U.N. document.

Greetings from Berkeley -
Wiltrud


On 11/8/2010 10:29 PM, Peut, Christine wrote:

UNCLASSIFIED

Good Afternoon



I am trying to locate a full copy of the Report of the UN Conference on the Human Environment (UNCHE) held in Stockholm in 1972.   I have downloaded a copy of the Report from the UN's Official Document Series website but it is not the full report, as it does not contain the Report from the Second Committee.  I have seen a reference in a book and an article to discussions that were held in the Second Committee, specifically:



"The UNCHE Report records that Japan opposed this [draft recommendation 86] in Committee, saying that their scientists had advised that such dramatic and emotional gestures were unjustified.  The Netherlands, however, stated that their scientists had advised that it was necessary."



(Patricia Birnie, International Regulation of Whaling (1985) p, 365)

&

(Harris, ‘The best scientific Evidence available: the Whaling Moratorium and divergent interpretations of Science’, William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy, Vol. 29 Issue 2 No.4



This information was not located in the official report of the UNCHE, so I am hoping that it is in the report of the Second Committee.



The website to the United Nations Environment Programme site has a link to the 2nd committee report (see link below) but unfortunately this is not what I am after.  I am after the report that this information is based on.  For example, at the beginning of this Report, it states 'The report of the Second Committee on subject areas 11 and V was considered by the Conference at its 14th, 16th and 18th plenary meetings'.  This Report then summarises what the Second Committee Report stated and the action that the Conference took based on the Second Committee's Report.





http://www.unep.org/Documents.multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID=97&ArticleID=1527&l=en







I would appreciate any assistance you can offer.

Regards

Christine







Christine Peut

Lionel Murphy Library

Attorney-General's Dept

3-5 National Circuit

BARTON ACT 2600

T: 6141 2648

F: 6141 2678



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--
Wiltrud Harms
Reference Specialist for United Nations and Human Rights Law
University of California, Berkeley
Law School Library
Berkeley, CA 94720-7210
Phone: (510) 643-6405
Fax:   (510) 643-5039

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