Parties to the Environmental Modification Convention undertake not to engage in military or any other hostile use of environmental modification techniques having widespread, long-lasting or severe effects as the means of destruction, damage or injury to any other State Party.
In July 1972 the U.S. Government renounced the use of climate modification techniques for hostile purposes, even if their development were proved to be feasible in the future. On December 10, 1976 the General Assembly adopted a resolution by a vote of 96 to 8, with 30 abstentions, which referred the Convention to all member nations. The Senate gave its advice and consent to ratification on November 28, 1979, by a vote of 98-0. The President ratified the Convention December 13, 1979. The Convention entered into force for the United States on January 17, 1980, when the U.S. instrument of ratification was deposited in New York. - Federation of American Scientists
The Convention was approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution "31/72"1 of 10 December 1976. In application of paragraph 2 of the said resolution, the Secretary-General decided to open the Convention for signature and ratification by States from 18 to 31 May 1977 at Geneva, Switzerland. Subsequently, the Convention was transmitted to the Headquarters of the Organization of the United Nations at New York, where it was open for signature by States until 4 October 1978. - United Nations
Convention on the prohibition of military or any other
hostile use of environmental modification techniques
(with annex). Adopted by the General Assembly of the
United Nations on 10 December 1976
The States Parties to this Convention,
Guided by the interest of consolidating peace, and wishing to contribute to
the cause of halting the arms race, and of bringing about general and complete
disarmament under strict and effective international control, and of saving
mankind from the danger of using new means of warfare,
Determined to continue negotiations with a view to achieving effective
progress towards further measures in the field of disarmament,
Recognizing that scientific and technical advances may open new possibilities
with respect to modification of the environment,
Recalling the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human
Environment, adopted at Stockholm on 16 June 1972,2
Realizing that the use of environmental modification techniques for peaceful
purposes could improve the interrelationship of man and nature and contribute
to the preservation and improvement of the environment for the benefit of present
and future generations,
Recognizing, however, that military or any other hostile use of such techniques
could have effects extremely harmful to human welfare,
Desiring to prohibit effectively military or any other hostile use of environmental
modification techniques in order to eliminate the dangers to mankind
from such use, and affirming their willingness to work towards the achievement
of this objective,
Desiring also to contribute to the strengthening of trust among nations and
to the further improvement of the international situation in accordance with the
purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,
Have agreed as follows:
Article I. 1. Each State Party to this Convention undertakes not to engage
in military or any other hostile use of environmental modification techniques
having widespread, long-lasting or severe effects as the means of destruction,
damage or injury to any other State Party.
2. Each State Party to this Convention undertakes not to assist, encourage
or induce any State, group of States or international organization to engage in
activities contrary to the provisions of paragraph 1 of this article.
Article II. As used in article I, the term "environmental modification
techniques" refers to any technique for changing-through the deliberate
manipulation of natural processes-the dynamics, composition or structure of
the earth, including its biota, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere, or of
Article III. 1. The provisions of this Convention shall not hinder the use
of environmental modification techniques for peaceful purposes and shall be
without prejudice to the generally recognized principles and applicable rules of
international law concerning such use.
2. The States Parties to this Convention undertake to facilitate, and have
the right to participate in, the fullest possible exchange of scientific and technological
information on the use of environmental modification techniques for
peaceful purposes. States Parties in a position to do so shall contribute, alone or
together with other States or international organizations, to international economic
and scientific co-operation in the preservation, improvement and peaceful
utilization of the environment, with due consideration for the needs of the
developing areas of the world.
Article IV. Each State Party to this Convention undertakes to take any
measures it considers necessary in accordance with its constitutional processes
to prohibit and prevent any activity in violation of the provisions of the Convention
anywhere under its jurisdiction or control.
Article V. 1. The States Parties to this Convention undertake to consult
one another and to co-operate in solving any problems which may arise in relation
to the objectives of, or in the application of the provisions of, the Convention.
Consultation and co-operation pursuant to this article may also be undertaken
through appropriate international procedures within the framework of the United
Nations and in accordance with its Charter. These international procedures may
include the services of appropriate international organizations, as well as of a
Consultative Committee of Experts as provided for in paragraph 2 of this article.
2. For the purposes set forth in paragraph 1 of this article, the Depositary
shall, within one month of the receipt of a request from any State Party to this
Convention, convene a Consultative Committee of Experts. Any State Party may
appoint an expert to the Committee whose functions and rules of procedure are
set out in the annex, which constitutes an integral part of this Convention. The
Committee shall transmit to the Depositary a summary of its findings of fact,
incorporating all views and information presented to the Committee during its
proceedings. The Depositary shall distribute the summary to all States Parties.
3. Any State Party to this Convention which has reason to believe that any
other State Party is acting in breach of obligations deriving from the provisions
of the Convention may lodge a complaint with the Security Council of the United
Nations. Such a complaint should include all relevant information as well as all
possible evidence supporting its validity.
4. Each State Party to this Convention undertakes to co-operate in carrying
out any investigation which the Security Council may initiate, in accordance with
the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, on the basis of the complaint
received by the Council. The Security Council shall inform the States Parties
of the results of the investigation.
5. Each State Party to this Convention undertakes to provide or support
assistance, in accordance with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations,
to any State Party which so requests, if the Security Council decides that such
Party has been harmed or is likely to be harmed as a result of violation of the
Article VI. 1. Any State Party to this Convention may propose amendments
to the Convention. The text of any proposed amendment shall be submitted
to the Depositary, who shall promptly circulate it to all States Parties.
2. An amendment shall enter into force for all States Parties to this Convention
which have accepted it, upon the deposit with the Depositary of instruments
of acceptance by a majority of States Parties. Thereafter it shall enter into
force for any remaining State Party on the date of deposit of its instrument of
Article VII. This Convention shall be of unlimited duration.
Article VIII. 1. Five years after the entry into force of this Convention,
a conference of the States Parties to the Convention shall be convened by the
Depositary at Geneva, Switzerland. The conference shall review the operation of
the Convention with a view to ensuring that its purposes and provisions are
being realized, and shall in particular examine the effectiveness of the provisions
of paragraph 1 of article I in eliminating the dangers of military or any other
hostile use of environmental modification techniques.
2. At intervals of not less than five years thereafter, a majority of the
States Parties to this Convention may obtain, by submitting a proposal to this
effect to the Depositary, the convening of a conference with the same objectives.
3. If no conference has been convened pursuant to paragraph 2 of this
article within ten years following the conclusion of a previous conference, the
Depositary shall solicit the views of all States Parties to this Convention, concerning
the convening of such a conference. If one third or ten of the States
Parties, whichever number is less, respond affirmatively, the Depositary shall
take immediate steps to convene the conference.
Article IX. 1. This Convention shall be open to all States for signature.
Any State which does not sign the Convention before its entry into force in
accordance with paragraph 3 of this article may accede to it at any time.
2. This Convention shall be subject to ratification by signatory States.
Instruments of ratification or accession shall be deposited with the SecretaryGeneral
of the United Nations.
3. This Convention shall enter into force upon the deposit of instruments
of ratification by twenty Governments in accordance with paragraph 2 of this
4. For those States whose instruments of ratification or accession are
deposited after the entry into force of this Convention, it shall enter into force
on the date of the deposit of their instruments of ratification or accession.
5. The Depositary shall promptly inform all signatory and acceding States
of the date of each signature, the date of deposit of each instrument of ratification
or accession and the date of the entry into force of this Convention and of any
amendments thereto, as well as of the receipt of other notices.
6. This Convention shall be registered by the Depositary in accordance
with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations.
Article X. This Convention, of which the English, Arabic, Chinese, French,
Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the
Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall send duly certified copies
thereof to the Governments of the signatory and acceding States.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned, being duly authorized thereto by
their respective Governments, have signed this Convention, opened for signature
at Geneva on the eighteenth day of May, one thousand nine hundred and seventyseven