Permanent sovereignty over natural resources


Permanent sovereignty over natural resources is a principle in international law that asserts the rights of nations to freely manage and exploit their natural resources without external interference. It grants states the authority to make decisions regarding the exploration, development, and utilization of their own resources, including minerals, water, forests, and other valuable assets found within their territories. The concept of permanent sovereignty over natural resources gained prominence during the mid-20th century as a response to colonialism and resource exploitation by foreign powers. It was enshrined in various international instruments, including the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1803 (1962) titled “Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources,” which outlined the rights of states in relation to their resources. According to the principle, states have the right to nationalize, expropriate, or regulate the activities of foreign companies operating within their territories in order to safeguard their natural resources and protect their national interests. However, the principle does not imply absolute control without any regard for international obligations or environmental concerns. States are still expected to adhere to international law, including human rights, environmental sustainability, and equitable resource distribution. The principle of permanent sovereignty over natural resources has been recognized as a fundamental right of states and is often invoked in international disputes involving resource-rich regions. It has also influenced the development of national laws and regulations regarding the management and exploitation of natural resources, particularly in developing countries seeking to assert greater control over their wealth of natural assets.

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