Permanent sovereignty over natural resources


Permanent sovereignty over natural resources is a principle of international law that asserts the right of nations to exercise full control and authority over the natural resources within their territory. It grants states the power to make decisions regarding the exploration, exploitation, and management of their natural resources without external interference.

The concept of permanent sovereignty over natural resources is rooted in the principles of sovereignty and self-determination of nations. It gained prominence during the decolonization period when many newly independent states sought to assert their control over their own resources, which had been previously exploited by colonial powers.

The principle is enshrined in various international declarations and resolutions, including the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1803 (XVII) of 1962, which proclaimed the Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources (PSNR) doctrine. According to this resolution, states have the right to nationalize, expropriate, or regulate foreign-owned companies operating within their territories to ensure the equitable utilization and distribution of natural resources for the benefit of their populations.

The principle of permanent sovereignty over natural resources is recognized as a fundamental right of states, but it is also subject to certain limitations. States must respect other principles of international law, including obligations arising from international treaties and agreements. They must also consider environmental sustainability, human rights, and the interests of future generations in the management of their natural resources.

In practice, the implementation of permanent sovereignty over natural resources can be complex and can lead to disputes between states and private corporations or among states themselves. Various mechanisms, such as international arbitration or negotiation, are available to resolve these disputes and strike a balance between the rights of states and the interests of other stakeholders.

Overall, the principle of permanent sovereignty over natural resources recognizes the authority of states to control and manage their resources in a manner that promotes their development, social welfare, and long-term sustainability.

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