Be Aware Bonn Agreement

1. If a party is aware of an accident or the presence of hydrocarbons or other pollutants, including ships, in the North Sea region, which may pose a serious threat to the coast or the related interests of another party, it immediately informs that party through its competent authority. Belgium is one of ten signatories to a cooperation agreement “for the prevention and control of pollution of the North Sea by hydrocarbons and other pollutants” (Bonn Agreement, 1983). The signatories are the nine North Sea coastal states, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom, as well as the European Union. The Bonn Agreement covers the North Sea agglomeration and is the mechanism by which the ten contracting parties can cooperate to combat accidental pollution at sea from maritime disasters and chronic pollution caused by ships and offshore installations. Article 218, paragraph 6, of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFUE) provides that “the Council, on the proposal of the negotiator, adopts a decision on the conclusion of the agreement.” In addition, this article provides that the Council, unless the agreements deal exclusively with the common foreign and security policy, with the decision to conclude the agreement, after approval by the European Parliament, where the agreements cover areas either of the ordinary legislative procedure or the specific legislative procedure, where the approval of the European Parliament is required. The aim of the agreement is to promote active cooperation and mutual assistance between coastal states and the European Union in the fight against pollution of the North Sea by hydrocarbons and other pollutants, in order to protect the marine environment and the interests of coastal states. To this end, the agreement provides for the parties to set up a monitoring system to detect and combat pollution and to prevent violations of pollution control rules. The North Sea is divided into several areas where responsibility for monitoring and assessing incidents is entrusted to the contracting parties. Contracting parties are required to notify any other party concerned of the existence of hydrocarbons or other pollutants that could pose a serious threat to the shoreline or the related interests of another party. Contracting parties may seek assistance to combat pollution at sea or on their shores, with the invited contracting parties having to do their best to provide the assistance they have in their power.

After the fall of the Taliban in 2001, the Bonn Agreement laid the groundwork for state reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, supported by the United States and NATO. The agreement aimed to create a new constitution, an independent judiciary, free and fair elections, a centralized sector of security and the protection of the rights of women, including minorities, such as religious and ethnic groups. This model of state-building in Afghanistan was based on a “maximumist model of post-conflict reconstruction” that emerged in the 1990s as a result of international interventions in the Balkans, sub-Saharan Africa and East Timor. [4] 1. The contracting parties provide for the fulfilment of the secretarial tasks relating to this agreement, taking into account existing arrangements under other international agreements relating to the prevention of marine pollution and air pollution in the same region as this agreement.