The legal framework for the sustainable development of Iraqi oil and gas: a study in particular reference to the Kurdistan Region, and with special emphasis on the New Delhi Declaration
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis
Iraq’s liberation from the Saddam regime after a few decades of oppression signalled national transition to peace and stability. The entire world had its eyes fixed on Iraq as a model for newly liberated nation states. Even though Iraq was liberated from authoritarian rule, but it has yet to be liberated from its socio-economic woes. Decades of neglect at the hands of a military dictatorship, newly found ethnic and sectarian divides and now a regional cum international jihadist agenda threaten to tear Iraq apart. The true underlying cause of Iraq’s problems is socio-economic divide – precipitated at both domestic and international levels, and manifested as ethnic and sectarian conflicts. The only real solution to Iraq’s woes is to capitalise on the oil and gas resources, in such a fashion that they provide socio-economic dividends with a hope of conserving the environment for future generations. The idea of sustainable development is auspicious in terms of consequences yet elusive in terms of implementation. Iraq’s domestic problems and international pressure groups are creating an environment where sustainable development is a hard-to-realise goal. Moreover, the ever changing definition of sustainable development and the concept’s credibility poses its own dynamic undercurrents. The greatest hope at sustainable development for Iraq’s situation is to shape and implement a legislated framework through public participation, responsible legislation along the lines of globally accepted sustainable development principles. This research aims to provide various options for a legal framework for sustainable development keeping in view Iraq’s peculiar circumstances. The various challenges confronting Iraq on domestic, regional and international forums for sustainable development are discussed at length, and legal solutions are provided through an examination of international practice, stakeholder views and emerging best practices.
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