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FROM THE ARCHIVES

On Monday, Bo Kjell‚n noted that ratification of a convention takes a fair amount of time. In fact, ratification of environmental conventions, as measured by the length of time between the date when a convention is adopted and its entry into force, takes an average of 32 months. For example, the 1973 CITES Convention took 28 months to enter into force, the 1979 Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution took 40 months and the 1989 Basel Convention took 38 months. However, the ratification of the two most recent environmental conventions, the 1992 Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity, took only 22 months and 19 months, respectively. If there is sufficient political will, the Convention to Combat Desertification may enter into force before June 1996 and continue this trend.