Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources

The principles of Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources build on traditional state prerogatives such as territorial sovereignty and sovereign equality of states. This permits states to freely determine and apply laws and policies governing their people and territory under their jurisdiction and choose their own political, social and economic systems.

Among the numerous resolutions, the law-making United Nation General Assembly Resolution 1803 (XVII) of 14 December 1962 on Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources (PSNR) stands out  which was generated after lengthy studies on the topic had been conducted by the Economic and Social Council, the UN Secretariat and the Commission on Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources.

This resolution declares basic principles on PSNR as follow:

  1. The right of peoples and nations to permanent sovereignty over their natural wealth and resources must be exercised in the interest of their national development.
  2. The exploration, development and disposition of such resources should be in conformity with the rules and conditions.
  3. In cases where authorization is granted, the capital imported and the earnings on that capital shall be governed by the terms thereof, by the national legislation in force, and by international law.
  4. Nationalization, expropriation or requisitioning shall be based on grounds or reasons of public utility, security or the national interest.
  5. The free and beneficial exercise of the sovereignty of peoples and nations over their natural resources must be furthered by the mutual respect of States based on their sovereign equality.
  6. International co-operation for the economic development of developing countries shall be such as to further their independent national development and shall be based upon respect for their sovereignty.
  7. Violation of the rights of peoples and nations is contrary to the spirit and principles of the Charter of the UN.
  8. Foreign investment agreements freely entered into by or between sovereign States shall be observed in good faith.


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