In today's fast-moving world, international law, just as its domestic counterpart, must be kept up to date- and that sometimes at almost breakneck speed, as witness the developments concerning the ozone protection regime. For populations originating several reports, the publication with the longest follow-up was selected 26 , 33 ,
In taking such a decision, the organ concerned should be conscious but often apparently is not, at least sufficiently that by the nature of institutional inertia a project of this type, once undertaken, is not likely to be abandoned, even if the prospects of success should fade, due to either a later, better understanding of the problem or actual changes in circumstances, and even if time and cost projections are wildly exceeded.
Other types of unsatisfactory outcomes must also be anticipated. One is the eventual production of an emasculated instrument, reflecting an inability to agree on actually useful rules, and that in particularly unfortunate circumstances actually constitutes a retreat from a higher level of international obligation previously existing or in the course of development. Alternatively, an instrument may be formulated and adopted that contains such a high level of obligations that many states, or at least certain crucial ones, refuse to participate.
In either event, an ill-planned project may then constitute, at least for a time and in a particular forum, a bar to further productive work. For these reasons, the question of whether any limits should be placed on the initiation of the multilateral treaty-making process was one of those most intensively explored by the General Assembly in its above-mentioned review exercise.
In the end the Assembly refrained from establishing or even endorsing any explicit restraints, as allegedly incompatible with the sovereign right of any state to introduce proposals in any international organ in which it participates. Nevertheless, the General Assembly in effect appealed to states to show self-restraint in initiating proposals of this type, and by indicating the criteria by which IGO organs should study such proposals it at least implied that those that do not measure up should be rejected.
In this connection it should be pointed out that one distinctive feature of the international legislative process, compared to municipal ones, is its highly decentralized and consequently at best poorly coordinated nature. Competence to deal with particular questions, such as environmental ones, may exist simultaneously in political organizations such as, on the worldwide level, the United Nations, and, on regional ones, the Organization of American States OAS or the Organization of African Unity OAU , in certain technically oriented specialized agencies on the worldwide or the regional level, in specialized worldwide e.
Which of these chooses to initiate a particular project may thus depend on chance, on the aggressiveness of an executive head, or on obscure political considerations that lead interested states to approach a particular institution. Though the UN General Assembly can of course issue directives to its own subsidiary organs and those of the Economic and Social Council ECOSOC , in respect of specialized agencies it can only issue recommendations, which the latter are obliged to duly consider, while independent regional organizations are not even under such a gentle restraint.
Though within the UN system there are coordinating organs, such as the Administrative Committee on Co-ordination ACC , these operate primarily on the inter-secretariat level and therefore can influence the political organs only indirectly by facilitating the flow of information about what activities are underway or planned in the various organizations participating in the system.
Once a competent IGO organ decides formally to initiate the process of formulating a multilateral law-making treaty - or, for that matter, some other type of norm-establishing instrument - the second major stage in the international legislative process commences.
This stage, in turn, consists of a number of steps, which, however, do not necessarily follow each other in a neat sequence but may overlap, iterate, in part be omitted, and in any event be structured in many different ways. All that is possible is to give a general description of the purpose and preferred means of executing each of these steps, on the understanding that the actual process may differ in respect of any given exercise, driven either ad hoc by the internal dynamics of the particular process or by certain more or less rigid schedules that may be characteristic of a particular organ such as the International Law Commission, the ILC or organization such as ILO.
Depending on what studies were carried out before the project was first proposed or in any event as part of the decision to initiate it, it may or may not be necessary to carry out further investigations before beginning to formulate the instrument.
Such studies may deal, especially in respect of proposed environmental instruments, with scientific or technical matters, or with the current state of national and international activities and laws in the area. As to how any necessary studies are carried out, this depends in part on their nature and in part on the usages of the IGO concerned. Often this task is assigned to the organization's secretariat, which can either perform it with its own resources, with specially engaged staff especially if the exercise is a large-scale one - such as the Third UN Conference on the Law of the Sea, UNCLOS III , or with consultants.
Another favoured approach is to convene expert groups, the members of which are either appointed by the executive head of the lGO who is likely to do so on the basis of governmental recommendations and will in any event take into account various political balances or by particular states interested in and able to participate in the project.
Finally, the task may be carried out by a particular subsidiary organ of the sponsoring IGO, especially if such organ has itself an expert character such as ILC.
Perhaps no other step can be carried out in so many different ways as the preparation of the initial draft of a proposed norm-creating instrument. Sometimes a draft is submitted by the initiating state as part of its first proposal of the project - though, unless such submission is preceded by careful albeit informal consultations, it is likely to create suspicions and even a backlash. Sometimes the preparation of such a draft is assigned to the organ charged with preparing the above-mentioned initial studies and constitutes part of its report.
Lastly, the draft may be prepared in the negotiating forum see next subheading by a specially assigned rapporteur, a working group, or the secretariat, or simply evolve gradually out of the consideration of the subject.
Rather than starting with a complete draft text, with each of at least the substantive provisions spelled out completely, even if only tentatively, it is sometimes found preferable to start with only "heads of agreement," i. In any event, the so-called "formal" or "final clauses" are often omitted entirely at this stage, unless some aspect of them e. The most difficult and generally the longest substage in formulating a new instrument is that required to negotiate its terms and text.
It is this part of the process that is most clearly political, in that it involves the mediation of the various interests concerned: The need for such negotiations naturally informs the entire legislative process - indeed, it is one of the reasons why that term is appropriate, for the negotiations required to formulate international laws may differ in scope but not in any other essential respect from those required for national or even local laws.
Often negotiation starts before the treaty-formulating process has been formally initiated, in that the initiator may consult with leading states before ever introducing a proposal.
The considerations involved in whether to initiate the process may also already involve advance decisions as to substance and form, which may be reflected in the terms of the IGO resolution approving the start of the process 10 and also in the choice of or in the composition of any ad hoc organs whether expert or representative mandated to carry out or to assist in the formulating process.
Though in principle the negotiations culminate in the decision on the adoption of the proposed instrument, in practice they may continue as they have in respect of UNCLOS and especially the protection of the ozone layer 11 even into the post-adoption period. Naturally, the preferred organ for carrying out negotiations is a representative one, that is an organ consisting of the instructed representatives of states.
If the sponsoring IGO is a worldwide or large regional one, then most often the designated organ is a restricted one, that is not a plenary one in which all IGO members are represented.
A standing restricted organ such as the member UNEP Council or the governing organ of a specialized agency always has a balanced composition considered appropriate for the general business of the IGO 12 if the task is assigned to an ad hoc organ, then the agreement about its composition may constitute, as pointed out above, one of the initial manoeuvres in the negotiating process. However, it should be understood that even if certain steps in formulating an instrument are assigned to an expert organ, the latter is likely to function, in effect, as a negotiating forum.
Although the negotiations are normally carried out by persons formally designated as state representatives, such as the members of IGO organs, it has become more and more customary to permit a certain participation to the representatives of non-official organizations, in particular of NGOs. It is this device that increasingly permits the interested public, i. This is a most significant and relatively recent development, which is particularly important in the environmental field, where a number of well-financed and knowledgeable NGOs including, of course, those established by interested business and industrial councils operate and consider their participation in international norm-making to be a major aspect of their work.
The international legislative process is, in spite of the increasingly frequent but still peripheral involvement of ad personam experts and of NGOs, primarily a dialogue among governments, carried out by their designated representatives for the most part in IGO organs. Thus, in a sense, governments, at least the principal ones, are technically always up to date with the state of progress of any given legislative project. Nevertheless, especially since the bulk of this work is normally carried out in low-profile IGO organs with restricted membership, it is useful for many governments, and especially for the majority not represented on such organs, to receive periodic progress reports and in particular to be given an opportunity to make a direct input.
This may be accomplished in several ways, but two are the most usual. Organs with restricted membership, whether or not these are constitutional principal organs i e.
In reporting on a legislative project, they may, depending on the custom of the organization, report in greater or lesser detail, ranging from a mere statement that work is continuing, to transmission of the texts of the latest draft, perhaps indicating areas of disagreement often by the use of square brackets to designate disputed or alternative texts , or even the submission of summary or verbatim records of the relevant debates. The culmination of such a discussion may be a specific resolution asking that the legislative exercise proceed in a certain way or take into account certain points, or it may merely result in the relevant records of the plenary organ being transmitted to the junior organ for its information as reflecting the reaction of a larger circle of governments.
The specific density of this material was about 2. This value is supposed to include the macropores. Infrared spectroscopy showed extinction over a wide range of wavenumbers covering both the OH-stretching region of clay minerals as well as the spectral region typical of free water. This indicated the presence of a range of water binding forms which is in accordance with Dobson et al. As a further tool to study water binding, differential thermal analysis was applied which confirmed the IR results.
However, no separate second peak which could be assigned to dehydroxylation was observed. Instead one broad peak was found which may correspond to both dehydration and dehydroxylation. This conclusion is supported by the IR results which also indicated the presence of a range of different water bindings, ranging from the typical hydroxyl stretching vibrations to adsorbed water. This content was too low to conclude that the hydroxyls were associated to smectite.
One explanation would be that the walls of an extensive pore system are covered with hydroxyls or at least strongly bound water which in terms of binding energy are similar to clay mineral hydroxlys but in this case only cover the very surface. Using the thermal gravimetry curve the water liberated from the perlite could be quantified about 2. Both values, however, are in good agreement.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the spatial distribution of the water. Different methods were used, each with specific strengths and weaknesses. Computer tomography provided a 3D image of density distributions. Using image analysis a grey value distribution was calculated which showed slightly darker surfaces of the particles which indicated areas of lower density, probably a beginning hydration. As explained above, the smectite content was too low to explain this observation.
It could be explained by a small hydration layer but further interpretations would be speculative. Of course the large pores which were observed with light microscopy were well resolved.
In addition, however, the massive glass particles appeared uneven. Dark spots close to the resolution of the method were observed all over the glass particles. Analytical artifacts were excluded and the hypothesis was that these areas could be pores. To further investigate this assumption high resolution scanning electron microscopy in combination with the focused ion beam technology allowing 3D analysis was used.
Therefore, IR microscopy was used. The shape of these spots was an artifact because of the maximum resolution of method. However, IR microscopy proved the presence of water in small domains. At first sight these domains were considered to be analytical artifacts. Therefore, these domains are supposed to correspond to the pores observed by CT and FIB and, moreover, identified at least a part of the filling of the pores. IR microscopy showed that the pores are at least partially filled with water.
A 3D-FIB visualization of one pore showed columnar structures in the pore. These could be precipitations or newly formed phases.
Further discussion about them would be highly speculative. Most of the perlites are supposed to have formed upon post-emplacement hydration. The pores observed are all closed. One option to explain the abundance of this water is that it was trapped when the magma was quickly cooled. This had to be investigated further, e. Perlites are believed to form upon post-formational hydration often leading to smectite formation. The presence of smectite in the investigated sample, however, can be excluded.
CEC measurements with high sample masses are accurate enough to prove that less than 0. In the same range, infrared microscopy revealed domains with significant extinction in the water deformation region. Because of similar size and distribution these signals were believed to represent the filling of the pores.
According to the consistent picture gained from applying a set of different methods, the glass particles of at least the investigated material contain appreciable small water filled pores. It remains unsolved wether the water in these pores entered after or throughout the emplacement.
However, the pores are sealed and no indications of cracks were found which indicates a primary source of the water, i. The water in these pores may be important for the possible formation of clay minerals out of perlites and may have implications for the formation of bentonites in Milos. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. Georg H Grathoff, Email: Laurence N Warr, Email: National Center for Biotechnology Information , U.
Published online Oct Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Received Oct 1; Accepted Oct 6. This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. Abstract A perlite sample representative of an operating mine in Milos was investigated with respect to the type and spatial distribution of water.
Methods to gather spatial information Water can be detected by its characteristic infrared vibrations and the spatial distribution can be probed by IR-microscopy.
Open in a separate window. Mineralogical and chemical composition of the perlite sample. Discussion Infrared spectroscopy showed extinction over a wide range of wavenumbers covering both the OH-stretching region of clay minerals as well as the spectral region typical of free water. Summary and conclusions Perlites are believed to form upon post-formational hydration often leading to smectite formation.
Footnotes Competing interests The authors declare that they have no competing interests. Contributor Information Stephan Kaufhold, Email: False pyroclastic textures in altered silicic lavas, with implications for volcanic associated mineralization.
Infrared spectroscopic analyses on the nature of water in montmorillonite. The hydration and alteration of perlite and rhyolite. J Geol Soc Lond.
Hydrogen isotope fractionation between coexisting vapor and silicate glasses and melts at low pressure. Water in silicate glasses: Hydration of natural glass and formation of perlite. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Am J Clin Nutr. Author manuscript; available in PMC Oct 1.
Copyright and License information Disclaimer. The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at Am J Clin Nutr. See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. Abstract Background It is hypothesized that low selenium concentrations are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and that selenium supplements prevent coronary heart disease.
Objective The objective was to perform a meta-analysis on the association of selenium biomarkers with coronary heart disease endpoints in observational studies and on the efficacy of selenium supplements in preventing coronary heart disease endpoints in randomized trials. Results Twenty-five observational studies 14 cohort and 11 case-control studies that measured blood or toenail selenium concentrations and 6 randomized trials that evaluated supplements containing selenium met our inclusion criteria.
Conclusions Selenium concentrations were inversely associated with coronary heart disease risk in observational studies. Selenium, coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, meta-analysis, systematic review. Open in a separate window. Flow diagram of study selection process. CHD, coronary heart disease.
Statistical analysis Observational studies and randomized trials were analyzed separately. Selenium concentration 2 Study, year Country Percentage of men among control subjects Mean age of control subjects Type of control subjects Source of case subjects Outcomes No.
Meta-analysis of randomized trials Six trials 14 , 29 — 33 , published between and , met our inclusion criteria Table 3. Score ranges from 0 lowest quality to 5 highest quality. Biological plausibility Selenium, a constituent of selenoproteins as selenocysteine, has important antioxidant properties 1 , 56 , Low selenium concentration as a cardiovascular disease risk factor Biomarkers of selenium, such as toenail, blood, erythrocyte, and serum or plasma selenium concentrations 7 — 9 , have all been shown to reflect selenium exposure 7 , 8.
Is the use of selenium supplements justified for cardiovascular disease prevention? Appendix Table Quality criteria for evaluating the design and data analysis of observational studies on selenium and coronary heart disease 1.
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Blood vitamins, mineral elements and inflammation markers as risk factors of vascular and non-vascular disease mortality in an elderly population. Education, lifestyle factors and mortality from cardiovascular disease and cancer. A year follow-up of Swedish year-old men.
Prospective study of selenium levels in toenails and risk of coronary heart disease in men. Prospective study of serum selenium concentrations and esophageal and gastric cardia cancer, heart disease, stroke, and total death.
Selenium and mortality in the elderly: Effect of selenium supplementation after acute myocardial infarction. Coenzyme Q10 and anti-oxidants in acute myocardial infarction. An intervention trial to inhibit the progression of precancerous gastric lesions: Eur J Cancer Prev. Effects of selenium supplementation on cardiovascular disease incidence and mortality: Trace elements and myocardial infarction, an autopsy study from western Norway.
Toenail selenium and cardiovascular disease in men with diabetes. J Am Coll Nutr. A meta-analysis of alcohol consumption in relation to risk of breast cancer. Assessing the quality of reports of randomized clinical trials: The serum selenium concentration of patients with acute myocardial infarction. Akesson B, Steen B. Plasma selenium and glutathione peroxidase in relation to cancer, angina pectoris and short-term mortality in year-old men.
Compr Gerontol [A] ; 1: Serum selenium deficiency in myocardial infarction and congestive cardiomyopathy. Relationship of serum selenium and antioxidants to plasma lipoproteins, platelet aggregability and prevalent ischaemic heart disease in Eastern Finnish men. Decreased selenium levels in acute myocardial infarction.
Lipid peroxidation level and antioxidant micronutrient status in a pre-aging population; correlation with chronic disease prevalence in a French epidemiological study Nantes, France J Am Coll Nutr. Serum and urine selenium concentrations in patients with cardiovascular diseases and relationship to other nutritional indexes. Selenium levels and glutathione peroxidase activities in patients with acute myocardial infarction.
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