recommend that the Istanbul Commission adopt such a Strategy by December 1997. This strategy document is to ensure coordination of national contingency plans among the Black Sea states and to serve as a basis for the development of a regional contingency plan. National contingency plans, moreover, are to be in line with International Maritime Organization guidelines, as well as other relevant international instruments. A Black Sea Contingency Plan is be adopted by December 2000 and to address the compatibility of emergency equipment, reporting forms, and oil spill data; classification of the scale of spills; methods for evaluating the sensitivity of the coast to hazard; and spill decision support systems, including models for forecasting oil movements. In addition, regionally coordinated national classification and risk assessment systems are to be developed.
In 1996 various international fora discussed the issue of dispute avoidance. As regards dispute settlement, environmental issues were raised in a number of dispute settlement procedures. In preparation of the mid-term review of the Programme for the Development and Periodic Review of Environmental Law in the 1990s (Montevideo Programme II) a catalogue of recommendations was finalised to be presented to the 1997 Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). An important chapter of these recommendations, which make reference to all programme areas, addresses the question of dispute avoidance and settlement, thus following yet another recommendation adopted by the fourth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Considerable progress was also achieved in promoting the notion of dispute avoidance within the regimes of important multilateral environmental agreements, such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste and Their Disposal (BC) or the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
In its Decision 4/7 the Commission emphasized the necessity for exploring, in the interest of sustainable development, mechanisms for dispute settlement and avoidance. In this context, it established a clear linkage between the objective of preventing international disputes and the need for facilitating the