Expert Seminar on the UN Recognition of the Right to a Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment
In October 2021, years of growing interest in the relationship between human rights, environment and climate change at the Human Rights Council culminated in an important milestone for the international community: the recognition of the universal rights to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment. With resolution 48/13, which was adopted with 43 votes in favour and 4 abstentions, and cosponsored by 78 UN member States, the Council
1. Recognize[d] the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment as a human right that is important for the enjoyment of human rights.
The resolution also ‘invite[d] the General Assembly to consider the matter’ – i.e., to also consider and adopt a resolution recognising the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment. This would be the essential last step in securing UN recognition of this new universal human right.
To encourage further discussions at UN headquarters about the human right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment, including its merits for people and planet, and to take forward the Council’s invitation that ‘the General Assembly […] consider the matter’, on 12 April UNEP, the Universal Rights Group, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and environment, New York University, and others, will convene an expert seminar to consider developments to-date, discuss key issues and questions (including legal questions) related to the right to a healthy environment (including those posed during negotiations over resolution 48/13), look ahead to possible GA recognition and what it would mean, and reflect on the benefits of recognition for individual rights-holders around the world, including EHRDs, as well as for the natural environment (including addressing the three interwoven crises of biodiversity loss, pollution, and climate change).
To attend the event please register here.
The concept note can be consulted here.
The event will also be livestreamed on Zoom. Registered participants will receive a link the day of the meeting.
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