UN / GA RESOLUTION RIGHT TO CLEAN ENVIRONMENT

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28-Jul-2022 00:02:34
With 161 votes in favour, and eight abstentions, the UN General Assembly adopted a historic resolution on Thursday, declaring access to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, a universal human right. UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / GA RESOLUTION RIGHT TO CLEAN ENVIRONMENT
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SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / RUSSIAN / NATS

DATELINE: 28 JULY 2022, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior

28 JULY 2022, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, General Assembly Hall
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Maritza Chan, Deputy Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the UN:
“From the outset, we want to thank the more than 100 Member States from all regions who have co-sponsored the text. And we acknowledge the presence of all delegations in a historic moment for human rights and the environment, but also for the United Nations and the multilateral system.”
4. Wide shot, General Assembly Hall
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Maritza Chan, Deputy Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the UN:
“Let us take this step forward into a future we know is possible because we have been working towards it for over 50 years since Stockholm, to defend and improve the environment for present and future generations as an imperative goal of all humankind. A goal to be pursued together with, adding harmony with the established and fundamental goals of peace and the worldwide economic and social development.”
6. Med shot, General Assembly Hall
7. UPSOUND (English) acting President of the General Assembly:
“We shall now begin the voting process. Those in favor of draft resolution A/76/L75, please signify. Those against. Abstentions.
General Assembly is now voting draft resolution A/76/L75 entitled “The human rights to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment”. Will all delegations confirm that the votes are accurately reflected on the screen? The voting has been completed. Please lock the machine.”
The result of the vote is as follows: in favor 161, against zero, abstentions eight. The draft resolution A/76/L75 is adopted.”
8. Wide shot, General Assembly Hall

STORYLINE:

With 161 votes in favour, and eight abstentions, the UN General Assembly adopted a historic resolution on Thursday (28 July), declaring access to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, a universal human right.

The resolution, based on a similar text adopted last year by the Human Rights Council, calls upon States, international organisations, and business enterprises to scale up efforts to ensure a healthy environment for all.

The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, welcomed the adoption of the ‘historic resolution’ and said the landmark development demonstrates that Member States can come together in the collective fight against the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

“The resolution will help reduce environmental injustices, close protection gaps and empower people, especially those that are in vulnerable situations, including environmental human rights defenders, children, youth, women and indigenous peoples”, he said in a statement released by his Spokesperson’s Office.

He added that the decision will also help States accelerate the implementation of their environmental and human rights obligations and commitments.

“The international community has given universal recognition to this right and brought us closer to making it a reality for all”, he said.

Guterres underscored that however, the adoption of the resolution 'is only the beginning' and urged nations to make this newly recognised right ‘a reality for everyone, everywhere’.

In 1972, the United Nations Conference on the Environment in Stockholm, which ended with its own historic declaration, was the first one to place environmental issues at the forefront of international concerns and marked the start of a dialogue between industrialized and developing countries on the link between economic growth, the pollution of the air, water and the ocean, and the well-being of people around the world.

UN Member States back then, declared that people have a fundamental right to "an environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being," calling for concrete action and the recognition of this right.

Last October, after decades of work by nations at the front lines of climate change, such as the Maldives archipelago, as well as more than 1,000 civil society organisations, the Human Rights Council finally recognised this right and called for the UN General Assembly to do the same.

The recognition of the right to a healthy environment by these UN bodies, although not legally binding— meaning countries don’t have a legal obligation to comply— is expected to be a catalyst for action and to empower ordinary people to hold their governments accountable.
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