Parliament of the World’s Religions Endorses Call to Recognize the Right to a Healthy Environment as a Basic Human Right at the United Nations
In observance of World Environment Day 2022, the Parliament of the World’s Religions is honoring our commitment to sustainability by standing with the UN Human Rights Council in calling for the UN General Assembly to adopt the right to a healthy environment as a basic and universal human right. We recognize the interdependence of all human rights and assert that the Right to a Healthy Environment is fundamental to all others.
The UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Over the past 20 years, the effort to include The Right to a Healthy Environment among other basic human rights and fundamental freedoms has been growing ever-stronger. Today, the Right to a Healthy Environment is recognized as an essential human right in law or policy by more than 80% of the member states of the the United Nations, by several states in the United States, and by more than 1300 civil society organizations around the world.
In October 2021, the UN Human Rights Council adopted Resolution 48/13, declaring the Right to a Healthy Environment to be a basic human right, and calling for the UN General Assembly to pass a formal resolution recognizing it as such. The General Assembly’s vote is expected in the summer or fall of 2022.
It is critical that the General Assembly pass the Right to a Healthy Environment with the largest possible majority. We call upon the Governments of the Member States to actively support the UN Human Rights Council’s Resolution. It will be vital to add your voice on behalf of this universal human right and once it is introduced we will be back in touch with details, key contact information, suggested language for letters and emails, and emerging developments at that time.
The text of the Parliament Trustees’ own resolution affirming and fully supporting the recognition of the Right to a Healthy Environment, and how individuals and communities can get involved in the interfaith efforts to support this right are available here. Please consider including a link to this announcement on your own outreach sites and communications to let others in your community know about the coming interfaith efforts and helping to ensure that the Resolution is adopted.
“Human Rights are indivisible and all depend on a healthy and sustainable environment. It's critical that the General Assembly recognize the Right to a Healthy Environment as a basic Human Right with the largest possible majority. We're calling on the Governments of all Member States to actively support this Resolution."David Hales, Co-Chair of Climate Action for the Parliament