The 77th Annual Session of the UN General Assembly is being held from 20 September 2022, in New York. On this occasion it is worth mentioning that this main organ of the UN passed a historic resolution on 21 July 2022, declaring access to a clean and healthy environment a universal human right.
With 161 votes in favor & 8 abstentions, the UN General Assembly (U N G A ) adopted the historic resolution with none against it. The resolution, based on a similar text adopted last year in the Human Rights Council, calls upon all States, International Organisations, and Business Enterprises to scale up efforts to ensure a healthy environment for all.
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the decision and said that the landmark development demonstrates that the States can come together in the collective fighting against the planet‘s triple crisis of climate change, biodiversity fall & pollution.
The resolution will help reduce environmental injustices, close protection gaps and empower people, especially those that are in vulnerable situations, including environmental rights defenders, children, youth & indigenous people.
The decision will also help to accelerate the implementation of environmental & human rights and obligations. The international community has given universal recognition to this right and brought us closer to making it a reality. However, the adoption of the resolution is only the beginning. Acting on this resolution will be the need of the hour.
The U N High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has hailed the Assembly decision & called for urgent action to implement it. It is a historic moment, but simply affirming our right to a healthy environment is not enough. The UNGA resolution is very clear. The States must implement the resolution.
A five-decade-long fight has come to its happy end with the passing of the above resolution. The move was initiated in 1972. Costa Rica, the Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia, and Switzerland had presented the resolution. It was supported by more than 100 countries. After years of debates & discussions, it was adopted by the Un Human Rights Commission.
This brings hope that the annual session of UNGA urges all the member nations, international organizations, and business enterprises to act on this resolution in order to improve the ground situation across the planet.