Global Coalition for the Right to a Healthy Environment For All wins UN’s highest Human Rights prize

20 Jul, 2023 | Press Releases

20 July 2023
On October 8, 2021, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) made a significant move by adopting a resolution recognising the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment. This remarkable achievement was made possible thanks to the unwavering efforts of civil society, Indigenous Peoples, social movements, local communities, and legal experts, as well as the leadership of governments from Costa Rica, Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia, and Switzerland, also known as the “Core Group.” Their dedicated advocacy resulted in a resolution that garnered no votes against and only four abstentions. Then, on a momentous day, July 28, 2022, the UN General Assembly, the highest body of the United Nations, universally recognised the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment. This historic vote marked a crucial milestone for our planet and our rights.

Now, almost a year after this recognition, the Coalition is receiving well-deserved recognition for its pivotal role in advocating for the right to a healthy environment by the UN General Assembly in 2022. This prestigious award is especially noteworthy as it’s the first time it has been granted to a Global Coalition. The prize will be bestowed in New York on December 10, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Such an incredible achievement is the result of tireless efforts that began decades ago, uniting thousands of people from over seventy-five countries to strive for this meaningful recognition at the UN level. This award underscores the importance of cooperation in safeguarding our planet and our rights. The focus now lies in effectively implementing and legally protecting the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment at all levels.

Today, this award serves as a powerful reminder of the States’ responsibility to advance the protection of our planet and our rights. It acts as a recognition and a call to action for governments, businesses, institutions, and individuals worldwide to ensure that all can enjoy this right through effective implementation and legal safeguarding.

NPWJ has been a proud participant in this campaign, supporting the Coalition’s advocacy efforts since 2020. Once again, we are delighted and inspired by the result of this collective effort. We hope this outstanding recognition will continue to lead to concrete results in safeguarding and fulfilling the right to a healthy environment.