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Human rights council of the United Nations recognizes importance of environment and human rights by installing independent expert

Independent Expert will be appointed on Human Rights Related to Enjoyment of a Safe, Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment – March 2012

27.03.2012 |Anke Stock

At its 19th session in the last days of March 2012 the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in which they declared that they will install an 'Independent Expert on human rights obligations related to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment'.
The effect of climate change on human lives is becoming more obvious, and by making this decision, the council acknowledges the importance of the relationship between human rights and the environment. This is good news right before the Rio+20 conference in June; WECF and other civil society organisations are advocating incorporation of human rights into sustainable development policy.

Universal right to a healthy environment
With the appointment of an 'Independent Expert on Human Rights and Environment', the cohesion between human rights and the environment is being emphasized by the UN. This also shows that the human rights council recognizes the value of a universal right to a healthy environment.

His or her tasks will include: making recommendations that could help to realise the Millennium Development Goals, take into account the results of the Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20,  and contribute to follow-up processes. So far it is only a draft resolution. The independent expert on human rights and environment will point governments to their obligations towards human rights, which will guarantee a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

WECF wants to highlight that the mandate contains the commitment “to apply a gender perspective, including by considering the particular situation of women and girls and through the identification of gender-specific discrimination and vulnerabilities“.

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