UN declares access to clean, healthy environment as universal human right

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Source: The post is based on the article “UN declares access to clean, healthy environment as universal human right” published in Down To Earth on 29th July 2022.

What is the News?

The United Nations(UN) has passed a resolution declaring every person on the planet has the Right to live in a clean, healthy environment.

About Resolution on Right to a clean and healthy environment

This resolution has been passed by over 160 UN member nations including India.

It is not a legally binding resolution.

The resolution recognizes the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment as a human right essential for the full enjoyment of all human rights and among others.

It calls upon states and international organizations to adopt policies and scale up efforts to ensure a clean, healthy and sustainable environment for all.

What is the significance of this resolution?

The Right to a clean and healthy environment is not included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948. So, this is a historic resolution that will change the very nature of international human rights law.

The resolution will also empower people, especially those in vulnerable situations including environmental human rights defenders, children, youth, women and indigenous people.

What are the issues with this resolution?

The words ‘clean’, ‘healthy’ and ‘sustainable’ lack an internationally agreed definition.

The resolution text also fails to refer to the foundational principle of equity in international environmental law.

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