Friday, March 11, 2022

Game-changing UN animal welfare resolution adopted at UNEA5.2

The fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) ended with the adoption of a game-changing resolution which received strong support from ProVeg. The resolution, on the Nexus between Animal Welfare, the Environment, and Sustainable Development, calls on Ms Inger Anderson, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), to prepare a report in close collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and the One-Health High-Level Expert Panel and other stakeholders, exploring the link between the welfare of animals and the environmental problems plaguing the planet. 

UNEA is the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment. After the first part of UNEA5 was conducted online in 2021 due to the pandemic, the second part took place in Nairobi from 28 February to 2 March 2022. This edition of the assembly, themed ‘Strengthening Actions for Nature to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals’, aims to reinforce global efforts to tackle the triple planetary crisis we are facing – climate change, nature loss, and pollution. Other resolutions drafted include plastic pollution, biodiversity, and health, as well as a Ministerial Declaration. 

ProVeg’s Head of UN Advocacy, Raphael Podselver, was on the ground in Nairobi working hard with other NGOs to push for the approval of the resolution, which was proposed by Ghana, Burkina Faso, Pakistan, Senegal, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Before the meeting, in a letter directed at UN leaders and signed by more than 150 other NGOs, ProVeg urged member states to put sustainable food systems at the centre of the talks.

“In a challenging international context, it is great to see that multilateralism is still alive,” said Raphael Podselver, Head of UN Advocacy, ProVeg. “We advocated hard, along with a very diverse team of stakeholders from all over the world, and it was a great victory to see this resolution finally adopted.”

The success that ProVeg achieved at UNEA5.2 shows that a resolution that has a clear goal stands a good chance of being adopted, although a lot of liaison and lobbying needs to be conducted beforehand. ProVeg is now working hand-in-hand with UNEP and the Moroccan Presidency of UNEA6 to bring food systems and sustainable consumption onto the agenda of UNEA6. In addition, ProVeg is pushing for food systems to be addressed at COP27.

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