Core Group Statement on Right to a Healthy Environment at Human Rights Council 46th Session

On 9 March, the governments of Costa Rica, Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia and Switzerland, or the “Core Group”, delivered a joint statement at the The Human Rights Council 46th Session calling for the recognition of the right to a healthy environment with over 60 governments declaring their support. This is a historic moment and a sign of increased momentum towards the recognition of the right to a healthy environment this year.


Human Rights Council 46th Session

Core Group Statement on the right to a healthy environment

Madam President,

The Human Rights Council adopted its first resolution on human rights and the environment in 2011. Since then, we have become more aware of the numerous complex linkages that exist between human rights and the environment. The involvement and participation of all concerned individuals and authorities have brought the cross sectoral links between human rights and environment to the forefront of discussions, within the wider UN membership as well.

According to the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, the number of states recognizing the right to a clean, safe, healthy and sustainable environment in various forms has grown over the past few years with more than 155 countries recognising this right, or elements of this right, in their national legal systems. Despite its various formulations, the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment is becoming universally recognised.

There is a global consensus on the degradation of the environment and the consequences it has on human life. We are all reminded by the current pandemic that the dignity, life, and health of all humans must be both protected and promoted without any discrimination. It is our belief that a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment is integral to the full enjoyment of human rights. Therefore the possible recognition of the right at a global level would have numerous important implications on what we leave to our future generations.

There are increasing calls for a global recognition of such a right from States, UN Representatives, experts, and civil society. We are committed to engaging in an open, transparent and inclusive dialogue with all States and interested stakeholders on a possible international recognition of the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

I thank you.


Government Co-sponsors

  1. Costa Rica

  2. Maldives

  3. Switzerland

  4. Morocco

  5. Slovenia

  6. Guatemala

  7. Panama

  8. Montenegro

  9. Monaco

  10. Albania

  11. Kenya

  12. San Marino

  13. Marshall Islands

  14. Kazakhstan

  15. Liechtenstein

  16. Nepal

  17. Ireland

  18. Bhutan

  19. Uruguay

  20. Peru

  21. Chile

  22. Ecuador

  23. Madagascar

  24. Bahamas

  25. Luxembourg

  26. Greece

  27. Italy

  28. Portugal

  29. Spain

  30. Republic of Korea

  31. Palestine

  32. Austria

  33. Sierra Leone

  34. Cape Verde

  35. Bangladesh

  36. Malaysia

  37. Fiji

  38. Germany

  39. Slovakia

  40. Ukraine

  41. El Salvador

  42. Honduras

  43. Argentina

  44. Malta

  45. Cyprus

  46. Denmark

  47. Iceland

  48. Poland

  49. France

  50. North Macedonia

  51. Georgia

  52. Paraguay

  53. Tunisia

  54. Lithuania

  55. Finland

  56. Romania

  57. Estonia

  58. Latvia

  59. Sweden

  60. Philippines

  61. Barbados

  62. Mexico

  63. Croatia

  64. Mauritius

  65. Belgium

  66. Central African Republic

  67. Niger

  68. Mali

  69. Vanuatu

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