“Human Rights are indivisible and all depend on a healthy and sustainable environment. It’s critical that the General Assembly recognize the Right to a Healthy Environment as a Basic Human Right with the largest possible majority,” said David Hales, Co-Chair of Climate Action for the Parliament.
The Parliament of the World’s Religions is a proud member of the Global Coalition of Civil Society, Indigenous Peoples, Social Movements, and Local Communities for the Universal Recognition of the Human Right to a Clean, Healthy, and Sustainable Environment, which was awarded the 2023 United Nations Human Rights Prize. Read more about the award-winning Coalition here.
In observance of World Environment Day 2022, the Parliament of the World’s Religions honored our commitment to sustainability by standing with the UN Human Rights Council in calling for the UN General Assembly to adopt the right to a healthy environment as a basic and universal human right. We recognize the interdependence of all human rights and assert that the Right to a Healthy Environment is fundamental to all others.
The Parliament’s Climate Action Task Force championed the UN General Assembly resolution on the right to a healthy environment and directly advocated to the member states of the UN to affirm this critical human right, co-sponsor the resolution, and vote in favor of its adoption.
With the resolution adopted by the UNGA on July 28, 2022, the Parliament of the World’s Religions calls for strong implementing action by states, subnational regional governments, cities and authorities at all
levels of government, with the strong support of civil society and especially faith-based and
Background on the UN Resolution
The UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Over the past 20 years, the effort to include The Right to a Healthy Environment among other basic human rights and fundamental freedoms has been growing ever-stronger. Today, the Right to a Healthy Environment is recognized as an essential human right in law or policy by more than 80% of the member states of the United Nations, by several states in the United States, and by more than 1300 civil society organizations around the world.
In October 2021, the UN Human Rights Council adopted Resolution 48/13, declaring the Right to a Healthy Environment to be a basic human right, and calling for the UN General Assembly to pass a formal resolution recognizing it as such.
In July 2022, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution recognizing this right, as called for by the Un Human Rights Council, with over 100 states co-sponsoring and with no opposition.
The Parliament’s Resolution
Resolution on the Human Right to a Healthy Environment
The following resolutions were approved on May 13, 2022, by the PoWR Board of Trustees to assert that a healthy environment is a human right for today’s world and the generations to come.
The Parliament of the World’s Religions recognizes the right to a healthy environment as a basic human right.
The Parliament of the World’s Religions calls on the UNGA to recognize the right to a healthy environment as a human right.
The Parliament of the World’s Religions calls on all member states of the UN to support recognition of the right to a healthy environment as a human right.
The Parliament of the World’s Religions encourages the US Government to recognize the right of a healthy environment as a human right.
- UN Human Rights Award
- Report on Pre-Parliament event on R2HE
- Statement from the R2HE Coalition
- Quotes from the R2HE Coalition
- Advocacy Brief – A Healthy Environment For All
- The Human Rights Council Resolution (October 2021)
- The Pope’s Statement to the Council of Europe
- Statement by Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
- The Stockholm + 50 Interfaith Statement
- Framework Principles on Human Rights and the Environment (2018)
- March 8, 2021 – Joint Statement of United Nations Entities on the Right to a Healthy Environment
- June 4, 2021 – Joint Statement by UN Human Rights Experts on World Environment Day
- Call for the Global Recognition of the Right to a Healthy Environment