Achieving a UN Convention on Animal Rights

Introduction

With a global pandemic caused by animal abuse surely it is time to put animals on the agenda at the United Nations?  They need to be at the centre of the UN policy on the environment.  The pandemic has highlighted our interconnectedness with the other beings with whom we share the Earth, and has demonstrated that we cannot abuse them without abusing ourselves. We have to end all factory farming and all forms of animal abuse.  We have a convention on women’s rights and children’s rights, but not on animal rights.


UN Convention on Animal Health and Protection (UNCAHP)

We are supporting our colleagues at Global Animal Law (GAL) in their endeavours to achieve a UN Convention on Animal Health and Protection (UNCAHP).

For many years, animal advocates have tried, without success, to achieve a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW). However, we believe that a ‘convention’, not a ‘declaration’ is required, as a convention is stronger as it is binding, which a declaration is not.


Other Ways We Are Working to Put Animals on the UN Agenda

1. Engage with the UN’s Faith for Earth Initiative

We have been supporting the UN Environment Programme’s Faith for Earth Initiative whose vision is “A world where everything is in balance” and whose mission is “to encourage, empower and engage with faith-based organisations as partners, at all levels, toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and fulfilling the 2030 Agenda”.

Our key aim, as an alliance of faith-based organisations, will be to get animals on to the agenda of the UN Environment Programme’s Faith4Earth. See below (How can we achieve this? no.3).

A key target objective of AIA, as an alliance of faith-based animal advocacy organisations, is to put animals onto the agenda at Faith4Earth. Faith-based organisations have a key role to play.  The former Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon said:

“I have long believed that when governments, civil society and, particularly, religious communities work towards a common goal, transformational change can take place.  Faiths and religions are a central part of that equation.  Indeed the world’s faith communities occupy a unique position in discussions on the fate of our planet and accelerating impacts of climate change”.1

Faith4Earth’s vision is “A world where everything is in balance” and their mission is “to encourage, empower and engage with faith-based organisations as partners, at all levels, toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and fulfilling the 2030 Agenda”.

In 2017 UNEP launched the Faith for Earth Initiative to strategically engage with faith-based organisations and partner with them to collectively achieve the SDGs and fulfil the objectives of the 2030 agenda. Their strategy is based on three overarching and interlinked goals:

1. Inspire and empower faith-based leaders and organisation for a sustainable impact;

2. Greening faith-based asset as and investments;

3. Making knowledge and scientific evidence available for more powerful spiritual messages.

The detailed strategy can be read here.


2. Propose a UN Resolution to Incorporate Animal Welfare into the UN Policy at the Fifth UN Environment Assembly, UNEA5

On 28th February 2022, a historic new animal welfare resolution was adopted by the United Nations. Representatives from a number of animal welfare organisations met at the the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2) in Nairobi, Kenya to propose the new resolution.

CCA Chief Executive and AIA Vice Chair, Chris Fegan said “CCA is delighted to be in Nairobi, Kenya at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2) which is taking historic decisions for global Animal Welfare.

“This is a truly breakthrough event where we are seeing the UN adopt an Animal Welfare Resolution for the first time ever in its history and which should have major positive implications for Animal Welfare for decades to come. CCA are very proud to be playing our role in achieving this along with all our great Animal Advocacy colleagues”.

The resolution aims to put animal welfare and health on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by recognising the nexus between animal welfare, the environment and sustainable development.


References:

1. From Ban Ki-moon’s speech at the first Long Term Plan event at Windsor Castle, UK, 2009 held by the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC).  From ‘Faith in the Future’ by ARC.


The Animal Interfaith Alliance is a registered not-for-profit company number 8958588. 

Copyright Animal Interfaith Alliance 2022

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