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The right to a clean, safe, healthy and sustainable environment: a common cause of the Council of Europe and the United Nations

UN General Assembly

“The Council of Europe stands with the United Nations to ensure that a clean, safe, healthy and sustainable environment is recognised as a human right,” said PACE President Rik Daems today, calling for enhanced cooperation between both organisations to make progress on this issue.

Speaking at a UN high-level thematic debate on “Delivering climate action: for people, planet and prosperity”, he added that taking concrete action to tackle climate change could help “reconnect to that 1.5 billion young people who are looking at us, asking: ‘what are you doing to make our lives safer and better in the future?”.

Mr Daems stressed that the PACE had been working on this issue over the last 18 months, through a holistic approach and seven reports, and had adopted a recommendation to the Committee of Ministers, asking for this right to be enshrined in “binding rules, a treaty, or even a protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights”.

Last September, the PACE President launched the #EnvironmentRightNow initiative to press for urgent action to make environment a human right.