Manila (PHP), Geneva (CH), Casablanca (MAR), New
York (US), Mexico City (MX), Buenos Aires (ARG)
— Today, 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 was recognized as
one of the recipients of the prestigious 2023 United Nations Human
Rights Prize. The coalition is awarded for its essential
role in advocating for the recognition of the right to a healthy environment by
the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in July 2022.
Human Rights Prize is awarded once every five years to several recipients at a
time. This year is the first time that it has been granted to a global
coalition. The prize will be presented in New York on December 10, which also
marks the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, making
this recognition even more special.
achievement was only possible thanks to tireless efforts that began decades ago
and resulted in thousands of people from all across the globe joining forces to
achieve a milestone: the recognition by the United Nations of the human right
to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment. First and foremost, the award
highlights the importance of collaborating to advance the much-needed
protection of our planet and fulfillment of human rights. Alone, no
organization, movement, or person would have been able to achieve the universal
recognition of the right to a healthy environment. Together, a diverse global
coalition made this a reality.
the prize recognizes the need to protect participatory spaces for everyone. As
civic spaces are worryingly shrinking and many human rights and environmental
defenders are under attack worldwide, the award sends a strong reminder: It is
essential to respect and strengthen spaces for participation and collaboration.
The protection of civic spaces and the respect and support for all human rights
defenders is essential for the effective implementation of this newly
recognized right. The right also is an integral component of environmental
justice and democracy and provides a seamless path to protecting the rights of
announcement arrives just a few days ahead of the July 28 anniversary of the
UNGA’s recognition of the human right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable
environment. Since then, millions have continued to experience the cumulative
and accelerating impacts of the triple planetary crisis of biodiversity loss,
climate change, and pollution, exacerbated by systemic inequalities, that is
contributing to ongoing violations of the right to a healthy environment around
the world. This prize emphasizes that today more than ever, States must make
this right a reality. It is both a recognition and a call to action for
governments, businesses, institutions, and people worldwide to ensure that the
right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment is effectively
guaranteed and legally protected so that it can be enjoyed by all.
the reactions from the members of the coalition here.
press release is also available on the coalition’s website, here.