A historic resolution that recognizes the link between animal welfare, environment, and sustainable development, was adopted with the overwhelming support of all Member States at UNEA 5.2 on March 2, 2022.
Efforts and activities that led to this ground-breaking achievement stemmed from indigenous animal welfare groups in Africa in partnership with global like-minded organizations. The advocacy actions were supported by the Member States and coordinated by Africa Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW), African Union - Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), and the World Federation for Animals (WFA). The organizations collaborated with their partners and member organizations in Africa, Asia, Europe, and USA.
The resolution was sponsored by seven Member states, namely: Ghana, Burkina Faso, Senegal, South Sudan, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, that called on the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to produce a report in close collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Health Organization (WHO), World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the One-Health High-Level Expert Panel and other stakeholders on the nexus between animal welfare, environment, and sustainable development.
The event was the first-ever resolution to be tabled and adopted at the United Nations Environmental Assembly 5.2. with explicit reference to animal welfare. The genesis of the resolution is from the courage and foresight, of the delegates of the Africa Animal Welfare Conference 2019, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, who mandated the conference secretariat through a resolution, to reach out to member states to support and sponsor a resolution to bring Animal Welfare in the global environmental agenda.
Quote from the Director AU-IBAR regarding the adoption of the Resolution on the Nexus between AW, Environment and Sustainable Development:
“Animal welfare is a global common good which forms an integral part of responsible and inclusive development of animal resources. Thus, an enabling policy and legal framework is a key institutional arrangement for sustainable development of animal resources upon which to anchor the development of policies, strategies, programs and projects. A clear understanding of the fundamental issues that need to be addressed and the generation of the necessary evidence for the formulation of polices and legal frameworks to guide the components of development is crucial. As part of the implementation of the Animal Welfare Strategy for Africa (AWSA), AU-IBAR welcomes this historical milestone with the adoption of the animal welfare Resolution by UNEA; which is envisaged to lead to a clear understanding of the nexus between animal welfare, the environment and sustainable development that places Animals at the center stage of the global environment agenda. This adoption by UNEP General Assembly is a critical milestone in addressing our mandate to spearhead the sustainable development and utilization of Animal Resources in Africa.”
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