49th Human Rights Council Reports

Report on Obligations for a Healthy Environment


(10th-11th March 2022)

March 10th 2022: Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment

All sources used to draft the report can be found here . Report drafted by Emanuela Lamorte on March 30th, 2022.

Composition of the HRC

Mr. Ulugbek Lapasov, Vice President of the Human Rights Council, opened the meeting for the Interactive Dialogue (ID) on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment on the 10th of March, 18:00.

Mr. David Boyd, Special Rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, congratulates the Council for adopting resolution 48/13 on 8 October 2021, recognising for the first time at the global level the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. Today's report is the sixth in a series of reports detailing the scope and content of the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. This report focus on non-toxic environments where people could live, work, study and play. Exposure to pollution and toxic substances raised the risks of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and respiratory illnesses, amongst others. The toxification of the planet is increasing, and unless ambitious, urgent and worldwide action is taken, exposures would increase, health would worsen and human rights violations would multiply. An extensive body of environmental law addresses the toxicity of environments, and yet none of the current laws mention human rights. While all humans are exposed to pollution and toxic chemicals, the burden of contamination falls disproportionately upon certain groups, including marginalised communities, women and persons with disabilities. Furthermore, marginalised people tend to live closest to the most heavily polluted facilities. This is environmental injustice.

People living near these zones of heavy pollution are exploited, traumatised and stigmatised. These people are often treated as disposable, their voices ignored, their presence excluded from decision-making processes and their dignity and human rights trampled upon. Such places exist in both rich and poor States across the globe. The recent recognition of the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment should mark a turning point in society's approach to pollution and toxic substances, since exposure to these is an abuse of human rights. It is incumbent on States to monitor pollution, use the best available science, make information on toxic substances freely available, and engage the public on these matters. This should be enshrined in legislation where possible.

The Council has already made it clear that failing to prevent foreseeable human rights harms caused by exposure to pollution would represent a breach of States' obligations. He notes that good practices in both preventing future environmental injustices and remediating existing injustices

exist, and cites examples in the Philippines, Ghana and Argentina among others. He reiterates that a human rights-based approach to preventing exposure to pollution and toxic chemicals could save millions of lives, and whilst the costs of prevention would be billions of dollars, the benefits would be measured in the trillions of dollars.

The Special Rapporteur presents the findings of his country's visit to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, which took place from 25 November to 2 December 2021. He notes that the country was on the frontlines of the climate crisis, enduring extreme weather events, rising temperatures and rising sea levels. Ensuring its future would require global cooperation and increased climate finance. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines provides several examples of good environmental practices, including waste management systems and investments in adaptation projects. At the same time, it has to ensure its citizens have access to justice and a legal recognition of their right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

Statement by Country Concerned

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, speaking as a country concerned, says it recognised the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, which is linked to the continuing prosperity of states and the world as a whole. The Special Rapporteur and his team have engaged positively with various stakeholders and created a comprehensive report. The visit coincided with one of the most challenging periods in the country's history, as it grappled with the explosion of the La Soufriere volcano, which has affected the environment profoundly. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is working to ensure recovery, providing, among other things, assistance to farmers, and cleaning up landslides. The country has historically implemented several laws on renewable energy development.

The biggest challenge for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is climate change, which is wreaking havoc on farms, fisheries, housing infrastructure and communities and violating many rights, including cultural rights. The country has supported and implemented several important and ambitious programmes on climate change, but it is the action of historically large emitters, which would make a real difference in countering the issue. The Special Rapporteur's concern on the State's heavy reliance on fossil fuel is noted, as on air quality. The Government is taking steps to address these issues in line with its environmental policies and commitments. The Special Rapporteur should share insights on ways to improve human rights in the context of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, and his report has done so, and thus the country accepted them and would take action on them in order to ensure that inhabitants of the island and visitors thereto could enjoy those rights.

Statements by States and International Organizations

Finland, on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic Countries, thanks the SR for the report. Finland notes that the report raises important issues on the impact of the environment on those marginalised and in vulnerable situations. The country asks the SR how the international community can support human rights transition to a circular economy.

The European Union (EU) is highly concerned about the harmful impact that the Russian military aggression against Ukraine will have on the environment. According to the EU, threats to safety of nuclear power plants are unacceptable and the ecological consequences of this invasion will threaten human rights and health with immediate and long term effects. The EU notes that this is the sixth report on a series of reports and asks the SR if he could elaborate on his future plans.

Costa Rica, on behalf of a group of states, agrees that poor and marginalised communities face particular difficulties in upholding their rights to information on the environment, as well as in participating in decision-making and having access to justice and effective remedies if their rights are violated by pollution or toxic substances. Costa Rica asks the SR if he could recommend the overcoming habit of working in an uncoordinated manner to ensure that the Human Rights Council can accept and take into account progress made in other environmental forms and integrate it into its work in a proactive manner.

Monaco, appreciates the report of the SR and asks the SR if he could kindly give an example of specific and quickly implementable measures that may enable member states to mitigate the effects of toxic substances on human rights.

March 11th 2022: CONTINUED- Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment

All sources used to draft the report can be found here . Report drafted by Emanuela Lamorte on March 30th, 2022.

Composition of the HRC

Federico Villegas, President of the Human Rights Council, opened the 23rd meeting for the Interactive Dialogue (ID) on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment on the 11th of March.

Paraguay welcomes the recommendations made by the SR and shares his concerns. The country notes that the health crisis triggered by the pandemic has caused states to reflect on the importance of health as a prerequisite for our lives. The number of deaths resulting from pollution and toxic substances is an issue that requires the same determination applied to the pandemic. In particular, Paraguay considers that special attention should be paid to the vulnerable population. Paraguay has made efforts to implement Human Rights Commission measures based on the link between a healthy environment and the enjoyment of other rights. However, in many countries, constitutional and legislative recognition of the right to a healthy environment is lacking. Paraguay argues that such recognition by these countries is necessary to move forward.

The Philippines appreciates the work made by the SR on the pollution and toxic substances. The Philippines ensures environmental compliance since clean air, clean water and national green program are a priority for the country.

FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) states that we need positive interactions between plants, animals, humans and the environment. The IO notes that sustainable agriculture is a key solution that can restore and preserve ecosystems. It emphasises the importance of transforming food to sustainably meet the needs of people and the planet, while creating effective, sustainable and innovative landscapes and seascapes to eradicate poverty and hunger. FAO stresses that a more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood system leads to a clean and healthy environment. FAO recognises that states must optimise human behaviour on ecosystem reservation for the reproduction of better nutrition, better environment and better life leaving no one behind.

Egypt expresses concern on the fact that the world is not achieving SDG 6 (improvement of water quality and sanitation for all). Egypt agrees that pollution disproportionately affects people in vulnerable situations. The country informs that its Constitution recognises the right to a healthy and sustainable environment. Egypt welcomes the recent resolution adopted by the UN to establish a plan on chemical pollution and a project to create a legally binding agreement on plastic pollution.

Germany strongly supports the mandate of the SR. Germany affirms that it stands ready to further support the SR's work in this field. The country asks the SR if it could elaborate which measures

and obligations states and businesses should prioritise in order to overcome this challenge both for the planet and human rights violations.

Nepal appreciates the report of the SR. Nepal informs that as an agricultural country it has been faced with the negative impact of environmental hazards. The country notes that it is making efforts to constitute a legal framework to ensure the right of citizens to live in a clean and healthy environment. Nepal underscores that a collective approach is crucial to make the planet a safe space for future generations

UN Women recognizes that pollution falls disproportionately on those already in vulnerable situations: women, in particular pregnant women, are highly exposed to the consequences of an unhealthy environment. UN Women echoes the goals of the SR of a human rights-based approach to environmental issues and, in so doing, mainstreaming gender equality and enabling women to play leadership roles.

Djibouti thanks the SP and welcomes the existence of good practices and the implementation of many international instruments to prevent environmental injustice. The country emphasises that the impact of pollution is disproportionately affecting vulnerable groups such as women and children. Djibouti notes that the SR said in the report that the production of chemicals will double by 2030 and triple by 2050. The country therefore asks the SR what measures should be taken to prevent this growth and what are the alternatives to stop this trend.

Libya stresses the importance of creating a safe environment to achieve the SDGs and of preventing other sources of pollution whose impact is disproportional. Libya emphasises that states should end the export of toxic substances. The country welcomes the resolution and notes that its priority is the creation of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

Fiji appreciates the presentation of the SR. The country notes that among many visible impacts of the pollution, the most urgent is the proliferation of sacrificed zones. Fiji calls upon states to ensure a human rights based approach on environmental issues which ensure cleaning up, remediation, restoration and when necessary relocation of the affected communities. According to the country, this approach should clarify the responsibilities of states and businesses.

UNICEF expresses its concern about the consequences of pollution for children. UNICEF notes that children are the most vulnerable. The IO calls upon all the stakeholders to recognise the child's right to a healthy environment and to take immediate action. UNICEF stands ready for support.

Slovenia emphasises that more needs to be done. In particular, it is important that the international community as a whole ensures a level of responsible conduct and that UN member states take the necessary steps taking into account a human rights approach. Slovenia notes that Ukraine's crisis is also an environmental crisis as Russia's attack is polluting the air and water. Slovenia strongly condemned Russia's attack on power plants which could have a devastating impact on the environment.

Malaysia believes that the prosperity of the country and the wellbeing of the people depends on environmental sustainability. Malaysia notes that the protection of the rights of a clean and healthy environment will contribute to the protection and promotion of human rights of marginalised communities. The country asks the SR how to implement more systematic and transformative changes to establish right-based environmental laws.

Iraq thanks for the recommendations and agrees with the importance of living in a clean environment. Iraq asks the SR what is the best way to engage in international coordination and cooperation in order to reduce the environmental transnational injustice which is caused by some countries and is having a negative impact on the environment of others.

France aligns with the EU statement. France welcomes the resolution on plastic pollution by the UN Environmental Assembly and the adoption of the political declaration of a clean, healthy and sustainable environment for human rights. France asks the SR to what extent political recognition of the right to a healthy environment helps to support global efforts to preserve the environment.

Cuba emphasises that cooperation is key. The country asserts that western developed countries must take historical responsibility for pollution. Cuba supports the recognition of the right to a healthy environment that is enshrined in its Constitution.

Ecuador informs that it has participated in this process from the beginning and advocates greater global commitment so that the negotiations for a binding instrument on plastic pollution can reflect a result. Ecuador claims to have developed a circular economy. The country emphasises the importance of the link between the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment and all the obligations and responsibilities that come with recognising this fundamental right for states and businesses.

Venezuela welcomes the presentation and shares the concerns of the effects on most vulnerable people. Venezuela notes that rich countries export pesticides and technological waste to countries in the South, in many cases taking advantage of a lack of regulation. Poor consumer thinking in the North affects the right to health and equality in the system. Venezuela expresses its commitment to the model of the good life and respect for mother Earth in opposition to the racial capitalist model that is causing damage to our planet.

Luxembourg aligns itself with the statement of the EU. The country expresses deep concern for the sacrificed zones that are mentioned in the report. Luxembourg informs that it is continually developing policies for organic culture, gentle mobility and sustainable housing. The country notes that the SR has emphasised an important number of measures that states should take to fulfil financial and international obligations and asks the SR with which of those states should start.

Maldives states that the science is very clear that the world's climate system is undergoing exponential changes that are already causing irreversible changes. The Maldives informs that their government has banned the import and marketing of single-use plastics. The country asks what measures can be taken to address gaps in current practices.

China states that it has made green efforts and welcomes cooperation among parties. China points to the fact that the US and Canada have used polluting gasoline-based industrial plants in ethnic minority areas. China states that this is environmental racism. China stresses that the countries concerned should take responsibility and compensate the victims.

Senegal states that climate change and human rights issues remain a concern for the international community, despite a number of international commitments. The country welcomes the adoption of the resolution. Senegal informs that it is part of the main instrumental legal instrument and has adopted the Emerging Senegal plan at national level.

Burkina Faso comments on state obligations and responsibilities of companies. The country welcomes the resolution and shares the concern on the injustice of those living in the sacrificed zones.

India welcomes the resolution and states that on his half it has adopted all the five international instruments and national legislation for sustainable environment.

Namibia welcomes the resolution. Namibia expresses concern on the impact of toxic substances on health. The country states that the health of individuals and society are linked to the health of the environment. Namibia encourages international best practices.

Marshall Islands informs of the degradation of its environment due to nuclear testing. Marshall Islands note that its contribution to global gas pollution is less than 1%, nevertheless the country is experiencing the worst impact. The country supports a full engagement and multi stakeholder approach.

Armenia informs that it has contributed to the resolution over the past year. Armenia expresses concern for the people in the conflict zones who are doubly victimised. Armenia informs that in its region international assistance has been hampered, people being attacked by armed air forces that have not only claimed lives but also heavily damaged the environment. Armenia stresses that these cases deserve special attention.

Saudi Arabia commends the content of this report. Saudi Arabia informs that it is strengthening its legal instruments on the environment and finding a balance between development and environmental protection. Saudi Arabia stresses attention on the work on biodiversity at international level.

Cameroon congratulates SR on his report. Cameroon notes that a clean environment is prerequisite to achieve other human rights. The country informs that it has adopted a great deal at national level and that it has undertaken many actions to protect its environment.

Switzerland thanks the SR for this thematic report. Switzerland states that more needs to be done to protect our environment. The country stresses the fact that pollution is still considered a secondary problem and asks the SR what should be the best way to combat that view.

Indonesia notes that states have a duty to guarantee the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. Indonesia informs that it has made sustainable energy transition one of its priorities. Indonesia expresses its hope for a cleaner, brighter and more sustainable world. Indonesia emphasises the importance of ensuring that the BC sector, particularly transnational companies, are not subject to binding state regulations, particularly in the area of operations.

Palestine believes that the state has the primary obligation to protect the environment. Palestine informs that Israel is continuing to occupy areas of Palestine territories. The occupation of Gaza has had effects on the environment in many ways. Palestine stresses attention on the fact that smoke emitted by Israeli factories has caused high-level damage to the soil. Palestine asks the SR what measure can be taken to put an end to the occupying power and practices of violations.

Austria welcomes all the efforts made. Austria stresses the attention on the magnitude of the ongoing intoxication of our planet. Austria informs that it has made steps in this regard. The country considers essential access to information in terms of justice. Austria asks the SR what

would be the appropriate legal provisions to ensure that the marginalised population can claim their right to non-discrimination and access to environmental justice.

The Russian Federation notes that no international human rights treaty covers the issue and that there is no single standard when it comes to the right of a safe and healthy environment. The Russian federation calls upon the SR to refrain from making the document legally binding and imposing new obligations on states on the environment.

Cambodia informs that it has adopted various legislations in order to ensure a healthy and sustainable environment. Cambodia asks the SR if he could elaborate on an effective approach for states with limited resources to enhance innovation and achieve the goal to transform fuels by 2030.

Benin thanks the SR for the very high quality report. Benin informs that the right of a healthy environment is enshrined in its Constitution.

Mr. David Boyd, Special Rapporteur on the Issue of Human Rights Obligations Relating to the Enjoyment of a Safe, Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment (Comments and Answers)

Mr. David Boyd says regarding the transition to a circular economy, that this is vital for the world to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and is also key in achieving an improvement of human rights. Plastics cause damage to human rights, from their production to their disposal, and they should be free of toxics and recyclable at all points of their existence. The circular economy also requires a rapid phase-out of fossil fuels. His next report will explain how a clean environment could serve as a catalyst to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and he is also working on reports on gender and the right to a clean environment, and business and the right to a clean environment. He also has a series of shorter reports on topics including environmental and human rights due diligence, extraterritoriality, and others. The mandate is also creating a handbook on the implementation of the right to a clean, safe and healthy environment. On overcoming silos between human rights and the environment, the Human Rights Council has done an outstanding job bringing these together, and understanding that there is no separation between the two. However, work needs to be done on educating colleagues on this, as the potential of human rights-based approaches to dealing with the climate crisis is misunderstood and underestimated.

On specific actions that could address the environment, urgent action should be taken at the local and national levels to clean it up, and ensure that the burden of pollution should not be increased on already vulnerable communities. Air pollution must be addressed urgently. Replacing polluting cookstoves in low and middle-income countries could save millions of lives every year, predominantly women and girls. All States need to strengthen environmental laws, and recognise World Health Organisation standards and implement them in their national legislation. The use of highly hazardous pesticides should be phased out in all States, and wealthier States should not allow the importation of products that are produced with chemicals that are not allowed to be used within their own borders. In terms of next steps, laws and policies need to be strengthened at every level: global, regional, national, sub-national. More States should join the Aarhus Convention, and develop regional agreements on environmental matters. A key step is to address environmental injustices - in too many places it is poor and marginalised communities that are bearing the weight of climate impacts. Stronger institutions, more capacity, more resources and training of policy

makers and judges need to take place. Enhanced international cooperation is vital for the implementation of this right.

El Salvador welcomes the presentation. El Salvador has implemented a comprehensive law on waste and recycling and has promoted a circular economy. The country recognises the challenges but it plans to rehabilitate polluted lands. El Salvador would like to know the Rapporteur plans for the future within the mandate.

Peru thanks the SR for presenting the report. Peru supports the council resolution of last October. Peru informs that in January the country has suffered the most oil spill in history, but it was able to ensure the reparation of the economic cost. Peru affirms that it has adopted the National Plan of Action to combat environmental crime.

Panama thanks for the report. Panama agrees that an approach to environmental issue should be based on human rights and gender equality and be guided by the principles of non-discrimination and prevention.

Morocco appreciates the work on the report. Morocco states that it is committed nationally and regionally to a clean environment. Morocco emphasises that a historic step was taken last October with the resolution. The country asks the SR how to go further with national and multilateral instruments to ensure that a safe environment as a human right can truly be implemented.

Algeria stresses that certain societies are still suffering the effect of colonialism with exposure to polluted and radioactive environments and that these societies have not been truly helped. Algeria is still suffering from radiation caused by the test, which caused cancer. The country emphasises the need to step up policy to make polluted state principles and ensure that there is a reparation including retroactively.

Chile welcomes the SR report. The country agrees that the right to a healthy environment must be more than words. Chile informs about the multilateral conventions to which the country is a party and states that its Constitution enshrines the right to a clean environment.

Togo expresses concern of environmental impact. Togo shares the idea that states must take into consideration human rights in all the production, import, and sale of toxic substances that can harm human health and environment. The country states that the strengthening of the legal framework remains a challenge. Togo asks the SR how to act in order to overcome the gap in international approaches on mismanagement of pollution and toxic substances.

Sudan gives great importance to the mention in the report of the environmental injustice from which developing countries suffer. Sudan asks the SR how it can help less developed countries to preserve the health of the environment and people in areas engaged in traditional gold mining, while securing the income of workers.

The Republic of Korea thanks the SR for its report. The country highlights the importance of international cooperation. The Republic of Korea states that it has made an active contribution on

the adoption of internationally binding legislation on plastic pollution. The country will continuously support green transition. The Republic of Korea expresses concern on the fact that the bear of pollution falls upon most vulnerable communities.

Bangladesh: thanks the SR for his work in particular on environmental justice. Bangladesh remains committed to the realisation of the right to a clean environment also at national level.

Uruguay welcomes the SR and thanks for the report. The country notes that pollution disproportionately affects the most vulnerable groups. Uruguay stresses attention on strengthening national policies particularly on prevention, non-discrimination, non-regression and under polluted principle. Uruguay believes it is crucial to have a human right approach to pollution.

Tunisia states it is aware of the close relationship of healthy environment and human rights . Tunisia believes that protecting the environment is a key to achieve SDGs 2030. The country informs that its Constitution guarantees the right to a safe, clean and sustainable environment and that it has ratified regional instruments. Tunisia agrees that the developing countries are the most suffering from pollution but the ones who least contribute to it. Tunisia highlights the role of civil society as a main partner and commend on the roles of environmental defenders.

The United States of America (USA) shares the concerns about plastic pollution. USA informs that it has taken actions at the recent UN environment assembly to support a resolution that outlines the mandate for the negotiation of an agreement to prevent, reduce and eliminate plastic pollution. The country urges other nations to take immediate actions at national levels. The USA asks the SR what actions countries can take to address plastic pollution, taking into account national circumstances.

Azerbaijan shares concerns especially for consequences of pollution in armed conflict. The country states that the population of Azerbaijan is suffering from the heavy conditions of a prolonged armed conflict resulting from the aggression of Armenia and has been exposed to pollution and toxic environment inflicted by the occupying Armenia.

Botswana highlights the importance of a social agenda and equity. Over the years, the country has enacted policies on the management of the environment. Botswana emphasises that an important area where more can be done is to promote private and public partnership in the development of clean technologies.

Vanuatu stresses the importance of creating a link between the existing international systems and the respect of human rights. The country affirms that the international community can do more to protect human rights and the environment. Vanuatu calls upon states to cooperate more closely to protect human rights for future generations.

Nigeria welcomes the report. The country emphasises that its government has doubled the efforts for the implementation of the remediate pollution project. Nigeria reaffirms its commitment to fulfil national obligations for a clean, safe and sustainable development.

Croatia highlights that the ongoing Ukraine conflict is generating environmental disaster that could cause dramatic and long lasting consequences. Croatia supports the resolution of last October and asks the SR what are the next steps that should be taken at international level to support the implementation of the right to a healthy environment by the states.

UNEP welcomes the report of the SR. The report addresses environmental injustice around the world. More action is required. UNEP adopted an historical resolution on plastic pollution to enforce a legally binding agreement by 2024.

Georgia draws attention to the fact that as a result of Russia's large-scale military aggression against Ukraine only a few days ago, European nuclear facilities could have ignited and caused greater damage. Georgia calls on Russia to immediately renounce any conditions of aggression and allow the Ukrainian authority to control all nuclear facilities. Georgia emphasises that it has implemented a national environmental framework. It emphasises that Russia's illegal occupation of regions of Georgia has deprived the government of the opportunity to share the relevant protection framework with the population that remains on the other side of the occupation line.

Malawi welcomes the report. Malawi notes that its Constitution recognises that a safe and clean environment is a human right issue. Malawi knows however that more should be done, that is why the country expressed its support to the resolution of last October.

Bolivia (Plurinational State of) states that the developing countries are making all the efforts to face a climate crisis, which is causing fire, floods, displacement, and climate migration. The country highlights that it has ratified a number of international agreements on environmental justice with a gender based approach.

Cyprus aligns itself with the EU statement. Cyprus shares the view that environmental issues are falling disproportionally on groups that are more vulnerable. The country is working on the creation of a memorandum in the Mediterranean region for the protection of the marine environment and to ensure an harmonious approach across the Mediterranean. Cyprus asks the SR if he agrees that we must implement measures in the air, land and sea to stop the intoxication of the planet.

Kenya thanks the SR for the report. Kenia highlights that the government has implemented the national climate change action to guide Kenyan climate change action. The country is in favour of a right based approach to environmental issues in order to achieve Kenya Vision 2024.

UN-Habitat welcomes the SR series of thematic reports. Regarding the right to a non-toxic environment, UN Habitat brings attention to three points: 1) the IO encourageS member states to review the international legal framework to make it more reflective of the 2030 sustainable development agenda. 2) UN Habitat highlights the relevance of SDG 6, 12, and SDG 11.6 on solid waste management. The IO urges member states to pursue the development of a common methodology to track toxic discharges including both liquid and solid wastes. 3) UN Habitat recommends the member states to use tools and programs such as WHO urban equity self-assessment to achieve an adequate standard of living.

The United Republic of Tanzania expresses appreciation for the report. The country states that it is part of the Minamata Convention and it is meeting its obligation by implementing the national action plan, as well as an environmental management of mercury.

Iran (Islamic Republic of) thanks the SR. The country expresses deep concern of unilateral management of resources leading to serious violation of human rights. Iran strongly condemns the continuously unilateral negotiations of such measures. The country highlights the importance of monitoring toxic waste, especially electronic waste of technology and to provide applicable guidance to regulate trans boundary movement of hazardous waste, to ensure that such waste is managed in an environmentally friendly manner.

Kazakhstan thanks the SR. Kazakhstan informs that it was one of the first states to ratify the Paris Climate Agreement. The country emphasises the need of a new environmental code and the act that strategic documents should be applied in all sectors of the economy. Kazakhstan states that it is working to achieve SDG 15 and will continue to improve standard of living without compromising future generations.

Cabo Verde states that the historical resolution of last year is only the first step to address such a critical and important topic. The country draws attention to the fact that the production of toxic substances is directly linked to global warming. Developed states are highly responsible for polluting actions but are developing states who are suffering major consequences. Cabo Verde has been recognised as a nation at the front top of resilient development. The country asks the SR what creative solutions can states implement to foster economic growth while preserving the quality of the environment for future generations.

Qatar appreciates the report and the work of the SR. Qatar agrees to adopt a right based approach to the issue of the environment. The country also informs that in November 2021 it has adopted a national strategy on environment and climate change.

Timor-Leste expresses extreme concern on the high risk and the threat to security posed by climate change. The country believes that it is important to act immediately to protect the environment. Timor-Leste believes that everyone has the right to a clean, healthy and safe environment. Moreover, the country last year adopted the Timor-Leste national adaptation plan to combat climate change.

Ukraine welcomes the report of the SR. Ukraine states that Russia's attack against Ukraine is an attack to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. Since Russian troops captured the Chernobyl nuclear power plants, there is no longer any international control. In the hands of the aggressor, a significant amount of nuclear waste could be turned into a bomb. According to Ukraine, Russian forces damaged a power line this week, which left another nuclear power plant without electricity in a critical situation to safeguard operations. Without a stable supply of electricity, the threat of nuclear contamination becomes imminent. Environmental emergencies created by Russian troops, the dispersion of toxic substances create a risk to human lives. The international community must act now to address the serious environmental consequences of Russia's attack on Ukraine.

Pakistan agrees with the SR that the reduction of toxic substances and pollution is essential to promote the right to a healthy, clean and sustainable environment. Pakistan states that middle low income countries are the most affected by these environmental injustices due to global structural inequality. The country highlights that there is a very sad nexus between pollution, production of toxic substances and climate change. Without addressing these intersectional challenges, achieving the 2030 agenda will remain a distant dream. Pakistan is taking legal measures to provide a clean environment to its citizens.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland welcomes today's dialogue of the SR. The UK remains proud of the conference COP26 in Glasgow. In this very difficult time, it is important to tackle the three primary threats to the environment: climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. SR guidance is an important resource for states to effectively tackle these issues. The UK asks the SR what is the most effective practice that states can adopt to tackle human rights concerns attached to disposal of substances and waste.

Mr. David Boyd, Special rapporteur on the Issue of Human Rights Obligations Relating to the Enjoyment of a Safe, Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment (Final Remarks) Mr. David Boyd says that he wishes to draw the attention of the Council to the annex on good practices from 100 other States in the report. The question of international cooperation is fundamentally essential: there are more than 100,000 chemicals in commerce today, and less than 10 per cent has been assessed as to their impact on the environment. It would take decades to regulate them one by one - they have to be regulated by family groups. Too often the international community focuses on its differences - it needs to focus on its similarities. All humans need to breathe clean air, eat healthy food, live in a toxic-free environment, and enjoy biodiversity. Nobody on Earth is further behind than those living in disadvantaged sacrifice zones - and these are millions, fellow humans, and they should not be left behind. Peace is a fundamental element for the enjoyment of human rights - peace with each other and peace with nature. The common future depends upon it.

President Federico Villegas ended the meeting.


Cultural Diversity and Sustainable Development for Peace