The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has adopted a resolution on the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. The text, sponsored by five countries including Morocco, aims to commit states to adopt an effective legal framework and policies at the national and local levels to ensure the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.
The Kingdom of Morocco deploys its green diplomacy in international forums. This is the case of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), where the North African country has given its sponsorship to a text on the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.
Morocco’s sponsorship is in addition to those granted by four other countries, namely Costa Rica, the Maldives, Slovenia and Switzerland. This green and convergent diplomacy has finally paid off. On April 4, 2023, during its 52nd session, the UNHRC adopted a resolution on the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.
The resolution, although not legally binding, commits States to take various measures to ensure the respect of the right to a healthy environment. These include, among others, strengthening environmental protection capacities and cooperating more with other States, the United Nations system, sectoral organizations and agencies; integrating information on human rights and the environment into the school system; promoting and intensifying environmental action based on human rights; making the judicial sector better able to understand the relationship between man and the environment; and fostering the emergence of a nature-friendly private sector.
Recognized as a human right
A clean, healthy and sustainable environment is considered a prerequisite for the realization of other human rights, including the right to life, food, health and an adequate standard of living. This is partly reflected in the statement on the right to health in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), which states that all states must ensure the realization of the right to health by, inter alia, improving all aspects of environmental health.
Furthermore, this prerequisite was recognized as a human right by the UNCHR on October 8, 2021 and by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on July 28, 2022.