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One step closer to a UN ‘first’ for animals

Dec 15, 2006

Animals Matter to Me campaign

Animal welfare is taking another step closer to an unprecedented place on the United Nations agenda. On December 14, 2006, representatives from more than 130 developing countries received an official briefing about a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare, a global initiative supported by WSPA.

A Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare

The aim of a United Nations Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare is to achieve global recognition of animals as sentient beings, capable of experiencing pain and suffering. It would also recognize animal welfare as an important aspect of the social development of nations worldwide.
 
The world is waking up from its deep slumber to the fact that animals do matter. Animal welfare matters to people. It matters to our survival. It matters to our happiness. It matters to the environment. It matters to human health. But, most of all, animal welfare matters to the animals.

Following the briefing, it is hoped that the G77, which is made up of 132 member states and is the largest coalition of developing countries in the United Nations, will consider championing the Declaration.

This would significantly increase awareness and support ahead of a ministerial conference planned for the end of 2007 in New York. If consensus is then achieved at that ministerial conference it is hoped that the Declaration will then be put before the United Nations General Assembly for adoption.

The coalition

The Universal Declaration campaign has the support of over 300 WSPA Member Societies. Eighty animal welfare groups are also working hard to promote this campaign and spread the word about the need for global consideration of animals and their welfare.

The link between the United Nations and animals is very clear. Over 1 billion people depend on animals for their livelihood. We can no longer ignore our reliance on animals and the importance of their well being.

Better care for animals can result directly in better lives for humans. This is an unturned stone on the path to progress, sustainable development and poverty reduction. It is time we turn that stone over and bring animals into the UN spotlight.

Through the Animals Matter to Me campaign, we are hoping to garner the support of millions of people worldwide to show governments that we have a responsibility to care for animals and their welfare, particularly in those situations where their lives are directly influenced by people’s actions.

More information

The G77, as the largest coalition of developing countries in the United Nations, provides the means for the developing world to articulate and promote its collective interests and enhance its joint negotiating capacity on all major international economic issues in the United Nations system, and promote economic and technical cooperation among developing countries.

Read more about WSPA’s work for a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare >>

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Elephants at a Kenyan orphanage run by a member society