WAN has been a strong voice for animals at the United Nations since 2001. As an NGO in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), we actively engage with world leaders at the highest levels to raise awareness on significant animal protection matters and to urge meaningful action. Our advocacy efforts at the United Nations focus on, but are not limited to, animal welfare in the context of sustainable development, endangered species protection, promotion of humane education, official recognition of World Animal Day and support for the Universal Declaration of Animal Welfare (UDAW).
As regards sustainable development, a new development system has been adopted as a successor framework to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It has been broadly agreed that this new framework will have sustainable development at its core, and includes Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030. The 17 goals and 169 targets embrace poverty and hunger reduction, among other objectives, while also protecting the planet and promoting peaceful, just and inclusive societies. The Declaration in which the new goals have been adopted states that such a development model is envisaged to be one “…in which humanity lives in harmony with nature and other living species are protected.” As these goals are implemented over the next two decades, World Animal Net will remain active in advocating for increased animal welfare in the context of sustainable development.
In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted its first-ever resolution on wildlife trafficking. The resolution calls upon countries to prevent, combat and eradicate the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products through action on both supply and demand sides, including strengthened legislation, enforcement and criminal justice responses.
Initiated in 2006, World Migratory Bird Day is an annual awareness raising day emphasizing the need for conservation of migratory birds and their habitats.
The United Nations Decade for Biodiversity seeks to contribute to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, which includes safeguarding endangered species.
The Convention on Biological Diversity is a multilateral treaty that was established at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. There are currently 194 countries that are Parties to the convention. The convention was established to protect the world’s biodiversity, and covers all species, ecosystems and genetic resources. Though to date there has been little focus on animal welfare specifically, we see promise and opportunity for compassionate conservation and an emphasis on the inherent value of species in the context of CBD.