We meet UN decision makers in New York to discuss what we can do together for animals
Posted By Michelle Thew on 29th January 2018
Posted in Policy
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I’ve just come back from a whirlwind of meetings in and around the United Nations in New York. In January the temperature in the city can reach as low as -12°C degrees! But despite the cold New York weather, our welcome was warm, and our determination to make a positive change for animals was as hot as ever.
As you know, the United Nations is an international organisation that was founded at the end of the Second World War in 1945. It currently has 193 states in membership – that’s a lot of meetings if you want to talk to them all! The mission and work of the United Nations are guided by the purposes and principles contained in its founding Charter. It’s an amazing organisation. For people interested in how decisions are made, it’s absolutely fascinating, and as businesses, trade, people and capital flow internationally, so important to have its democratic checks and balances for animals as well as for people and planet.
Because of the powers in the Charter and its unique international character, the United Nations can take action on the issues confronting us all in the 21st century, such as peace and security, climate change, sustainable development, human rights, disarmament, terrorism, humanitarian and health emergencies, gender equality, governance, food production, and more. We would like to see much more being done about animals and the relationship we have with them in all sorts of ways, and we’re really interested in helping the UN and its member states with this area of work.
By enabling dialogue between so many member countries, and by hosting negotiations, the UN has become the place for governments to find areas of agreement and solve problems together. How fantastic if we could work together to reduce and replace animal testing all over the world!
Whilst I was there, I met staff working at all levels and in several different arms of the UN to talk about our campaign for an international end to cosmetics animal testing, but also about the Sustainable Development Agenda and how we can work together to deliver the sustainable development goals on responsible production and consumption as well as on innovation in a way that tackles animal suffering and promotes human-relevant science.
I also went to see lots of member state missions, and talked to people involved in getting businesses to support the work of the UN to tell them about our experiences with Leaping Bunny certification of cruelty free production – something that consumers everywhere are demanding.
There is still plenty of work to be done with all these different parts of the UN in order to end unnecessary animal suffering all over the globe. It’s going to take longer than a New York minute, but we’re sure that with your help, we’re going to get the job done.