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UNECE welcomes the opening for signature of the Escazú Agreement on environmental rights in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean (the Escazú Agreement), developed under the auspices of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), will open for signature by countries of the region on Thursday, 27 September 2018, at United Nations Headquarters in New York within the framework of the seventy-third session of the UN General Assembly. The Agreement includes binding provisions on the protection of human rights in environmental matters. UNECE sends its greetings to ECLAC and to the governments and civil society of Latin America and the Caribbean on this landmark occasion.  

The environment is at the heart of efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Public participation and access to information and justice regarding important decisions that affect people and the environment are universal principles that should guide the actions taken in every context. In that regard, the UNECE region receives support pursuant to the Aarhus Convention and its Protocol on PRTRs, which are instrumental to implementation of the 2030 Agenda and, in particular, Sustainable Development Goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions. They have become a benchmark for various processes by setting standards for transparency, access to justice and participatory decision-making and have inspired and helped to promote environmental democracy in other regions and sectors. 

The Escazú Agreement will give Latin America and the Caribbean a solid framework for pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals in a participatory and transparent manner. UNECE encourages all countries of that region to sign this important Agreement and stands ready to continue its close collaboration with ECLAC in promoting its ratification and implementation.  

Additional information on the Aarhus Convention is available at http://www.unece.org/env/pp/welcome.html