The UN Convention on Animal Health and Protection (UNCAHP) is a unique initiative to globally protect animals at UN level. Initiated by the Global Animal Law GAL Association, the first draft has been released in Summer 2018, thanks to the participation of worldwide experts in Animal Law.
"Animal protection is a global concern and needs global actions. UNCAHP is a solution to face the challenges on animal protection and global health that
our world is facing."
As there is no global protection for animals to date, it is therefore urgently needed. Through the One Health/One Welfare concept, we are all (living-beings) concerned.
Why do we need a UN Convention (beyond a Declaration)?
A convention is a treaty which is legally-binding for member states. These states should implement it in their own legislation. A Declaration of principles is more symbolic and not binding.
A declaration can be a first step to recognize animal sentience, animal welfare as a global concern a common goal for all states. However, it is not enough to make a real, concrete difference in states legislations.
Why do we need a Framework Convention?
Animal protection is an emerging concern at UNiversal level. As such, it needs a framework to define its objectives and implementation. In this sense, UNCAHP provides wide definitions and states core principles as a strong basis for action. Such as what have been done for Climate (with UNFCCC) or biodiversity (with CBD).
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UNCAHP comes at the right moment. Global consciousness is raising for animal protection. Moreover, two previous initiatives paved the way for it: ICAP and UDAW.
The first initiative proposed was the International Convention for the Protection of Animals (ICAP) by David Favre around 1989.
UDAW was created in 2005 with its first draft, coordinated by the WSPA. It is actually pending for the African support.
UNCAHP was launched in 2019. It is unique and UN appropriate by its content. This initiative is looking for great support now.
Hopefully in 2019 and 100 years after the first proposal for an Animal Protection institution at UN, UNCAHP will be adopted.
Wide-scope objectives definition, already agreed principles by almost all UN countries (through OIE standards with 182 member states on 193 at the UN).
General principles of animal law and far-reaching principles (Art. 4-6 of
UNCAHP). Herewith it is realistic and visionary enough to renew the protection of animal interests worldwide.
Furthermore, UNCAHP provides implementation guidelines to encourage collaboration. Drafted on CBD style, UNCAHP can be presented, readable and endorsable by the UN.
In its last part, UNCAHP pretends public education and awareness, is looking for a secretariat and conference of the parties as well as national reports.