Mr. Secretary General of the OAS, honorable chancellors, ambassadors, comrades from civil society, and Indigenous Peoples and nations present; receive a fraternal greeting from the organizations that make up the COALITION FOR THE INTER-AMERICAN ENVIRONMENTAL CHARTER.
We all know the social and environmental reality that humanity is experiencing due to the accelerated and uncontrolled growth, the overexploitation of natural resources, the high levels of pollution, global warming and many other problems.
The 2011 Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, points out that different environmental threats have, or will have, negative consequences for all aspects of human rights and well-being, and the environment must be protected to protect human rights
Despite international efforts in socio-environmental matters and environmental governance and justice to help solve these problems, the most vulnerable sectors of the population are suffering from discrimination and environmental intolerance.
Added to this situation is the struggle of the Indigenous Peoples and nations of the Americas for the protection of the environment, their lands and territories; right enshrined in the Declaration of the United Nations and the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as prior, free and informed consultation, in everything that affects their integrity.
Our responsibility as inhabitants of planet Earth, as Children of Mother Earth, is to propose, act and make effective decisions to CURB the destruction of their ecosystems, and educate present and future generations. We consider the balance of the work of governmental structures with all the actors of the civil society to be determinant, expanding the participation spaces with the environmental citizen monitoring and control, through a mechanism of interactive, permanent, consultative and binding dialogue for all environmental issues
We need to start working together, changing our consciousness and actively working for the restoration of Mother Earth.
The environmental commitment of the OAS is enshrined in the founding Charter of the Organization of American States and in the Social Charter of the Americas, which also establishes as one of its purposes the integral development of its Member States through the formulation and implementation of the mechanisms, treaties and organisms to consolidate it.
On this basis, this coalition considers that it is URGENT AND NECESSARY to conclude a CONTINENTAL AGREEMENT that further allows the strengthening of regional integration, respecting human rights and other living beings, amongst which the right to have a healthy environment stands out.
This agreement must be an instrument of environmental principles, values and actions, based on the resolutions issued by the UN, and other international and regional organizations, and on indigenous wisdom and knowledge, built on ethical, social and democratic foundations, to guide decisions on governance and environmental justice in the Americas, and to complement the OAS Inter-American system.
Today, this coalition, made up of organizations and actors from civil society and Indigenous Peoples, proposes the beginning of a discussion process on an INTER-AMERICAN ENVIRONMENTAL CHARTER project, which establishes the current commitment of the OAS Member States for the protection, conservation, restoration and sustainable use of each of the natural resources of planet Earth, recognizing that it is a living being with rights.
We present to you this INTER-AMERICAN ENVIRONMENTAL CHARTER project, which has been under construction since 2016 with the multidisciplinary participation of experts in environmental and legal matters, different sectors of civil society, and with the Indigenous Peoples and nations of the Americas; and that we place at your disposal for analysis and discussion.
We hope that one of the States that are listening to us can take on the challenge of proposing this citizen initiative before the Permanent Council and the OAS General Assembly.
America is the continent of the future, and it is time for us to raise our voice for the rights and protection of Mother Earth.
On June 5th, World Environment Day, we invite you all to celebrate: let's paint the Organization of American States in green, UNITED for the INTER-AMERICAN ENVIRONMENTAL CHARTER!
Thank you very much for your kind attention.