On the 16 May 2018, the Governance Affairs Office of the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment Programme) granted accreditation for observer status to the Legal Resources Centre. The LRC had made an application for accreditation earlier this year, following on from the work already undertaken last year at the United Nations Human Rights Council pertaining to the impact of business on the environment, sustainable development and human rights.
“Our belief is that, in order to deal with the growing environmental justice issues currently plaguing the African continent and the world, for example, the assassinations and killing of human rights environmental defenders, biodiversity degradation, the negative impacts of climate change and desertification, a holistic approach to our work is critical. We cannot only protect the environment in isolation at a national level, but rather work at a national, regional and international level in order to bring effective change for the benefit of all.” – Lucien Limacher, environmental lawyer at the Legal Resources Centre.
The accreditation of observe status will allow the LRC an opportunity to:
Participate in the Regional Consultation Meeting to be held in Africa, in preparation for the Assembly;
Contribute to the preparation of Regional Civil Society Statements to the UN Environment and the Assembly;
Receive unedited working documents of the United Nations Environment Assembly at the same time as the Committee of the Permanent Representatives (CPR);
Submit to the UN Environment Secretariat written contributions to these unedited working documents for distribution to governments through the CPR;
Participate in public meetings of the Committee of Permanent Representatives, the Assembly and the Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum, an associated meeting of the UN Environment Assembly (including via tele- or video conference).
Attend the plenary sessions of the Committee of the Whole and the Ministerial Consultations as observers and to exchange views and interact with the governments present;
Circulate written statements to governments, in the form of information documents through the UN Environment secretariat; and
Make oral statements during the discussions of the United Nations Environmental Assembly of UN Environment.
The LRC looks forward in participating with UN Environment Programme and the United Nations Environmental Assembly.