Photo Credit: Cyril Villemain / UN Environment
The United Nations Environment Programme has formally recognised the Anglican Consultative Council and granted accreditation to the UN Environment Assembly. The move extends the Anglican Communion’s existing status at the UN. The Communion enjoys Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council – this gives it access to a number of UN bodies, including the Human Rights Council. The UN Environment Programme operated a separate recognition process and this confirmed the new status for the Anglican Communion.
The Anglican Communion’s permanent representative to the UN, Jack Palmer-White, said that he was “delighted” by the move, saying: “As Anglicans, we are called to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth. With opportunities like this, it becomes easier for Anglican voices to be heard and included in global decision making.
“I look forward to working with colleagues around the Anglican Communion to ensure that the real, grassroots experiences of – and responses to – environmental issues are taken seriously at the UN level.”
Accreditation to UN Environment grants observer status to the Environment Assembly and its subsidiary bodies and “is the main entry point for major groups and stakeholders into policy dialogue at UN Environment”, the UN said.
As an accredited observer, the Anglican Communion is now able to participate in regional consultation meetings and to contribute in the preparation of regional civil society statements towards UN Environment and the Assembly. It can also distribute written contributions to unedited working documents as part of the drafting process; and circulate written statements to Governments.
The Anglican Communion has offices at the UN in New York and Geneva. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is a member of UN Secretary General António Guterres’ High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation and recently became the first ever Archbishop of Canterbury to address a meeting of the UN Security Council.