University of Minnesota

The Need to Ensure a Healthy Environment for the Well-Being of Individuals, G.A. Res. 45/94, U.N. GAOR, 45th Sess., Supp. No. 49A, at 178, U.N. Doc. A/45/40 (1990).



United Nations
General Assembly
14 December 1990


68th plenary meeting
14 December 1990

Need to ensure a healthy environment for the well-being of individuals

The General Assembly,

Recalling that, in accordance with the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, everyone has the right to an adequate standard of living for his or her own health and well-being and that of his or her family and to the continuous improvement of living conditions,

Recognizing the need to promote universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms in all their aspects,

Considering that a better and healthier environment can help contribute to the full enjoyment of human rights by all,

Reaffirming that in accordance with the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, men and women have the fundamental right
to freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life in an environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being, and that they bear a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for present and future generations,

Bearing in mind the fact that increasing environmental degradation could endanger the very basis of life,

Bearing in mind also that the economic growth and development of the developing countries are essential in order to address the problems of the degradation and protection of the environment,

Emphasizing the increasing role of the United Nations in addressing global environmental problems,

Recalling that the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, to be held in Brazil in 1992, will elaborate strategies and measures to halt and reverse the effects of environmental degradation in the context of strengthened national and international efforts to promote sustainable and environmentally sound development in all countries,

Stressing the importance for all countries to take effective actions for the protection and enhancement of the environment in accordance with their respective capacities and responsibilities and taking into account the specific needs of developing countries and that, as the major sources of pollution, the developed countries have the main responsibility for taking appropriate measures urgently,

Welcoming Commission on Human Rights resolution 1990/41 of 6 March 1990 and Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of
Minorities resolution 1990/7 of 30 August 1990, in which they decided to study the problems of the environment and its relation to human rights,

1. Recognizes that all individuals are entitled to live in an environment adequate for their health and well-being;

2. Calls upon Member States and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations dealing with environmental questions to enhance their efforts
towards ensuring a better and healthier environment;

3. Encourages the Commission on Human Rights, with the assistance of its Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, to continue studying the problems of the environment and its relation to human rights, with a view to submitting to the Preparatory Committee of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, through the Economic and Social Council, a report on the progress made on the matter;

4. Believes that appropriate organs of the United Nations, within their respective competences, should pursue active efforts in seeking to promote a better and healthier environment.


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