ECLAC celebrates Escaz˙ Agreement highlighting commitment to sustainable development, human rights

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ECLAC celebrates Escaz˙ Agreement highlighting commitment to sustainable development, human rights

Sunday, January 24, 2021

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SANTIAGO (CMC) — The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has celebrated the prompt entry into force of the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean, known as theáEscaz˙ Agreement, highlighting the region's commitment to protecting sustainable development and human rights.á

With the instruments of ratification of the United Mexican States and the Argentine Republic deposited at the United Nations headquarters in New York, ECLAC said the number of states parties needed for the agreement to enter into force was attained on Friday.

As set forth in Article 22 of the treaty, ECLAC said once the established requirements are met, the treaty will enter into force in 90 days, that is on April 22, 2021, a date coinciding with International Mother Earth Day.á

“Today, Latin America and the Caribbean celebrates its commitment to sustainable development and human rights,” said Alicia Bßrcena, ECLAC's Executive Secretary, on Friday.á

“At a time when the global and regional situation is marked by great complexity and uncertainty, the Escaz˙ Agreement is more necessary than ever because it bolsters the culture of dialogue and consensus to move ahead on the transformations needed to ensure that the recovery occurs within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” she added.á

The senior United Nations official participated in the Ceremony of Deposit of the Instrument of Ratification of the Escaz˙ Agreement by Mexico, which was led by Martha Delgado, that country's Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights.á

In her remarks, Bßrcena emphasised that January 22,áis an historic day for Latin America and the Caribbean.á

“For me, this is a historic day! Today is a day of festivity, because we are celebrating a step forward on implementation of the Escaz˙ Agreement, the negotiation of which was inclusive, participatory and transparent,” she said. “This is very encouraging.”

She highlighted that the Escaz˙ Agreement is the first in the world to include provisions about human rights defenders in environmental matters — those who give their lives for life.á

Bßrcena recognised the strong commitment of the governments of Mexico and Argentina, which on Friday became States Parties to the Agreement.

She underscored the other 10 countries that ratified it earlier and made it possible for the Escaz˙ Agreement to go into effect next April 22: Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana, Nicaragua, Panama, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia and Uruguay.

In addition,áBßrcena expressed optimism that more countries from the region will join the treaty soon.

“I am optimistic. Latin America and the Caribbean is a culturally, socially and environmentally rich region. Its natural heritage is extensive, and there are many opportunities for a transformative recovery, with equality and sustainability, that would bring greater well-being to our peoples,” she said.á

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