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Leading Animal Welfare Groups Host Reception on Sustainable Development at United Nations Economic and Social Council

Accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development a key topic for the group


New York/Vienna, 18 July 2023 – The members of the World Federation for Animals (WFA), in co-sponsorship with the Animal Issues Thematic Cluster (AITC), hosted a reception on the sidelines of the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) on the topic of accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by leveraging the synergies between the environment, sustainable development and animal welfare.

The HLFP, which began on 10th July in New York, is assessing progress and ways to accelerate key progress on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, industry, innovation and infrastructure, sustainable cities and communities, and partnerships for the SDGs.

The reception presented a discussion on how animal welfare contributes to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Carmen Capriles, Coordinator of Reaccion Climatica, who was a panellist at the event, said, “We can’t have human rights if the animals that live with us are not treated with dignity.”

Mr. Rodolfo Reta Haddad, Member of the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the UN, also spoke about the role of partnerships in achieving the 2030 Agenda.

The reception also highlighted the necessity of the interdependence of animal welfare, the environment and sustainable development while showing how intersectoral collaboration with civil society organisations, namely animal welfare organisations, can better support the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Dr Jackson Zee, FOUR PAWS Director of Global Affairs and Disaster Resilience and Chair of the AITC, said, “By highlighting the important links between animal welfare and biodiversity, climate change, pollution, health, food security and livelihoods, we will bring to light actions that contribute to accelerating the realisation of the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

“It is also essential we recognise the connection between animal welfare and one health. One health reinforces and acts as a catalyst for furthering the aims and progress of the SGDs by stating the importance of the human-animal-environmental interface.”

Dr Jackson Zee, FOUR PAWS Director of Global Affairs and Disaster Resilience

Zee concluded, “Transitioning to a systematic animal welfare-focused approach to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will lead to a fairer, healthier, more resilient and more sustainable future for all.”

James Yates, CEO of World Federation for Animals, said, "Today's event at the High-Level Political Forum has highlighted the powerful collaborations between the animal protection movement and various stakeholders in the sustainable development arena. By promoting open dialogue and fostering collaboration, we can expedite progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through better animal welfare. This creates a win-win situation because the well-being of animals actively contributes to all three dimensions of the sustainable development agenda. Together, we have the opportunity to forge a path towards a more compassionate and sustainable future for all."


About WFA: WFA is the result of these organisations’ decision to join forces and work together towards a broad representation of the interests of animals in international policy fora. By harnessing the collective strength of the animal protection movement, we tap into a momentous opportunity to ensure that animals are, at last, considered within global policymaking.

About AITC: The Animal Issues Thematic Cluster (AITC) is an international group of animal welfare, conservation and other stakeholders coming together to ensure that the care, protection and conservation of animals is included in the United Nations 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development and in the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Founded in 2017 by Thinking Animals United as part of the NGO Major Group, one of nine Major Groups part of the Major Group and Other Stakeholders (MGoS) system set up by the United Nations for civil society participation.

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FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. The sustainable campaigns and projects of FOUR PAWS focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions.

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