Areas of Concern


Thematic NGO Forums Work with Substantive Issues

FOE and FSV work with…

Areas of Concerns

FOE / FSV work withCultural Rights and Cultural Diversity

Many cultures hold the environment in great regard, not only because it provides all living beings with their needs and sustains all its future generations, but because the belief in the Earth Mother has been the primary culture of mankind dating back thousands of years , even to paleolithic times…

The Independent Expert in the field of cultural rights, Ms Farida Shaheed, stressed that at “the heart of this mandate is the relationship between cultural rights, cultural diversity, and the universality of human rights.” Cultural rights “are pivotal to the recognition and respect of human dignity.” “They protect the rights of each person –- be it individually, in community with others, or as groups — to develop and express their humanity, world visions, meanings assigned to life and understanding of development.” more…     Overview of the mandate: A/HRC/14/36

The Forum on Environment will focus on environmental cultural rights while the Forum on Spirituality and Values will address the angle from a cultural and spiritual perspective.

HRC15: Parallel event on “Cultural Rights – Cultural Diversity” with IECR – PDF

FOE / FSV work with… The Right to Peace 

In resolutions A/RES/57/216 of 27 February 2003, A/RES/60/163 of 2 March 2006, and A/RES/63/189 of 18 March 2009, the General Assembly solemnly declared “that the peoples of our planet have a sacred right to peace and that the preservation and promotion of peace constitutes a fundamental obligation of each State”. Furthermore, the General Assembly, in resolution A/RES/60/163 stressed “that peace is a vital requirement for the promotion and protection of all human rights for all”.

The Human Rights Council Advisory Committee met from 17-21 January 2011 and adopted A/HRC/AC/6/CRP.3

The Forum on Environment will focus on the environmental aspect of wars and destruction and related rights while the Forum on Spirituality and Values will address the angle from an ethical and moral perspective.

FOE / FSV work  with… Cultural Heritage and Sacred Sites

This Working Group came into being in 2006. Some of its members are part of well-known international organisations like the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Foundation ƒor GAIA, the Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Sreas (CSVPA) and many more. It can be said that the link between cultural values, built and intangible heritage and the human rights dimension is our main focus. More…  
The Forum on Environment will focus on the environmental and conservation aspect and related rights of protected areas s while the Forum on Spirituality and Values will address the intangible and spiritual dimension, e.g. sacred sites and related rights, or access by indigenous or religious custodians to such sites within protected areas.
Many of the above named areas of work come together when addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
While NGOs members will address and work with one or more SDGs according to their organisation’s mandate the Forums will address specific angles in ALL SDGs. As such the Forum on Environment will address the environmental and cultural aspect and related rights  while the Forum on Spirituality and Values will address the spiritual, ethical and moral responsibilities related to the SDGs, like international solidarity.

FSV works with…United Nations Day (24 October, yearly)

While the Charter of the United Nations was signed on June 26, 1945, it entered into force on 24 October 1945 and that day has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. The Charter is as valid today as it was at the end of the two world wars and a reminder to all that each man and woman has equal rights and that we all need to contribute to a society that can establish the conditions for justice, social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom so that we can live in peace, together, respect our diversities while maintaining our dignity and worth as human beings. It is a day to celebrate the constructive achievements of the United Nations.

FSV works with… World Interfaith Harmony Week (1st week in February, yearly)

The  UN General Assembly unanimously passed Resolution A/65/PV.34 to recognise World Interfaith Harmony Week annually during the first week of February. It was proposed in 2010 by HM King Abdullah II and HRH Prince Gazi bin Muhammad of Jordan. CSVGC intends to yearly organise an event to celebrate the spiritual and sacred traditions that are the basis of all of humanities cultures, religions and beliefs. Contacts have already been made for the 2012 event. More…

FOE  works with… The Universal Declaration of Mother Earth Rights 

UN document A/C2/64/L24** also 1. Invites Member States, the relevant organizations of the United Nations system, and international, regional and subregional organizations to transmit to the Secretary-General their views on the scope and content of a possible declaration of ethical principles and values for living in harmony with Mother Earth; 2. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to it, at its sixty-fifth session, a report on the views and comments received in relation to the present resolution; 3. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its sixty-fifth session an item entitled “Harmony with Mother Earth” for consideration by the Second Committee.

A start on such a Universal Declaration of Mother Earth Rights was made on October 17, 2009 during the 7th ALBA-TCP Summitt of an Alba  Declaration for a Universal Declaration of Mother Earth Rights (PDF) and was finalised at Cochabamba in April 2010.  More…

FOE works with…Mother Earth Day (22 April, yearly)

The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970 and by 1990 this Day was celebrated in 141 nations.  Today Earth Day festivities are coordinated in more than 175 countries yearly 2009 marked a momentous step forward when at the UN General Assembly, under the Presidency of H.E. M. d’Escoto Brockmann, Resolution 63/278 designated April 22  “International Mother Earth Day” In his speech at the UN that same day President Morales of the Plurinational State of Bolivia called (webcast) for a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth while H.E. Pablo Solón presented his speech related to the Draft Resolution that was cosponsored by: Algeria, Benin, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cape Verde, Cuba, Ecuador, Georgia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mauritius, Nepal, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of).

FOE works with…World Environment Day – WED (5 June, yearly)

WED celebration began in 1972 and has grown to become the one of the main vehicles through which the UN stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action. Through WED, the UN Environment Programme is able to personalize environmental issues and enable everyone to realize not only their responsibility, but also their power to become agents for change in support of sustainable and equitable development.

WED is also a day for people from all walks of life to come together to ensure a cleaner, greener and brighter outlook for themselves and future generations. More…

FOE works with… UN Decade of Biodiversity (2011-2020  – A/RES/65/161)

FOE works with… UN Decade for Sustainable Energy for All (2014 2024A/RES/67/215)

FOE / FSV work with… the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development refers to an agreement of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012 (Rio+20), to develop a set of future international development goals.

The United Nations is in the process of defining a post-2015 development agenda. This agenda will be launched at a Summit in September 2015, which is the target date for realizing the MDGs. It is currently being elaborated through informal consultations of the UN General Assembly. The President of the General Assembly has appointed two Co-facilitators to lead those informal consultations.

The UN General Assembly’s Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals on 19 July 2014 forwarded to the Assembly its proposal for a set of SDGs. The proposal contains 17 goals with 169 targets covering a broad range of sustainable development issues, including ending poverty and hunger, improving health and education, making cities more sustainable, combating climate change, and protecting oceans and forests.[1]

On 30 May 2013, the High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda released “A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development,” a report which sets out a universal agenda to eradicate extreme poverty from the face of the earth by 2030, and deliver on the promise of sustainable development. The report calls upon the world to rally around a new Global Partnership that offers hope and a role to every person in the world.

The International Symposium on the Post 2015 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals scheduled for Sydney, Australia on the 12th and 13th of November 2014 was cancelled. No new date has yet been set.

In the report, the Panel calls for the new post-2015 goals to drive five big transformative shifts:

1. Leave No One Behind. After 2015 we should move from reducing to ending extreme poverty, in all its forms. We should ensure that no person – regardless of ethnicity, gender, geography, disability, race or other status – is denied basic economic opportunities and human rights.

2. Put Sustainable Development at the Core. We have to integrate the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability. We must act now to slow the alarming pace of climate change and environmental degradation, which pose unprecedented threats to humanity.

3. Transform Economies for Jobs and Inclusive Growth. A profound economic transformation can end extreme poverty and improve livelihoods, by harnessing innovation, technology, and the potential of business. More diversified economies, with equal opportunities for all, can drive social inclusion, especially for young people, and foster sustainable consumption and production patterns.

4. Build Peace and Effective, Open and Accountable Institutions for All. Freedom from conflict and violence is the most fundamental human entitlement, and the essential foundation for building peaceful and prosperous societies. At the same time, people the world over expect their governments to be honest, accountable, and responsive to their needs. We are calling for a fundamental shift – to recognize peace and good governance as a core element of wellbeing, not an optional extra.

5. Forge a New Global Partnership. A new spirit of solidarity, cooperation, and mutual accountability must underpin the post-2015 agenda. This new partnership should be based on a common understanding of our shared humanity, based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. It should be centered on people, including those affected by poverty and exclusion, women, youth, the aged, disabled persons, and indigenous peoples. It should include civil society organizations, multilateral institutions, local and national governments, the scientific and academic community, businesses, and private philanthropy.