United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

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
      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.