Brussels, 16 Jun 2006
Within the framework of the planned Ministerial Conference likely to be hosted by Costa Rica in New York in 2007 the draft of the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare is to be discussed in order to achieve intergovernmental agreement on the Declaration text for eventual submission to Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) held in New York in July 2007.
The aim of the Declaration is to recognize on global scale animals as sensitive beings, which feel pain and stress. Animal welfare should thus be recognized as a part of social development of world nations. The Declaration is a means for improving animals' living conditions in all countries in general.
Animal welfare is a part of the Millennium Project and Johannesburg's Declaration on Sustainable Development, particularly in areas of serious human and animal diseases, in ensuring sustainable development of the environment, maintenance of biodiversity and food safety. The Declaration will thus positively contribute to fulfilment of current goals set by the United Nations.
The draft Declaration is based on the agreement on the principles of a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare reached by 21 governmental delegations representing 19 countries (USA as observer), the European Commission and Saipan at the Intergovernmental Conference held in March 2003 in Manila hosted by the Government of the Philippines.
Subsequently, the text was adjusted in November 2005 during the meeting of a five-nation government steering committee made up of representatives from 4 of the 5 geographical constituencies of the ECOSOC hosted by the Government of Costa Rica. Europe was represented by the Czech Republic.
In the margins of the International Conference Animal welfare - a part of the EU policy in food chain", held on 30 March 2006 in Brussels, which was organized by BMGF (Federal Ministry of Health and Women of Austria) and chaired by Mrs. Minister Maria Rauch Kallat, the intention to raise this issue during an Agricultural Council meeting and the intended adoption of the Declaration during an international ministerial conference was discussed with the Austrian presidency.
In the light of the above-said, the Czech Republic kindly asks the Member States for their support to this initiative and their confirmation of interest in participation at the Ministerial Conference in New York in 2007 where any proposed amendments to the current text will be discussed.