Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

EU Statement – United Nations General Assembly: Resolution on Tackling illicit trafficking in wildlife

New York, 16/09/2019 - 17:00, UNIQUE ID: 190916_14
Statements on behalf of the EU

16 September 2019, New York - Statement on behalf of the EU and its Member States by H.E. Mr. Silvio Gonzato, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, on the occasion of the adoption of the Resolution on Tackling illicit trafficking in wildlife

Dear President,


The EU and its Member States are pleased to co-sponsor again the resolution on tackling illicit trafficking in wildlife. The resolution addresses a major form of trafficking that continues to be one of the most profitable forms of organized crime with devastating effects on biodiversity and livelihoods and in some parts of the world also on security and stability.


A year before the UN biodiversity summit and before the conference that will agree on the global post 2020 biodiversity framework, this resolution is an important contribution to tackling better one of the many drivers of biodiversity loss. This year's reiteration of the resolution contains updated language on important elements, reflecting findings from the SG report which range from the links to financial crime to the need for more research on reducing consumer demand for illegally-traded wildlife products. In particular, we welcome references to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBRES) 2019 ‘Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’.


While we firmly support the substance of the resolution with regard to wildlife trafficking, we would like to express our concerns with regard to the language included in PP 13. We do agree on the call "for holistic and integrated approaches to sustainable development that will guide humanity to live in harmony with nature and restore the health and integrity of the Earth's ecosystems", which is in line with the 2050 vision of the Convention on Biological Diversity. However, the selective quote of the Millennium Declaration - that this would "contribute to the creation of a shared future based upon our common humanity" – is not clear, partly tautological and without the wider context of the Declaration appears to echo politically-driven language from one Member State, which is inappropriate to include in UN texts. This terminology does not reflect internationally agreed principles, and should therefore not constitute a precedent for other resolutions.


In closing, we call upon all Member States and relevant stakeholders to fully and swiftly implement the commitments made in this resolution, and to continue international cooperation and information sharing to tackle the organised criminal networks involved. We will continue on our side to do so in line with the EU Action Plan on wildlife trafficking.


Thank you.

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