In a special session held yesterday, the Chamber of Deputies approved the bill to ratify the Escazú Agreement. With this act, only the ratification of a Latin American and Caribbean State would remain for its subsequent entry into force.

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During the month of August, the Chamber of Senators had already approved the bill to ratify the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean ( Escazú Agreement). Yesterday, following the procedure established by our Constitution, the Chamber of Deputies gave the remaining half sanction necessary for the effective ratification of the Agreement.

Thus, Argentina became the tenth country to carry out this act. This is important because we remember that the text of the Agreement itself provides, in its art. 22, the entry into force after the 90th day from the deposit of the eleventh instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the Secretary General of the United Nations (depositary of the agreement). This means that only one more State ratification would remain before the 90-day period prior to the effective entry into force begins.

Let us remember that this treaty is not only innovative in its content because it was consolidated from an arduous process of debate and citizen participation, but because it constitutes the first international normative instrument that guarantees and establishes a protection system for those who are defenders of the human rights in environmental matters. It should be noted that the Latin American and Caribbean region registers the highest number of murders of those who carry out this task.

Likewise, the text regulates the rights of access to information, citizen participation and environmental justice. Although in the Republic there are norms that guarantee the respect of these rights, the truth is that the approval of the treaty affects its effective fulfillment and enjoyment, since it places the State in the obligation to comply with its international commitments under penalty in responsibility for its breach.

Contact

Juan Bautista Lopez, juanbautistalopez@fundeps.org