24 July 2023

Brooke addresses the UN on behalf of 'historically absent' working equids

Brooke West Africa's Rouguiatou Ka addresses the UN

Brooke addressed representatives from government, the private sector and civil society at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 20 July, urging them to ensure the inclusion of working animals within policy and programmes of investment.

Speaking during the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), at which UN representatives assess the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Brooke Advocacy Officer Rouguiatou Ka said:

"At Brooke, we work with communities around the world for whom the main livelihood asset is their working animal – a horse, donkey or mule. These animals plough fields, carry water, transport goods to market, children to school and the sick to health providers. Thanks to their work, communities can earn an income to pay for nutritious food, medical expenses and school fees and lift themselves out of poverty. Yet, these animals have historically been absent from policies, programmes and investment and a result their health and welfare are not protected."

Brooke, which holds consultative status with the UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), was selected as one of just a small number of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to give an oral statement.

Elsewhere at HLPF, which ran from 10-20 July, Brooke hosted an exhibition space with members of the Animal Issues Thematic Cluster, an international group of animal welfare and wildlife conservation organisations dedicated to ensuring the protection of animals and wildlife within the SDGs. Here, attendees received information about working horses, donkeys and mules and the important contribution they make towards people’s lives around the world.

Brooke also held successful meetings with UN representatives from the EU, Guatemala, Pakistan and Senegal, giving a voice to the millions of working equids who depend on the protection of policy makers.

This year marks the halfway point for the SDGs and Agenda 2030. In September, representatives will meet at the UN once again for the SDG Summit for further meetings on how to achieve the goals.

Despite the indispensable contribution working horses, donkeys and mules make to goals such as No Poverty, Water and Zero Hunger, they remain largely invisible in the eyes of decision and policy makers. Brooke works with the UN to provide a voice for these animals and the communities that depend on them.