World Federation for Animals commits to elevating animal welfare in the sustainable development agenda at first-ever General Assembly

Copenhagen, Denmark (May 15, 2024 ) — Over 60 animal protection organisations from around the world gathered under the banner of the World Federation for Animals (WFA) for their first-ever General Assembly. Held from 14 to 16 May 2024, this landmark event brought together leaders and advocates from five continents to solidify their commitment to integrating animal welfare into the global sustainable development agenda.

A Promise to Animals & Our Future

During the Assembly, the WFA launched its Promise to Animals & Our Future. This commitment builds on the understanding of the urgent need for systemic change in how animals are treated across sectors and underscores their profound impact on global health, biodiversity, and sustainable livelihoods. The Federation has promised to work with international bodies, governments, corporations, and communities to establish animal welfare as a fundamental aspect of sustainable development. 

This promise comes at a critical moment, as the world evaluates progress at the midpoint of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations member states in 2015. With countries nowhere near reaching the Sustainable Development Goals, this initiative offers a new perspective on achieving a sustainable future that includes animal welfare. 

The UN’s global policy agenda must include animal protection: not only for the animals but for humans, future generations and the whole planet. We can only achieve sustainable development, tackle the current environmental crises, foster resilient societies and ecosystems, and prevent the next pandemics if we transform how we treat animals.”  Dr James Yeates, CEO, WFA

Members Behind A Promise 1

Highlights of the General Assembly

Held at the IDA Conference Centre in Copenhagen, the Federation was honoured to welcome the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy, Mr Dan Jørgensen; and, Ms Anne Aittomaki, Strategic Director at Plastic Change.

The General Assembly also marked the election of a new Board, with outgoing President Brita Riis reflecting on the organisation’s growth and future direction.

In these first years of WFA we have shown that the animal protection movement is stronger by working together. We can aim for even more transformational goals that bring about lasting positive change for all animals worldwide. To do so, we will ensure that animal welfare becomes an integral part of the global sustainable development agenda.” Brita Riis, CEO, Animal Protection Denmark



The World Federation for Animals (WFA) is a membership organisation founded in 2020 by and for national, regional, and international animal protection organisations. WFA is the result of these organisations’ decision to join forces and work together towards a broad representation of the interests of animals in international policy. Comprised of 60+ NGOs from across the globe, the Federation strives to ensure that animal welfare is recognised as essential to the sustainable development agenda, influencing international policies on health, food security, environmental protection, trade, and development finance.

Contact: Silvia Mantilla, WFA Communications Manager, email:

Written by

Silvia Mantilla

Silvia, Communications Manager at the World Federation for Animals, coordinates the implementation of WFAs’s communication strategy.

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