This essay considers the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) at a time at which humans are dramatically changing the planet, prompting scientists to suggest that we are living in a new geological epoch: “the Anthropocene.” The Anthropocene, even if an essentially contested concept, prompts reconsideration of our interhuman socioeconomic relations and our understanding of the human-nature interface, both of which come with significant challenges. This essay suggests that the UDHR offers the space for engaging with these challenges, if we adopt an Anthropocene-relevant reading of its provisions. This essay also argues that such a reading of the UDHR, on its own, is unlikely to lead to the adoption of an Anthropocene-relevant reading of other international instruments, international economic instruments in particular. It points to enhanced regime interaction as a way to address this issue.
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