14 June 2017
On the margins of the 35th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, a delegation meeting of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) focused on the growing recognition of the impact of climate change on the enjoyment of a wide spectrum of human rights.
The thematic debate, included Ambassadors and other senior officials of the CVF members, and was chaired by H.E. Mr Negash Kebret Botora, Ambassador of Ethiopia to the Un in Geneva. Ambassador Botora highlighted the link between climate change and human rights as one of ‘the key priority areas where we think the emphasis of the CVF members efforts in speaking out and ensuring a strong focus is significant.’
Former Irish President and UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, H.E. Ms Mary Robinson, delivered a keynote statement during the meeting, stating, ‘The CVF is a powerful voice against injustice… your countries are at the forefront of climate change, and also climate action. And through demonstrating how climate action is taken, in respect to your human rights obligations, you lead the way in delivering responses that are transformative, people centred, and justice based.’
The CVF discussion was moderated by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group. During the discussion, he noted that CVF advocacy for the integration of human rights and 1.5 degrees in the Paris Agreement – through the CVF-commissioned report prepared by the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council, entitled ‘The Effects of Climate Change on the Full Enjoyment of Human Rights’ – represented one of the human rights community’s best examples of policy impact.
Finally, CVF member and UNFCCC COP23 presidency chief negotiator, H.E. Ms Nazhat Shameem Khan, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations at Geneva, highlighted the importance of deeper integration between the human rights and climate change spheres of the United Nations, indicating that the upcoming UNFCCC negotiations ‘is the time to do this.’
The event also served as a comprehensive update from the CVF Chair and Troika to Forum member delegations on recent key activities and forward plans of the CVF and the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group of Ministers of Finance.
Feature photo: Delegates to the CVF Delegation Meeting and Thematic Discussion on climate change and human rights at the United Nations in Geneva, 14 June 2017; CVF, licensed under CC BY 2.0.
More information about the Climate Vulnerable Forum can be found here.