Climate Vulnerable Forum Delegation Meeting and Thematic Debate on Climate Change and Human Rights
14 June 2017 – Palais des Nations, United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
A delegation Meeting of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) at Geneva in conjunction with the 35th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council focused on the growing impact of climate change for the enjoyment of a wide range of fundamental human rights.
The Thematic Debate included the Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives to the United Nations at Geneva and other senior officials of the CVF members and was chaired by H.E. Negash Kebret Botora, Ethiopian Ambassador to the UN in Geneva. Ambassador Botora highlighted climate change and human rights as one of “the key priority areas where we think the emphasis of the members efforts in speaking out and ensuring a strong focus is significant.”
A keynote statement was delivered by Former Irish President and UN High Commissioner of Human Rights H.E. Mary Robinson, President of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, who said “The CVF is a powerful voice against injustice,” adding that “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.”
Additional speakers included CVF member and UNFCCC COP23 presidency chief negotiator, H.E. Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan, Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations at Geneva. Ambassador Khan highlighted the importance of integration between the UN human rights and climate change spheres indicating that for the UNFCCC negotiations “now is the time to do it.”
Highlighting the support of the CVF for Human Rights Council Resolutions on climate change, it was stressed that “the CVF must continue to lead with determination and vigour” by Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations H.E. Evan Garcia, who concluded: “we must lead from the front.”
The Forum member discussion was moderated by Marc Limon, Executive Director of Universal Rights Group. He said the CVF contribution in advocating 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.
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.
Photo caption: Delegates to the CVF Delegation Meeting and Thematic Discussion on climate change and human rights at the United Nations in Geneva, 14 June 2017; source: CVF; license: CC BY 2.0.