Oral Statement at the 46th Session of the Human Right Council

Item 3: General Debate

8 March 2021

Delivered by: Augustine B NJAMNSHI

Madam President, Excellencies

This is a joint statement on behalf of Franciscans International, the Center for International Environmental Law and eight other organizations (Amnesty International, ATD Fourth World, Dominicans for Justice and Peace, FIAN International, Global Initiative for Economic Social and Cultural Rights, International Indian Treaty Council, International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific, and Soka Gakkai International).

We welcome the call made by the Climate Vulnerable Forum at the UN Climate Conference in 2019 to establish a new UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Climate Change. This proposal, backed by a growing number of States, reflects a decade-long request by a coalition of NGOs and Indigenous Peoples.

In 2020, we conducted six regional consultations to discuss the establishment of such Special Rapporteur. The consultations gathered over 150 civil society, indigenous peoples and local community organizations across the world, who expressed overwhelming support for this new mandate. While acknowledging the excellent work by the current and former Special Rapporteurs on human rights and the environment, we agreed that a new expert on climate change would be essential to supporting a stronger human rights-based approach to climate change, engaging in country visits, normative work and capacity-building, and further addressing the human rights impacts of climate responses, in order to support the most vulnerable. We collected the takeaways from the consultations in the report titled: “A UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Climate Change? Regional perspectives”, published by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and available in English, French and Spanish.

We call on all members of the Council to engage constructively in this process, and we look forward to engaging with them in the coming months.

I thank you.

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