Human Rights Council - 48th Session

Geneva, 14 September 2021

Item 2: General debate on the oral update by the High Commissioner


Thank you Madam President,

The organisations supporting this joint-statement are listed on text available on the Council’s site.

We thank the High Commissioner for her opening statement and her constant engagement on climate change and human rights. We would like to bring the Council’s attention on the IPCC report of the Working Group 1, released last August 9.

It confirms that extreme changes have strengthened since the last Assessment Report and that a number of them are irreversible for centuries to millennia. The climate crisis is worsening and consequently, the negative impacts on the enjoyments of human rights will continue to increase.

Last July, at its 47th session, the Council adopted its annual resolution on climate change, including the OP 15 calling to pursue discussions towards the possible creation of a special procedure. We welcome this. But Madam President, facing today’s threats, the Council can no longer justify just exchanging views among Members and Observers.

Since the Council’s Social Forum in 2010, civil society and indigenous peoples’ organizations across the globe have been calling for the establishment of a special procedure to strengthen the protection of human rights in this aggravating climate crisis and to support the efforts of States. Calls were also made by the Climate Vulnerable Forum at the COP25 in 2019 and in recent Dialogues in the Pacific, Africa and the Middle-East.

Therefore, we welcome the Republic of the Marshall Islands’ event this September 15th, to discuss the potential of a Special Procedure. We urge this Council to move forward with the creation of the new mandate at this session. It is a matter of urgency.

Thank you for your attention.


Statement read by Earthjustice on behalf of

  • Franciscans International - FI

  • The International Commission of Jurists - ICJ

  • Soka Gakkai International - SGI

  • The Center for International Environmental Law – CIEL

  • Human Rights Watch - HRW

  • Amnesty International - AI

  • Gaïa Foundation

  • Lucis Trust

  • Dominicans for Justice and Peace

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