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Human Rights and Climate Change

On March 6, the UNEP participated in a full-day Discussion on Human Rights and Climate Change, and delivered a statement. During this dialogue, the various speakers agreed on the need to integrate climate change concerns in all human rights issues and on the need for funding to help developing countries, in particular small Island developing states, as they are the most affected by climate change. A strong plea for a legally binding agreement to come out of the UN Climate talks to be held in Paris next December was made.


On March 9, the UNEP participated in the Interactive Dialogue on Human Rights and Environment, where Prof. John Knox, the Independent Expert on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, presented his report entitled “Compilation of good practices.” A statement was made on behalf of Mr. Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director. Prof. Knox thanked the UNEP for its good collaboration in supporting him in his mandate, including on identifying good practices on human rights obligations of States related to the environment.


In its resolution A/HRC/28/L.19, the Human Rights Council decided to extend the mandate of the current Independent Expert “as a special rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment for a period of three years.” This resolution also takes note with appreciation of the work undertaken by the UNEP in support to the Independent Expert and “requests the Office of the High Commissioner to collaborate with United Nations programmes, agencies and funds, in particular the United Nations Environment Programme, with a view to facilitate the exchange of knowledge on human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment”.


In addition, the HRC also adopted the resolution A/HRC/28/L.24 on “human rights, democracy and the rule of law”, that establishes a forum to promote dialogue and cooperation on issues pertaining to the relationship between these areas.


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