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Human Rights Council Summary Report on Human Rights and Climate Change Print


Summary report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the outcome of the full-day discussion on specific themes relating to human rights and climate change


Pursuant to its resolution 26/27, the Human Rights Council held a full-day discussion on 6 March 2015 on specific themes relating to human rights and climate change. Two panel discussions were held, the details of which are provided in the present report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The discussion was chaired by the President of the Human Rights Council and opened with a video message from the Secretary-General, followed by an address from the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The first panel discussion focused on identifying challenges and ways forward towards the realization of all human rights, including the right to development, for all, in particular those in vulnerable situations. It included the measures and best practices to promote and protect human rights that could be adopted by States in addressing the adverse effects of climate change on the full and effective enjoyment of human rights. The panel was moderated by the Executive Director of the South Centre, Martin Khor. The panellists were: the President of Kiribati, Anote Tong; the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali; the President of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, Mary Robinson; the Coordinator and Principal Legal Adviser in the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Dan Bondi Ogolla; the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz; and the Secretary-General of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, Mithika Mwenda.

The second panel discussion focused on the adverse impact of climate change on States’ efforts to progressively realize the right to food, as well as policies, lessons learned and good practices. It opened with a video message from the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Hilal Elver, and was moderated by the Independent Expert on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, John Knox. The panellists were: the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sosene Sopoaga; the Administrator of the National Food Authority of the Philippines, Renan B. Dalisay; the Director of the Geneva Liaison Office of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Xiangjun Yao; the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, Olav Fykse Tveit; the General Coordinator of La Via Campesina, Elizabeth Mpofu; and the Permanent Representative in Geneva of FoodFirst Information and Action Network International, Ana-Maria Suarez Franco.

Ms. Robinson provided closing remarks drawn from the two panel discussions.

Download the Report.