Doha, January 25 (QNA) – The National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) announced Wednesday that it will organize an international conference on ‘human rights and climate change’ from Feb. 21-22, in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the League of Arab States, and the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).
The conference brings together more than 300 representatives of countries, international organizations, thinktanks, universities, national human rights institutions, civil society organizations and international experts, who will discuss climate change issues from a human rights perspective and make concrete recommendations for rights-based climate action.
The conference aims to emphasize the importance of rights-based climate action, highlight relevant good practices for the State of Qatar and other actors and partners, including governments, the UN, civil society organizations and companies, and develop recommendations to enhance cooperation to support rights-based climate action worldwide, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa region.
In this regard, HE Chairperson of the National Human Rights Committee, Maryam bint Abdullah Al Attiyah said that the conference is an extension of previous international conferences organized by the NHRC, including those events that deal with issues of protecting journalists, digital human rights and combating terrorism while respecting human rights.
Al Attiyah said that climate change directly and indirectly affects many internationally guaranteed human rights, adding that the climate crisis is exacerbating and became one of the most important global issues. Her Excellency called for effective measures to be put in place to stop climate change, prevent, reduce and address its harmful effects, which would support Rights holders to develop their resilience to the climate emergency.
The three crises of climate change, pollution and nature loss, directly and significantly affect a wide range of rights, including the right to adequate food, water, education, housing, health, development, and even life itself, Her Excellency said, adding that the environmental degradation most negatively affects people living in fragile situations and developing countries with limited resources, as they have less capacity to respond and adapt to it.
Al Attiyah called for the need to achieve climate justice, and for procedures and measures directed towards addressing climate issues to be consistent with human rights law, principles and standards, in addition to the implementation of the Paris Agreement under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which calls on countries to respect, promote and observe their human rights obligations when taking climate action, with world countries having committed themselves to international cooperation, guided by the principles of fairness and shared responsibilities.
Her Excellency said that the joint report of several special procedures mechanisms of the Human Rights Council entitled ‘The Effects of Climate Change on the Full Enjoyment of Human Rights’, which was submitted to the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) clearly indicated in 2015 that the global temperature rise by 1.5 C would negatively affect human rights, which means that limiting global temperature rise to 2 C or even the more ambitious target of 1.5 C adopted by the Paris Agreement is insufficient to protect human rights.
Efforts must be integrated to work together to raise the level of ambition and ensure that measures related to climate change and human rights are consistent, compatible and complement each other, as well as fairness and non-discrimination in everything related to addressing the effects of climate change in accordance with human rights principles and standards, Her Excellency added.
Al Attiyah stressed the need to improve the multi-stakeholder, participatory and inclusive methodology, to enhance global efforts to protect human rights, including the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.
The participants in the conference will be representatives of international organizations specialized in climate issues, policy makers, academic circles, lawyers, human rights experts, climate experts and ministries related to climate change, including the ministries of justice, environment, energy, water, renewable energy, climate, development and economy, media agencies, research centers, companies and businesses, Her Excellency noted.
Held both in-person and virtually, and the conference will consist of an opening session, the conference, Her Excellency pointed out, comprises an opening session, three main sessions, three working groups, and an outcome session, with each session and workshop having a chairperson and rapporteur.
At the end of the conference, a final report will be submitted on the discussed issues, good practices and initiatives of the participating parties, Her Excellency said.