Two days International Conference on Climate Change, Human Rights beings in Doha
Diplomat Times (Doha) -Under the patronage of Prime Minister and Minister of Interior HE Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, the International Conference on Climate Change and Human Rights kicked off Tuesday in Doha, with the participation of more than 300 experts and stakeholders from different countries around the globe.
The conference is being organized by the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), in cooperation with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN Development Program (UNDP), League of Arab States, and Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).
The two-day conference aims to emphasize the importance of rights-based climate action, highlight good practices relevant to Qatar and other active partners, including governments, the United Nations (UN), civil society organizations and companies, and develop recommendations for strengthening cooperation to support rights-based climate action around the globe, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa region.
During the opening session, which was attended by several ministers and officials from relevant entities in the country, Chairperson of NHRC HE Maryam bint Abdullah Al Attiyah said the conference provides a valuable opportunity for discussion and exchange of knowledge and experiences, in order to advance and accelerate the pace of dealing with climate change and environmental risks from a human rights perspective.
She also noted that in a few decisions that have been issued by the International Human Rights Commission (IHRC), the commission explained the importance of adopting a human rights perspective when discussing climate mitigation and adaptation measures.
She expressed hope that the conference would result in recommendations that constitute the Doha program on human’s right to dignified living in relation to climate change, especially that it includes all parties, partners, and stakeholders, whose goal is to examine the opportunity provided by human rights standards to save the planet, and to help the international community fulfill its obligations to achieve zero emissions, considering it a step towards creating a safer, more sustainable and more equitable world for us and future generations.
The opening session witnessed interventions from the various organizers of the conference, which in turn emphasized the importance of this international event in facing challenges related to preserving human rights in the light of national and global measures related to climate change.
Mr. Justice Arun Mishra, Chairperson, NHRC, India has said that the human-induced build-up of Green House Gases is causing climate change raising serious concerns about human rights. It is unfair to expect developing countries to follow the same emission standards rigorously. They often need more resources and technology. To meet it, the global fraternity has to prioritize technology transfer capacity-building.
The NHRC Chairperson said that the transportation of hazardous waste by developed countries to under-developed and developing countries for disposal needs to be stopped as it results in environmental degradation and consequent violation of human rights. Plastic dumping in the Ocean is endangering bio-diversity. There is illegal transportation of e-waste to developing countries under the guise of being capable of reuse of which only 9% can be recycled.
Justice Mishra said that an inclusive climate change action entails designing policies that are fair and accessible, and equitable. This requires prioritizing the needs and perspectives of all stakeholders, including those most vulnerable and marginalized.
He said that climate change causes displacement, loss of property, income and access to essential services like healthcare and education due to which the vulnerable groups suffer most. Therefore, it is necessary to include human rights issues into climate policies and programmes along with proper funding of social protection schemes to promote local knowledge and assist community-led adaptation to the effects of climate change.
Qatar NHRC representative highlighted the great success achieved by the State of Qatar in organizing the first global football championship (FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022), which was environmentally friendly and carbon neutral.