OHCHR study on the relationship between climate change and human rights: Open-ended consultation meeting (22 October 2008)
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) hosted an open-ended consultation meeting on the relationship between climate change and human rights on 22 October 2008 in Geneva at the Palais des Nations, Room XII, 10:00-13:00 and 15:00-18:00 hours. More than 150 participants, representing States, inter-governmental organizations, national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations, attended the meeting.
The meeting forms part of the consultation process in preparation of the OHCHR study mandated by the Human Rights Council (res. 7/23) and offered a unique opportunity for a wide range of stakeholders to discuss key aspects of the relationship between climate change and human rights (see summary of discussions).
The meeting was opened by Mr. Ibrahim Wani, Director a.i., Research and Right to Development Division, OHCHR (text of opening statement)
The morning session focused on the human rights implications of climate change and on the international dimension of the climate change challenge. To facilitate discussions, five panelists made introductory remarks:
- Mr. Stephen Humphreys, Research Director at the International Council on Human Rights Policy: “Mapping the human rights implications of climate change”
- Ms. Francoise Hampson, Professor at the University of Essex, Law School, and former member of the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: “Human rights law, climate change and the question of disappearing territories”
- Ms. Andreas Carmen, Executive Director of the International Indian Treaty Council: “Climate change, human rights and indigenous peoples” (PowerPoint)
- Mr. Martin Frick, Deputy CEO/Director of the Global Humanitarian Forum: “Climate justice”
- Mr. John H. Knox, Senior Advisor, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) and professor of law at Wake Forest University: “Climate change as a global threat to human rights” (text of presentation)
The afternoon session focused on vulnerability assessment and human rights in the context of climate change and on the value the human rights perspective could bring to a new international framework to deal with climate change under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Introductory remarks were made by:
- Ms. Renate Christ, Secretary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): “Vulnerability Assessments and Adaptation to Climate Change” (PowerPoint)
- Mr. Festus Luboyera, Programme Officer, Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC): “Vulnerability Assessments and Adaptation to Climate Change” (PowerPoint)
- Ms. Kimberly Gamble-Payne, Special Advisor, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF): “Assessments of impacts on the rights of children” (PowerPoint)
- Mr. Edward Cameron, Consultant (climate change and governance), World Bank, Social Development Department: “The social dimensions of climate change” (text of presentation)
- Mr. Yves Lador, Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva of Earthjustice: “Human rights and climate change: the challenges of the Copenhagen process”
An informal report of the consultation meeting is currently being prepared and will be made available on the OHCHR website.