Thursday, 15.07.2021 - 15.30pm - 16.30pm, Online

Towards the Creation of a UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Climate Change

Briefing on the June/July 2021 Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC47)

Photo: Photocase_Nilsloehr

To better protect the rights of communities and peoples at the frontlines of the climate crisis, civil society and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations have called for the creation of a UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Climate Change since 2010. This proposal has gained growing momentum since 2019, behind the leadership of the Marshall Islands and Bangladesh, in their capacity of former and current Chairs of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF). In March 2021, a joint statement by a cross-regional group of 57 States at the Human Rights Council (HRC) called upon the HRC to consider establishing this new mandate. Many States, over 500 civil society and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations urged the Council to act upon this as a matter of utmost urgency and to seize the opportunity offered by the adoption of a resolution on human rights and climate change at the 47th session of the HRC (21 June-13 July 2021), when the annual resolution on human rights and climate change is negotiated, as the opportunity to establish this new mandate. However, as negotiations currently stand, it appears that a new mandate won’t be established at this session of the Council. Nonetheless, negotiations on the resolution on human rights and climate change have shown that a high number of States across every region are in favour of a Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Climate Change, and that it’s a matter of urgent priority for the Council to establish it. 

This briefing for civil society and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations took stock of relevant developments at the 47th session of the Human Rights Council, discussed current challenges and the way forward on the creation of a new UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Climate Change. 

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Geneva Office

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1202 Geneva
Switzerland

+41 (0)22 733 34 50
+41 (0)22 733 35 45

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