Monday, 18.10.2021 - Online

Virtual Briefing for Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations on the Creation of a New UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in the Context of Climate Change

On 8 October 2021, the Human Rights Council, at the end of its 48th session, established a Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change!

Photo: Photocase_Birdys

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Geneva office (FES Geneva), the Center for International and Environmental Law (CIEL), Franciscans International (FI), and the Geneva Climate Change Consultation Group (GeCCco) invited civil society and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations to a virtual briefing, to take stock of the development at the 48th session of the Human Rights Council, hear from  civil society and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations that have been engaged in the process, provide an overview of the key functions of the new expert, and discuss next steps. Some time was devoted to a Q&A session to answer any questions related to the process and the new mandate. 

Resolution A/HRC/48/L.27 on the “Mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change” was tabled by the Marshall Islands, Bahamas, Fiji, Panama, Paraguay, Sudan and the European Union, after around 3 weeks of negotiations on the text. The resolution was put to a vote, and passed with 42 votes in favor, 4 abstentions (China, Eritrea, India, and Japan) and one vote against (Russia). While it is unfortunate that no consensus was reached, the voting results show the strong support that this new mandate enjoys. You can watch the recording of the proceedings here.
The official version of the resolution will be soon published on the HRC website. It outlines the key areas of work of the new Special Rapporteur, including studying the interlinkages between climate change and human rights, identifying challenges in States’ implementation of human rights-based climate policies, and promoting the exchange of best practices, technical assistance, and international cooperation, among others. Now that the resolution has been adopted, the Council will have to appoint the expert at its next session, in March 2022. The mandate will last 3 years and can be renewed. The first report of the new Special Rapporteur is expected at the 50th session of the Council, in June 2022. 

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