Protection of human rights should be at the center of climate actions
The linkages between climate change, disaster risk reduction and sustainable development needs to be strongly emphasized in order to facilitate an integrated and holistic approach to climate action.
The Protection in the Pacific (ProPa) Network which include national government actors working for Ministries responsible for issues related to gender, human rights and protection from Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu, supported their national delegations to the twenty-second session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22).
Following the adoption and the entering into force of the Paris Agreement on 4 November, the ProPa Network emphasised that issues such as human mobility, gender-equality and social inclusion, community governance land-rights and protection of core human rights should be specifically reflected in all climate actions.
“Different countries have varying degrees of vulnerabilities, however, underscoring all these is the need to protect core human rights which include the rights to life, dignity, security and non-discrimination from disasters and climate change”, said Samuela Pohiva, Under Secretary for Local Government and Community Development under the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Tonga.
“The Protection of all these rights must be at the centre of all climate change actions and the Pacific region has displayed this leadership with the adoption of the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific (FRDP)”, said Mr. Pohiva.
The Network also stressed that issues such as human mobility, gender-equality and social inclusion, community governance land-rights and protection of core human rights should be specifically reflected in all climate actions.
Speaking at the Momentum for Change: Women for Results side event at COP22, the Australian Government’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Julie Bishop acknowledged the participation of the Network members at the global climate change conference.
“We also support the ProPa Network – a collaboration of government actors in the Pacific that works to ensure social inclusion and gender issues are integrated into climate change action and humanitarian response”, said Ms. Bishop.
The ProPa Network is driven by the National Government’s representatives, and supported by the UNDP’s Pacific Risk Resilience Programme (PRRP). The Network will also extend learnings to other Pacific Island countries that may be interested in this approach.