The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) presided by Bangladesh celebrated the creation of a dedicated role to protect and promote human rights in the context of climate crisis at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva.
The UN special rapporteur role was created through a resolution on 8 October at the 48th Session of the UN's supreme body for human rights, said a press release.
Foreign Minister Dr A K Abdul Momen welcomed the adoption of resolution on the mandate of the new HRC special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change.
Speaking for the climate vulnerable forum presidency, Dr A K Abdul Momen commented that this was a proud achievement for the peoples of the world's most climate threatened nations, where many of them are being deprived of their rights to life and decent living due to climate change related displacement.
"From the outset of Bangladesh's presidency, pursing this mandate had been a top priority," Momen said.
In the CVF nations, 1.2 billion people are facing threats to the enjoyment of their fundamental human rights through climatic consequences including sea-level rise, river erosion, salinity increase, floods and draughts that claim lives, livelihoods and displace people from their ancestral homes and traditional jobs, the press release added.
Foreign Minister Momen expressed thanks to the members of the human rights council for supporting the long overdue and critical resolution to create this mandate. He also expressed his sincere thanks to the CVF secretariat for their efficient support and useful advice to the CVF presidency and all member states of the CVF.
CVF's Thematic Ambassador for Vulnerability, Saima Wazed; the speaker of the Maldives People's Majlis, and former President of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed who is now the CVF Thematic Ambassador for Ambition; Tosi Mpanu Mpanu, chairperson of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and CVF Thematic Ambassador for Renewable Energy also welcomed the decision taken by the UN Human Rights Council to establish the post of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and climate change.
The new mandate responds to repeated calls, first initiated by the CVF in 2019, and from wide-ranging climate-vulnerable countries, small island developing countries, least developed countries, low-lying countries, and landlocked countries at the forefront of the climate-change crisis, the press release added.
A joint statement led by Bangladesh at the 46th HRC session in March 2021 calling for the creation of the special rapporteur was supported by 54 states.
The resolution adopted at the Human Rights Council on 8 October 2021 emphasises the need for a continued focus on addressing the adverse consequences of climate change for all, particularly in developing countries and for the people whose situation is most vulnerable to climate change.