International-Lawyers.Org attended the UNESCO sponsored meeting on
climate change and indigenous peoples and the Pre-COP21 meetings of
several groups at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France. INTLawyers
urged states to adopt a strong agreement with ambitious mitigation,
adequate adaptation commitments, a strong implementation mechanism,
and adequate respect for the rights of indigenous peoples and the
knowledge that they have contributed that can help us achieve
At these meetings INTLawyers reminded delegates of the resolutions
adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and
those of its affiliated NGOs on human rights and climate change.
UNCTAD Debt Management Conference meeting in the Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland on24 November 2015.Photo credit:International-Lawyers.Org (2015).
International-Lawyers.Org participated in the Debt Management Conference organized by UNCTAD from 23-25 November 2015, supporting calls for adequate financing from developed countries to ensure that developing countries can adapt to climate change and deal with the loss and damage these countries are already suffering and are likely to suffer in the short-term.
INTLawyers called upon governments attending this UNCTAD Conference to ensure that adequate public finance is made available to countries facing harm due to the man-made adverse effects of climate change.
INTLawyers expressed concern about private companies such as Swiss Re using this UNCTAD forum to canvass for business, wondering if it was appropriate for a private Swiss company to be using an UNCTAD forum to try to make a profit from climate change induced catastrophies in developing countries.
INTLawyers called for public financing facilities to be put in place, funded by those countries most responsible for climate change, to provide adequate assistance to those countries most affected by climate change. It stated that such financing facilities should be based on the historical obligations of developed States for climate change and grant based payments that do not require repayment.
Mr. Ramsey Clark, the 66th Attorney-General of the United States, and Attorney Dr. Curtis Doebbler, who represents American Mr. Shawki Ahmed Omar who has been held prisoner in Iraq since 2004, will present an update on arbitrary detention in Iraq with a focus on the case at a press conference in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 9:15 am.
International-Lawyers.Org urged the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights at its 57th Ordinary Session held in Banjul, Gambia, starting on 4 November 2015 to adopt a Resolution on human rights and climate change. The INTLawyers asked for the Commission to adopt a resolution calling for African States at the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will meet in about three weeks time in Paris (France), to adopt an ambitious agreement on climate change. Such an agreement, INTLawyers said in its statement should include 1) language ensure respect for human rights and the right to development, 2) including a reference to the importance of action to protect human health in article 4 on Adaptation the draft agreement, and 3) supporting the call for an International Climate Justice Tribunal.
INTLawyers also brought to the Commission’s attention the fact that civil society (referred to as observers in the UNFCCC forums) were excluded from the negotiations at the last climate meeting in Bonn just weeks ago. In other words, observers were excluded from the negotiating meetings (spin-off groups of the main contact group), despite the call from the G77, which includes almost all African States, to ensure that observers be present. In response to the G77 and LMDC, which also includes some of the most populous largest African States, and after consulting with the United States and the European Union, the co-chairs of the negotiating forum under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change explained that some States had objected to observers’ presence in the negotiating meetings. Only after the intervention of a United Nation Human Rights Council mandate-holder did the chairs admit their mistake and in large part reverse their decision, but this occurred only at the closing meeting of the session. This UN mandate-holder pointed out that the participation of observers is part of the right to freedom of expression, particularly the right to receive information and the right to every citizen to participate in his or her government. The Commission was urged to ensure that at next and final negotiating session that will take place against during the first week of COP21 in Paris in December, the participation of observers in all parts of the negotiations is ensured as the rule.
International-Lawyers.Org is attending the 57th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Gambia. INTLawyers will be making interventions on the right to participate in one’s government, human rights and climate change in Africa, social and economic rights, the right to development, and the prohibition of torture.
INTLawyers also hopes to meet with Commissioners about the report on Human Rights and Climate Change in Africa that it is suppose to have adopted years ago. INTLawyers continues to support the important work of the African Commission.