At the conclusion of the 38th session of the Human Rights Council on 6th July, various human rights resolutions were adopted among which, of particular interest to Fiji, included the Human Rights of Women and Climate Change Resolution.
Fiji played a pivotal role in the negotiations on the draft text of the Human Rights and Climate Change Resolution which progressed over several informal meetings organised and led by the core group comprising of Bangladesh, Philippines and Vietnam.
The Resolution is particularly significant to climate change vulnerable Small Island Developing States like Fiji and required a holistic discussion during negotiations to ensure that it accurately reflects current and prevalent issues of concern.
The quality and effectiveness of the negotiations was reflected by the Council’s successful adoption of the Resolution by consensus on July 5th, 2018.
The Resolution addresses the adverse impacts of climate change on the rights of women and urges States to strengthen and implement policies aimed at increasing the participation of women in climate change responses at the local, national, regional and international levels.
It further calls upon States to support the resilience and adaptive capacities of women and girls both in rural and urban areas to respond to the adverse impacts of climate change.
As a result of the Resolution, the Council will hold a panel discussion on “Women’s rights and climate change: climate action, best practises and lessons learned”.
Furthermore, the council will conduct an analytical study on the integration of a gender-responsive approach to climate action at local, national, regional and international levels for the full and effective enjoyment of the rights of women, to be produced before its June 2019 session.
This Resolution is timely not only for Fiji but the world as a whole, building on the momentum from the adoption of the Gender Action Plan last year in Bonn, Germany, under the Fijian Presidency of COP23 (23rd session of Conference of Parties).
Through the Resolution, the commitment towards the Sustainable Development Goals on taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, are reinforced.