UNGA adopts resolution to advance climate justice

The UN General Assembly has adopted a consensus resolution urging the International Court of Justice to provide advisory opinion on the obligations of States in respect of climate change.

The resolution, tabled on March 29 by a core group of countries including Bangladesh, is a landmark achievement for countries advocating for climate justice and equity, said a release of the UN's Permanent Mission of Bangladesh today.

Introduced by the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, the resolution requested the ICJ to provide its opinion based on existing international law, including international human rights law and the recognized principles, the legal obligations of the states to ensure the protection of climate system and the rights of the present and future generations to be protected from the effects of climate change, it said.

The ICJ is also requested to advise on the legal consequences of the acts or omissions that have caused significant harm to the climate system with respect to the States, due to their geographical circumstances and level of development.

Foreign Secretary Ambassador Masud Bin Momen represented the Bangladesh delegation to the session.

In his statement, Foreign Secretary Momen said, "Despite clear warnings on the devastating and irreversible threats of climate change, global response to climate change is nowhere close to what is needed for the survival of humanity. This resolution and the subsequent advisory opinion will provide better understanding of the legal obligations of states in respect of climate change and rights of affected States and the people to be protected from climate change".

Noting that the Court's advisory opinions have tremendous importance, the Secretary General Antonio Guterres in his remarks stated that such an opinion, if and when given, would assist the General Assembly, the UN and Member States, to take the bolder and stronger climate action that our world so desperately needs.

The resolution has received overwhelming support from the member states as well as international civil society organizations, including climate activists and the youths, the release added.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha