Warsaw UN climate talks: Time for concrete and fair funding pledges, UN expert on International Solidarity urges

GENEVA (14 November 2013) – United Nations Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity, Virginia Dandan, has urged governments to make concrete funding commitments to tackle the effects of climate change.

Ms. Dandan’s call came as negotiators from more than 190 countries were meeting in Warsaw to try to advance steps towards a global climate agreement.

“World leaders have a crucial opportunity in Warsaw to secure the foundations of a strong, fair and ambitious framework, which is essential to minimize the effects of climate change,” Ms. Dandan said.

The UN expert encouraged negotiators to ground their discussions in the principle of international solidarity and echoed calls for the UN talks not to become stalled over the issue of compensation for the effects of climate change.

“Time is too short and the consequences too great to risk these negotiations becoming caught in entrenched political positions and economic self-interest,” Ms. Dandan said. She urged ministers meeting in Warsaw on 20 November for climate finance talks to clarify what resources would be forthcoming to fund actions on climate change.

“Warsaw is the moment for genuine collaboration among States to establish safeguards for minimizing the adverse effects of climate change on the basic human rights and fundamental freedoms of all peoples, especially those in the most vulnerable countries,” Ms. Dandan said.

The UN Independent Expert noted that the recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had highlighted the seriousness of climate change for every country. “The world is waiting for a clear roadmap, based on courageous commitments, towards a legally binding climate agreement for all countries to be decided in Paris by 2015,” Ms. Dandan said.

“International solidarity can help to secure commitments based on equity and common but differentiated responsibilities that require a fair and universal framework of commitments among developed and developing countries alike,” Ms. Dandan noted. “The proposed establishment of an Equity Reference Framework is a key step in this direction.”

The expert stressed the need for bolder and more concrete action, especially with regard to implementing the Green Climate Fund and addressing the loss and damage suffered by the most vulnerable people. “But for such breakthroughs to occur, leaders must commit to working together in genuine and deep solidarity,” the Independent Expert underscored.

“I call on our leaders to build on the benchmarks for decisive action they have set in the post-2015 development agenda, committing in September to a universal, transformative approach grounded in human rights. Similar vision and action by governments must prevail in Warsaw to set the path for the global community on climate change towards 2020 and beyond,” the Independent Expert said.

Virginia Dandan was appointed Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity in June 2011 by the UN Human Rights Council. She is independent from any government or organisation. Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Solidarity/Pages/IESolidarityIndex.aspx

Read the Independent Expert’s latest report to the UN General Assembly: http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/dpage_e.aspx?m=153

For further information and media requests, please contact Juan Fernando Núñez (+41 22 928 9458 / jnunez@ohchr.org) or write to iesolidarity@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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