The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) looked into the rights of people with disabilities in the context of climate change during its 44th session in Geneva on July 8.
This is an initiative from Vietnam, the Philippines, and Bangladesh, who co-authored the council’s annual resolution on climate change and human rights.
Delegates shared views on the adverse and unequal impact of climate change on human rights, especially people with disabilities - the most vulnerable group in a crisis like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The majority of those with disabilities live in poverty and this is one of the key components affecting the exposure of persons with disabilities to the impacts of climate change. Others are discrimination and stigma.
Intersecting factors related to gender, age, ethnicity, geography, migration, religion and sex can put persons with disabilities at even higher risk, they said.
They proposed integrating the rights of disabled people into the compilation and implementation of policies and initiatives against climate change, thus ensuring their voice is heard in these processes.
On behalf of ASEAN, Ambassador Lê Thị Tuyết Mai, head of the Vietnamese mission in Geneva, told the meeting about the bloc’s efforts in and commitment to fighting climate change.
She said protecting and promoting the rights of people with disabilities is a persistent priority of ASEAN, as reflected through the ASEAN Vision 2025 and the 2025 ASEAN Enabling Masterplan on Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
ASEAN always attaches importance to international cooperation on climate change response and hopes that countries will make strong financial commitments to this in 2020.
ASEAN also hopes that the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the UN Framework Conference on Climate Change in Glasgow in 2021 will be a success.
Vietnam, the Philippines, and Bangladesh plan to introduce a resolution on human rights and climate change, focusing on the rights of the elderly, to the council during the meeting for consideration./.VNA