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The Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue, in partnership with the Permanent Mission of Chile, the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Cabo Verde, and the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations in Geneva, held a hybrid event “Environment, Climate Change and Women and Children’s Rights: Challenges, Perspectives and the Role of Indigenous Peoples” on 06 September 2023, from 10 am to 1 pm.

The conference consisted of the high-level segment, followed by three panels which addressed the three themes:

  1. Promoting and protecting the rights of women and ensuring gender equality in the context of climate change and environmental degradation.
  2. Children’s rights, environment and climate change: integrating children’s rights into climate action.
  3. Traditional knowledge and practices of Indigenous peoples in reconciling pursuit of livelihoods with environment protection: innovative approaches to addressing climate change and safeguarding natural resources.

The event started with an Opening Statement by the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue and keynote speeches by the Permanent Missions co-sponsoring the event.

Climate change and environmental degradation affects the most vulnerable first. As we slowly and unevenly transition to greener societies, how can we reverse the trend for women and children and how can we ensure their rights are upheld and advanced?  The conference examined appropriate ways and effective means to address the challenges currently faced, drew upon the lessons learned thus far, explored future perspectives and offered concrete recommendations with regard to rights-based climate and environmental practices and policies. With just transition and human-rights-based climate action as an underlying framework for the discussion, it sought to attain the following specific objectives: Strengthen the understanding of the impacts of climate change on women and children and reinforce their role as agents of change; take stock of the relevant work conducted so far by the United Nations human rights bodies and mechanisms in Geneva, including the UN Human Rights Council, Special Procedures and Treaty Bodies, on the issue of environment, climate change and human rights; and bring to the discussion best practices from the field, voices of children as well as Indigenous Peoples’ unique experience in order to promote an environment for continuous engagement.

A substantive follow-up report, issued after the event, further provided, based upon the proceedings of the conference, additional analyses, information, illustrative examples, and best practices. The publication aims to serve as a preparatory background document for the stakeholders taking part in the UNFCCC COP-28, including during its thematic day discussions on 8 December 2023 that will focus on placing young people at the forefront of shaping COP outcomes, and on 9 December 2023, when “gender-just” transition and enabling the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women and girls in climate action are scheduled to be addressed.

View the conference’s Concept note.

Read the Conference Report.

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