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UNHRC Holds Discussion Panel on Human Rights and Climate Change

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UNHRC Holds Discussion Panel on Human Rights and Climate Change



During its 11th session, taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 2-19 June 2009, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR) held a panel discussion on the relationship between climate change and human rights in order to contribute to the realization of the goals set out in the Bali Action Plan.

After opening statements by Kyung-wha Kang, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Feng Gao, Director for Legal Affairs of the UNFCCC Secretariat, the following panelists took the floor: Atiq Rahman, Executive Director of the Bangladesh Center for Advanced Studies; Dalindyebo Shabalala, Managing Attorney at the Geneva Office of the Center for International Environmental Law; Raquel Rolnik, UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living; and John Knox, Professor of Law at Wake Forest University. The presentations were followed by a discussion with all the participants.

During the panel, the themes addressed included: climate change as a barrier to development; the impact of climate change on the right to life, food, safe water and health, home, land, properties, livelihoods, employment and development; and the vulnerability of the poor in developing countries to the impacts of climate change, and the responsibility of developed countries, which had caused climate change, to help them mitigate its effects.

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