44th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council (30 June – 20 July 2020) ITEM 3: ID with Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity

Joint oral statement delivered by: Associazione Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII (APG23)

“International Solidarity and Climate change”

Madame President,

APG23 and other 11 co-signing NGOs welcome the report1 of the Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity on the issue of human rights-based international solidarity in the context of climate change. We also appreciate Mr. Okafor’ analysis of the good practices and key gaps of international solidarity as well as the final recommendations.

Climate change is one of the greatest global challenges threatening, with its devastating impact, the environment and the future perpetuation of humankind, exacerbating existing inequalities between countries and the vulnerabilities of communities and groups. Similarly, to the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic, climate change is a global phenomenon that reveals the interdependency of our world, being linked, in both cause and consequence, to the individual and collective actions of States and other actors. Both phenomena are collective problems that require collective solutions where cooperation among States become an imperative and a multilateral approach is paramount.

States, the international community as a whole and the United Nations are required to give an urgent and immediate response to climate change, reflecting the spirit of a new international solidarity.

As Pope Francis says in the Encyclical Laudato Sii “we need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family. There are no frontiers or barriers, political or social, behind which we can hide, still less is there room for the globalization of indifference…we need to hear the cry of the poor and of the earth”.

We would like to echo Mr. Okafor who recently said in a press release that “States and non-state actors must begin to take international solidarity much more seriously in the struggle to optimally realise all human rights around the world”2. He also urged States to adopt the draft declaration on the right to international solidarity presented by Ms. Virginia Dandan at the 35th regular session of the Human Rights Council.

Indeed, at the UN, we have at our disposal two very important instruments for reinforcing the concept of being a human family, which are respectively the draft declaration on the right to international solidarity3 and Draft UN Legally Binding Instrument on the Right to Development. We urge the Member States to speedily consider and adopt both instruments at the UN Human Rights Council and the General Assembly. Thank you!