I welcome the statement by H.E Mary Robinson in support of the Human Rights Council’s adoption of a new resolution on human rights and climate change. Furthermore, I take this opportunity to congratulate the UN Human Rights Council for its adoption of resolution (A/HRC/26/L.33), which received unanimous support.
As citizens of one of the world’s lowest lying nations, Maldivians understand their increasing vulnerability to rising sea levels. Our livelihoods, way of life, indeed very future on these islands is dependent on humanity’s ability to address the climate crisis. For Maldivians, climate change is an existential threat. ‘Business as usual’, without cuts to global carbon emissions, for us means ‘inundation is certain’.
I call on all nations to urgently address climate change and recognise the impact it has on human rights. These impacts affect people living today, as well as future generations. I reiterate Mary Robinson’s call to change the climate change debate: “to move beyond its construct as a scientific or environmental problem and to realise that it is in essence an issue of development and of rights.”