Photo Source: ©️ Valentin Flauraud/Keystone/AP
Photo Source: ©️ Valentin Flauraud/Keystone/AP

Joint Statement by the Group of Friends of R2P during the Interactive Dialogue on the report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on climate change

14 March 2024

Mr. President,

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of members of the Group of Friends of the Responsibility to Protect.

We thank the High Commissioner for his report and take this opportunity to draw attention to the linkages between climate change and atrocity risks.

Climate change is increasingly recognized as a threat multiplier – impacting not just the environment itself, but also societies at large, including through the access to and availability of essential natural resources, which may exacerbate poverty, insecurity, and conflict. The challenges and crises arising from climate change and environmental degradation – including climate-induced disasters, extreme weather, shifts in precipitation, degradation of land, food insecurity, and loss of livelihoods – may exacerbate migration, social instability, and disproportionate impacts on the most vulnerable. Social tensions and conflicts over scarce resources may heighten the risk of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, or ethnic cleansing.

Understanding climate-related atrocity risks will contribute to a better understanding of how to better prevent and mitigate those risks and protect those most vulnerable to climate change from violence and conflict, including atrocity crimes. While the international community has developed numerous strategies to adapt and respond to current and future climate change threats, discussions on how to directly respond to climate-related atrocity risks have been largely absent from these discussions.

We would therefore like to ask you, Mr. High Commissioner,

Which national and multilateral initiatives could be used to prevent, mitigate, and address the growing threat of atrocity crimes that are related to climate change?

Thank you for your attention.

UN Group of Friends of the Responsibility to Protect


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