On 17 June, during the 44th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, the Geneva Interfaith Forum on Climate Change, the Environment and Human Rights, of which SGI is a member, issued a written statement on COVID-19 and climate change. The statement recalls that the COVID-19 pandemic and human-induced climate change are rooted in an unjust and ecologically unsustainable economic system and have profound implications for people and their enjoyment of human rights.
In the statement, the Geneva Interfaith Forum on Climate Change, the Environment and Human Rights expressed care and concern over the suffering of human beings, especially the poor and the marginalized, all living creatures and Mother Earth, brought on as a result of the convergence of the Covid-19 and climate crises.
The statement further called on the Human Rights Council to, among others:
- Support the creation of a special procedure on climate change and human rights
- Recognize the human right to a safe, clean and healthy environment for all
- Ensure the protection of human rights in measures and programmes to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic
- Ensure the full and equal enjoyment of economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights and the transition to a sustainable, resilient, and net zero-carbon economy and society in a post-COVID-19 world
- Promote debt cancellation for low- and middle-income countries and global tax reform to support States in fulfilling their human rights obligations in line with the Guiding Principles on Human Rights Impact Assessments of Economic Reforms.