FILE PHOTO: Vehicles are submerged at a plot flooded by the Chamelecon River due to heavy rain caused by Storm Iota in Honduras on November 19, 2020
Dr Momen says proper implementation of the Paris Agreement and strengthening of international cooperation can build a secure and sustainable world
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has called for enhanced international cooperation to tackle the impact of climate change on labour, human rights and health by implementing the Paris Agreement.
He was speaking at a virtual event on climate change priorities on Tuesday. The event was organized by the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh in Geneva under the auspices of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF).
“Climate change, labour, human rights and public health are all intertwined. A secure and sustainable world could be built through the proper implementation of the Paris Agreement and strengthening of international cooperation in the areas of climate finance, mitigation and adaptation,” the foreign minister said.
Dr Momen also called on developed countries to extend the necessary financial, technological and technical assistance to countries affected by and at risk of climate change as well as global warming.
He urged the international community to work together in order to have a new special rapporteur on climate change and human rights in the UN Human Rights Council.
The foreign minister highlighted the steps taken by the government of Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to combat climate change.
He apprised the international community of the ‘Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan’ adopted on the occasion of the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), flagged the importance of preventing environmental degradation to ensure clean air, safe drinking water, food security, safe housing and health.
He stated that Covid-19 was a stark reminder of the delicate relationship between people and planet, which must be addressed with a “One Health” approach and meaningful climate actions.
He highly lauded the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in fighting climate change and strengthening health systems in Bangladesh along with her continued contribution as the co-chair of the “One Health Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance”.
In her intervention, Saima Wazed Hossain, member of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Mental Health and CVF thematic ambassador for “Vulnerability”, shed light on the adverse consequences of Covid-19 and climate change on the mental health of vulnerable communities.
She added that the impact of climate change on women, children and persons with disabilities would be critically felt in the areas of employment, human rights and public health.
She called on the WHO and other relevant international organizations to play a more effective role in reducing all types of health risks posed by climate change, including mental health.
Mohamed Nasheed, speaker and former president of the Maldives and CVF thematic ambassador for “Ambition”, apprised the session of the initiative taken by the government of the Maldives toward formulating a national action plan in line with the “Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan”.
He urged the CVF Member States and other countries to adopt similar action plans to address the climate crisis.
Md Mustafizur Rahman, permanent representative and ambassador of Bangladesh in Geneva, moderated the webinar.
In addition to diplomats from different countries, the event was attended by representatives of a number of non-governmental organizations, media, academia, thinktanks and civil society.
Among others, Nada Al-Nashif, UN deputy high commissioner for Human Rights, Martha E. Newton, deputy director-general of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and ambassadors and permanent representatives of Ethiopia, Italy, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the Marshall Islands took part in the discussion.