The Right(s) Call
3 December 2015
ECO has enjoyed hearing Parties’ visions for the new agreement. Especially those that highlighted the need for an agreement that supports human rights, including the rights of indigenous peoples. ECO loved hearing from Parties who said that a Paris agreement will only be successful if it’s rooted in gender equality and intergenerational equity, delivering food security, ecosystem integrity and a just transition with decent jobs.
The Philippines, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, and others (including Canada–welcome back!) recalled that human rights are at the core of the UNFCCC. These champions are working constructively to engage other countries and help sketch a positive shared vision for the future.
But ECO is disappointed that other countries do not want to be champions for human rights, and have expressed the opinion that human rights must remain non-operative. These non-champions refuse to recognise that an agreement neglecting human rights will struggle to garner the public support needed for its implementation.
ECO doesn’t want to believe that the EU is not strongly committed to the principles of human rights. But so far they have shied away from expressing unequivocal support for operative references. With many champions already standing for this issue, how long will it take for the EU to get its act together and choose to join the progressive countries? As a key player in this discussion, surely the EU will not want to go down as a fence sitter when the fate of such crucial principles is being decided.
While we’re speaking of non-champions, ECO wants to drop a note to Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and the US. We’re wondering if you will you follow Canada’s Northern Light or go down a much darker path, stripping the agreement of what we all know is inalienable?