OACPS agreed to endorse Vanuatu’s climate campaign to seek an advisory opinion from the ICJ to protect the rights of people against the adverse effects of climate change

The Vanuatu Climate initiative has been endorsed at the 114th Session of the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) Council of Ministers.

Vanuatu was represented by Minister of Climate Change, Silas Bule, through hybrid mode.

The Meeting was chaired by  Sylvie Baipo Temon, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Central African Republic.

Minister Bule made an intervention on the issue of Climate Change specifically on Vanuatu’s global campaign to seek the endorsement of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) for an Advisory Opinion from the International Court of Justice (based in The Hague).

The Advisory Opinion will focus on the right of current and future generations to be protected against the impact of global warming due to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions.

Minister Bule recalled the position of the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States, leading to the Paris Declaration on Climate Change and follow-up conferences.

The OACPS consistently raised concerns on the lack of significant action to curb and phase out greenhouse gas emissions while populations in its member countries continue to suffer the severe impacts of global warming due to greenhouse gas emissions. He reiterated the importance to limit warming to 1.5C as proclaimed under the Paris Agreement – to avoid catastrophic consequences.

He also stressed that an Advisory Opinion on climate change from the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the highest international court, can provide further impetus to clarify and develop the international legal principles related to climate change and advance useful benchmarks in safeguarding the rights of the most vulnerable and promote sustainable development.

Minister Bule reminded that as time is not on our side, Vanuatu seeks the support of the OACP Members States through the Council of Ministers to endorse the proposed initiative.

He concluded by a call for OACP Member States to co-sponsor the UNGA resolution, and joint Vanuatu on this historic journey towards greater climate justice for our people and nations.

At the end of the exchange that ensued, the Chairlady concluded that Climate change is a priority matter for the OACP members States and the whole world and as such the meeting should positively consider endorsing the campaign initiated by Vanuatu.

The 114th session of the Council of Ministers of the OACPS agreed to endorse the initiative of Vanuatu to seek the adoption of a UN General Assembly Resolution requesting an Advisory Opinion from the ICJ on the obligations of States under international law to protect the rights of present and future generations against the adverse effects of climate change.

It further called on all Member States of the OACPS to consider co-sponsor the proposed Resolution during the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly.

The 114th Session of the OACPS Council of Ministers was held from  6-9 June 2022 in Brussels.

This story was originally published at Vanuatu Daily Post on 29 July 2022, reposted via PACNEWS.

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