Worldwide, the rights of people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and sexual characteristics are under threat. New Zealand’s third Universal Periodic Review - five-yearly process whereby a state’s compliance with international human rights treaties and norms is assessed at the United Nations - may feature New Zealand’s first ever recommendation on these issues.
Sadly, four NZX50 companies recognising the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights seems really good when one remembers that only 1 out 50 has a female CEO.
At a plenary session on Saturday, countries tried to grapple with how to recognise the IPCC report on 1.5 Degrees in writing.
In January 2019, New Zealand’s compliance with international human rights treaties and norms will once again come under scrutiny at the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Ahead of this five-yearly review by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva, in October the New Zealand Human Rights Commission facilitated the first-ever in-country pre-sessions held in three locations around NZ.
At the seminal COP24, Poland has absolutely nailed their warm welcome of overseas nations to talk about the future of the planet by enacting a protest ban, terrorist alert and turning people away at the border. Also, they’re hosting it in the coal heartland of the EU. Nice.
The inequity of country affluence dictates whose voices are heard and whose are absent. Where the most impacted by climate change are the worlds most vulnerable, the voices of the least impacted dominate the direction of climate solutions.
As I sit typing this on our 17-hour flight back to NZ, unable to sleep, I’m able to reflect on the fastest 2 weeks of my life, and in particular, what I learned in the 3 days of the forum. The sessions were all very different but very informative, to the point where I’m a little overwhelmed (or maybe just a little jetlagged!).
This COP, NZ will spend its time bragging about our Government ‘ending oil exploration’ (bar endless exceptions), the Zero Carbon Act (which hasn’t even been tabled yet), our ‘visionary’ leadership on ending fossil fuel subsidies (yup you read that right) and perhaps most contradictorily, our ‘equitable’ agricultural policy plan though a series of ‘Ac!ion Agriculture’ side events (including Fonterra’s ‘bold’ plan to install no new coal boilers by...2030?!?). What we won’t be mentioning is our failure to adopt a meaningful emissions regulation framework (neither a tuned-up ETS nor a carbon tax), our lack of inclusion of indigenous voices in the climate korero, a history of dragging our feet on climate negotiations, or our lack of support for Pacific nations.