Iran’s deputy permanent representative to the UN has slammed developed countries for failing to fulfill their international commitments concerning climate change, warning that extreme climate change can undermine the sustainable development of all countries.
Zahra Ershadi issued the warning while addressing a UN session on Wednesday after the UN General Assembly adopted by consensus a historic resolution asking the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to define the obligations of states to combat climate change, a legal opinion that could drive countries to take stronger measures and clarify international law.
“On global issues, such as climate change, we all are in the same boat. We are facing the same crises and are condemned to the same destiny. But all do not share the same capacities and capabilities to counter this common challenge,” Ershadi said.
She further said that all do not have similar roles and responsibilities for this challenge and its illusive future, adding, “We can forgive those who were historically involved in degrading our planet and its environment, but we cannot ignore their historical responsibilities and subsequent obligations to fulfill their commitments to redress it.”
“It is unfortunate that those in the global North who hold historical responsibility for this emerging global challenge continue to disregard their international responsibilities through their actions or omissions, especially towards developing countries.”
Ershadi noted that humanity is facing a global, all-consuming, complex and multifaceted crisis that has immense impacts on all aspects of human life and global affairs, stressing the need for common solutions and joint efforts to tackle such a common, cross-border challenge.
She also pointed to situations and circumstances that prevent states from fulfilling their environmental obligations in full or in part, urging the ICJ to consider the well-established principle of common but differentiated responsibilities as principle 7 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development.
She emphasized that climate change has taken its toll on Iran in the form of a serious decline in rainfall and increases in temperatures and incidences of sandstorms and expressed regret that the final text does not incorporate the Iranian delegation’s suggestion to explicitly request the ICJ to identify and consider those situations and circumstances which also preclude states’ required actions.
“It also focuses unduly on one assumed cause of climate change. We believe it is necessary for the General Assembly resolution to ask comprehensive questions and for the Court to consider the matter holistically and comprehensively. The current resolution does not bring this clarity and thus lacks much-needed balance,” the Iranian envoy said.
She recognized the mutually reinforcing link between the necessity of a healthy environment and the realization of economic, social and cultural rights as well as the right to development.
She also underlined that the linkage between human rights and the environment lacks not only a clear definition but also an understanding among states and does not appear at the core of international human rights treaties.
By Press TV