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COP28: Permanent Committee for Human Rights holds event highlighting links between climate change, gender-based violence

General News | December 16, 2023 9:51:25 PM IST
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Dubai [UAE], December 16 (ANI/WAM): The Permanent Committee for Human Rights in the UAE, in cooperation and partnership with the General Women's Union and the UN Women Liaison Office for the Gulf Cooperation Council in Abu Dhabi, organised an event titled "Climate Change and Ways to Mitigate Gender-Based Violence" at the Women's Pavilion at COP28.

Jamal Al Musharakh, the UAE's Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva, delivered the opening speech and stressed that COP28 UAE placed the issue of women and gender equality in the context of climate action as a top priority.

Furthermore, he added that the conference's allocation of a full day of the presidential programme to confront this issue underscored the criticality of elevating the role and participation of women in tackling climate change.

The conference presidency was also keen to enhance the skills of national cadres and support the presence of women in its various activities, adding that the UAE negotiating team included many young talented women specialized in climate diplomacy and international negotiations, which affirms Emirati women's active role in achieving UAE sustainability.

He maintained that the UAE is active internationally in addressing climate change, and as a member of the Human Rights Council, and in partnership with the United Kingdom, submitted a draft resolution on girls' education that was adopted by the Council at its 54th session without a vote. The initiative was the first of its kind to focus on the impact of climate change on girls' education, examining the challenges they face, including violence.

The resolution emphasised the need to intensify efforts to prevent all forms of violence and harassment against girls at schools, including during crises and natural disasters.In addition, the UAE, as a non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council, is highly involved in promoting issues of climate change and its impact on conflict areas.

At the Council's open sessions, the UAE consistently stresses the necessity on providing opportunities for greater communication with local representatives of affected communities, especially women and youth, as well as engaging with organisations to enable them to pioneer and lead climate initiatives and solutions.

From her side, Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, Director of the UN Women Liaison Office for the Gulf Cooperation Council in Abu Dhabi, focused on their role in leading the Sixteen Days of Activism against gender-based violence, which begins every year from November 25 to 10 December.

She pointed out that violence against women is an obstacle to global efforts to empower women, adding that five women lose their lives every hour around the world due to violence, adding that global efforts to address gender issues represent only 1% of total humanitarian support.

She stated that the campaign theme for this year focused on the importance of investing in efforts to stop violence, because funding could intensify efforts to empower women, stop violence, and help survivors resume their lives, especially since 40% of women who are exposed to violence ask for support.

During the discussion, Reem Al-Salem, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, its causes and consequences, pointed out that climate change affects mainly women and girls, exposing them to forced displacement or living in shelters and camps and increasing their chances of being exposed to harassment, rape, and forced marriage.

In her speech, she stressed the need to intensify international efforts to protect women and girls during natural disasters and wars and to develop programmes capable of protecting them, rehabilitating them and preserving their dignity.

In her intervention, Sajida Shawa, Head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the United Arab Emirates, praised the position of the UAE in giving priority during the CP28 to humanitarian organisations.

She highlighted the role of OCHA in mobilising and coordinating effective humanitarian work based in partnership with National and international actors in order to alleviate humanitarian suffering in disaster and crisis situations, enhance preparedness and prevention, and facilitate sustainable solutions.

Ahlam Al Lamki, Director of the Research and Development Department, General Women's Union, showed the role of the UAE in supporting women's issues, strategic planning, and during disasters and crises. In addition, she highlighted the Emirates role in supporting women, security and peace agenda, and training women working in the field of peacekeeping, and the international community to build their capabilities in the field of supporting women to contribute in the peacebuilding process and responding to gender needs within the scope of international peace efforts to provide aid.

The event was organised under by the Permanent Committee for Human Rights, headed by Dr. Anwar Gargash, Diplomatic Adviser to the UAE President, as part of an annual national human rights agenda that the Permanent Committee oversees its implementation.

The event shed light on exploring methods and strategies to address gender-based violence and mitigate it during climate change. (ANI/WAM)