UN Human Rights Council 41st Session – Nordic-Baltic Intervention at the panel discussion on women’s rights and climate change

Human Rights Council 41st Session

Panel discussion on women’s rights and climate change: climate action, good practices and lessons learned

28 June 2019

Nordic-Baltic Intervention by H.E. Ambassador Andre Pung, Estonia


Mr. President,

On behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries – Latvia, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Norway, Denmark, and my own country, Estonia, allow me to express my sincere appreciation for bringing the needed focus of the Council to the threat of climate change and its impact on women and girls. Everyone in this room is affected by climate change—or will be soon. However, to our mothers, daughters, and sisters, climate change carries the additional threat of increasing gender inequalities.

The range of economic and human rights risks associated with climate change are real and felt by all of us. However, women and girls of all ages often are the most critically affected. Women are also often more dependent on natural resources for sustaining their livelihood in general. For example, in many communities around the world where dependable irrigation is a distant dream and clean water is a precious commodity, women and girls bear the primary, and often dangerous, burden of finding drinking/potable water.

This reality demands a new approach. The opportunities of modern technologies should be fully used to address these problems, including in the least developed and small island states. The UN Security Council can do its part by taking a systematic approach in considering climate change as a cause and multiplier in conflict situations.

In conclusion, it is all of our responsibility to acknowledge the disastrous and threatening consequences of climate change and do all we can to combat what has been called an existential threat. Let me assure you that the NB8 countries are fully committed to the promotion of gender-responsive climate action and giving women and girls a voice.

Thank you!