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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Small island states say climate change threatens human rights
James M Yoch Jr at 11:25 AM ET

[JURIST] Representatives of 26 members of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) [official website] met Tuesday in Maldives to work on a draft resolution on climate change to be presented at the 2007 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change conference (UNFCCC) [official website] in December. AOSIS, a coalition of 43 of the world's smallest island nations and states, plans to show that environmental protection, preservation and security are part of an individual's basic human rights and that rising sea levels due to climate change threatens these rights. The rising sea levels pose a danger to the island nations and their tourism-based economies, according to Maldives President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom [official profile; BBC profile], who called on the international community to recognize the threat [press release] of rising sea levels on the human rights of millions of inhabitants of AOSIS member states. During the conference, AOSIS is also expected to develop policies for combating climate change with a focus on emissions reduction.

In September, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official website] said that leaders from across the globe had expressed willingness to cooperate fully to confront climate change issues [UN News report] during the UNFCCC in December. Ban emphasized the need to negotiate and adopt a successor to the Kyoto Protocol [PDF text] developed during the 2005 UNFCCC, which will expire in 2012. Last month, a spokesman for the 2007 UNFCCC said that both Australia and the US, two nations that have faced intense criticism [JURIST comment] for their opposition to the Kyoto Protocol, want to participate [JURIST report] in negotiations for a new global climate change agreement. Reuters has more.






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