Int’l gathering of lawmakers identifies climate change as ‘greatest threat’

16 Mar 2012

Parliamentarians from over twenty nations unanimously identified global climate change as the greatest threat to the lives, livelihoods and welfare of their constituents, and the eco-systems that sustain them, through a unanimous declaration in Dhaka on Friday.

The Dhaka Parliamentary Declaration came at the end of three days of deliberations which included parliamentarians from the developed world, and the least developed countries and small island states that are among the most vulnerable to global climate change.

The Declaration established ‘Parliamentarians for Climate Justice’, a global network of lawmakers in support of people most vulnerable to climate change, which will advocate for decisive action on tackling climate change through adaptation and mitigation efforts.

The network will look to the peoples’ representatives to promote awareness and action on climate change through legislation and public gatherings, and be a platform for lawmakers across the world in sharing knowledge, information and best practices.

The Declaration closed the International Meeting of Parliamentarians on Climate Change Beyond COP 17, which opened in the Bangladeshi capital on Wednesday.

“One of the most significant outcomes of this meeting has been the formation of a platform of parliamentarians not just from across the world but across the entire spectrum of the climate change discourse,” said Mr. Saber Hossain Chowdhury, MP, Member, Standing Committee on Ministry of Environment and Forests, Bangladesh Parliament.

Speaking at the inauguration on March 14, the chief guest, H.E. Sheikh Hasina, Hon’ble Prime Minister, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, had underscored the principle of climate justice, and observed the need for a global platform that draws attention to the plight of the countries that are suffering the worst excesses of global climate change.

“The fact that a network was established is significant and the test for us will be whether we can represent our own governments but also countries not represented here in meaningful efforts to influence laws and policy to tackle climate change at the national and international levels,” said Ms. Sarah Boyack, Member of the Scottish Parliament for Lothian, who was elected to the network’s steering committee.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Mr. Robert Juhkam, UNDP Resident Representative a.i., observed that Bangladesh has played a leadership role in formulating policies to tackle climate change nationally, and in influencing international agendas, and urged Bangladesh and its leaders to continue to be a champion and a beacon in this area.

“I encourage MPs to position themselves to better influence their national and international agendas in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. In this light, I hope that this network of parliamentarians will serve as an advocacy channel at the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development to be held in Brazil in June this year,” Mr. Juhkam said.

The three-day meeting held at Dhaka’s Radisson Blu Hotel, was organized by the Bangladesh Parliament, with support from the United Nations Development Programme and the Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands.

UNDP Bangladesh, one of the largest country offices of the global development network has been here since 31 July, 1972. Drawing upon its global network, UNDP helps the people and Government of Bangladesh to develop their capacity to meet development challenges through initiatives that link advocacy and policy advice.

Contact Information

For further information please contact: Mahtab Haider, Communications Manager, UNDP via email: mahtab.haider@undp.org, ph: +88 02 815 0088, ext. 1805, mob: +88 01713 014 604