On Monday 9th December 2019, a new Intergovernmental Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Action will be launched at a high-level event during COP25 in Madrid, committing government signatories to accelerate inclusive child-responsive climate action, and to advocate for recognition and fulfilment of children’s right to a healthy environment more broadly.
The Declaration is based on core priorities identified by the children and youth from all over the world, including from those that have participated in the regional consultations under the Children’s Environmental Rights Initiative (CERI) and messages received through the #MyPlanetMyRights online poll, from YOUNGO, and as part of the UN Youth Climate Action Summit, amongst others.
CERI is a partner in the launch event, and will be represented by UN Special Rapporteur David Boyd, alongside UNICEF, OHCHR, YOUNGO, and the Chilean COP25 Presidency. CERI and UNICEF will be joint ‘custodians’ of the Declaration.
The event will be opened by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and an intergenerational panel discussion between youth and Ministers will be moderated by H.E Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland.
At the time of writing, signatory Governments include Chile, Costa Rica, Fiji, Monaco, Nigeria, Peru and Spain. The intention is for the Declaration to remain open for signatures, particularly in the lead up to other relevant processes next year, including the Human Rights Council annual day of discussion on children’s rights, which will focus on the environment in March 2020, as well as the “Youth COP” in Italy and COP26 in the UK. Signatories are called on to help form and lead a ‘High Ambition Coalition for Children’ to advocate for greatly enhanced focus on children’s right to a healthy environment moving forward in the UNFCCC, Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals implementation, and other relevant multilateral fora.