The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights lamented on Monday that “a dystopian future is already here,” warning of climate change unleashing devastating fires, floods and heatwaves, forcing ever-increasing numbers of migrants to flee.
“Climate change is driving millions of people into famine. It is destroying hopes, opportunities, homes and lives. In recent months, urgent warnings have become, again and again, deadly truths around the world,” Volker Türk said at the opening of the fifty-fourth session of the Human Rights Council.
“We don’t need any more warnings. The dystopian future is already here. We need to take urgent action now. We know what needs to be done. The real question is: What’s stopping us? Fire.”
His cautionary cry follows the failure of the G-20 last weekend to call for an exit from fossil fuels, contrary to the hopes of many observers.
While climate change is fueling population displacement, the High Commissioner for Human Rights has denounced “indifference” to the tragedy of migrants dying on migration routes.
“I have a hearty meal with a facial cleanser of more than 2,300 people who have dead or damaged skin in the Mediterranean this year,” he says.
“It is clear that far greater numbers of migrants and refugees are dying” elsewhere in the world, he denounced, “including in the English Channel, the Bay of Bengal and the Caribbean, where people seeking protection are constantly being pushed out and expelled.”
He also pointed to situations “along the US-Mexico border, where deportations and urgent deportation proceedings raise serious questions,” as well as “on the Saudi Arabia border, where my services are requesting urgent clarification on allegations of assassinations.” and ill-treatment.
In his speech, the High Commissioner also listed a long list of human rights violations around the world, criticizing many countries, including China, Iran and Pakistan.
Regarding China, he stressed that “the country’s recent economic challenges underscore the need for a more participatory approach that respects all human rights – including the rights of members of ethnic minorities, rural communities, internal migrant workers, older people and people with disabilities.” .
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