Press Release

PR | Belgium supports Vanuatu resolution on States' obligation to avoid climate damage

Led by ministers Zakia Khattabi and Hadja Lahbib, Belgium is officially co-sponsoring Vanuatu's UNGA resolution that will seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the obligations of states with regard to climate change . On this basis, the International Court of Justice will formulate an opinion on the legal implications for states, especially with regard to small island states and current and future generations, concerning the damage they are causing to the climate and environment through their climate policies, or lack of such policies.

©Sarah Stewart _ Flickr©Sarah Stewart _ Flickr

The resolution reiterates the importance of meeting international climate commitments to keep our planet livable for future generations. Central to the UNGA resolution is the message that climate action is not optional. With this resolution, Vanuatu along with the other 47 States wants the international court to clarify the duties of States under international law in relation to climate change in order to respect the rights of present and future generations. 

 "Through this co-sponsorship, our country affirms our shared ambition to fully implement the Paris Agreement, defend human rights and enforce international law on climate change . The climate emergency is such that it is essential that the various states assume their responsibilities, for the island states and for future generations,"the minister concluded. 

The resolution will be submitted for adoption to members of the United Nations General Assembly in the second half of March.