Minister Shahid urges Ambitious Gender-Responsive Climate Action at the Virtual Meeting of the Alliance for Multilateralismon the Margins of the 46th HRC Session

24 February 2021

Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid today, took part in a virtual ministerial meeting held by the Alliance for Multilateralism, under the theme “Back in Geneva: New Frontiers for Human Rights. Pandemic Preparedness Response”. The meeting was convened on the margins of the High-level Segment of the 46th Session of the Human Rights Council. It provided an opportunity for senior officials from UN Member States, UN agencies and other stakeholders to engage in discussions under three main segments, namely: on the protection of human rights in the digital world; the effects of climate change on human rights; and the preparedness and response to health crises.

Minister Shahid was one of the distinguished speakers under the segment focusing on climate change and human rights and he presented the Action Coalition on Feminist Action for Climate Justice at the meeting. The Coalition is one of the six multi-stakeholder Action Coalitions launched at the Generation Equality Forum. The Maldives plays a leading role in the work of the Action Coalition as a co-lead, especially in the design and delivery of targeted actions and promoting women’s empowerment across the world.

In his pre-recorded statement delivered at the meeting, Minister Shahid justified the nexus between climate change, human rights and gender. In this regard, he noted the multidimensional disparities faced by women in climate vulnerable countries such as the Maldives, despite the ongoing institutional reforms being carried out. He also explained that while the Maldives has adopted a gender-responsive approach in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maldives still needs more support and resources to cope with the additional burden of climate change-related stressors. Minister Shahid then called for more urgent gender-responsive climate action that is closely interlinked with international frameworks and instruments, in addition to the existing initiatives such as the 5-year enhanced Lima Work Programme on Gender (LWPG) that was launched at COP25.

Minister Shahid also reiterated the commitment of the Maldives towards driving holistic, scaled up and enhanced action to combat the gender related impacts of climate change. As an example, he stated the efforts undertaken by the Coalition on Feminist Action for Climate Justice to deliver concrete and transformative progress towards gender equality. Minister Shahid then briefed the attendees on the objectives of the Coalition and called for their contribution to achieve effective outcomes at the Generation Equality Forum, in line with the global aspirations of the Beijing Conference held 25 years ago.

Alliance for Multilateralism is an informal network launched by the Foreign Ministers of France and Germany, on 2 April 2019. It aims to build momentum to the efforts undertaken to realign the current multilateral order with international law to allow peace, stability and prosperity.