“The dystopian future is already here,” the UN human rights chief lamented on Monday, warning of climate change which is unleashing fires, floods and devastating heatwaves, pushing a growing number of migrants to flee. “Climate change is pushing millions of people into famine. It destroys hopes, opportunities, homes and lives. In recent months, urgent warnings have become deadly realities, again and again, all over the world,” Volker Türk said at the opening of the 54th session of the Human Rights Council.
“We don’t need any further warnings. The dystopian future is already here. We need urgent action now. And we know what to do. The real question is: what’s stopping us? » he said. His cry of alarm follows the failure of the G20 this weekend to call for an exit from fossil fuels, contrary to the hopes of several observers.
As climate change increases population movements, the High Commissioner for Human Rights denounced “indifference” in the face of the tragedy of migrants who perish on migratory routes. “I am shocked by the nonchalance shown by the more than 2,300 people who have been declared dead or missing in the Mediterranean this year,” including more than 600 in a single shipwreck off the coast of Greece in June, he said. he said. “It is clear that far greater numbers of migrants and refugees are dying” elsewhere in the world, “including in the English Channel, the Bay of Bengal and the Caribbean, where people seeking protection are constantly pushed back and expelled,” he denounced.
He also pointed to situations “along the United States-Mexico border, where expulsions and expedited removal proceedings raise serious questions,” as well as “at the border of the Kingdom of Arabia Saudi Arabia, where [s]his services are requesting urgent clarifications on allegations of assassinations and ill-treatment.” In his speech, the high commissioner also gave a long list of human rights violations across the world, criticizing many countries, including China, Iran and Pakistan.
Regarding China, he stressed that the country's "recent economic challenges highlight the need for a more participatory approach that respects all human rights – including the rights of members of ethnic minorities, residents rural communities, internal migrant workers, elderly people and people with disabilities”.