Preparation of a Declaration on Ethical Principles in relation to Climate Change



The Member States of UNESCO have invited the Director-General “to prepare [...] a preliminary text of a non-binding declaration on ethical principles in relation to climate change” which is to be submitted to the 39th session of the General Conference in 2017 (38 C/Resolution 42). This decision builds on the previous work of UNESCO on the ethical principles in relations to climate change.

According to 38 C/Resolution 42, a declaration on ethical principles in relation to climate change is to complement existing reference instruments and its preparation is to be carried out in cooperation with the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST), in consultation with Member States and taking into consideration the outcome of negotiations within the framework of the 21st and 22nd sessions of the Conference of Parties (COP-21 and COP-22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The process for the preparation of this preliminary text was approved by the 199th session of the Executive Board (199 EX/Decision 5.I.B) in April 2016.

Pursuant to these decisions, the Director-General constituted an Ad Hoc Expert Group (AHEG) to advice UNESCO in the elaboration of a preliminary text of a declaration.

At the generous invitation of the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco, the first meeting of the AHEG was held in Rabat from 20 to 24 September 2016. During this meeting, the AHEG was tasked with preparing the first draft of a preliminary text of a declaration.

The first draft of this preliminary text was sent to Member States for comments after the meeting. These comments have been reflected by the AHEG and the Secretariat in a revised first draft.

That revised first draft of a preliminary text will be transmitted to Member States for consideration at a Category II intergovernmental meeting of experts to be convened from 27 to 30 June 2017. The outcome of this meeting will then be examined by the 202nd session of the Executive Board and the 39th session of the General Conference.

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