Intergovernmental Meeting for the Preparation of a Declaration of Ethical Principles in relation to Climate Change

© / Romolo Tavani

This intergovernmental meeting of experts will finalize a draft declaration of ethical principles in relation to climate change, for its submission to the 39th UNESCO General Conference. The meeting will bring together experts appointed by the Member States and observers from expert communities, at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, from 27 to 30 June 2017.

It follows a year of work, including the meeting of the Ad Hoc Expert Group of 20 to 24 September 2016, held in Rabat, Morocco, as well as extensive consultations with Member States by written procedure between 17 October 2016 and 1 February 2017. A first draft that resulted from the meeting of the Ad Hoc Experts Group, and the comments and observations of Member States from these consultations, as well as further advice of the Ad Hoc Experts Group, will provide a strong basis for the work of the intergovernmental meeting.

World leaders have called climate change the biggest challenge of the 21st century. UNESCO’s General Conference Conference, at its 38th session (November 2015), called for preparing a preliminary text of a non-binding declaration of ethical principles in relation to climate change, a first in a United Nations setting (38 C/Resolution 42). The declaration will make the case for States, communities and individuals to take action to deal with the twin challenges of climate change adaptation and mitigation.

This declaration may identify and clarify a set of ethical principles. As an illustration, the declaration could identify principles such as:
• Avoiding harm,
• Solidarity, and
• Sustainability.

The purpose of creating this new UNESCO declaration would be to promote the moral basis for tackling the threat posed by climate change to people and the planet. It may clarify a set of universal principles that could help mobilize international solidarity and coordinate action across cultures and societies.

It could serve to complement other actions, notably following up on the Paris Agreement (2015) under the United Nations Framework Agreement on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In this light, the work of developing a new declaration was presented and discussed in the sidelines of the UNFCCC 22nd Conference of Parties (COP 22), held in Marakech, Morocco, in November 2016.

Documents for this meeting will be made available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish, and there will be simultaneous interpretation in these languages.


Type of Event Category 2-Intergovernmental meeting
Start 27.06.2017 08:00 local time
End 30.06.2017 16:00 local time
Date to be fixed 0
Focal point Feinholz, Dafna
Organizer UNESCO
Contact April Tash, - cc:
Country France
City Paris
Venue UNESCO Headquarters
Street 7, place de Fontenoy
Room Room XII
Permanent Delegation Contact
Major Programme
Language of Event English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Russian
Estimated number of participants 200
Official Website Preparation of a Declaration on Ethical Principles in relation to Climate Change
Link 1 More information and documents
Link 2 Provisional agenda and timetable
Link 3 UNESCO and Ethics of Science and Technology
Link 4