Thursday February 09, 2023

GCU opens debate on ICJ climate resolution

By Our Correspondent
November 26, 2022

LAHORE:An open-mic debate was held at the Government College University Lahore on Thursday where youth overwhelmingly spoke in favour of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Climate Resolution to place human rights at the center of climate change decision-making.

The young students stressed that climate justice is a fundamental human right which is being undermined every second. They, however, believed it’s high time to fix this. The students, joined by GCU Lahore Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Asghar Zaidi and Kohsar University Murree Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Habib Ali Bokhari, also chanted the slogan “vote YES for climate justice”. The debate was organized by the GCU Lahore’s Environment Protection Society in collaboration with Normandy Chair for Peace France and World's Youth for Climate Justice in the context of Vanuatu’s appeal to the world leaders to vote in favour of ICJ Climate Resolution at the United Nations General Assembly. GCU Lahore Sustainable Development Study Centre (SDSC) Director Prof Dr Faiza Sharif opened the debate by shedding light on ICJ Climate Justice Movement that Pacific Island Nations have been trying to get the world’s highest court to issue a legal statement, or an advisory opinion, on climate change. “To achieve this, Vanuatu has to get enough United Nations General Assembly members to vote in favour of their ICJ Climate Resolution,” she said. Vanuatu recently announced that the General Assembly will vote on the resolution on December 14, 2022.

Later, the GCU Lahore SDSC director opened the house for debate on the resolution and climate justice. An overwhelming majority of the students spoke in support of the resolution. A couple of students stressed the need for more investment in technological advancement. Dr Asghar Zaidi said devastating floods in Pakistan spurred a fight for loss and damage funds and Pakistan’s diplomats did exceptional work for it at COP27. “I hope Pakistan would support Vanuatu’s resolution if it goes in the best interest of climate justice,” he maintained. He appreciated that the youth at GCU is becoming proactive, and they debate on the real challenges faced by the world. He said the idea to get the International Court of Justice in Hague to issue an advisory opinion on climate change was conceived by students at the University of South Pacific in Vanuatu. Dr Habib Bokhari said immediate actions are needed because the change in temperature, rainfall, water availability, and population size has a greater impact on the world's food production.