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Zero tolerance of sexual harassment at UN Climate talks

November 7, 2017 4:41 pm

The Fijian COP Presidency and the UNFCCC Secretariat have declared there will be zero tolerance of sexual harassment at the UN Climate talks in Bonn this year.

Speaking at a Media Conference, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinoza stated, a Gender Focal Point has been established and appointed to look into and address any sexual harassment issue that may arise during the talks.

“It’s not easy to get the resources to get a dedicated team for that. It’s also unfortunate but I have to say that in this processes, when we go to the gender issue – for some people this is not really one of the central issues to our agenda because they have to deal with climate change and not gender issues. We know how linked it is and that in the end it is about basic human rights that we need to protect and preserve.”

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Fiji’s Chief Negotiator Nazhat Shameem Khan says a Gender Action Plan, which is to be launched at the COP23 will address such issues.

Adding that while sexual harassment is a barrier to the advancement of women, most times it remains unreported.

“People don’t come forward and they don’t complain and one of the reasons they don’t complain is because there is because there are no frameworks in place to deal with it. So, I am really happy to hear that UNFCCC does have a framework, they have a Focal Point.”

A day before the COP23 talks, a climate change lawyer broke her silence about unwanted sexual attention during a similar climate change conference.

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