Standing in solidarity with the people of Palestine, a global network of climate justice and human rights organisations, has called for a permanent ceasefire and scaling up of humanitarian aid in Gaza, on day 1 of the UN Climate Summit that opened in Dubai on Thursday.
COP28 Coalition, an alliance of various civil society organisations from 75 countries, said “the struggle of the Palestinian people is part and parcel of our collective struggle for climate, racial, economic and political justice. We also fight for a world, where everyone has the right to live with dignity and free from oppression”.
The call by the coalition was made during a press conference inside the UN-controlled Blue Zone of COP28, where members of the group wore shirts that spelled out the word 'ceasefire' and held up ‘watermelon flags’, while chanting: ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.’
‘We cannot be silent’
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Lidy Nacpil, convenor of the COP28 Coalition and coordinator of Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), said: “We believe a world conference like this (COP28), where leaders of various countries are gathering, is the best to make sure the message of solidarity with the people of Palestine is heard.”
"We cannot be silent about the horrific attacks against the People of Palestine. As human beings, how can we not speak out or stand in solidarity with the besieged people of Palestine?” she underscored.
Nacpil, an activist from the Philippines, continued: “For us, this is also about standing up for ourselves and our people against oppression, exploitation and marginalisation. The fight for climate justice is a fight for human rights and an end to systemic structures of racism, apartheid and colonialism."
Youth stands with Palestine
Dylan Hamilton, policy coordinator for the Alliance of Non-Governmental Radical Youth, said: “Climate justice is inseparable from human rights and justice for the Palestinians. There can be no climate justice in an occupied land.”
The 19-year old climate activist from Scotland pointed out: “Even removing the climate aspect, we have an obligation to stand up against genocide and to call out wrongs when we see it. You don’t need a connection to Palestine or even to Middle East to know that genocide is wrong, you just need to be human.”
Inalienable human rights
Palestinian activist Tariq Luthun said access to water, food, and the other essentials of life are supposedly inalienable human rights. “And yet, Israel’s blockade on food, fuel, water and medical aid to 2.2 million people in the Gaza strip is a clear violation of international law and violation of international humanitarian norms under UN conventions.”
He noted the fight for climate justice also requires a consistent and moral stand against mass death and injustice – whether against fossil-fuel driven climate disasters by greedy polluters or wars waged on civilians by governments. "We stand for the protection, dignity and value of all life."
Peace and justice
Feminist activist Rania Harrara underscored: “There can be no peace without justice and there can be no climate justice without respecting human rights.”
She added: “We call on the global community, particularly governments and organisations in (various countries attending COP28) to take heed the human-rights centred action for long lasting peace in the region and throughout the world.”
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