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IDLO Director-General Jan Beagle’s Statement to the Plenary Session of Stockholm+50


Plenary Session
3 June 2022


It is a pleasure to address this meeting on behalf of the International Development Law Organization, the only global intergovernmental organization exclusively devoted to promoting the rule of law to advance peace and sustainable development.

Fifty years ago, the Stockholm Declaration set out a path for correcting our relationship with our planet.

It outlined our right to an environment that “permits a life of dignity and well-being," while also entrusting us with protecting that environment for present and future generations.

While our world looks very different today, the spirit of the Declaration is more important than ever, and the fulfilment of its commitments all the more critical, given the slow and uneven progress over five decades.

At IDLO, we believe that issues of justice, human rights, fairness, and equity are fundamentally intertwined with the causes, and effects, of climate change.

Addressing them must be at the heart of the response.

Through our country programmes, research, and advocacy, we promote the rule of law’s contribution to transformative climate action.

Allow me to make three brief points on why a justice lens is essential to tackling the climate crisis.

First, the rule of law is fundamental for inclusive governance of land and natural resources, and gives greater agency to the communities who depend on them.

By strengthening both formal and customary justice systems, it can empower those with the least capacity to adapt to a changing climate to advocate for their environmental rights.

Second, the rule of law can enable women and girls to participate in, and lead, efforts to achieve climate justice.

Their full and equal participation is both a human right and, as data shows us, essential for the success of climate action.

A rule of law-based approach can enable equal access to justice, and promote laws and institutions that are more responsive to the climate needs of women and girls.

And third, the rule of law provides an effective basis for the cooperation required for green growth among and within States – as well as with civil society, the private sector, academia, and youth.

It promotes confidence for stakeholders and investors by reducing corruption, improving transparency, and establishing mechanisms through which implementing partners can be held to account.

Confidence that agreements will be upheld is crucial for their success at all levels, including the international accords that are the cornerstone of the global climate response.

Climate change is an issue of intergenerational justice, not just for the present but particularly for future generations.

While we cannot reverse environmental degradation overnight, we can make sure that we mitigate its effects, support those most affected to adapt, and lay the groundwork for a greener, sustainable, and just future. IDLO is committed to working with you to promote “a healthy planet for the prosperity of all” through the rule of law.


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