Navigating the Climate Emergency
Within the context of the climate emergency driven by climate change, and in response to this global challenge, multiple international courts, including the International Court of the Law of the Sea, the International Court of Justice, and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, have been called upon to provide their legal perspectives on the responsibilities of states within international law when it comes to addressing the climate crisis.
Seminar Aims to Inform Mexico’s Role
The primary objective of the Seminar on International Law and Climate Change, jointly coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) and the Institute of Legal Research of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (IIJ-UNAM), was to gather technical, scientific, and legal insights necessary to guide Mexico’s participation and interventions in these consultative processes.
A Collaborative Endeavor
Led by Dr. Manuel Becerra Ramírez and legal consultant Alejandro Celorio Alcántara, the event brought together a diverse group of approximately 100 participants each day. Attendees included Mexican specialists, members of the scientific and legal communities, civil society representatives, and government officials.
Their shared objective was to engage in dialogues examining the intersections between public international law, its various branches, and the global emergency stemming from climate change.
Informing Mexico’s Role on the Global Stage
SRE and IIJ-UNAM organized this seminar to compile the legal, technical, and scientific elements essential for Mexico’s active involvement in consultative processes before three international courts: the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Inter-American Court). These processes seek to determine the content and scope of state obligations within the framework of the climate emergency.
Recognizing the Role of International Courts
During the opening ceremony, legal consultant Alejandro Celorio underscored the pivotal role played by international courts and tribunals in the progressive development of international law. The determinations issued by these entities are expected to exert a significant influence on how the international community and its member states address the challenge of climate change. Given its status as a coastal state with potential vulnerability, Mexico has a keen interest in active participation in these proceedings.
A Comprehensive Seminar in Three Parts
The seminar was structured into three distinct segments, with each segment dedicated to addressing a specific request for an advisory opinion. On the first day, discussions centered on the advisory opinion sought from ITLOS, focusing on obligations related to the protection and preservation of the marine environment as outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Delving into Legal Obligations
The second day delved into the advisory opinion requested by the United Nations General Assembly to the ICJ, the principal judicial body within the United Nations system. This particular request urged the ICJ to provide insights into state obligations under international law concerning environmental and climate system protection, as well as the legal consequences arising from non-compliance.
Addressing Vulnerable Groups
The final session of the seminar revolved around the advisory opinion submitted by Chile and Colombia to the Inter-American Court, which focuses on shared and differentiated state obligations in response to the climate emergency. This request, in relation to the protection of human rights, particularly for vulnerable groups, was a central theme.
Concluding with Comprehensive Insights
The seminar concluded with the presentation of reports generated by each panel and jointly prepared by the Legal Consulting Department and the IIJ-UNAM.
Acknowledging Collaborative Efforts
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, specifically the Legal Consultancy, expressed satisfaction with the successful conduct of this event. It reflects Mexico’s commitment to international law’s compliance and development, as well as its dedication to informed diplomacy that engages all stakeholders.
Strengthening Mexico’s Role on the Global Stage
The seminar reaffirms Mexico’s role as a responsible state actively participating in international law. It lays the foundation for Mexico’s engagement in these procedures, aligning with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs efforts to conduct diplomacy informed by dialogue and engagement with all interested parties and individuals.