In Paris, Lakshmi Puri stresses women’s role in climate action and decision-making


On 4 December, UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri participated in Globe International annual legislators’ summit in its opening session at the Assemblé Nationale of Paris. The Summit, which usually coincides with the meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), focused on the theme “Towards Coherence and Impact: The challenge of Paris and the Post-2015 Development Agenda for a prosperous and sustainable world”.

The summit brought together legislators to discuss the urgent need to implement the various outcomes adopted this year, including the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 was adopted at the Third UN World Conference, the Beijing+20 review conference and the adoption of the CSW political declaration in March, the Financing for Development Conference in July, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted in September.

Ms. Puri joined an esteemed panel which discussed how each of these international agreements complement each other and are related to the climate agreement being negotiated in Paris. Helen Clark stressed the need for more convergence, while Margareta Wahlström addressed the relationship between the climate agreement and the rise of natural disasters.

Ms. Puri stressed that in order for any of these agreements to be fully effective the role of women and girls must be fully taken into consideration. “If this climate agreement being negotiated right now in Le Bourget is to have any impact it must acknowledge this essentialism [of gender equality and women’s empowerment] and resolve to provide the required ecosystem of law, policy, institutions and investment to involve women including young women in the design and execution of climate action and decision-making,” said Ms. Puri, in her remarks at the Summit.

She explained that women and girls must be seen as part of the solution and be given the necessary space to be empowered agents of change. “We can no longer afford to dismiss and waste the potential of women’s agency and their huge role in devising and leading responses to climate impacts. On the other hand, the force multiplier and transformative potential of empowered women and girls should be harnessed to arrest and reverse climate change and adapt sustainably to its impact.”

Ms. Puri also reminded parliamentarians that they have unique responsibilities and constitutional mandates to translate international agreements into practical and concrete actions on the ground, urging their concrete action through passing legislation, making budget allocations and holding governments accountable and champion SDG 5.