President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday said time was running out for preserving nature for future generations and called for a debate on the right to climate justice.
Speaking at the National Human Rights Commission’s (NHRC) Human Rights Day event here, Mr. Kovind said while the world was waking up to harsh realities, decisive changes were yet to be made.
The President said while non-discrimination was the first condition for absolute respect for human dignity, the world was beset with countless prejudices. He said the world needed to debate and discuss the “right to a healthy environment and climate justice”.
“We owe it to our children that we save Mother Nature from the worst effects of industrialisation. The time is running out,” Mr. Kovind said, while noting India’s progress in the matter, particularly in its leadership of the International Solar Alliance.
The President said while the human rights discourse was justifiably focused on rights, India had always understood that rights and duties were two sides of the same coin.
Earlier in the event, NHRC chairperson Justice (retired) Arun Kumar Mishra said tolerance and inclusion were non-negotiable human rights. Mr. Mishra said it was necessary “to provide remedy to the victims of unfair economic structure and business-related human rights violations”.
“The NHRC chairperson said freedom of speech is the most cherished value and fundamental right to be protected. However, the extent of freedom of cyberspace both online and offline is a matter of debate, as it has fuelled grave apprehension of its misuse, violating the sovereignty, integrity of the country, public order, decency and morality,” an NHRC statement said.