Written by ZEE News
Syed Akbaruddin is an Indian Foreign Service officer who was named India's permanent representative to the United Nations three years ago, and does not have any plans on stopping his service.
Akbaruddin is no stranger to the United Nations, serving as a civil servant to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna for over 20 years.
The representative to the UN says this topic is one of the most important he has been tasked with trying to solve. We took a minute to speak to Akbaruddin about his involvement with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Why is the issue of “climate migrants” so important?
“This issue has never been addressed fully by the United Nations,. There is not even any clear definition on what a ‘climate migrant’ as of right now.”
Climate migrants are individuals displaced by climate change, including droughts and rising tides, according to Akbaruddin, a definition he is working to implement formally in the United Nations.
The delegate added the committee is making good progress on the issue, with the paper “Comrade,” working alongside Russia, Morocco and other member states.
How does this issue impact India?
“One of the biggest things impacting India are the rising numbers of internally displaced individuals,” he said. “In a country with over a billion people, this can really be a problem.”
Climate migrants are also flowing into India from bordering Bangladesh, adding to the strain of the swelling population of one of the fastest growing countries in the world.
Do you believe this body will make progress this weekend?
“I believe we already have made progress on this issue,” he said. “We are not even done yet, but I have a great feeling.”