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Joint Nordic statement at the Security Council open debate on climate and security

Delivered by Ambassador Martin Bille Hermann, Permanent Representative of Denmark, on the occasion of the High-Level Open Debate of the UN Security Council on Climate and Security, 24 July 2020

Mr President,

Members of the Security Council,

I have the pleasure to submit this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

We welcome today’s opportunity to discuss how best to provide the Security Council with comprehensive and authoritative information on climate-related security risks, and would like to highlight the following points:

We encourage the Security Council to continue mandating peacekeeping operations and special political missions to consider climate related security risks. This should include integrating a climate lens into mediation efforts and preventive diplomacy.

In addition, we see strong merit in mandating a regular comprehensive report by the Secretary-General on the climate-security nexus. This could serve as an important platform for dialogue between member states and the UN Secretariat. It is important to leverage the scientific findings of other ongoing processes such as the IPCC in this regard.

We welcome the efforts undertaken by the Climate Security Mechanism to map the existing UN analytical tools, data and approaches, and encourage further action on mainstreaming climate related security risks in all UN efforts, including peacebuilding. We also encourage the Security Council to further strengthen the advisory role of the Peacebuilding Commission.

In order to enable the UN to prevent the escalation of conflict, timely assessment of climate-related security risks is essential, and partnerships play a key role in this regard:

Firstly, it is essential that peace operations engage with local communities and authorities in an inclusive matter. Local knowledge and expertise are critical for effective policy analysis and to ensure that climate change adaptation measures are designed in accordance with local needs and concerns, including those of marginalized groups, civil society, indigenous peoples, women and youth.

Secondly, it is important that both the Security Council and peace operations engage with regional and sub-regional actors that can implement cross-border activities. Key partners include the African Union, ASEAN as well as sub-regional climate centres.

Thirdly, it is essential that peace operations engage at the country level with both the security sector and non-traditional security actors in order to co-produce such risk assessments. This should include climate experts from the World Meteorological Organization, and national meteorological and hydrological agencies.

Building on the above, the UN should develop multi-hazard early warning systems that take into account both climate and security risks and allow for an integrated cross-pillar response. To this end, we propose to include assessment, reporting and management of climate-related security risks in leadership evaluation frameworks and the reporting responsibilities of Resident Coordinators and mission leadership. We also propose to build on existing early warning mechanisms developed by the humanitarian community in the UN peace operations planning.

Climate-related security risks are closely tied to both the women, peace and security and youth, peace and security agendas. Women are often disproportionately affected by climate-related security risks, but they also serve as key agents of change in climate change adaptation and mitigation. Peacebuilding efforts should capitalize on these opportunities to strengthen the role of women in conflict prevention and resolution, as well as their economic empowerment. The youth of today will face the worst effects of climate change in the future, and it is therefore critical to include youth in decision-making processes regarding climate and security.

In conclusion, Mr. President, we would like to reiterate that we are pleased to see the climate-security nexus receiving increased attention by the Security Council. We look forwarding to engaging further on this issue in order to ensure that the Council receives adequate and timely information on climate related security risks.

Thank you.


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