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Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Climate change and its possible security implications

Climate change and its possible security implications

Statement by the Permanent Representative of Iceland

Ambassador Gunnar Pálsson

In the United Nations General Assembly

3 June 2009

Mr. President,

As a co-sponsor, my delegation is very pleased that consensus has been established on today´s resolution on climate change and its possible security implications. The text may fall short of the expectations of some. But the patience and hard work of the original drafters, the Pacific Small Island Developing States, has finally born fruit. For the first time, we now have a General Assembly resolution that recognizes, with the full backing of the entire United Nations membership, the possible link between climate change and security. This is an achievement and my delegation highly appreciates the show of flexibility by the different groups and countries involved that made that achievement possible.

The adverse impacts of climate change on food security, water availability and the loss of land in low-lying coastal states and islands due to rising sea levels, are no longer subject to dispute. It is also recognized that such impacts can lead to forced migration and give rise to tensions over access to land and natural resources. Therefore, it is high time that the issue of climate change and security be given the attention it deserves.

Mr. President,

My delegation certainly looks forward to future consideration of this important issue, based on the comprehensive report of the Secretary General that the General Assembly is requesting through its resolution today.


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