Thank you, Mr. President.
The United Arab Emirates is grateful to Niger, and President Mohamed Bazoum in particular, for bringing the Security Council’s attention to the critical interplay between climate change, terrorism, and extremism. We would also like to thank the briefers for their helpful input.
The nexus between climate change and terrorism and extremism calls for action. Even if indirect, there is a connection between climate impacts – from migration to unemployment – and the feelings of helplessness, resentment, and loss of faith in governance systems that contribute to terrorist recruitment. There are furthermore already examples of climate stress and terrorism together creating pockets of unstable territory that are springboards for terrorist attacks and knock-on effects like resource competition on a wide range of countries.
Given this transnational threat, we would like to highlight two potential actions for the Security Council.
First, enhanced data collection and analysis on climate security would help to guide Council members and other actors in their response to threats, including in improving early warning capabilities. The relatively modest steps of standardized reporting to the Council and stronger in-country analytical capacity would position the Council to act more effectively. However, we must ensure that reporting and resources are prioritized for the situations where climate is clearly relevant.
Second, the Council’s climate action and counter-terrorism work must be gender and age-sensitive. This is critical to achieving outcomes that enable resilience and recovery and address the full needs of an affected population. Quotas, gender and youth advisors, gender and age markers, and women and youth advisory boards are all proven tools from UN peace missions to ensure inclusion. Climate security advisors in peace missions by design must also work hand in hand with advisory capacities like gender to ensure coherent engagement and protection strategies.
We must bear in mind, however, that climate security inherently requires the engagement of the wider UN system. We cannot overemphasize, for instance, the link between the collapse of fragile, food-producing communities and increased insecurity, including violent extremism and terrorism. It behooves Member States to encourage the World Food Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization, UN Development Programme, World Bank, and other actors to sharply increase their budgeting and programming for these communities .
Similarly, we would hope to see counter-terrorism actors incorporate climate stress as a factor when considering early warning and capacity building assistance in fragile settings.
But the responsibility of these actors for large parts of the climate security response does not diminish the urgency of the Council’s leadership. This open debate reinforces the importance of a consensus-based resolution on climate security. We see two fundamental principles behind the drive for a resolution: first, better, context-specific analysis and reporting for the Council on those agenda items where climate is a relevant factor and, second, increased international support for response measures per an affected government’s request. We are optimistic that all Council members can support these principles, and we are committed to continuing the work to frame and act on climate security in a way that the full Council can accept without sacrificing the needs of vulnerable communities and regions.
A unanimous call for action by the custodian of international peace and security would send a powerful message. The UAE is committed to achieving consensus that allows this outcome.
Thank you, Mr. President.