Delivered by: Ambassador Mohamed Abushahab, Deputy Permanent Representative

At the outset, allow me to thank Guyana for convening this important debate. I would also like to thank the Secretary-General for his remarks and the briefers for their contributions.

Madam President,

For today’s meeting, we have been asked to reflect on the interlinkages between climate change, food security and peace and stability. The United Arab Emirates would like to lay out three specific ways to tackle the nexus of these interconnected challenges.

First, we know that the impacts of climate change and food insecurity are unevenly distributed.

As our briefers mentioned, there is a great degree of overlap between those experiencing instability; hunger and high humanitarian needs; and vulnerabilities to climate change.

What this means is that for the large part, it is often the same people facing acute hunger, conflict, and living on the front lines of the climate crisis.

Furthermore, today’s conflicts are often protracted in nature, in many lasting years. We cannot wait for conflicts to resolve before taking action to address climate risks and repair food systems, particularly when their impacts are often a catalyst for additional vulnerabilities or instability.

Interventions focused on the most fragile and conflict-affected areas and communities will yield multi-fold peace dividends. Preventing and addressing food insecurity, which is amplified by climate and conflict risks, starts with early, community centered action, and finding the right entry points for organizations across the humanitarian, development and peace nexus.

Second, the Declaration on ‘Climate, Relief, Recovery and Peace’, endorsed during COP28 in the UAE last December, proposes a set of actions specifically focused on highly climate vulnerable states affected by fragility, conflict, or facing severe humanitarian needs, including hunger.

The Declaration was endorsed by over 80 states parties and over 40 international entities. It represents a significant step in the direction of recognizing these interlinkages, while at the same time offering a menu of targeted policy interventions, and options for multi-sectoral financial and technical support.

These include the scaling up of climate adaptation programming and finance; early warning and anticipatory action; and strengthening the evidence base of climate action in these countries and contexts, particularly from actors with a long history of operating in conflict zones.

Third, a range of interventions that have co-benefits for improved food security, climate action and stability are already well-known and available to us today.

Boosting climate resilience and adaptation mechanisms remain the most efficient tools at our disposal to reduce both food insecurity as well as humanitarian needs and instability in areas most impacted by extreme weather patterns and slow onset events.

From the Sahel to the Horn, investing in resilience through climate-smart agricultural techniques, drought resistant crops, and water-efficient irrigation systems will yield peace dividends. The Council’s recognition of the interlinkages between food security and instability in the context of its mandated Missions – such as in Central African Republic and Somalia – will help strengthen co-creation of programming across the peace and development sectors.

Finally, let me refer back to the Secretary General’s statement yesterday and the once-in-a generation opportunity that the Summit of the Future represents. Re-tailoring our multilateral governance mechanisms to the interwoven challenges of the 21st century is no easy feat. We need will not be able to address the interconnected challenges of the 21st century by using our problem-solving mechanisms from the last century.

While we respect the distinct mandates of relevant bodies, including that of the Security Council and UNFCCC, we have to recognize their complementarity and strive to optimize them by improved coordination across the development, humanitarian, climate, and peace domains and strengthened operational partnerships.

The ideas outlined in the ‘New Agenda for Peace’ by the Secretary-General offer many ideas and we hope to see many of these reflected in the Pact for the Future.

Having recently completed our term on this Council, the UAE will remain an active partner in our deliberations going forward on climate security in the context of the Pact of the Future as well.

Thank you, Madam President.