FDFA State Secretary Livia Leu represented Switzerland today at an open debate of the UN Security Council organised by the United Arab Emirates. The debate focused on the topic of Climate, Peace and Security. “Addressing climate security" is a priority for Switzerland for its Council membership in 2023 and 2024. In the Security Council, Switzerland informally co-chairs the Group of Experts on Climate and Security, together with the United Arab Emirates and Mozambique.
The effects of climate change, such as droughts, floods and other natural disasters, threaten the livelihoods of people worldwide. This undermines stability and security in many countries and regions. Armed conflicts are prevalent in more than half of the states most affected by climate change. They are the most vulnerable to its consequences. "The most systemic threat to humanity remains climate change," emphasised State Secretary Leu in the Security Council.
Climate change can exacerbate the vicious cycle of tensions, fragility and conflict. "Climate security is one of the cornerstones of stability. Recognizing the undeniable link between climate change and security is therefore imperative. Our response must be innovative," State Secretary Leu told the Council.
In order to make concrete progress in the field of climate security, Livia Leu emphasised in the Council, on the one hand, the consideration of the effects of climate change in the prevention of conflicts. Science and new technologies have a central role to play here. For example, the use of early warning systems can be used to better anticipate climate-related risks. These combine the best available data on climate change and socio-economic factors to predict, for example, future food insecurity, displacement and conflict dynamics. On the other hand, Leu said that the UN Security Council's peacebuilding measures need to become more climate-sensitive. For example, climate advisors can support UN missions directly on the ground.
"Inaction is not an option. That's why this Council must act on the complex interplay between climate, peace and security. This is the only way to fulfill its mandate: to maintain international peace and security," underlined State Secretary Leu in New York.