Joint Press Stakeout on CPS in South Sudan

15 September 2023, 9:45am

We, the Security Council pledgers of the Joint Pledges related to Climate, Peace and Security—Albania, France, Gabon, Ghana, Japan, Malta, Mozambique, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States—have come together for the first time as a group of eleven Council members to express deep concern regarding the severe impacts of climate change on peace and security in South Sudan. We emphasize the urgent need for action.

South Sudan is one of the five countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Its economy relies heavily on agriculture, fisheries, and livestock rearing—all of which are directly affected by rising temperatures, irregular rainfall, and extreme weather events.

Climate change impacts, that among other things, negatively affect health, food availability, and housing, can create fertile ground for conflicts over scarce resources, including land and water, and exacerbate existing ethnic, political, and social tensions. Competition for dwindling resources can often escalate into violence, and lead to displacement, loss of lives, and destruction of infrastructure. Moreover, climate change can contribute to migration, which puts additional strain on social structures and services.

We encourage the Government of South Sudan, its regional partners, as well as the international community, to prioritize climate change adaptation and mitigation measures as integral parts of peace-building efforts. This includes integrating climate change considerations into national policies, strengthening natural resource management, promoting sustainable agriculture practices, investing in renewable energy sources, capacity-building and providing support for vulnerable communities affected by climate-induced conflicts and displacement.  The continued analysis of risks associated with climate change and security by UNMISS, in accordance with its mandate, is an important aspect to further understand climate change as risk multiplier.

Climate change and environmental degradation in South Sudan, like in many parts of the world, disproportionally affect women and girls, especially those in vulnerable situations and conditions. Therefore, climate and environmental action and disaster risk reduction need to be gender-responsive, and address the specific risks they face, including but not limited to gender-based violence.

In conclusion, as the impacts of the climate crisis worsen in South Sudan, we must recognize the undeniable linkages between climate change, and peace, and security. Failure to address the impacts of climate change could not only perpetuate cycles of conflict and instability, but also hinder the prospects of long-term peace and sustainable development. The international community should act swiftly and decisively to mitigate climate change and build climate resilience, contributing to a more peaceful and secure South Sudan.

Thank you!