The most systemic threat to humanity is climate change, as the Secretary-General of the United Nations has stated.
In a world that is warming up, climate security and sustainable peace are inseparable. This is why Switzerland has made climate security a priority at the Security Council.
I would therefore like to thank the United Arab Emirates for organizing this important debate, and for their continued commitment through the presidency of the COP28.
The work of the Security Council and the implementation of the Paris Agreement are complementary in addressing these immense challenges. President Santos, Under-Secretary-General Lacroix and Mrs Kadry - whom I would like to thank for their testimonies - have illustrated this clearly: climate change fuels the risk of conflict. Recognizing the undeniable link between climate change and security is therefore imperative. For this reason, too, Switzerland supports the Group of Friends' declaration on Climate and Security.
Climate change, the loss of biodiversity and pollution are adding to the tensions and conflicts in the world: many of you felt this here in New York last week. It's a triple global crisis.
Heat and drought, storms and floods are destabilizing numerous regions of the world. The vicious circle of tension, fragility and conflict is often reinforced by climate change. In the Sahel for example, as Madame Diouf, a representative of civil society, pointed out to this Council last month. Or in South Sudan, where persistent flooding is preventing the mission mandated by this Council from fully accomplishing its task of protecting civilians.
The impact of climate change is unprecedented. Our response must therefore be innovative.
Firstly - we need to put science and new technologies at the service of conflict prevention. For example, the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems initiative, of which the World Meteorological Organization is a key partner, implements early warning systems. This triggers rapid action ahead of extreme events in vulnerable countries, and thus represents a concrete contribution to conflict prevention. Another example is the International Organization for Migration's Displacement Tracking Matrix, which analyzes data on displaced populations.
Integrating scientific and diplomatic expertise is a strategic approach for Switzerland. In recent years, for example, we have created a center of expertise in Geneva on the effects of climate change on human security, which benefits the entire UN system.
Secondly, our collective efforts to build and consolidate peace must also integrate the links between climate change and security. The UN Peacebuilding Fund, which Switzerland supports, confirms this need. Lessons to be learned include climate financing in fragile countries. This must reflect local priorities, empower women economically and value the expertise of younger generations.
Thirdly, the mandates of the peacekeeping operations must be sensitive to climate risks. Reality on the ground has already prompted some missions to react. Climate and environmental advisors are instrumental in supporting missions with the integration and mitigation of climate risks into their work.
The Climate Security Mechanism, a joint initiative of various UN actors and programs, also enables the UN to address these risks more systematically. I would like to highlight the role of the Informal Expert Group on Climate and Security, which we co-chair with your country, Madam President, and Mozambique. In March, together with Malta as well, we launched a series of concrete measures on climate, peace and security within this Council. We invite other members to join us in our efforts.
Climate security is one of the cornerstones of stability. We must anchor climate action not only in Agenda 2030, but also in the New Agenda for Peace.
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.
I thank you.