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Climate change is “threat multiplier”; Massari points to link to rising insecurity

NEW YORK, DECEMBER 9 – Addressing today’s UN Security Council open debate on “Security in the context of terrorism and climate change”, Italy recalled that climate change is a “threat multiplier” with negative environmental and economic impacts, aggravating existing social vulnerabilities. “It’s undeniable the link between climate change and rising insecurity”, the Italian Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Maurizio Massari, said, pointing to the serious security implications in many areas of the African continent and in the Middle East: “Terrorist activities are becoming more frequent in countries experiencing desertification and environmental degradation”.

The Secretary General Antonio Guterres opened the debate. Environmental degradation enables armed groups to extend their influence and manipulate resources to their advantage, he said, highlighting that conflict-prevention initiatives need to factor in climate risks.

In Iraq and Syria, terrorist group Daesh, also known as ISIL, has exploited water shortages and taken control of water infrastructure to impose its will on communities, while in Somalia charcoal production provides a source of income for Al-Shaab, Guterres explained, urging the 15 Council members to address these challenges in an “integrated matter” to create a “virtuous a circle of peace, resilience and sustainable development”.

Ambassador Massari highlighted the “vital” importance of strengthening international cooperation, particularly in areas of conflict or post-conflict situations. In this respect he highlighted the need for a “holistic approach” of UN peacekeeping missions, whose role should not be limited to the military perspective, ensuring that they perform in the field in an efficient and sustainable way, also in terms of environmental impact.

For this reason, in February 2018, Italy launched, together with Bangladesh, the Group of Friends on Leading on Environmental Management in the Field which focuses on mitigating the environmental footprint of UN peacekeeping missions. (@OnuItalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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