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Massari: sea level rise is a threat multiplier, multilateral action needed to contain it

NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 14 – Rising seas pose “unthinkable” risks to billions around the world, with profound implications for security, international law, human rights and the very fabric of societies, senior officials told the Security Council on Tuesday, as members held their first-ever debate on the phenomenon’s global implications.

“The impact of rising seas is already creating new sources of instability and conflict,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who opened the meeting convened by the rotating presidency of Malta. Noting that some nations’ coastlines have already seen triple the average rate of sea level rise, he warned that, in the coming decades, low-lying communities – and entire countries – could disappear forever.

“We would witness a mass exodus of entire populations on a biblical scale, and we would see ever-fiercer competition for fresh water, land and other resources”, he warned.

The negative implications of climate change must be addressed by the UN Security Council, together with the other organs of the UN, the Italian Ambassador Maurizio Massari told the meeting: “The very survival of many Small Island Developing States is at risk from extreme rising sea levels – while other climate-vulnerable countries are experiencing damages to their infrastructures and losses for their industries. Poverty, food insecurity, resource scarcity, displacement and migration are also linked to sea level rise in many coastal areas”.

Massari joined Guterres in describing sea level rise as a “threat multiplier”, which can lead to permanent submergence of land and the disappearance of entire coastal areas across the world. Extreme sea levels are also causing more frequent flooding, loss of ecosystems and salinization of soils.

Italy believes that every organ of the United Nations, through coordinated multilateral action, should address the adverse implications of climate change. This would benefit both Member States and regional organizations in stepping up climate action in order to fulfil international commitments. Mitigation and adaptation should be further integrated into the formulation of mandates for UN peacekeeping missions. Italy, as the co-chair of the Group of Friends on Leading on Environmental Management in the Field, together with Bangladesh, is engaged in shaping solutions that can allow peace operations to perform in a sustainable way. (@OnuItalia)

Alessandra Baldini
Alessandra Baldinihttps://onuitalia.com
Alessandra Baldini e’ stata la prima donna giornalista parlamentare per l’Ansa, poi corrispondente a Washington e responsabile degli uffici Ansa di New York e Londra. Dirige OnuItalia.

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