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Climate change, peace and security: Italy calls upon UNSC to break its stalemate 

NEW YORK, JUNE 13 – The U.N. Security Council is at a stalemate when it comes to climate and security and has so far failed to fully respond to the demands of an increasing number of member states. This message was conveyed by the Italian Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Maurizio Massari, in his address to  an open debate of the Council.

Recurring droughts in the Sahel and Horn of Africa, rising sea levels in the Pacific Ocean, last year’s devastating floods in Pakistan, this year’s floods in the Great Lakes region, and Cyclone Freddy in Southeast Africa have killed thousands of people and forced millions to flee their homes. These natural disasters, Massari said, are a stark reminder of how climate change affects fragile and conflict-affected areas with a particular degree of violence and unpredictability, contributing to regional and global instability and insecurity.

It is not surprising, then, that the countries most affected by climate change are sending a clear message: rather than questioning the nexus between climate, peace, and security, we should act to counter it. Unfortunately, this Council – according to the Italian Ambassador – is at a standstill when it comes to climate and security and has so far failed to fully respond to the demands of an increasing number of member states.

Massari said, “Italy adheres to the vision and proposals outlined by the Group of Friends on Climate and Security and the European Union.”

In particular, Italy supports the Secretary-General’s periodic report on the security implications of climate change; the use of climate-related early warning systems as a tool for conflict prevention and peacebuilding; and the inclusion of climate risks in the mandates of U.N. peacekeeping missions, while promoting the reduction of the environmental impact of those missions.

Italy, Massari said, encourages the United Nations system to continue its work on climate and security and appreciates interagency initiatives, such as the Climate and Security Mechanism, capable of consolidating a much-needed strategic approach. At the same time, Italy is doing its part in multilateral forums to better integrate climate and environmental issues into peacekeeping policies and operations by working closely with the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the African Union to strengthen early warning systems. (@OnuItalia)

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

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