Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Chumakov at an "Arria-formula" meeting of UNSC members "Climate, Peace and Security: Opportunities for the UN Peace and Security Architecture"
We thank Mr. Miroslav Jenča and the panelists for their remarks.
Russia attaches great importance to the issue of climate change and underscores the global nature of this challenge, which requires all countries to conjugate their efforts. The results of UNFCCC COP-27 in Egypt, which is the main platform for addressing climate-related problems, surely provide for some important arrangements that lead us in the right direction. In particular, I mean establishment of the Mechanism for recovery of the loss and damage caused by climatic disasters. This will signify yet another step towards ensuring stable development of the countries that are most susceptible to the effects of the climate change.
The fact that complexity of these effects differs from country to country cannot be contested. Regions that are vulnerable to natural disasters, such as Africa, are undoubtedly affected the most. Droughts, floods, forest fires, desertification, hurricanes and other natural phenomena induced by climatic transformations aggravate the serious economic and social challenges, which leads to further exacerbation of disputes among local communes and even violence.
In this regard, we believe it reasonable not only to build up global efforts in addressing the climate change, but also assist the affected countries in adapting to its negative effects, first of all in order to improve the socio-economic situation. We are convinced that the global community needs to take collective action to solve the longstanding problems that developing states are faced with, such as access to clean drinking water, ensuring food security, recovery and support for industry, agriculture, early warning systems.
However, it should not be about fragmentation of assistance for development, but rather about comprehensive and effective measures, because in the overwhelming majority of cases climate only constitutes one of the elements. There is no doubt that progress on the whole range of SDGs will promote stability and security. Therefore we draw attention to the Concept Note for this Arria meeting. The Note provides a quote from the 6th Assessment Report of the International Panel of Experts on Climate Change (IPCC) with some omissions. Where the Concept Note has the three dots, the Report has a very meaningful piece, which reads “increasing vulnerability” and constitutes a complex socio-economic issue. Besides, the IPCC insists that “compared to other socioeconomic factors the influence of climate on conflict is assessed as relatively weak”.
As for the peacekeeping and peacebuilding mandates, i.a. by the Security Council and the Peacebuilding Commission, we believe we should focus on analyzing the reasons of every conflict. There must be no uniform gauge, because if we make a mistake when identifying the reasons for escalation, the effectiveness of response measures drops considerably. To our regret, such country situations that remain on the UNSC agenda for decades are rather numerous. In the Peacebuilding Commission, those are also growing in number. We see no added value in bringing in another generalized criterion. By our experience, addition of a new generic topic at the very best may lead to dissipation of our resources and establishment of new divisions (i.a. in the UN Secretariat), and in the worst case, it may turn into another tool for exerting pressure on host countries.
In order for the UN system to function effectively, we need to preserve the division of labor as envisaged by the UN Charter. The Security Council cannot and should not duplicate efforts of other UN bodies. Countering climatic changes and their negative consequences, as well as addressing socio-economic tasks remains completely within the scope of issues of sustainable development.
We call to stop considering how to integrate sustainable development, including climate, in the work of the Department for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs. Instead, we call to intensify interaction at specialized multilateral platforms that deal both with climate change in general and its negative impact on the economic and social areas – within the UNFCCC in the first place. The UN Development System can make a practical contribution to adaptation, as well as mitigation of consequences of natural disasters, strengthening of early warning systems. This can be done with the help of international project activity to be carried out by UN operations agencies. Russia remains seized of the climate agenda when interacting with the UN agencies in the interests of developing states.