Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Chumakov at an Arria meeting of UNSC members "Stepping up Preventive Action: From Environmental Challenges to Opportunities for Peace"

We thank the organizers for convening today's meeting. We have listened attentively to the invited briefers. We will not deny that one of the causes of internal conflicts could be the struggle for national resources, including against the backdrop of climate change and protection of the environment. Such trends are indeed to be noted in a number of countries and regions, especially in Africa. However, under no circumstances should we lose sight of the most important thing.

The root causes of internal conflicts are not climate disasters, as certain delegations are trying to present, but rather the nexus of political and socio-economic problems. Moreover, the effective conflict prevention must take into consideration national priorities and the uniqueness of each individual case. It is the national responsibility of the State that should be the cornerstone of all efforts. “Securitizing” the environmental agenda, violating the division of labour within the UN, or imposing functions on the Security Council that are alien to it only prevents us from having a chance to find effective solutions to crises. After all, these solutions must be comprehensive in nature and help a country or region to embark on the path of sustainable development, which, among other things, will reduce vulnerability to climate disasters. Russia is taking part in such cooperation, including on the issue of early warning.

Let us not forget about another crucial aspect of the vulnerability of states, which, unfortunately, is missing in the concept note. It is unacceptable that such factors as poverty, social conflicts, and inadequate state control over territories be used by external players (primarily by former colonial powers), to abet the exploitation of sovereign natural resources, which is in essence plundering. In this context, we should not gloss over the impact of military action (subsequently exacerbated by unilateral sanctions), which results in environmental damage and disrupted state control over sovereign natural resources. We, in particular, mean the illegal bombing by Western coalitions of Iraq, Libya, Syria... The examples are many and diverse.

Regrettably, Ukraine has also become an object of predatory interest for Western players. In the Council, we have already quoted the American Senator Lindsey Graham as saying that Kiev is “sitting on 10 to 12 trillion dollars of critical minerals”, which supposedly “can be used by Ukraine and the West”. Over at least the past 10 years, Western countries have consistently been preparing Ukraine for military confrontation with Russia, and they are increasingly assertive in manifesting their true agenda. The logic of Ukraine plundering has already been supported by the US domestic legislation, with major U.S. agro-industrial corporations, unified under the management of giant investment monsters like Blackrock, putting their tentacles deeper into the agricultural complex of the country, once the "breadbasket of Europe".

We do believe that such actions should be objectively assessed by the Security Council. After all, by destroying the natural capital of entire states, interventionists and democratizers not only undermine the very possibility of sustainable development, but also disrupt stability worldwide.

Thank you for your attention.

Video of the statement