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-formula" meeting of UNSC members "Sea Level Rise and Implications for International Peace and Security"

Mr. President,

Sea level rise is a global challenge which impacts a large number of states, including Russia, and is fraught with environmental and socio-economic consequences. This important issue also has quite tangible scientific and international legal aspects.

We welcome the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and note the importance of the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate as a source of scientific data.

As far as the dimension of international law is concerned, sea level rise is considered by the International Law Commission and this process has been initiated by a group of Small Island Developing States. The Russian delegation believes it is a significant precedent. It provides for a better focus of the ILC on priorities of the most practical relevance for interested countries. We support comprehensive and profound consideration of international legal aspects of sea level rise. And we also assume that the UN General Assembly, its Sixth Committee and the ILC are the most suitable platforms in this regard bearing in mind the characteristics of the topic.

The UN Security Council is not the appropriate place for discussion of this matter. It is responsible for specific issues of maintenance of international peace and security. A direct link between sea level rise and the threat of conflict emergence is not evident and it is even harder to understand this nexus in the context of landlocked developing countries.

On our part, we believe that the priority is to provide assistance to the most climate-vulnerable countries. What needs to be done is well known and was intergovernmentally agreed. With regard to SIDS, we need to enhance our efforts for climate adaptation and strengthening resilience to natural disasters, transfer relevant technologies, support debt relief and simplify access to climate finance. We call on all countries to step up action throughout specialized platforms, including under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, UN General Assembly and ECOSOC. The UN Security Council does not belong in this list.

I thank you for your attention.