Dr A.K. Abdul Momen
Ambassador and Permanent Representative
Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to the United Nations
at the Open Debate on the subject
“Maintenance of International Peace and Security: The Impact of Climate Change” at the
New York, 20 July 2011
I thank Germany for scheduling this open debate on “Maintenance of international peace and security: the impact of climate change”. I appreciate the Secretary General for his statement. Allow me also to express our sincere thanks to other distinguished speakers, including the President of the Republic of Nauru, the Parliamentary Secretary of Australia and the Executive Director of the UN Environment Program (UNEP), Achim Steiner for their statements this morning.
My delegation aligns itself with statements delivered on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and the Non-aligned Movement, expressing the views and concern of the G77 and NAM. In addition to that, I wish to highlight the following points, that Bangladesh feels important.
My delegation believes that the maintenance of international peace and security, as set out in the Charter of the United Nations, is the primary responsibility of the Security Council. The Charter also designated the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council to deal with issues, related to economic and social development. In this regard, we believe that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change.
Climate change is one of the most severe global challenges facing mankind. I appreciate the Secretary General’s 2009 Report (A/64/350) on climate change and its possible security implications, which identified several channels, i.e. food insecurity, aggravating scarcity of natural resources, displacement of people, loss of jobs and livelihoods, abject poverty, large-scale migration and more importantly, loss of hopes resulting in desperation. All of these have the potential of driving social and regional tensions, political unrest and violent conflict and extremity, thereby threatening international peace and security.
Indeed, some of the adverse impacts of Climate change are gradual loss of land, flood, inundation, droughts, sea-level rise, salinity, extreme weather pattern, a decrease in food production, scarcity of fresh water and climate-induced migration. Global warming in different parts of the world already is compelling us to face erratic climatic behavior and witness increasing natural catastrophes. Recently, we have seen how the wildfires in Russia and Australia, floods in Pakistan, earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and New Zealand, Tsunami in Japan, tornados or twisters in USA, draught in Africa affected both the developed and developing countries. It is true that climate change-induced food insecurity, uprooting of population and related adversity is a threat to international peace and security. In this regard, I call upon the parties concerned to quickly implement the promises spelled out in the Summit of “L’Aquila” through the “Joint Statement on Global Food Security” adopted by the global leaders in 2009.
Sea-level rise is another looming concern for the global community, especially for small island developing states and countries with low-lying coastal areas. The sea level rise is a great concern for Bangladesh as it may displace nearly 30 to 50 million people from its coastal belts by 2050, it also will deprive them of their livelihood. Already climate-induced displaced people are aggravating urban slums in Bangladesh. Therefore, when negotiations are being held about what percentage of emission should be or would be allowed, millions of people in our region are scared of losing their homes, afraid of joblessness, and apprehensive of the fact their next generation will not see their ancestral property. Their survival is at stake.
The effect of climate change will be severe on LDCs and SIDS, and global efforts to support these countries should be enhanced right away. In this regard, my delegation calls for the full and effective implementation of the commitments under the Istanbul Program of Action and the Mauritius Declaration and the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States.
I urge all stakeholders to fully implement Agenda 21 adopted at the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, in 1992 and other relevant United Nations Conferences in the economic, environmental and social fields, including the Millennium Development Goals Declaration.
Let me stress upon the need to enhance the assistance to the affected developing countries by supporting efforts towards increasing their national and regional capacities, including mitigation, adaptation, preparedness, and development. The developed countries should also ensure provision of adequate, predictable, new and additional financial resources and transfer of technology to developing countries.
While addressing this matter, we have to focus on the root causes of the problem. My delegation feels that to tackle adverse impacts of climate change, countries with differentiated capacities and levels of development should fulfill their commitments with regard to emission reductions and mitigation actions. Developed and developing countries should fulfill their differentiated responsibilities including pledges and obligations under the framework of UNFCCC negotiations to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.
In conclusion, may I also stress upon the need to have a well-coordinated and an integrated approach in mitigating adverse impacts of climate change at the UN, meaning that all the relevant organs should rather complement not duplicate the challenges of climate change?
Thank you, Mr. President.