Statement by Mr. Md. Monwar Hossain, PhD, Deputy Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York at the UN Security Council Arria Formula Meeting on “Sea-Level Rise and Implications for International Peace and Security”, 2:00 pm, 18 October 2021, UN Trusteeship Council

Mr. President,

I thank Viet Nam and other organizing Missions for convening this important Meeting on “Sea-Level Rise and Implications for International Peace and Security”. I thank the briefers for their insight on this important issue.

Mr. President,

The IPCC Sixth Assessment Report predicts that the global temperature will cross the threshold of 2 degrees Celsius by 2100. This will lead to significant rise in the sea-level due to melting of glaciers and cause irreversible damage to our planet.

We recognize the multifaceted risks including vulnerabilities posed by climate-induced sea level rise. Yet we feel that an “alarmist” approach and securitization will not be helpful. It will divert attention from the essential interlinkage between climate change and global development. Therefore, we believe that international development cooperation is the most effective way to deal with the adverse impacts of climate change.

Let me share a few specific thoughts in this regard:

First, we see sea-level rise as a risk multiplier that may affect various dimensions of human security in climate vulnerable countries. It may create new risks or exacerbate existing ones by undermining food security, water security, energy security, livelihood security and even cause the loss of territory by some low-lying coastal states. It is imperative to create opportunities for alternative livelihoods and encourage localized solutions to such pressing problems, especially to prevent or minimize population displacement.

Second, we need to factor in sea-level rise impacts on sustained livelihoods, population displacement, and socio-economic shocks with the help of development and human security lens. The UN must take an evidence-based approach drawing on national and subnational sources of information to act appropriately.

Third, in a conflict situation, the impacts of sea-level rise may interact with other drivers of fragility to further exacerbate human security challenges. The PBC with its mandate of peacebuilding and sustaining peace can play a crucial role in such contexts.  Prevention at the source will be the key.

Finally, it is important to leverage on the synergies among the peace and development actors. The twin resolutions on peacebuilding and sustaining peace stress on such a cross-cutting approach. Ensuring adequate resources for climate actions should be a priority to support the climate vulnerable countries.

I thank you all.