Climate changes threaten international peace and security [fr]
CONTEMPORARY DRIVERS OF CONFLICT AND INSECURITY
STATEMENT BY MR. NICOLAS DE RIVIERE,
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF FRANCE TO THE UNITED NATIONS
AT THE SECURITY COUNCIL
New York, 3 November 2020
I thank all the briefers for their presentations. Saint-Vincent-and-the-Grenadines invite us to examine the contemporary drivers of conflict and insecurity. It is an important debate since while the causes of conflicts evolve, the UN Charter and the responsibilities of the Council are immutable. It is imperative that the Security Council continuously adapts its action and tools to fulfil its principal responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.
I would like to emphasise three points.
First, climate changes threaten international peace and security.
This Council has on many occasions recognised the nefarious effects of climate change, in different regions, whether it be Lake Chad, Somalia or Mali, and has called for a better assessment and management of the risks attached to it.
It is time to frame our action into a preventive approach by anticipating in particular the humanitarian consequences of environmental disasters. This is why France wishes for the Secretary-General to be able to present every two years an assessment of the risks to international peace and security posed by climate change.
My second point relates to pandemics. The Security Council must anticipate more systematically their destabilising effect.
The role of the Security Council is essential to attenuate the consequences of COVID-19. This is why we firmly support the call of the Secretary-General for an immediate and global ceasefire to facilitate the fight against the pandemic. Everything must be done to accelerate the implementation of resolution 2532 that this Council adopted unanimously on the 1st of July.
Countries in conflict or post-conflict situations are particularly vulnerable. It is therefore indispensable to preserve humanitarian space and to ensure the protection of humanitarian and medical personnel.
Furthermore, pandemics aggravate the deep causes of conflict, particularly by reinforcing inequalities and by disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable. Measures taken to stem them can also generate manipulation of information, a restriction of public freedoms and thereby undermine confidence in institutions.
This is why – coming to my third point – we must remain vigilant regarding human rights.
Human rights violations, a rupture of constitutional order, exclusion of women and youth can lead to violence, to displacements of populations and destabilise states and entire regions. This is not new. Situations on the Council’s agenda are a daily reminder. This is why the Council demands respect for international humanitarian law, mandates peacekeeping operations to protect civilians, assists national authorities to reinforce the rule of law, security and justice. We have specific mechanisms for the protection of children, for the full participation of women and their protection, for taking into account youth, for fighting impunity.
We have to go further and address situations of massive human rights violation. We are in favour of regular briefings by the High Commissioner for Human Rights as we are briefed by the High Commissioner for Refugees. We can reinforce synergies with the Human Rights Council, whilst respecting the mandate of each forum. Finally, the Security Council must continue to interact with human rights defenders, particularly during its visits on the ground, and to call for their protection when they are threatened.
Conflicts also find their origin in issues of development and governance, which are at the heart of the 2030 Agenda. The United Nations must adopt an integrated approach, combining security, humanitarian and political actions, but also in favour of human rights, sustainable development and to fight climate change. The Security Council must play its full role. Let us collectively rise to this challenge.