Security in SIDS means also anticipating climate risks - 30 July 2015 [fr]
Peace and security challenges facing small island developing States - Statement by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, on behalf of Mrs Annick Girardin, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie - Security Council - 30 July 2015
Ms. Annick Girardin, France’s Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, would have liked to be here to speak on the subject of small island developing States dealing with threats to peace and security, an important issue for France and one particularly close to Ms. Girardin’s heart, since she herself is from the archipelago of Saint Pierre and Miquelon in the north Atlantic. She was unavoidably detained in Paris on important business and has therefore asked me to convey the following statement to the Council on her behalf.
“I had hoped to be in the Council today, but unfortunately that has turned out not to be possible. I would first like to thank the New Zealand presidency for organizing today’s debate on such an important subject. France endorses the statement to be delivered later on behalf of the European Union and would like to emphasize on the following points.
“I would like to reaffirm the message that there can be no development without security and no security without development. France has conveyed that message to Africa, Mali and the Central African Republic, but it is true everywhere, and security in small island developing States also involves anticipating climate risks. In 2015, the year of sustainable development goals and the twentyfirst session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21), I would like to emphasize that aspect and offer a concrete proposal for progress.
“In the face of the increasing numbers of climate disasters, I hardly need stress the importance of warning systems to the Council. We all remember Cyclone Pam, which hit Vanuatu in the middle of the Sendai Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. At the Conference, France proposed the simple goal of mobilizing the international community’s support for the most vulnerable countries, including small islands and least-developed countries (LDCs), in developing climate warning systems. France considers it part of its responsibility to share its know-how and expertise in order to help those countries that are most vulnerable to climate change. That topic will be central to the success of СOP 21, and it is why we devoted a round table to the issue at the Caribbean Climate 2015 Summit, chaired by our President, François Hollande.
“The international community is already mobilizing around the teams from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the World Bank. The Global Framework for Climate Services has enabled much progress to be made. But we are still far from our goal. Currently, not all least-developed countries and small island States possess working warning systems, and only four or five of almost 40 small island developing States have them. The numbers for LDCs are very similar. According to the WMO, 54 per cent of surface meteorological stations and 71 per cent of satellites deliver no data.
“However, warning systems help save lives and reduce the economic cost of disasters considerably. That is why France, in close coordination with Norway, the WMO, the UNISDR and the World Bank, has launched the Climate Risk Early Warning System initiative. Its objectives are simple. They are, first, strengthening and expanding action on the part of the international community in support of warning systems in vulnerable countries; secondly, mobilizing additional financing for supporting and strengthening actions already under way in order to help achieve global coverage for populations exposed to extreme weather events between now and 2020. We must mobilize to fill the gaps and enable the actors on the ground, at the regional, national and local levels, to work in good conditions, so that the populations concerned, almost all of whom now who now have mobile phones and other modern means of communication, can be alerted in a timely manner when a disaster threatens.
“Finally, there is the question of means. They are within our reach. If we can mobilize about $100 million by 2020, we should be able to change the game in most countries. France is ready to commit to that, and I hope all those here can too. I will be putting our proposal on paper and hope that between now and September we can work together to raise the money. We also have genuine interest from countries such as Mexico, Cuba and others with experience that they are willing to share at the regional level, for example. Businesses, especially insurance and new-technology companies, should also be mobilized. Together, we can make progress with this project, which can be so useful to small islands’ security and development.”