Russia vetoed a UN resolution designating climate change as a global security threat

The international community demands the government of Vladimir Putin greater commitment in the fight against climate change (Photo: REUTERS) (SPUTNIK /)

Russia this Monday vetoed a draft resolution promoted by Niger and Ireland in the United Nations Security Council that establishes a generic link between climate change and global security, an initiative that was supported by the majority of the UN members.

The text, which was supported by 12 of the 15 members of the Council, asked the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, “Integrate climate-related security risks as a central element in the agency’s overall conflict prevention strategies.”

India, which has no veto power, voted against it as global warming is primarily a matter of economic development. The Chinese regime, meanwhile, abstained.

The resolution also contemplated asking the UN chief to report within two years “On the implications for safety of the adverse effects of climate change” in the matters dealt with by the Council, as well as recommendations on how to deal with these risks.

For several diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity, Russia‘s opposition to “A resolution that was not revolutionary” it is still incomprehensible, one of them pointed out.

Ireland’s Ambassador to the UN, Geraldine Byrne Nason, said Monday before the vote that the project was “A modest first step.”

Climate change
The UN warned that climate change exacerbates conflicts and terrorism (Photo: Getty Images) (acilo /)

We need to better understand this link“Between climate and security” and we have to consider it globally, “he said. His counterpart from Niger, Abdou Abarry, denounced the “myopia” of those who oppose the text.

Moscow leads the Security Council, where the United States has so far shown little initiative and counterbalance to Russia under Joe Biden, using its veto often and unabashedly on many issues: Ethiopia, Libya, Sudan, Mali, Bosnia.

The President of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, went to the UN on Thursday to advocate for the resolution.

“It is time for the Council, within the framework of its prevention mandate, to take into account security risks related to climate change as one more element of our peace and security architecture,” he said.

That same day Guterres argued that climate change is “an aggravating factor” of instability, conflict and terrorism.

The regions most vulnerable to climate change “also suffer insecurity, poverty, weak governance and the scourge of terrorism,” he said.

Mohamed Bazoum, President of Niger (Photo: REUTERS)
Mohamed Bazoum, President of Niger (Photo: REUTERS) (POOL /)

At a Security Council meeting on the relationship between climate change, conflict and terrorism, Guterres noted that when the weather alters the capacity of government institutions to provide public services, “grievances and mistrust of authorities are fueled.”

And when the impact of climate change causes the population to lose their livelihoods, “the promises of protection, income and justice behind which terrorists sometimes hide their wishes for peace, become more attractive,” he said.

According to the UN chief, in the region of the Lake Chad basin, in Africa, the terrorist group Boko Haram has been able to add incorporations “especially in local communities disillusioned by a lack of economic opportunities and access to essential resources.”

“In central Mali, terrorist groups have exploited the growing tensions between herders and farmers to recruit new members in herding communities, who often feel excluded and stigmatized”, he claimed.

In Iraq and Syria, insurgents from the Islamic State extremist group have “exploited water shortages and taken control of water infrastructures to impose their will on communities,” he said, while in Somalia charcoal production has been a source of income for the radical Al-Shabab militia.

Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General (Photo: REUTERS / Dylan Martinez)
Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General (Photo: REUTERS / Dylan Martinez) (DYLAN MARTINEZ /)

Guterres noted that the “impact of the climate aggravates conflicts and exacerbates fragility”, adding that in eight of the 15 nations most exposed to climate risks there are peace missions or UN policies, although he did not name them.

He called for collective action to address the root causes of insecurity, highlighting that “conflict and terrorism do not occur in a vacuum”While calling for investment to help developing countries adapt to the impacts of the climate. Guterres recalled the commitment of wealthy nations to provide at least USD 100,000 millions per year for climate actions in the poorest regions. These costs are expected to reach $ 300 billion annually by 2030.

For his part, the president of Niger, whose country holds the presidency of the Security Council this month and who chaired the meeting, said that in his region, the Sahel, a key challenge is the fight against terrorism, “Whose daily acts of hatred are shaking the foundations of democratic states.”

“Among these challenges we also have climate change, which by reducing access to resources is increasing poverty and all the evils that it entails”, he claimed.

(With information from AFP)

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