UN / CLIMATE AND SECURITY

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13-Dec-2021 00:04:49
After the UN Security Council failed to adopt a draft resolution on climate and security due to a Russian veto, Irish Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason said the Council missed an opportunity to “recognise for the first time the reality of the world we are living in.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / CLIMATE AND SECURITY
TRT: 4:49
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: CHINESE / ENGLISH / FRENCH / RUSSIAN / NATS

DATELINE: 13 DECEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior

13 DECEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. Med shot, ambassador of Niger presiding over the Council
4. Various shots, Security Council members voting
5. SOUNDBITE (Russian) Vassily A. Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations:
"It is particularly sad, Mr. President, to see this attempt to shove in this draft resolution when there is a clear lack of consensus among the members of the Security Council now when countries are trying to agree on how to implement the Paris agreement in Glasgow and on measures that really are necessary to combat climate change. The climate agenda should provide a unifying role to find ultimate success in individual and joint activities and not to sow discord, particularly to political ends."
6. Wide shot, Security Council
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Geraldine Byrne Nason, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations:
“Today could have represented a point of inflection. Today should have represented a point of inflection. Today was an opportunity for the Council to recognise for the first time the reality of the world we are living in. That climate change is compounding insecurity and creating instability. That it is a real and present threat to the maintenance of international peace and security. We could have met our responsibility to accept this reality in our work.”
8. Wide shot, Irish ambassador addressing the Council
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Geraldine Byrne Nason, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations:
“We regret the use of the veto in all circumstances, and we very much regret its use today. That the majority of the UN membership, 113 countries, have cosponsored the draft resolution that this Council has now rejected, is telling. Today is another reminder, as if we needed one, that this is a Security Council which sorely needs reform.”
10. Wide shot, Security Council
11. SOUNDBITE (English) T. S. Tirumurti, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations:
“This draft resolution is a step backward from our collective resolve to combat climate change. It seems to hand over that responsibility to a body which neither works through consensus, nor is reflective of the interests of the developing countries. India had no option but to vote against.”
12. Wide shot, Security Council
13. SOUNDBITE (Russian) Vassily A. Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations:
"The international community is deeply divided on climate. This was clear in Glasgow when there was a need for consensus, but that caused our western colleagues to behave democratically and to consider the opinions of other countries. Now we are seeing an anti-democratic attempt to ignore the opinions of those 80 members of the UN that did not support the text and to impose on them a position of a climate activist. This is a step back in trying to fight climate change."
14. Wide shot, Security Council
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations:
“Given the enormity of the challenge, this resolution was the very least we could do. Today, the veto of this resolution has let the world down, and there is no justification for taking this action.”
16. Wide shot, Security Council
17. SOUNDBITE (Chinese) Zhang Jun, Permanent of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations:
"What the Security Council needs to do is not a political show. If some countries are really paying attention to climate change, then they should support the Security Council in using its unique authority to establish a monitoring mechanism and help the developed countries fulfil their obligations and ensure that their commitments are honoured."
18. Wide shot, ambassadors of Ireland and Niger walking to stakeout
19. SOUNDBITE (French) Abdou Abarry, Permanent Representative of Niger to the United Nations:
"Research and evidence on the ground show clearly that climate change is increasing insecurity and instability. The Council will never live up to its mandate for international peace and security if it does not adapt. It must reflect the moment we are now living in, the threats to international peace and security which we now face."
20. Zoom out, ambassadors of Ireland and Niger leaving stakeout

STORYLINE:

After the UN Security Council failed to adopt a draft resolution on climate and security due to a Russian veto, Irish Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason said the Council missed an opportunity to “recognise for the first time the reality of the world we are living in.”

The draft resolution, which was penned by Ireland and Niger and supported by 113 other member states, received 12 votes in favour, with Russia and India voting against it and China abstaining from the vote.

Prior to the vote, Russian ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said the co-sponsors did not want to listen to clarifications or arguments and described the text as unacceptable. He said Russia was against created a new area of work for the Council which establishes a generic automatic connection between climate change and international security, turning a scientific and socio-economic issue into a politicized question.

Addressing the presidency of the Council, which is currently held by Niger, Nebenzia said, "It is particularly sad, Mr. President, to see this attempt to shove in this draft resolution when there is a clear lack of consensus among the members of the Security Council now when countries are trying to agree on how to implement the Paris agreement in Glasgow and on measures that really are necessary to combat climate change. The climate agenda should provide a unifying role to find ultimate success in individual and joint activities and not to sow discord, particularly to political ends."

Ambassador Nason said the draft was a modest first steps to strengthen the ability of the Council to begin to assume its responsibility on the defining challenge of this generation. She said it was long overdue that the principal organ of the UN dealing with international security, takes responsibility for integrating climate related security risks across its conflict resolution, prevention and mediation work.

Following the vote, the Irish ambassador expressed her country’s deep disappointment. She said, “Today could have represented a point of inflection. Today should have represented a point of inflection. Today was an opportunity for the Council to recognise for the first time the reality of the world we are living in. That climate change is compounding insecurity and creating instability. That it is a real and present threat to the maintenance of international peace and security. We could have met our responsibility to accept this reality in our work.”

Nason said she regretted the decision to use a veto to block the adoption of what she described as a ground-breaking resolution. She added, “We regret the use of the veto in all circumstances, and we very much regret its use today. That the majority of the UN membership, 113 countries, have cosponsored the draft resolution that this Council has now rejected, is telling. Today is another reminder, as if we needed one, that this is a Security Council which sorely needs reform.”

The Irish ambassador stressed the need for the UN to understand and take action on the security implications of climate change. She said the support of 113 member states demonstrates the expectation among majority of the UN members that the Security Council should factor the security risks of climate change into its decision-making processes.

Indian ambassador T. S. Tirumurti said his country was second to none with it comes to climate action and justice but stressed that the Security Council was not the place to discuss either issue.

He said the draft resolution appears to be motivated by a desire to evade responsibility in the appropriate forum, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and divert the world's attention from an unwillingness to deliver where it counts.

Tirumurti said, “This draft resolution is a step backward from our collective resolve to combat climate change. It seems to hand over that responsibility to a body which neither works through consensus, nor is reflective of the interests of the developing countries. India had no option but to vote against.”

The Indian ambassador said, to move forward decisively on climate action, affordable access to climate finance and technologies has become critical. He said developed countries have fallen well short of their promises, adding that today's attempt to link climate with security really seeks to obfuscate the lack of progress on critical issues under the UNFCCC process.

Russian ambassador Nebenzia noted that, while sponsors of the resolution point to the 113 countries who have supported the resolution, there are 80 countries that did not. He said, "The international community is deeply divided on climate. This was clear in Glasgow when there was a need for consensus, but that caused our western colleagues to behave democratically and to consider the opinions of other countries. Now we are seeing an anti-democratic attempt to ignore the opinions of those 80 members of the UN that did not support the text and to impose on them a position of a climate activist. This is a step back in trying to fight climate change."

Nebenzia described the veto as a key piece of insurance against this kind of unacceptable scenario, adding western domination of the Council has become clearer in trying to turn away from their responsibility for their own actions.

The Russian ambassador recognized the fact that there are a range of different problems woven together including climate change, natural disasters, poverty, weak local authorities, and terrorism which are a very heavy burden for some countries and regions. However, he stressed that each situation is unique.

United States ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said, by vetoing the draft resolution, Russia has stopped the world’s most important body for maintaining international peace and security from taking a small, practical, and necessary step to combat the impacts of climate change. She said the climate crisis is a security crisis which poses a threat to every person, in every nation, on every continent.

Thomas-Greenfield said the US categorically rejects the notion that Security Council action undermines the Paris Agreement and the UNFCCC. She said the Council can and should complement, support, and reinforce collective work under the Paris Agreement and the UNFCCC in ways that are necessary to fight this security threat.

The US ambassador said, “Given the enormity of the challenge, this resolution was the very least we could do. Today, the veto of this resolution has let the world down, and there is no justification for taking this action.”

Chinese ambassador Zhang Jun said his country attached great importance to tackling climate change and played a responsible and constructive role.

He said climate change is by-product of mankind's pattern of unsustainable development since the industrial revolution, and thus only in the process of green transformation and sustainable development can the problem be fundamentally addressed.

Zhang said climate change has the potential to impact peace and security, but the nexus between the two is very complex. He said making climate change the main security challenge is not scientific and may hinder conflict resolution efforts.

The Chinese ambassador said developed countries should implement their commitments in the areas of climate finance and technology transfer and capacity building. He said the value of the Council's action on the climate issue does not depend on words and written reports. He said what was needed is real efforts to provide real help to countries and regions in conflict.

Zhang said, "What the Security Council needs to do is not a political show. If some countries are really paying attention to climate change, then they should support the Security Council in using its unique authority to establish a monitoring mechanism and help the developed countries fulfil their obligations and ensure that their commitments are honoured."

Addressing reporters following the meeting on behalf of his country and Ireland, the ambassador of Niger, Abdou Abarry, said the resolution would have been a historic and necessary move for the Council at a critical time. He said the draft resolution was about looking at the Security Council’s role in the current world and stressed that the penholders were not looking for a veto.

Abarry said, "Research and evidence on the ground show clearly that climate change is increasing insecurity and instability. The Council will never live up to its mandate for international peace and security if it does not adapt. It must reflect the moment we are now living in, the threats to international peace and security which we now face."

The ambassador of Niger said it remains vital that the Council incorporates climate related security risks into its work and to seek understand the impact of climate change on its agenda.
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