Panel Discussions - Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Climate Change is a Threat Multiplier, Experts Say
At a recent policy forum at IPI, three visiting speakers agreed that climate change may not directly cause conflict, but can act as a threat multiplier by exacerbating existing tensions or creating new ones.
Climate change, a major issue of our time, is clearly becoming more significant when examining security implications.
One speaker recalled former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s statement after signing the Camp David Accords peace treaty in 1979. He said that his nation will never go to war again, except to protect its water resources.
Another speaker noted, “Climate change is poised to redraw the maps of our entire world, and that could change where we can grow food, where we can find water, how much water flows in rivers, where coastlines and marine boundaries are drawn, how often hurricanes hit land, where people can live and work,” to name a few impacts.
One speaker pointed out that governments and other entities, such as the EU, were increasingly looking at climate change as a security issue for themselves, for donor countries, and also for their aid recipients. He said that the EU is developing a roadmap for dealing with the security implications of climate change, and is seeking to bring the issue into the mainstream of all levels of political dialogue.
The increased threat from humanitarian disasters was another issue highlighted by a number of speakers and participants. Natural disasters are now occurring with more frequency and intensity than in the past, and the resulting humanitarian crises are straining the resources of governments and the international community. One speaker noted that it was necessary to focus on disaster risk reduction and enhancing disaster preparedness, and that funding flows needed to be adjusted to take that into account.
IPI hosted this event on June 10, 2009, in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Denmark to the United Nations and the Delegation of the European Commission to the United Nations.
The event was held under the Chatham House Rule.
The forum brought together three experts on the relationship between climate change and security: Oli Brown, of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Alessandro Villa of the European Commission, and Hansjoerg Strohmeyer of the UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The timing of the event was particularly opportune as, just a week before, the General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/63/281) requesting that the Secretary-General submit a comprehensive report to the General Assembly on the possible security implications of climate change, as well as inviting the relevant organs of the United Nations to intensify their efforts to address the possible security implications of climate change within their respective mandates.
Slide show: Image 1 of 9
Photos by Elliot Moscowitz
From left to right: UN Ambassador Carsten Staur of Denmark, Erik Høeg, Oli Brown, International Institute for Sustainable Development
The Global Observatory
Aid Workers, More on the Front Lines, Suffer Increased Attacks: Interview with Abby Stoddard
Aid worker attacks were at their highest levels last year.
Key Global Events to Watch in March
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
February 26, 2014
Roméo Dallaire: Neutralize Child Soldiers Without Destroying Them
“We believe that by better training both police and military and a whole new dimension of working much closer, particularly information-wise, with NGOs and other agencies on the ground, we can work at neutralizing without destroying children as a system of weaponry in this era,” said Lt. General Roméo Dallaire (Ret.) at an IPI event on February 26th.
February 19, 2014
Gary Bass: Forgotten Genocide May Portend Future Stain on UN Inaction
The inability of the United Nations Security Council to halt mass atrocities in East Pakistan some 40 years ago has parallels to current inaction in North Korea, argued Gary Bass, a professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University, on February 19th.
February 18, 2014
Jok: Near Collapse in South Sudan Is Shocking but Not Surprising
The events that recently brought South Sudan to a near collapse were “extremely shocking, but they were not surprising by any means,” said Jok Madut Jok, Executive Director of The Sudd Institute, at the International Peace Institute on February 18. “It was only a matter of time before the country returned to this kind of situation,” he added.
December 03, 2013
IPI Editor Adam Lupel Quoted on the Politics of Genocide [IRIN News]