“The adverse effects of climate change pose a serious threat to the security of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and their peoples. The Kingdom of the Netherlands, which also consists of three SIDS, is a voice for SIDS, raising global awareness of the climate- and water-related security risks. We have especially focused on this as an non-permanent elected member of the UN Security Council in 2018.
Preventing conflicts is much more (cost-)effective than resolving them. For this reason, tackling the root causes of conflict and addressing threat multipliers of instability during (and beyond) our year in the Security Council is our priority. As part of this effort, we continue to actively call for greater awareness of climate-related security risks in the UN Security Council. To this end, the agenda has gained momentum.
For example, in March 2018, under our presidency of the UN Security Council, we held a briefing on addressing the root causes of the situation in the Lake Chad Basin. During the meeting, briefers and UN Security Council members alike acknowledged the importance of addressing the adverse effects that climate change has on international peace and security. They urged the United Nations to carry out adequate risk assessments and develop risk management strategies accordingly.
Thanks to our ongoing efforts, in collaboration with like-minded countries, the Security Council has adopted similar conclusions and made similar demands in other instances as well. Most notably, strong language on climate and security was incorporated into Presidential Statements on Central and West Africa and the Sahel, and into the renewed mandates on Somalia, Mali, Darfur and Iraq.
Finally, to shine a spotlight on the issue of rising sea levels, we invited Studio Roosegaarde to exhibit its laser project, ‘Waterlicht’, at the United Nations. On World Water Day, ‘Waterlicht’ utilized lasers to demonstrate the effects of floods in New York, showing the effects of rising sea levels. We firmly believe that awareness is solely one part of our work. While the project showed that water levels could rise without human intervention, we continue to find concrete ways to address the adverse effects of rising sea levels, and increased climate variability.
As a UN Member State, and in 2018, as a non-permanent elected member of the UN Security Council, the Kingdom of the Netherlands continues to respond to the challenges posed by climate change and the specific risks they involve for SIDS. To learn more about what we are doing, please continue reading.”
by Karel J.G. van Oosterom
Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations in New York