I wish to begin by thanking you, Mr. President, and the Government of Japan for convening today’s Open debate. I align my statement with those by Fiji on behalf of the members of the Pacific Islands Forum and by Palau on behalf of the Pacific SIDS.
In October 1945, when the United Nations was founded, the UN Security Council focused on a narrow concept of security. With the ever-changing circumstances our world is faced with, however, and with the security landscape becoming so complicated, the Council and the traditional concepts of peacekeeping and post-conflict peacebuilding have had to evolve.
In rebuilding a country torn apart by war and other grave security threats and harms, we need to take a holistic approach. National institutions and processes need to be developed to prevent future hostilities, which we think is important.
In our Blue Pacific Continent, the threats primarily facing the Pacific Small Island Developing State (PSIDS) are not the encroachment of foreign armies but the grave and mounting threats by the impacts of sea-level rise and climate change on our wellbeing, security and existence as island States. And these threats on our existence and security are no less harmful than the threats of wars and their weapons of destructions on populations elsewhere. In our islands, we are in a fight for our survival. Our existence is under assault from climate change whose impacts do not discriminate. We are familiar with the adverse impacts of climate change, which we can already see and feel in our island communities: unprecedented occurrences of king tides, intensifications of typhoons, droughts, floods, salinity of our ground water, the disappearance of our beaches, heightened Ocean acidification, shifts in the migratory patterns of key marine species, and the list goes on.
Peacebuilding obviously needs to be designed to be future proof and take into account climate change. The onset of draughts, severe weather events and sea-level rise must be factored in to build sustainable peace. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each country, emerging from conflict, will need a tailor-made solution, and so are those threatened and impacted by climate change.
For an island State such as Micronesia, there is one element that can inform members of the Council and the international community. A good start that Micronesia, along with the Pacific Small Island Developing States, has raised several times in this Chamber, and in the General Assembly, is the appointment of a Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Climate Change and Security, who would oversee how the adverse effects of Climate Change impact or otherwise related to current and future conflicts. We believe that information provided by the Special Representative on the security implications of climate change on regions and countries would be invaluable for the work of the Council and the United Nations to carry out their respective mandates. I implore this Council to pay more attention to climate-related security risks that the most vulnerable among us are faced with on a daily basis.
Finally, Mr. President, I want to emphasize that we are all responsible for the future of this planet Earth we live in. The attention paid by this Council to the security implications that climate change poses to the survival of the most vulnerable is one step towards the right direction. Placing the burden on them for what they least contribute to is not a practical solution – nor is it a fair solution.
I thank you, Mr. President.