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EU at the UN

The EU's commitment to effective multilateralism, with the UN at its core, is a central element of its external action. As a UN observer with enhanced status, the EU delegation coordinates with its 28 Member States to speak with one voice. The EU also works closely with the UN secretariat and its agencies, funds & programmes, partnering on a range of global issues and challenges.

Mr. President,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the EU and its Member States. The acceding country Croatia aligns itself with this statement. 

The Acceding country Croatia*, the candidate countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Iceland+ and Serbia*, the countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.

We welcome the initiative taken by Pakistan together with the United Kingdom to hold this meeting to review and address climate change-induced challenges for international peace and security. As knowledge of climate security threats progresses, meetings such as the GA debate of November 2009, the formal UNSC debate of July 2011 and the present meeting are indeed very useful to regularly discuss and assess the situation in order to inform policy debates at all levels. Further, the July 2011 PRST resulted in a welcomed development.

A large and growing number of countries are actively engaged in regional and international efforts to foster climate risk assessment and management as well as conducting related preventive diplomacy. The forthcoming international conference on the climate security challenges in the Asia/Pacific region organized by South Korea is another indication in this regard.

The EU and its Member States have been very active in such efforts from the outset and continue to step up international and domestic engagement. Internally, climate security has been the subject of public debate, including the recent debate leading to a resolution of the European Parliament. Furthermore, challenges and needed action on climate and water security are being discussed among European foreign ministers. The Council of the European Union has recognized the important security implications of climate change, which act as a “threat multiplier”, exacerbating tensions over land, water, food and energy prices, and creating migratory pressures and desertification. It is a threat to global growth, prosperity and stability.

Systemic risks resulting from climate change need to be addressed and we see value in applying a comprehensive approach in collaboration with all relevant ministers.

The security case of tackling climate change is clear. There is strong recognition from Leaders’ that climate change poses a risk to global security and stability, directly because of physical impacts – already being seen in many countries –  and via its impact on economic and social conditions. Without a marked change in action to mitigate and adapt, climate change will significantly hamper growth resulting in a less stable global economy, and more intense, less predictable price shocks, notably in relation to food commodities. As resources become dearer, we may see states competing with each other to ring-fence scarce natural resources, and producer nations restricting natural resource exports to protect access.

The science case for climate action is underscored in many pieces of authoritative research of the IPCC, UNEP and the World Bank. Science must continue to inform decision-making. It is possible and imperative to contain global warming to our common objective of less than 2°C. Only by acting collectively, and with greater urgency and ambition, can we avoid the worst consequences of a rapidly warming planet.

The low-lying small island developing States face unique and particular vulnerabilities due to their size, remoteness, narrow resource and export base, and exposure to global environmental challenges and external economic shocks. Insufficient climate action globally risks unravelling the progress made in pursuit of MDGs and will affect the poorest and most vulnerable the hardest.

The EU and its Member States have delivered on their Fast Start Finance Pledge of 7.2 billion euros and will continue to provide climate support as was demonstrated by announcements of the EU and some of its Member States at the Doha conference. The EU leaders have committed at least 20% of the EU budget from 2014-2020 to climate-related spending.

In conclusion, the EU and its Member States see climate change as an “all-government” issue with strong security implications. We encourage further analyses, debate and cooperation on the issues at hand and will remain a reliable and engaged partner to further international climate risk assessment and management.

I thank you.

* Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

+ Iceland continues to be a member of EFTA and the European Economic Area.

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