Remarks by Ambassador Jürgen Schulz in Thematic Consultations on “Linkages between Climate Change and Challenges to Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace”, April 23, 2020

23.04.2020 - Speech

Check Against Delivery

I would like to extend a warm welcome to today’s thematic consultations. France and Germany conduct these consultations as part of the “informal phase” of the 2020 Review of the Peacebuilding Architecture. We therefore also encourage everyone to make use of the word “informal” and later engage in an open discussion. 

We have set out where we would like this discussion to go in our concept note, so this allows me to be relatively brief: To Germany, the peace and security implications of climate change overall are obviously very important. For example, we have made it one of our main focus areas in our work on the Security Council. Not surprisingly, it will also take center stage during our Presidency in July. 

We equally ascribe great importance to prevention, peacebuilding, sustaining peace and our work in the Peacebuilding Commission. Hence our attempt to further the discussion on “the linkages between Climate Change and Challenges to Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace”, which is today’s topic. I do not want to anticipate any points to be raised in the discussion, but let me make three quick points to explain why we attach such great importance to this linkage:

Secondly, we advocate for the PBC to play a stronger role as a place well suited for such integrated and coherent thinking: It is equally a platform and a bridge for all actors from within and outside the UN system. With its unique and broad composition, it has a comparative advantage as an accessible and flexible forum. It is driven by national ownership that supports countries or whole regions in their peacebuilding efforts. 

For us, today’s discussion as part of the review process really is an opportunity: To further bring the linkage of Peacebuilding and the effects of climate change into the review discussion. And to further examine which options we have to reflect this linkage in the Peacebuilding Architecture. As we stated in the concept note, we aim to put together a short “chairs’ summary” of today’s discussion and submit it as an input to the SG’s report to be published at the end of the informal phase. 

We know (and are extremely appreciative of the fact) that France equally attaches great importance to the issue of climate change. In fact, just yesterday, France and Germany co-hosted – together with other friends on the Council – an Arria meeting on climate and security. I am therefore happy that France and Germany jointly host today’s consultations. 

To widen our scope, we are glad that in addition to the PBC members, the members of the Group of Friends on climate and security are part of this meeting today. The Group, co-chaired by Nauru and Germany, has proven instrumental in pushing the envelope on questions of climate and security further. 

So let’s begin. We will first have a few inputs to get us started before we move into the discussion. We are very glad to have extremely distinguished briefers with us today: 

Ms. Barrie Freeman, Deputy Director at the Peacebuilding Support Office. Germany strongly believes in the abilities of the PBF because of its flexibility and quick impact. But also because of the PBF’s ability to create cohesion and synergies, something that we are looking forward to in this case, the climate change related aspects of PBF work.

The PR of Niger (H.E. Abdou Abarry) and the PR of Tuvalu (H.E. Samuelu Laloniu); two dear colleagues who will reflect on the linkages between the effects of climate change and peacebuilding from their own countries’ perspective. 

Last but not least, Jake Sherman, Director at the International Peace Institute (IPI). Jake is currently working on a study looking at exactly the linkage we are discussing today, so we are very happy and fortunate to have these briefers and are looking forward to their comments.

One final word: Thanks in advance to everyone who is providing inputs today. Maybe that way we save everyone else the thank you notes, as we have a long speakers’ list and only a limited amount of time. We have asked the briefers to be indeed brief to the extent possible. Even more so, we would like to ask all colleagues who will be later taking the floor to limit their comments to 2-3 minutes so that everybody can comment on this issue. 

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