State Secretary Štiglic at the Council’s open debate on climate change and food insecurity: Prevention is key

State Secretary Sanja Štiglic took part in the UN Security Council’s open debate in New York on the impact of climate change and food insecurity on the maintenance of international peace and security. This high-level debate was convened by Guyana in the context of its Security Council Presidency.

The debate aimed to shed light on the connection between climate change, food security and conflict, while highlighting the need for better coordinated responses and proactive approaches to address climate change and food insecurity as potential drivers of conflict. These issues certainly belong on the agenda of the Security Council.

In her statement, State Secretary Štiglic warned of climate change being a defining challenge of our time: “It poses a direct existential threat to many UN Member States and it can act as a driver of conflicts. The transboundary nature of climate change and food insecurity demands the response of the international community as a whole.” She added the UN Security Council must play its part and “address the adverse effects of climate change and food insecurity on peace and security. Slovenia stands ready to take part in all such efforts.”

In her remarks, State Secretary Štiglic highlighted the close interaction between climate change and food security, and the direct impact of food and water scarcity on the outbreak of new conflicts. As one of the key challenges, it calls for action by the international community as a whole, through emergency humanitarian assistance, development cooperation and efforts to maintain international peace and security. In this context, Slovenia stresses the importance of the full, equal and effective participation of women in these processes.

“Millions around the world are bearing the brunt of the changing climate, with women; children and older persons hit the hardest. Eating last and eating least is a daily reality of mothers in the most fragile communities,” the State Secretary underlined.

Addressing the role of armed conflicts in the devastation of food systems, she underscored “the war in Sudan has disrupted the crops and has left the food markets empty. The war in Gaza has devastated water infrastructure and the natural environment, considerably adding to the extreme suffering of the civilian population already facing severe food shortages. Slovenia is gravely concerned about the impact of war in Ukraine and its long-term consequences on global food supply chains.” The State Secretary made it clear that compliance with international humanitarian and human rights law is of paramount importance.

Preventive action is key, emphasized the State Secretary in her concluding remarks. All available tools should be used to identify in a timely manner the processes related to climate change and food security that could lead to conflict. In this context, Slovenia advocates both the role of climate advisers working on the ground and the role of modern technologies, including satellite data and artificial intelligence.

Full statement available here.

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