Pakistan and the United Kingdom convenes an Arria Formula Meeting of the Security Council to discuss "Security Dimensions of Climate Change".

Founder Editor Tazeen Akhtar..

New York, February 15: Today, Pakistan and the United Kingdom convened an Arria Formula Meeting of the Security Council to discuss "Security Dimensions of Climate Change".

Despite its informal nature, the meeting was marked by high-level participation that exhibited a keen interest and strong resolve of the international community to continue to enhance knowledge and understanding of the possible security implications of intensified climate change.

The meeting, which was co-chaired by the Permanent Representatives of Pakistan Ambassador Masood Khan and the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom, Ambassador Sir Mark Lyall Grant also invited the general membership of the UN and civil society to discuss potential threats posed by possible adverse effects of climate change to the maintenance of international peace and security.

The UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon gave the opening address. A high level panel of guest speakers including Hon. Mr Tony deBrum, Minister-in-assistance to the President of the Marshall Islands; Professor Hans Schellnhuber, Head of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research; Ms. Rachel Kyte, World Bank Vice-President for Sustainable Development; and Mr Gyan Acharya, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, and small island developing states made statements and presentations. The Foreign Minister of Australia, H.E. Senator Hon Bob Carr and the President of Kiribati, Anote Tong had sent a special video message for the occasion. The speakers urged the international community to seize the moment and take actions to stem the tide of growing climate change. All participants laid considerable emphasis on the need for arresting the existential threat posed to the Small Island States.

By coming together, Pakistan and the United Kingdom have sent a strong signal that climate change does not distinguish on the basis of the level of development. It is a reality for all that cannot be wished away. In order to address various ramifications of the climate change, all countries will continue to work together and redouble their efforts in overcoming the challenge.

In his opening remarks, Ambassador Masood Khan said, “Intensified climate change is one of the most serious global problems our planet faces today. Global warming, stronger cyclones, increased precipitation, recurrent droughts, climate volatility, and the rising sea levels all affect our national and international security interests. These changes affect human security.

Climate change affects us all. It affects We the People of the United Nations. It affects all nations - big or small, rich or poor, developed or developing.

Speaking about the role of the World Body, Mr. Khan said, “The United Nations has a key role in responding to these challenges. We need action to guard our ecosystem, to save our infrastructure, and to ensure that food, water and land remain available. We need responsible stewardship of our planet. Our response should not be anchored only in politics; it should also be guided by science and technology. Our response should not just counter immediate threats; it should forewarn and prepare us for the impending threats that impinge on our security”.

In his closing remarks, Ambassador Masood Khan noted that the positive discussions that have taken a place today would act as catalyst in galvanizing existing work and actions in all UN forums and organs to further strengthen efforts in combating climate change.

PHOTOGRAPH

Ambassador Masood Khan co-charing meeting of the Arria Formula here at the UN Headquarters. UN Secretary General is also seen in the picture,