PSIDS propose a UN Special Representative on Climate Change in UN reforms

PACIFIC Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) at the United Nations in New York have proposed the setting up of a UN Special Representative on Climate Change and Security to kick start discussions in an open and transparent manner.

The suggestion is in light of the concerns of PSIDS and other Small Island Developing States that climate change will be the defining security issue of this century – and the need for the UN to address the issue because it will eventually be the cause of conflict in the future.

Climate change is one of the emerging threats to international peace and security and the UN must address the issue, said Nauru’s Ambassador Marlene Moses, speaking on behalf of PSIDS at the Secretary General’s retreat to discuss reforms of the UN.

“The Paris Agreement notwithstanding, many dangerous impacts of climate change are now unavoidable. We are not confident that the UN system as it currently operates has the capacity to respond to these threats.

“In fact, if the more extreme climate scenarios materialise, the international system could very well be overwhelmed, said Ambassador Moses.

The Nauru diplomat said the UN needs to have a better understanding of how climate change will affect public health, critical food and water systems, land tenure, territorial integrity, access to natural resources and other corner stones of social and political stability.

“The PSIDS feel very strongly that human security is best protected through international co-operation. No single nation can ensure their security in isolation. Even small countries should be full participants in this critical discussion.

“It’s not for powerful countries alone to decide on how security is protected when the impacts of climate change push some of us to the brink, said Ambassador Moses.

The Secretary General is consulting members on the proposed management reforms of the UN system.