Tuesday, April 17, 2007

UN SECURITY COUNCIL HOLDS FIRST-EVER DEBATE ON IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE


VIA UN Press and Media
Photo by: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

With scientists predicting that land and water resources will gradually become more scarce in the coming years, and that global warming may irreversibly alter the face of the planet, the United Nations Security Council today held its first-ever debate on the impact of climate change on security, as some delegates raised doubts over whether the Council was the proper forum to discuss the issue.

The day-long meeting, called by the United Kingdom, aimed to examine the relationship between energy, security and climate, and featured interventions from more than 50 delegations, representing imperilled island nations and industrialized greenhouse gas emitters alike. While some speakers praised the initiative, there were reservations from developing countries, which saw climate change as a socio-economic development issue to be dealt with by the more widely representative General Assembly. Many delegations also called for the United Nations to urgently consider convening a global summit on the issue.

The session was chaired by British Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett, whose country holds the presidency of the 15-nation Council for April. She said that recent scientific evidence reinforced, or even exceeded, the worst fears about climate change, as she warned of migration on an unprecedented scale because of flooding, disease and famine. She also said that drought and crop failure could cause intensified competition for food, water and energy.

She said that climate change was a security issue, but it was not a matter of narrow national security -- it was about “our collective security in a fragile and increasingly interdependent world”. By holding today’s debate, the Council was not seeking to pre-empt the authority of other bodies, including the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council. The decisions that they came to, and action taken, in all those bodies required the fullest possible understanding of the issues involved. “[So] climate change can bring us together, if we have the wisdom to prevent it from driving us apart,” she declared.

Calling for a “long-term global response” to deal with climate change, along with unified efforts involving the Security Council, Member States and other international bodies, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that projected climate changes could not only have serious environmental, social and economic implications, but implications for peace and security, as well.

1 Comments:

Blogger T.C. said...

The car is already over the cliff as far as global warming is concerned. Thanks to Bush and his ilk, all we can do now is pump the brakes in vain.

This global disaster will most certainly lead to more warfare. Water supply issues directly related to global warming will become acute. Already there is a movement towards privitization and control of water resources. As The Center For Public Integrity has reported:

"The explosive growth of three private water utility companies in the last 10 years raises fears that mankind may be losing control of its most vital resource to a handful of monopolistic corporations. In Europe and North America, analysts predict that within the next 15 years these companies will control 65 percent to 75 percent of what are now public waterworks. The companies have worked closely with the World Bank and other international financial institutions to gain a foothold on every continent. They aggressively lobby for legislation and trade laws to force cities to privatize their water and set the agenda for debate on solutions to the world's increasing water scarcity. The companies argue they are more efficient and cheaper than public utilities. Critics say they are predatory capitalists that ultimately plan to control the world's water resources and drive up prices even as the gap between rich and poor widens. The fear is that accountability will vanish, and the world will lose control of its source of life."

And some pre-war observers saw our invasion of Iraq as being related to the control of water:

"We are constantly reminded that Iraq has perhaps the world's largest reserves of oil. But in a regional and perhaps even geopolitical sense, it may be more important that Iraq has the most extensive river system in the Middle East. In addition to the Tigris and Euphrates, there are the Greater Zab and Lesser Zab rivers in the north of the country. Iraq was covered with irrigation works by the sixth century A.D., and was a granary for the region.

Before the Persian Gulf war, Iraq had built an impressive system of dams and river control projects, the largest being the Darbandikhan dam in the Kurdish area. And it was this dam the Iranians were aiming to take control of when they seized Halabja. In the 1990's there was much discussion over the construction of a so-called Peace Pipeline that would bring the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates south to the parched Gulf states and, by extension, Israel. No progress has been made on this, largely because of Iraqi intransigence. With Iraq in American hands, of course, all that could change.

Thus America could alter the destiny of the Middle East in a way that probably could not be challenged for decades — not solely by controlling Iraq's oil, but by controlling its water."

-Stephen C Pelletiere, senior CIA political analyst on Iraq during Iran-Iraq war
"A War Crime, or an Act of War?"
Published on Friday, January 31, 2003 by the New York Times

3:20 PM  

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