UN Security Council debate on maintenance of international peace and security

Press Release


The humanitarian effects of environmental degradation, peace, and security.

This debate took place on Wednesday, September 17, 2020 by videoconference, and was chaired by the Nigerien Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, African Integration and Nigeriens Abroad, H.E. Kalla Ankourao.

The session was marked by the interventions of the President of the ICRC, Mr. Peter Maurer, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw, and the Earth Ambassador, Mrs. Inna Modja, representative of the civil society.

Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw emphasized how competition over natural resources creates conditions for conflict. He also noted that as desertification progrsses, these resources are becoming increasingly limited.

He also noted that environmental degradation increases people's grievances, undermines their livelihoods, and often makes young people more susceptible to recruitment by armed groups. He also called for addressing land degradation and desertification to prevent conflict.

Niger's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, H.E. Kalla Ankourao, illustrated the humanita- rian effects of environmental degradation on peace and security.

While expressing his compassion for the victims of the current floods in the Sahel in general and in Niger in particular, Minister Kalla Ankourao highlighted the humanitarian effects of climate change, which he described as a disaster and which seriously threatens the populations of the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin.

Furthermore, the Minister, pointed to the close correlation between conflicts and climate change in the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin, considered that respect for international humanitarian law, including the protection of the natural environment, was necessary and should be part of military training manuals and peacekeeping operations programs.

The Ambassador of the Earth, artist, activist and daughter of the Sahel, Ms. Inna Modja, gave a testimony on the humanitarian impact of desertification and climate change on the Sahelian populations, particularly on rural women. She called for urgent solutions to be found to address the consequences of desertification and climate change and manage their impact on peace and security.

It must be recalled the discussions on the nexus between climate change, peace and security has been the subject of attention by the United Nations Security Council since 2007 under the presidency of the United Kingdom.