UN Security Council Open Debate on the Impact of Climate Change: Statement by Dr. Janne Taalas, Deputy Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations, New York, 20 July 2011
Finland subscribes to the EU statement. I would like to make few additional points from our national perspective.
Finland welcomes this debate. In the light of this debate, exchanges in many other fora and UN Secretary-General’s report from 2009, it is clear that climate change will have significant security implications.
The themes highlighted in the concept note and this debate – sea-level rise and food security – are directly linked to international peace and security.
Only 20 years ago it did not seem imaginable that small island nations could be submerged due to sea-level rise. It sounded like science fiction. Today, this prospect is all too real.
Climate change will have an adverse effect on food production and freshwater resources. This impact will be worse in areas already under environmental stress. This may lead to population movements and political unrest.
While the impact of climate change varies from region to region, the small island developing states are most at risk. They are not the cause of climate change, but they may very well become its first victims unless remedial action is taken. They must be our priority.
Finland is actively partnering with many small island developing states in building their capacity to act internationally and to adapt locally. As an example, Finland supports the capacity development of AOSIS and Pacific SIDS and has meteorological cooperation projects in the Pacific and Caribbean regions.
Local level action and ownership is crucial to slow down climate change and mitigate its effects. Women have a key role as they often are the most powerful agents for change. That is why Finland has for years supported Global Gender and Climate Alliance and the participation of women delegates to the climate change negotiations.
Finland welcomes the discussion on climate change within the United Nations and sees that UN Security Council and other UN organs can – and should – contribute to this within their respective competencies.
The Security Council should, given its pre-eminent role in maintaining international peace and security, keep an eye on emerging security implications of climate change. If elected to the Security Council next year, Finland will contribute actively to any such assessment and action.
Thank you, Mr. President.