Security Council Debates Links Between Security and Development

11 February 2011: Opening a UN Security Council debate on the links between security and development at the UN Headquarters in New York, US, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for a greater focus on the climate change - security - development nexus.

Security Council members had before them a concept paper on "The maintenance of international peace and security — the interdependence between security and development" (document S/2011/50), which notes that since the late 1990s, the Council has displayed a growing awareness of that interdependence and repeatedly recognized the need to take both elements — security and development — into account when exercising its Charter-mandated responsibilities.

In his opening statement, Ban underscored the increasingly serious impacts on development and security of the lack of energy and the effects of climate change. He added that "we cannot achieve security without securing energy and managing climate risks."

In the ensuing country statements, France cited examples of how development factors, including climate change and food security, fed into conflict, noting that was a priority for his country's chairmanship of the Group of 20 (G-20). Luxembourg called for considering climate change a “threat multiplier.” Sudan highlighted that climate change had a negative impact on the livelihoods of many people and had led to tensions and conflict between Bedouins and farmers, among others, thus affecting sustainable development.

Fiji, speaking on behalf of the Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS), stressed that climate change posed a great risk to Pacific small islands, not only because of its impact on fodd security and water scarcity, but also because the resources the governments of the region had to spend on adaptation. He called for more support to affected countries to build and sustain resilience to the impacts of climate change while working for the rapid reduction of global carbon dioxide emissions.

Solomon Islands underscored the need for small islands and least developed countries (LDCs) to be put on a “special watch list,” emphasized that they faced threats from climate change, and requested that the Council remain seized of such issues.

Noting that the Security Council had debated such issues as climate change, maritime transport and access to potable water in order to introduce a “discourse of fear and security,” Venezuela called on it to adhere to its mandate, as set out in the Charter. [Security Council Press Release] [Ban's Statement]