Explanation of Vote - Climate and Security
Statement13 December 2021
Ireland is deeply disappointed that the Security Council has failed to adopt the draft resolution on Climate and Security.
We regret the decision of certain countries to use their veto to block the adoption of this ground-breaking Resolution. We believed the weight of evidence and clarity of argument would bring the Council to consensus.
However, despite months of consultations - this I must underline - and the strong support of the majority of UN Member States, this was sadly not the case.
Today couldhave represented a point of inflection. Today shouldhave represented a point of inflection. Today was an opportunity for the Council to recognise for the first time the reality of the world we are living in. That climate change is compounding insecurity and creating instability. That it is a real and present threat to the maintenance of international peace and security.
We could have met our responsibility to accept this reality in our work. Adopting this draft resolution would have been a modest first step – enabling the Council and the Secretariat to understand more clearly the impact of climate related security risks, to start asking the right questions and seeking to identify answers.
Instead, we have missed the opportunity for action; and we look away from the realities of the world we are living in.
Ireland’s view is clear - the veto is an anachronism. We regret the use of the veto in all circumstances, and we very much regret its use today. That the majority of the UN membership, 113 countries, have cosponsored the draft resolution that this Council has now rejected, is telling.
Today is another reminder, as if we needed one, that this is a Security Council which sorely needs reform.
Ireland, with our co-penholder Niger, did not set out on this process thinking that we would see a veto. We believed that the weight of evidence would bring this Council to consensus. We worked tirelessly, tirelessly to deliver on that. Sadly, despite months of discussion, we did not achieve the result that we, and 113 other UN Member States, wanted to see.
We continue to believe that bringing forward this draft resolution was the right thing to do. Discussions on this topic have been ongoing for over fourteen years, but today is the first time a draft thematic resolution has been tabled for adoption.
Today was the first opportunity for the Council to show to the international community that it is ready to take on its responsibilities. As we have worked with partner countries both inside and outside the Council in the last year, we have become more convinced than ever that the United Nations must understand and take action on the security implications of climate change.
The support of 113 UN member states who have co-sponsored this resolution demonstrates the expectation among the majority of the UN member states that the Security Council should factor the security risks of climate change into its decision-making processes.
Through the process that brought us to this point today, we have consolidated support at the UN, and can galvanise work to focus on this issue in the future. For our part, we remain undaunted.
Despite the result today, let us be clear.
Climate change is already firmly on the Security Council’s agenda. The Council has recognised its impacts on peace and security in a number of country and regional contexts. The Council can and must continue to build on this to ensure that climate related security risks are addressed as part of the Council’s work.
Ireland will continue to press for a strong and robust approach to Climate and Security across the entire Council agenda.
Thank you, Mr. President.