A5 – Strengthening UN capacity to address climate-related security risks

Description and objectives:

The link between the effect of climate change and the complex questions of security, often referred to as “climate-security” or “climate-related security risks”, has been the subject of an increasingly broad debate among both the scientific and the policy communities. Over the past two years, through a series of formal and informal meetings, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has elevated the issue to the highest levels of political discourse on international peace and security. This has led to the adoption of UNSC Resolution 2349 (2017) on Lake Chad, followed by similar resolutions or Presidential Statements on Somalia, Mali, Darfur and Central Africa, which inter alia emphasized the need for adequate risk assessments and risk management strategies.

Given this increased level of interest and the growing demand for concrete action, how can the UN system better identify, assess, prevent and respond to climate-related security risks?

This interactive session explores this question by providing a platform to examine current capacities in the UN to address the linkages between climate change and security, discuss new initiatives underway to strengthen said capacity, and explore the role of partners such as regional organizations, national and sub-national governments, research institutions and civil society. 

This event is primarily targeted at policymakers and practitioners, including donor representatives, UN agencies, INGOs, research institutes in the field of risk assessment, prevention, peacebuilding and development.

Key objectives:

  • Present findings and experiences of country-based climate risk assessments and how they can inform work in the UN as well as Member States.
  • Provide an overview of the progress made in the UN towards a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of climate change on peace and security.
  • Discuss challenges/opportunities for more effective UN support to Member States in assessing and managing climate-related security risks (focus on the UN rather than individual countries).  
  • Outline key messages that could support the continued progress in the UN system to address climate-related security risks.

Outline/format of the workshop structure

The format of the workshop would be a series of presentations/interventions followed by moderated panel of representatives of the suggested entities through rounds of questions. The moderator would ask the panelists/participants direct questions on the 3th objective (challenges and opportunities). For the last round of questions, the audience will be asked to participate in the discussion and the last round being the concluding round with the panelists providing a summary statement.

The organizers of the workshop will provide report/policy brief of the discussions along with recommendations made by the panelists/participants and audience.

Picture credit: UN Multimedia