16 November 2018

Arria-Formula meeting on Water: peace and security by the UNSC

Organized by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in collaboration with the State of Bolivia, Cote d’Ivoire, Belgium, Dominican Republic, Germany, Indonesia and Italy, on the 26th of October, this meeting aimed at strengthening global monitoring of developments relating to water quantity and quality. It consequently underlines the need for timely information-sharing and
early warning as indicated by the preventive agenda made by the UNSC.

 Such initiatives will empower and facilitate water diplomacy as a core issue for the international community and represents a major contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security. This is particularly true in the context of climate security since the adverse effects of climate change on water could increase the risk of conflicts due to more frequent and severe extreme events and disasters such as droughts and floods.

At its core, the UN Security Council need to have information on risk assessments available when related to climate change and water stress, to allow the Council to make timely and informed decisions that will ensure that root causes of conflict, including water related security risks, are addressed.

This meeting is in line with the previous initiatives taken by the Netherlands and its European partners: Starting in 2011 by a debate organised by Germany in 2011, the UNSC recognized the importance of including security implications of climate change, as possible driver of conflict, in conflict analysis and contextual information. During an ‘Arria’ on climate change (organized by Italy in 2017), a briefing on the Lake Chad Basin (initiated by the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 2018) and a debate on climate-related security risks (organised by Sweden in 2018) briefers and Council members alike urged the United Nations to carry out adequate risk assessments and develop risk management strategies accordingly.

This Arria-formula meeting serves to further explore ways for the UN system to implement a more efficient global monitoring by…

  • Identifying ways for the UNSC to be timely informed on potential threats to international peace and security and to ensure preventive action is taken (early warning, early action);
  • Defining the capacity and coordination the United Nations needs to better understand and

respond to security risks related to water stress;

  • Ensuring that the United Nations and the International Community as a whole take water related security risks into account when addressing root causes of conflicts.

More can be read here.

Watch it here.