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UN initiative declares global warming a threat to world peace

The Local · 21 Jul 2011, 11:04

Published: 21 Jul 2011 11:04 GMT+02:00

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The declaration means UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon will take global warming matters into account in his reports in the future. Although this in itself does not mean that specific action will be taken, it will give global warming a far greater profile.

German diplomats said they had been patient and had worked hard to get all 15 members of the Security Council – the most powerful body in the UN – to sign up to the declaration.

“The Security Council is concerned that the loss of land of small island nations from a rise in sea levels could have security policy consequences,” says the statement.

Berlin had to overcome particular opposition from permanent Security Council members Russia and China to pass the initiative.

“It was important to us to get all the Security Council members on board – and we made considerable and generous compromises to secure that,” said Peter Wittig, Germany’s ambassador to the UN.

“Now it is up to the Secretary General to turn this call into practice,” he added.

“Let there be no doubt: we are not talking about a small number of people on a remote island having to give up their stretch of the beach,” he wrote in an editorial for the Huffington Post website.

“We are talking about sea level rises that might seriously impact the lives of millions of people who live close to the coast - and only a little higher than sea level. Densely populated mega-deltas of the Ganges, Nile, Mekong or Mississippi or big coastal cities such as Karachi, New York, Singapore or Tokyo come to mind - and remember that Fukushima isn't the only (nuclear) power plant built next to the sea.”

He argued that UN peacekeepers already perform a number of tasks which are not so far removed from what will be needed to deal with the consequences of climate change, such as emergency aid, development and recovery, state - and peace-building.

Yet although action from the UN is not yet needed, he said it probably would be, and that the international community must prepare for this eventuality.

“The Council should, however, fulfil its duty and ready itself: It should not only act after the first tragedies hit the headlines. A good first step would be to acknowledge the realities of climate change and its inherent implications to international peace and security," he said.

Story continues below…

But Wittig said the declaration should not be seen as an infringement on other international bodies dealing with climate change.

"On the contrary, it would emphasize that the Council is ready to assume its responsibilities to try to prevent the worst from happening," he said.

The Local/dpa/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:12 July 21, 2011 by mememine69
Meanwhile, the UN and the entire SCIENCE world had allowed carbon trading to trump 3rd world fresh water relief, starvation rescue and 3rd world education for just over 25 years of climate control instead of the obviously needed population control. I'm not the only former believer urging prosecutors to lay criminal chargers to the leading scientists and news editors for knowingly inciting this needless panic of CO2 climate crisis. Climate Change Crisis wasn¦#39;t sustainability. It was a 25 year old failed CO2 death threat to billions of children. Now who¦#39;s the fear mongering neocon?
16:00 July 21, 2011 by DOZ
Will the USA invade Canada after it's food growing regions become in-hospital for crops? Will Alaska expand it's Borders into the Canadian Arctic in order to aquire Farmable Land.
16:16 July 21, 2011 by mememine69
Ya, whats the point of living? What's the point of even getting up in the morning? There is no hope.

Liberalism: worshiping failure, misery and envy.
02:23 July 22, 2011 by Gretl
mememine69 - What the frell are you talking about?

Liberalism (from the Latin liberalis, "of freedom")[1] is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights.[2] Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but most liberals support such fundamental ideas as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights, free trade, and the freedom of religion. These ideas are widely accepted, even by political groups that do not openly profess a liberal ideological orientation.

Are you saying that dictatorships are successful and happy and don't envy their neighbors? I would suggest you look at North Korea then.
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