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Climate change: Threat to international peace and security

11 August 2011

UN Security CouncilOn 1 August 2011, an article by Major General (ret) A.N.M. Muniruzzaman, President, Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies, Bangladesh and member of the IES Military Advisory Council (MAC) on Climate Change and International Security, appeared in The Daily Star, Dhaka, in which he wrote that ?The recent statement of the UN Security Council identifying the impacts of climate change as a threat to international peace and Security is most timely. Nothing can be more severe as a looming threat to humanity than the rapid climatic changes witnessed by the world today. Putting an end to the debate over climate change, the UN Security Council in a presidential statement declared at its meeting on climate change on July 20 that possible adverse effects of climate change may, in the long run, aggravate certain existing threats to international peace and security. Secretary-General of UN, Ban Ki-moon declared that climate change was an "unholy brew" that could create dangerous security vacuums, and that we must address a clear danger that not only exacerbated the threats but was itself a threat to international peace and security.?

He added that ?Major vulnerabilities induced from climatic hazards include human displacement, drinking water shortage, reduced agricultural productivity and food insecurity, loss of livelihood, health hazards, energy crisis, and disaster security.?

The article concludes with the statement that ?It is crucially important to recognise that climate change is pervasive and has more security implications than any other threat today. Climate-induced challenges should be placed at the core of security considerations in a rapidly changing world. Hence, effective international cooperation, as advanced by the UN Security Council, should be formed to address the unpredictable security consequences of climate change.?

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