UN Security Council Open Debate on Impact of Climate Change Text of Remarks by Fazlı Çorman Deputy Permanent Representative of Turkey

Fazlı Çorman 20.07.2011
Mr. President,

Turkey welcomes this important open debate on climate change and international peace and security and thanks the German Presidency for organizing it.

There is no doubt that climate change continues to be one of the most pressing and complex issues that humanity faces today. It is vital to find a global solution to this problem and we have absolutely no time to lose. The adverse effects of climate change pose a risk that is simply to serious and too great to ignore. Complacency cannot be an option.

It is also very clear that the risks that climate change poses cannot be met by any single state. We are faced with a common challenge and we must tackle it within a spirit of shared responsibility. This means that effective long-term cooperation and sustained international solidarity will be of paramount importance.

Turkey is fully committed to contributing to the global efforts to address climate change. We believe that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the central multilateral instrument to guide individual and collective actions. In this context, we need to work hard to determine the elements of the post-2012 regime in a realistic manner. The UNFCCC Cancun Conference is a significant step forward in this regard.

Mr. President,

Climate change and its follow-on effects pose a severe risk to political, economic, and social stability; in particular in drier, subtropical, over-populated and economically underdeveloped regions of the world.

Those effects include;

- Shortfalls in water for drinking and irrigation, with concomitant risks of thirst and famine;

- Changes and possible declines in agricultural productivity stemming from altered temperature and rainfall patterns;

- Rises in sea level which pose an existential threat to several Member States;

- Spikes in the rates and extended geographic scope of malaria and other diseases;

- Shifts in economic output and trade patterns;

- Changes and possibly large shifts in human migration patterns;

- Larger economic and human losses attributable to extreme weather events such as hurricanes;

- Shortfalls in energy supply.

Such effects would significantly curtail sustainable development and the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including MDGs.

Needless to say, Small Island Developing States and the Least Developed Countries will be hit hardest by climate change with their structural constraints, limited natural resources and vulnerability to natural hazards.

In this context, we believe that climate change adaptation merits further consideration. The international community should continue to work on how best to overcome observed and future impacts of climate change, taking into account their potential security implications.

A key issue is the identification of cases of successful adaptation in the developing world where the greatest risk and physical vulnerability persists. It depends predominantly on the capacity to cope with all kind of threats and impacts, which is determined to a large degree by socio-economic characteristics of communities.

A thorough assessment and effective planning is central to successful adaptation. This requires sufficient, long-term sources of finance as well as appropriate know-how and technology.

Mr. President,

It is clear to us that the international community needs to accelerate its efforts to combat climate change. This long term dedicated effort will also contribute to development, prosperity, peace and security in our planet. Turkey stands ready to do its part in this regard.

Thank you.