SC: The impact of climate change and food insecurity

Statement delivered by State Secretary Bjørg Sandkjær in the Security Council on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic states (NB8) in the open debate on The Impact of Climate Change and Food Security


I have honour to speak on behalf of the 8 Nordic and Baltic countries Denmark, Finland, Estland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and my own country Norway.

We thank the Co-operative Republic of Guyana for organizing this very timely debate.

Food security has become a global and national security issue, which is exacerbated by climate change, conflict and economic turndown. These common challenges can only be addressed by dedicated multilateral action. This makes it a highly relevant topic for the Security Council’s agenda.

The intertwined crises of climate change, conflict, and food insecurity are unfolding at a time of increasing instability and growing geopolitical tensions. Climate change and conflicts are both in many ways causing food insecurity, for example by destroying livelihoods, increasing scarcity of resources, and disrupting supply chains. Many countries and regions that are the most vulnerable to the negative effects of the climate change are also those that are suffering from conflicts and instability, and hence facing increased risks of food insecurity. Among the most severely affected are often women and girls.

In ongoing conflicts, food is being used as a weapon. Recalling Security Council Resolution 2417, there is a clear obligation not to attack civilians or civilian objects necessary for food production.  The obligation to facilitate full, safe and unimpeded humanitarian access to those in need must always be respected.

Upholding peace and security is the main responsibility of the Security Council, and for the Nordic and Baltic countries, it is clear that conflict prevention should be front and centre of these efforts. However, all countries must redouble their efforts to tackle climate change, and prevent and resolve conflicts in order to decrease risks of food insecurity.

Let me emphasize what we consider most important among preventive measures to fight hunger:

  • First, taking action to prevent conflict related to climate change and food insecurity can be done by mitigation and adaptation action, as well as strengthening early warning and early action, and by risk reduction. We need to generate sophisticated data and analysis. We support the Secretary-General’s call for Early Warnings for All and universal access to climate information systems.
  • Second, climate robustagricultural development among small-scale food producers must be scaled up. Local food sector value chains and markets must be strengthened. The effects will be increased food security in the poorest rural areas, new jobs, more stability and reduced forced migration.
  • Third, climate financeto develop sustainable agriculture must be increased. 
  • Fourth, healthy soil is a prerequisite to fight hunger and strengthen national and global security.Seeds and fertilizer must reach the small-scale farmers. We welcome the Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit in Nairobi in May.
  • Fifth, women empowerment is crucial in fostering food security. Women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in all peacebuilding efforts, as well as in climate mitigation and resilience building, is an essential part of comprehensive security efforts.
  • And sixth, we must integrate our humanitarian assistance and our long-term development assistance much better tostop the negative trends on hunger and poverty.

Finally, we welcome Brazil’s global leadership as G20 chair and the important initiative to establish a Global Alliance against hunger and poverty.

Thank you!