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Climate change ‘aggravating factor for terrorism’: UN chief

Climate change ‘aggravating factor for terrorism’: UN chief

In Iraq and Syria, terrorist group Daesh, also known as ISIL, has exploited water shortages and taken control of water infrastructure to impose its will on communities, while in Somalia charcoal production provides a source of income for Al-Shaab, UN Secretary-General António Guterres explained during a debate on Security, in the Context of Terrorism and Climate Change.

“Climate change is not the source of all ills, but it has a multiplier effect and is an aggravating factor for instability, conflict and terrorism”, he said, urging the 15 Council members to address these challenges in an “integrated matter” to create a “virtuous a circle of peace, resilience and sustainable development”.

Mr. Guterres reminded that currently the regions that are most vulnerable to climate change, also largely suffer from insecurity, poverty, weak governance and the scourge of terrorism.

“Climate impacts compound conflicts and exacerbate fragility…When the loss of livelihoods leaves populations in despair, the promises of protection, income and justice - behind which terrorists sometimes hide their true designs - become more attractive”, he emphasised.

For example, he added, in the Lake Chad basin region, Boko Haram has been able to gain new recruits, particularly from local communities disillusioned by a lack of economic opportunity and access to essential resources.

Five points of action
Mr. Guterres highlighted the importance of his recently proposed “New Agenda of Peace” included in the landmark report Our Common Agenda, which presents a multidimensional vision of global security.

Considering this, the Secretary-General outlined five areas where he believes the council must take action.