The mission of the Munich Security Conference is to “address the world’s most pressing security concerns”. These days, that means climate security: climate change is the ultimate threat multiplier, and anyone discussing food security, political instability, migration, or competition over resources should be aware of the climate change pressures that are so often at the root of security problems.
These climate security issues were on the agenda throughout the conference, as speakers from former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to former US Secretary of State John Kerry brought issues of environmental degradation to a conference best known for attracting the world’s most prominent generals and defence ministers. The MSC came hot on the heels of the World Economic Forum in Davos, whose top five risks for 2020 were all about climate and the environment.
adelphi Senior Adviser Janani Vivekananda was one of the panellists at an MSC town hall on food (in)security. Alongside UN World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley and Bayer AG Chairman Werner Baumann, she spoke about how to reduce world hunger and thus the attendant security impacts. World hunger, Vivekananda argued, is largely not about availability of food but rather about “access, inequality, poverty and government policies”. Troublingly, “food security is increasing the risk of violence at every level in society between households, between different groups, and between people and the state.”
adelphi will continue to put climate security on the agenda and to contribute its expertise to the world’s most important international security conferences.
75 years ago, the UN was born. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the UN looks back at several important achievements, but much work on persisting challenges still lies ahead. Increased UN engagement in three areas can make the region more resilient to future challenges.
Insecurity is plaguing north-western Nigeria, due to persistent herder-farmer tensions, rising crime and infiltration by Islamist militants. Federal and state authorities should focus on resolving conflict between agrarian and pastoralist communities, through dialogue and resource-sharing agreements, while also stepping up law enforcement.
The scope of national security is expanding beyond violent threats to encompass a broader array of dangers. In an article for World Politics Review, CFR's Stewart M. Patrick assesses the implications of COVID-19 and climate change for the theory and practice of national security.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous parallels have been drawn between this health crisis and the climate crisis. Science plays an important role in advising decision makers on how to ensure sustainable crisis management and a precautionary approach to avoid harmful repercussions, particularly where we do not yet know all the consequences of our actions. [...]