Conference CONNECTIONS BETWEEN CLIMATE, PEACE AND HUMAN SECURITY

An Intergenerational Dialogue was held in the Swedish Parliament on Wednesday June 1st from 9:30 am to 11 am, on the margins of the Stockholm+50 International Conference. The event was hosted by former German Bundestag member Doris WAGNER and Swedish MEP Elisabeth BJÖRNSDOTTER RAHM. It was co-sponsored by the Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) and the G100 (Group of 100 women leaders) Defense and Security. The effects of climate change threaten human security in many ways. Extreme weather conditions, food shortages, climate refugees are some among many examples.

But these impacts can also create or intensify conflicts. Vice versa, armed conflicts increase carbon emissions and divert financial resources and political attention from achieving climate action goals. The 1 June dialogue between parliamentarians, experts and young professionals thus made it possible to explore the links between climate, peace and human security, and effective policies to solve the discussed issues.

The session focused on two topics. The relationship between peace and climate was first discussed. The stakeholders were:

  • Patricia KAMERI-MBOTE, Director of the Legal Division, United Nations Environment Programme (Kenya);
  • – Michaela SORENSEN, PNND Gender, Peace and Security Program Officer and Youth Fusion Core Team Member (Mozambique/Denmark);
  • Alyn WARE, PNND Global Coordinator and Team Leader for Nexus Climate – Nuclear Disarmament (New Zealand/Czech Republic).

The place of women was an essential theme at the heart of this event. In some parts of the African continent, the fate of women is closely linked to the state of their respective environment. They are also much more affected by conflicts, especially in terms of migration.

Patricia KAMERI-MBOTE pointed out women’s lack of opportunities to express themselves, to be actors of the change, which makes them all the more vulnerable to climate change. If science is at the heart of the answer, why not include women scientists and consider their expertise?

Alyn WARE presented the relationship between climate change and the use of nuclear weapons. Indeed, the two have similarities: they are at the origin of conflicts, have the characteristics of being trans-generational and cross-border, cannot be solved at national levels, and the use of nuclear weapons has unavoidable environmental consequences. The right to life is both threatened by climate change and violated by nuclear weapons. In 2016, a campaign entitled “Move the Nuclear Weapons’ Money” was launched with the aim of encouraging States to reduce the budget allocated to it, and to use it instead to fight against climate change and invest in public health infrastructures and services.

The second theme on the agenda proposed a focus on the relationship between climate and security. The speakers were:

  • – Jens HOLM, MP, former Member of the European Parliament (Sweden);
  • – Olatokunbo IGE, founder of Livingstones Resource Center Togo (Nigeria/Togo);
  • – Kehkashan BASU, Founder of the Green Hope Foundation, United Nations Human Rights Specialist and winner of the International Children’s Peace Prize (UAE/Canada).

Olatokunbo IGE presented the initiative she launched a few years ago, the Livingstones Resource Center located in Lomé, Togo. It is a modern learning center offering programs designed to help build self-improvement, leadership and personal development in a healthy living environment. On December 26th of 2017, the center organized a training course on personal leadership for women. The session was concluded with the words of Elisabeth BJÖRNSDOTTER RAHM (Sweden), Member of the Swedish Parliament and President of the Security and defense comity of the G100 group. Sophie PECQUEUR, as an intern for the Normandy Chair for Peace, has assisted to the entire conference. It was a session rich in exchanges, sharing, listening, characterized by solidarity and respect.

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