On 29 January, SIPRI and the International Peace Institute (IPI) hosted a virtual expert-level dialogue with United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) members, focused on exploring the PBC as a forum for discussions on climate-related security risks.
The dialogue built on the study ‘The Peacebuilding Commission and Climate-related Security Risks: A More Favourable Political Environment?’, published jointly by SIPRI and IPI in September 2020. Within the UN, there is a lack of consensus on which organs are most appropriate to respond to climate-related security risks. The PBC has demonstrated a growing role as a forum for discussions on this issue. With an emphasis on national ownership, the PBC has a mandate to work across the peace and security, development and human rights pillars of the UN; bring together the various organs of the UN; and convene relevant stakeholders. The SIPRI–IPI study suggests that these attributes make the PBC uniquely positioned as one of the main forums for states to seek international support on climate-related security challenges.
The dialogue explored means of advancing the PBC’s role as a forum for discussions on climate-related security risks. Key questions were: What are the risks of and opportunities for engaging climate-related security risks in the PBC? How can the PBC support operational responses across the UN system?
The discussion was moderated by Dr Florian Krampe, Senior Researcher in SIPRI’s Climate Change and Risk Programme and was followed by a presentation by Jake Sherman, Senior Director for Programs at IPI. Among the discussants were Katerina Limenopoulou, PBC Support Branch; Karim Soumana, Permanent Mission of Niger to the UN; and Christian Wohlert, Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN. The event was attended by over 20 experts from the PBC member states, in addition to representatives from the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), the UN Climate Security Mechanism and the African Union.