Meryame Kitir stresses the importance of conflict prevention during Security Council open debate

This afternoon, Minister for Development Cooperation and Urban Policy Meryame Kitir addressed the Security Council for the first time under the Belgian mandate during a ministerial debate on contemporary causes of conflict and insecurity, such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. In view of the preventive measures against COVID-19, the session was held in a virtual manner.

In addition to the global COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 has witnessed massive forest fires, floods, but also droughts that have led to socio-political tensions in various regions such as the Sahel, East Africa and the Middle East, contributing to economic decline, food insecurity and migration of populations in search of scarce resources and making young people vulnerable to recruitment by armed groups. Belgium argues that climate risks should be better integrated into the work of the Security Council in line with the importance Belgium attaches to conflict prevention.

Of course, climate change is not the only "new" factor of instability. The erosion of respect for the rule of law and international standards due to the setback in women's rights, political rights, etc. can also be an early indicator of tensions and new conflicts.

Minister Kitir calls for swift action to prevent latent conflicts. It is important that the Security Council be systematically informed of serious tensions and security risks and act accordingly. "Crises do not take place in a vacuum. It is therefore important that the Security Council acts in a coordinated manner with the entire UN system and its partners," said the Minister. "To achieve lasting peace, a coherent deployment of the three pillars - the 'triple nexus' - peace and security, humanitarian assistance and sustainable development - is necessary". Minister Kitir will ensure that Belgian development cooperation gives priority to addressing the root causes of conflict and improving the resilience of populations before, during and after the onset of a crisis.