President Irfaan Ali highlights ill effects of conflicts on food and climate security

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President Irfaan Ali of Guyana has been quite vocal recently regarding the effect that conflicts around the world have on food and climate security, highlighting the far-reaching effects of multiple conflicts opening up globally.

The world is feeling the effects of this currently, which has raised concerns as nations scramble to mitigate the instability that they are experiencing.

President Irfaan Ali spoke about this during an open debate at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), where he detailed the impact of climate change and food insecurity on the peace and security scenario in the world today.

He also mentioned various conflicts and incidents that have affected food security and climate change recently, showing a direct correlation between these two aspects.

President Ali was responsible for chairing this debate, which brought many high-ranking officials, diplomats and political players to the table on Tuesday.

During his address, he stated the following, “The interrelationship between climate change, food security, and peace and security is clear. Climate change and conflict are two of the main drivers of food insecurity and often overlap, creating a vicious cycle of instability and need.”

He added, “The assessment is that climate change is expected to grow significantly as a driver of conflict. We recognise too, that armed conflict can induce food insecurity and the threat of famine.”

President Ali reminded the United Nations Security Council that due to the war, large swaths of agricultural land were also taken out of commission, which had a drastic effect on the availability of produce and grain.

A prime example of this is the Ukraine war, which has had a major effect on the agricultural production levels in the region and has left many people in the lurch.

President Ali stated the following, “The overall value of the damages and losses for agricultural enterprises is estimated at almost four billion US dollars. Most times these are small to medium size farmers with no insurance policies with no insurance policies.”

“That is millions of families we’re sending to the poverty line as a result of war. We don’t speak about it. We don’t calculate it. We don’t put it in the equation, but this is the reality.”

It is important to note that 60.3 million tonnes of carbon emissions are said to have been released during the first 35 days of the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. This is merely a window into the impact conflicts have on the climate crisis.

“This is the conflicts and war as they exist. We have not yet calculated the impact on the environment and food in the rebuilding phase. That is another calculation that should be added to the equation. Most times it is the developing world that carries the greatest burden. Are we going to be bold enough to calculate these damages and assign a value to the damage as a result of conflict and war?”

“Are we going to be bold enough to even address the level of criminality that exists in creating such damage? The components that constitute food and climate are sometimes missing from the overall analysis of the impact of war and conflict.”

President Ali believes that the United Nations, as an organisation, has the ability to affect change in this regard and use the political and economic leverage at its disposal to introduce strategies that a critical to preserve the environment.

“These issues are intricately linked to the rule of law, democracy and governance. They’re all interconnected. We therefore are up to a very strong view that the Security Council should outline a series of steps that must include a full analysis of the impact.”

“And just as we adopt many measures to safeguard humanitarian interests. We must adopt measures in our procedures to deal with the effect on food and climate at a minimum. We must be bold enough,” he told the high-level debate, which represents a signature event of Guyana’s presidency of the UNSC for the month.”

The meeting also looked at building levels of communication at an international level, to facilitate dialogues among the international fraternity which help various parties arrive at some common ground with regards to the climate crisis and the issue of food security.

Ana Allen
Ana Allen
Anna Allen, news writer at Writeups24, is a Harvard graduate with a passion for journalism. With her keen eye for detail and insatiable curiosity, she captures the essence of global stories. Anna's writing informs and delves into cultural nuances. To reach Anna, you can email


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