Russia has vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would have formally linked climate change and global security.
"The Security Council today, in a contentious meeting, rejected a draft resolution that would have integrated climate‑related security risk as a central component of United Nations conflict‑prevention strategies aiming to help counter the risk of conflict relapse," a UN statement said.
The draft resolution, backed by Niger and Ireland, got 12 votes in favor, with India and Russia opposing and China abstaining.
The vote followed an open debate of the UN Security Council on Dec. 9 in which nearly 60 speakers warned that people and countries most vulnerable to climate change also are most vulnerable to terrorist recruitment and violence.
Vassily Nebenzia, Russia's ambassador to the UN, said the draft resolution is "unacceptable", noting that "this is an attempt to divert attention from genuine deep‑rooted reasons for conflict in some countries on the agenda."
Such debates should be carried out in the appropriate forum like the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, he added.
Byrne Nason, Ireland’s permanent representative to the UN, voiced regret over the use of veto to block what she called a “ground-breaking” resolution.
“The Council’s rejection of it is a stark reminder of the need to reform the organ,” she added.