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Ambassador Susan Rice on the Climate Threat

Barack_Obama,_Samantha_Power,_Tom_Donilon,_and_Susan_RiceAmbassador Susan Rice, recently-appointed to be President Obama’s National Security Advisor, gave parting remarks on her last day as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations on Tuesday. In her speech, she expressed the need for the U.S. and the international community to address the “grave consequences of climate change.” Here’s the full quote:

There remain big questions about the future of development—including how to forge a post-2015 development agenda that continues to eradicate poverty and foster economic growth in a sustainable way. And as President Obama discussed today, we have significant work ahead to prepare for and mitigate the grave consequences of climate change.

In short, much remains to be done to modernize the United Nations to enable it to meet the challenges of the 21st century and realize the aspirations of its founders.

The transcript of her full remarks is here, and the video is here.

Ambassador Rice also admonished the UN Security Council in July 2011 for failing to adequately address climate change as a matter of international peace and security issue, stating:

In this Council we have discussed many emerging security issues and addressed them, from the links between development and security to HIV-AIDS. Yet this week, we have been unable to reach consensus on even a simple Presidential Statement that climate change has the potential to impact peace and security in the face of the manifest evidence that it does. We have dozens of countries in this body and in this very room whose very existence is threatened. They’ve asked this Council to demonstrate our understanding that their security is profoundly threatened. Instead, because of the refusal of a few to accept our responsibility, this Council is saying, by its silence, in effect, “Tough luck.” This is more than disappointing. It’s pathetic. It’s shortsighted, and frankly it’s a dereliction of duty.


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