Panel Discussion: „Poaching as a Threat to International Peace and Security:Options for the UN", statement by Ambassador Berger
(Statement by Ambassador Miguel Berger, Deputy Permanent Representative, on „Poaching as a Threat to International Peace and Security:Options for the UN")
"I wish to thank IPI for hosting today’s panel discussion on „Poaching as a Threat to International Peace and Security:Options for the UN“. It gives me great pleasure to deliver the introductory remarks to this policy forum together with Ambassador Messone. Many thanks also to the panelists for being with us and for sharing your valuable expertise.
Poaching is on the rise again with alarming rates. According to a recent UNEP report, in 2011 alone 17000 elephants were killed. Illegal wildlife trafficking following a study of OECD of 2012 has caused an economic damage of up to 23 billion US- Dollars per year. We are particularly concerned about this development as poaching does not only pose a threat to global bio-diversity. It also fuels regional conflicts and contributes to instability. Rebel groups benefiting from poaching like the Lord Resistance Army (LRA) in the Great Lakes Region in Africa commit serious human rights violations. Poaching and illicit trade of wildlife are also often linked to organized crime and illegal weapon trade, and as such can pose a threat to the maintenance of international peace and security.
It is against this background that we want to raise awareness for this growing concern. We want to explore options what more can be done to address this challenge. In today’s discussion, focus is specifically on options for the UN and Security Council to act. Should the Council declare and be prepared to sanction illegal trade and poaching as a threat to peace and security? Should the Council expand the criteria of sanctions regimes e.g. for the DRC and Somalia and impose targeted sanctions on poaching as a source income for armed groups?
I look forward to hearing Ambassador Messone’s assessment and the views of our panelists who are going to share their experiences made inter alia in the context of the Great Lakes Region and a lively discussion afterwards.
Our aim is to put together - with the help of IPI - a summary of our discussion and to develop recommendations to be submitted to the Security Council. Building on yesterday’s open debate in the Security Council on strengthening effective management of natural resources to maintain international peace and security we feel that further action is also needed to address the threat posed by poaching. Let us jointly strive for effective and sustainable solutions.