President lays out four security challenges for world at UN

In what he told the UN General Assembly was his final address to it,
President Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday threw out four security challenges
which he said must be addressed.

The challenge of food security he told the New York forum was one of
these. “We are heading for 8 billion people, then 9 billion people.
Rising prosperity means that these people want greater amounts of, and
more nutritious, food. On current trends, we need 100 million hectares of
new land by 2020 to meet this demand. How do we
do this and avoid excessive price increases and volatility?”

President Bharrat Jagdeo
President Bharrat Jagdeo

Energy security was another. He said as the world gets richer, the
demand for energy increases massively. “We are likely to demand 36% more
energy by 2035. How do we generate the energy needed to meet this demand in
a way that helps people everywhere to develop, and does not choke off
economic growth through high prices caused by energy scarcity?”

Resource security was also cited by the President. He said if poverty is to be
relieved countries need to develop and they need minerals and other commodities.
“China on its own is accounting for over a third of the demand for many of the
most important global commodities, and countries across the world – most notably
in South America and Africa – can supply them. How do we help global development
by sourcing these minerals and using them efficiently and justly?”

The fourth challenge was climate security which Jagdeo has played a prominent
role in on the global stage. “If we are to avert the
biggest economic and social catastrophe ever seen, we have to stabilize our
planet’s climate. At the absolute limit, this means stabilizing global
temperatures at a maximum of 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels. Yet we
are on track towards perhaps a 4 or 5 degree rise according to the United
Nations Environment Programme. The disaster that this could represent is
beyond anyone’s comprehension. And the fact that we are not treating it as
the emergency it is will be viewed by history as the biggest derogation of
responsibility by societies and governments to ever take place. How can we
rapidly change this situation before we run out of time?”

As part of his push for the Low Carbon Development Strategy here the President
has been on a global campaign to fight climate change and has been recognised
for this. He has also been at the forefront of trying to monetize the value of
Guyana’s forests in fighting climate change.

Jagdeo argued that the world needed to move beyond the “global insanity that is our response
to climate security. Existing pledges on greenhouse gas emissions under the
Copenhagen Accord will not contain global temperature rises within limits
that will avert catastrophic climate change, and some states will face
extinction. Moreover, the anaemic delivery on financial pledges made at
Copenhagen, and formalized in the Cancun Agreements, is leading to a
disastrous break down in trust between the developed and developing world.
And the prospects for reaching an international legally  binding agreement
on climate change at COP 17 in Durban, South Africa, would appear rather
bleak.  There is therefore an urgent need for high order political
leadership – I feel so strongly that this is what it needs – to re-energise
the climate change process and deliver credible results.”

Earlier in his address, the President said “This is the last time that I will
address this great chamber as the President of my country. Before the end of this
year, I will be proud to be the first President of Guyana to demit office under the
constitutional term limits I signed into law in the early days of my Presidency.”

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