Norway welcomes your endeavours to increase the involvement of the Security Council in conflict prevention and conflict resolution in Africa. A strong commitment by the Security Council is needed to ensure a coordinated and comprehensive involvement of the international community in preventing and resolving conflicts in Africa.
We support the role of regional organisations in the prevention and resolution of conflicts. The African Union is already shouldering a heavy burden with regard to peace and security on the African continent. We are encouraged by the fact that African countries themselves are taking a leading role in the settlement of African disputes by peaceful means, and in the promotion of preventive action in response to threats to regional peace and security. To support these important, regional efforts we support a close cooperation with the United Nations and other partners. We welcome the commitment of the Security Council and of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union – as agreed upon in Addis Ababa on 16 June – to cooperate more closely in the areas of conflict prevention and resolution.
Norway also attaches great value to increasing women’s role in decision-making with regard to conflict prevention and resolution. The United Nations and the African Union must work together to ensure increased representation of women at all decision-making levels in national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms for the prevention and resolution of conflict.
When deployed, the hybrid operation in Darfur will be a big step forward for international peace operations. The ability of UNAMID to fulfil its mandate in providing security, preventing threats and attacks against civilians, and protecting humanitarian operations, will influence future cooperation between the AU and the UN. An immediate challenge confronting the two bodies is their common effort to negotiate a peace deal in Darfur. Norway strongly supports this cooperation. We are willing to contribute both financially and with human resources to the joint negotiation secretariat for the up-coming peace talks. We hope that the UN will work in close contact with its partners, and ask for support when needed during this important process.
The peace negotiations present the UN with many challenges. In Sudan, the UN is now actively involved in the security sector, the humanitarian sector, the development sector and now also in the peace negotiations. To add to the complexity, the UN is involved in two different security operations in different parts of the country. To succeed, it is absolutely necessary that the UN is perceived as one unified actor and that the UN is able to act as one.
It is a sad fact that more than half of all conflicts that are solved through negotiations relapses back into conflict within a few years. There is an urgent need to improve our ability to support post-conflict countries, and strengthen their ability to meet expectations. A more effective UN working closely with its regional partners will make an important contribution in this regard. It is also fundamental that we continuously learn from experience in order to develop better mechanisms and responses.
The Peacebuilding Commission, together with the Peacebuilding Support Office and the Peacebuilding Fund, has the potential to be a powerful tool to meet the challenges in a more coordinated and comprehensive manner.
The challenges are daunting. If we do not manage to contribute meaningfully to sustainable peace in Burundi and Sierra Leone, that would not only be at huge costs for the people in those countries, but also for the Commission and the credibility of the United Nations. I have been honoured to chair the Burundi specific format of the Peacebuilding Commission. The Strategic Framework for Peacebuilding in Burundi was endorsed by the Commission in June as an instrument of engagement and dialogue among Burundi, the PBC and other stakeholders. The document defines the crucial peacebuilding priorities faced by Burundi. It will provide a helpful guide towards reaching peacebuilding objectives and to mobilize the necessary financial and political support.
Preventing and resolving conflicts in Africa presents us with enormous challenges. A better coordinated and more comprehensive approach by the UN will strengthen regional efforts by the African Union to safeguard peace and security in Africa.
Thank you, Mr President.