Mr. President, Excellencies,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic countries, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
I would like to begin by thanking the Ugandan presidency and the Council for taking these issues in consideration together and for the briefings we have heard this morning. This gives the Council an excellent opportunity to discuss peacebuilding comprehensively.
In his report “Peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict” the Secretary General outlined ambitious, but vital goals for the UN in becoming more effective in its support for post-conflict countries. We welcome his progress report, and the steps taken so far in its implementation.
We also congratulate the Secretary General for having delivered a strategic action plan on the participation of women in peacebuilding. The Nordic countries fully support its clear recommendations and comprehensive approach, and stand ready to do their part in fulfilling these measures.
I would like to draw your attention to a few recommendations put forward by the Secretary General in these reports that the Nordic countries believe deserve particular attention:
- Inclusive participation as a key to legitimate and sustainable peace;
- Adequate and timely financing of post-conflict needs of both men and women;
- Improving the response of the system as a whole in the immediate aftermath of a conflict.
As the Secretary General notes in his report, rebuilding after a conflict offers an opportunity to create a virtuous cycle, starting from more inclusive peace processes. The report also draws an important link between women’s participation and the wider question of gender equality. National ownership and capacity building is a key to women’s participation, wherein also lie some of the main challenges. The strategies that are developed for the inclusion of women should also address the wider institutional challenges of gender inequality found in many countries crippled with crisis and conflict.
Women need to be included in all phases and at all levels of peace processes and in planning of post-conflict governance institutions. Even if outside actors can’t dictate the composition of the negotiating delegations, there is a lot that can be done. Peace mediators and their supporting teams can always ensure that sufficient gender-expertise is provided to the parties and organise parallel consultations with women’s groups if they do not have a seat at the table.
Special measures might also be needed to support women’s representation in governance institutions that emerge after a conflict. The UN often acts as the adviser in crucial decisions such as the composition of constituent assemblies or choice of electoral system, including possibilities for quotas or preferential treatment. We believe that such measures, taking into account the local context, can be effective and justified in the interest of ensuring more legitimate state institutions, thus leading to a more durable peace.
Timely, flexible and predictable funding is a necessity for successful post-conflict statebuilding process. Steps have been taken during the past 12 months to shape the Peacebuilding Fund based on the new Terms of Reference. Considerable work has also been undertaken in the context of OECD’s International Network on Conflict and Fragility. The success of this challenging work, however, largely depends on the cooperation of donors, partner countries, the UN and other international organisations and funds.
We congratulate the Secretary General for committing the UN system to ensuring that at least 15% of UN-managed funds in support of peacebuilding are dedicated to projects whose principal objective is to address women’s specific needs, advance gender equality or empower women. As donors we are happy that the Peacebuilding Fund is already employing a gender-marker and that UNDP’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery is already exceeding the target of 15%. However, in all UN post- conflict multi donor trust funds the proportion is far behind the target: only 3,4 % of funds are spent on gender equality work. We encourage the UN to work towards the target of 15 %.
The foundation of the longer term consolidation of peace is a coherent early response from the UN and other international actors with clearly defined roles and responsibilities and strong partnerships. A lot has been achieved, notably in the field of leadership and accountability, and in developing tools for integrated strategic frameworks. Nevertheless, further efforts are still needed, especially regarding the partnerships with international financial institutions.
The ongoing review of civilian capacities comprises a key component of reforming UN support to countries emerging from conflict. We are encouraged by the breadth and depth of the review, and look forward to the upcoming report since it promises tangible recommendations. This is needed to make sure that the international community can deploy the right type of support and expertise at the right time. The Nordic countries remain committed to make the review a success.
The Secretary General’s action plan on ensuring participation of women in peacebuilding offers a good example of a system-wide strategy. We welcome the establishment of UN WOMEN and congratulate Michelle Bachelet on her appointment as the Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director. We pledge our full support to Ms. Bachelet and hope that UN WOMEN will have a leading role in the area of women, peace and security. Full and effective collaboration from all relevant UN actors in the area of post-conflict peacebuilding, such as DPKO, DPA, PBSO, DOCO and UN’s funds and programmes will of course be fundamental to ensuring the implementation of a system-wide approach and mainstreaming of gender issues as set out by the Secretary General.
Finally, Mr President,
I would like to conclude by commending the excellent work of the three facilitators of this years’ review of the UN peacebuilding architecture. The consultations showed that so far, compared to our expectations, we may not have come as far as we had hoped. Nevertheless, the PBC, PBF and PBSO have to some extent helped to fill what the Secretary General in 2005 called a “gaping hole” in the UN machinery. We welcome the facilitator’s report as an important contribution in developing the peacebuilding architecture further. We look forward to seeing continued strong leadership from the Secretary-General in taking the peacebuilding reform processes forward.
One of the key messages throughout the review has been to highlight the need for increased national ownership and making peacebuilding efforts more demand driven. We are pleased to observe that the PBC is already developing in this direction.
Speaking here in the Security Council, the Nordic countries would like to direct attention to the report’s observations that there is potential to create a new dynamic between a more forthcoming Security Council and a better performing PBC. In particular we support the recommendations that the Council could benefit from PBC advice at an early state in the framing of peacekeeping mandates, on relevant aspects during the lifetime of a mission, and as drawdown approaches.
We look forward to discussing the report in more detail at a future date and guarantee that the Nordic countries will remain a committed partner in making PBC and the UN peacebuilding architecture a success.
Thank you, Mr. President.