With Highest Number of Violent Conflicts Since Second World War, United Nations Must Rethink Efforts to Achieve, Sustain Peace, Speakers Tell Security Council
Against a backdrop of the highest number of violent conflicts since the Second World War and a consequent, pervasive sense of insecurity around the world, the United Nations must rethink its efforts to achieve sustainable peace, the Security Council heard today, as speakers presented suggestions to that end during an open debate on investing in people to enhance resilience against complex challenges in the context of building and sustaining peace.
Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed, stating that peace — the United Nations’ raison d’être — “is now under grave threat”, observed that people’s sense of safety and security is at an all-time low in almost every country. Six out of seven worldwide are plagued by feelings of insecurity, the world is facing the highest number of violent conflicts since the Second World War and 2 billion people — a quarter of humanity — live in places affected by such conflict. Recalling the Secretary-General’s words that “the world is at a key inflection point in history,” she underscored the need to rethink efforts to achieve sustainable peace.
“There is only one route to durable peace,” she stressed — the route of sustainable development. It is the only reliable tool with which to break through cycles of instability and address the underlying drivers of fragility and humanitarian need. Stressing that investments in development, people, human security and shared prosperity are also investments in peace, she noted, however, that such investments have fallen short in recent years. “When we fail to meet the development needs of our time, we fail to secure peace for our future,” she said, urging the Council to consider the fundamental role of sustainable development in securing peace for current and future generations.
Muhammad Abdul Muhith (Bangladesh), Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, also stressed that inclusivity is key to advancing national peacebuilding processes and objectives, as it ensures that the needs of all segments of society are considered. Underlining, in that regard, the importance of the full, equal and meaningful participation of women, he called for their inclusion — along with youth — in capacity-building efforts at all levels. Adding that the Commission’s strengthened advisory role has supported the Council in making decisions that benefit from broader peacebuilding perspectives, he encouraged those present to further explore innovative ideas on how the Council can better use the Commission to complement its work.
Diago Ndiaye, President of the Network on Peace and Security for Women in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), also highlighted the importance of inclusivity, pointing out that domestic conflict is triggered by governance issues, poorly organized elections and non-compliance with Constitutions. She encouraged the Council to find ways to prevent such situations, including by expanding discussion frameworks to involve non-State actors in consultations and dialogue. Also noting that social inequalities and exclusion relating to religious, regional and ethnic differences constitute sources of conflict in African countries, she urged the Council to find approaches to rectify such trends.
In the ensuing debate, nearly 80 speakers shared national perspectives and suggestions on how best to achieve sustainable peace in today’s fraught world, including the actions the Council can and must take in this endeavour. Many underscored the importance of meaningfully including women and youth in peacebuilding, conflict prevention and policymaking processes. Speakers also underlined the important role played by the Peacebuilding Commission, and how liaising with that body can help the Council better maintain international peace and security by leveraging the Commission’s specialized local and regional knowledge.
The representative of Japan, Council President for January, spoke in his national capacity to advocate for convening a meeting where all Peacebuilding Commission and Council members engage through informal interactive dialogue. He also said that the organ could request the Commission’s advice before commencing work on draft mandate resolutions, and to help develop that advice, could ask the head of the relevant peacekeeping operation to brief the Commission.
The representative of the United States also called for more ambitious and structured Council collaboration with the Commission, as the latter body is ideally placed to raise awareness of regional efforts, local communities’ expertise and the cross-border dimension of conflicts. Also noting that international actors often cannot be architects of peace, he stressed that local stakeholders must be supported in finding their own solutions and called on the United Nations to shift resources to increase the capacity of local, national and regional peacebuilding activities.
Ghana’s delegate similarly stated that local ownership of peace processes helps ensure the success of peace missions, joining many others in underscoring the need to actively empower women and youth through local peace initiatives. In addition, she pointed out that early warning systems are more effective if they are anchored in regional arrangements, including the African Union and its regional economic communities such as ECOWAS. These regional organizations are closer to conflict settings and, usually, have an institutional memory and keen awareness of the sensitivities that can help to better defuse conflicts.
The representative of the United Arab Emirates, emphasizing that institutions do not exist for the sake of existing, also urged the Council to better coordinate with the Commission through the latter’s written advice, informal dialogues and the participation of the chairs of country-specific configurations within its discussions. “We do not have to reinvent the wheel,” she stressed, “but we do need to mobilize the different tools at our disposal in the UN peacebuilding architecture.”
Ecuador’s representative observed that the Council might, at times, give the impression that it functions “as a sort of global ambulance”, going from one conflict to another when they are already in full swing — even though prevention is the most effective way to maintain global peace and security. Underlining the importance of conflict prevention, he also said that the “New Agenda for Peace” must include effective mechanisms to overcome the challenges posed by non-military threats — such as organized transnational crime that takes advantage of porous borders during times of transition.
The representative of Kuwait, also underlining the importance of prevention, said that the Council should look for means and methods to effectively avert the outbreak of conflicts. On that point, he urged that a greater role be given to regional and subregional organizations in this area by boosting their strategic partnerships with the United Nations to conduct mediation. He also commended the important role of the Peacebuilding Commission, calling for enhanced cooperation, consultation and coordination between that body and the Council.
Kenya’s delegate, meanwhile, pointed out that there can be no true defence of human rights in countries and regions beset by poverty and armed conflict; no way to protect peace when citizens have no decent livelihood; and no chance to promote peacebuilding by investing in people-centred development while cutting the core budget of development agencies. Recalling that peacekeeping was invented to further the defence of international peace and security, he urged that this same spirit be used to harness the Peacebuilding Commission’s potential and innovate in the area of peacekeeping, particularly in mandating, funding and equipping regional peace operations.
Echoing that point was the representative of Turkmenistan — also speaking for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan — who, while expressing support for the “New Agenda for Peace”, noted that efforts to implement peacebuilding agendas require adequate resources. Stressing the need for such funding to be predictable and sustainable, she praised the work of the Peacebuilding Fund “as a catalytic, rapid-response and flexible pre-positioned pooled fund” that provides financing for crucial activities in conflict-affected countries.
On that point, many speakers welcomed the Peacebuilding Fund’s work, with delegates drawing attention to the need for adequate, predictable and sustainable financing for these efforts and underlining the importance of increasing financing for peacebuilding in general. Otherwise, the representative of Canada, pointing out that peacebuilding and conflict prevention ultimately require money, warned: “A strategy without resources is better called a hallucination.”
Addressing the financing of the Fund, several speakers announced their country’s contributions to the Fund, with the representative of the Republic of Korea reporting that his Government will provide $4.3 million to the Fund in 2023. As well, Australia’s delegate, underscoring that global spending on peacebuilding represents only a fraction of that spent on militaries and crisis response, said his country has committed to a further three-year agreement with an increased contribution of A$12 million for the Fund.
Also speaking today was the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary and representatives of China, France, Albania, Brazil, Mozambique, Switzerland, Malta, Russian Federation, Gabon, United Kingdom, Egypt, Poland, Rwanda, Indonesia, Latvia, Mexico, Slovenia, Italy, Luxembourg, Croatia, Denmark (also for Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), Romania, Germany, Jordan, Guatemala, Thailand, Slovakia, Djibouti, Chile, Portugal, Austria, Netherlands, Philippines, Costa Rica, South Africa, Pakistan, Dominican Republic, Sierra Leone, Nepal, Mongolia, Morocco, Lebanon, Ireland, Peru, Myanmar, Malaysia, Timor-Leste, Georgia, Cambodia, India, Greece, Azerbaijan, Argentina, El Salvador, Palau (for the Pacific Small Island Developing States), Federated States of Micronesia, Bangladesh, Liberia, Ukraine, Liechtenstein and Armenia, as well as the League of Arab States.
The meeting began at 10:04 a.m., suspended at 1 p.m., resumed at 3:03 p.m. and ended at 7:10 p.m.
AMINA J. MOHAMMED, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, stating that peace — the United Nations’ raison d’être — “is now under grave threat”, observed that people’s sense of safety and security is at a low in almost every country. Six out of seven people worldwide are plagued by feelings of insecurity, the world is facing the highest number of violent conflicts since the Second World War and 2 billion people — a quarter of humanity — live in places affected by such conflict. Even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, conflict-affected countries were lagging on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, she reported, noting that conflict and poverty are deeply intertwined. Further, the war in Ukraine is devastating the lives of millions of Ukrainians and compounding a global food, energy and finance crisis — especially amongst the most vulnerable people and countries. Recalling the words of the Secretary-General, she said that “the world is at a key inflection point in history”, underscoring the need to rethink efforts to achieve sustainable peace.
“There is only one route to durable peace,” she stressed — the route of sustainable development. This is the only reliable tool with which to break through cycles of instability and address the underlying drivers of fragility and humanitarian need. Investments in development, people, human security and shared prosperity are also investments in peace. However, such investments have fallen short in recent years. Development deficits drive grievance, corrode institutions and allow hostility and intolerance to flourish. “When we fail to meet the development needs of our time, we fail to secure peace for our future,” she said, urging the Council to consider the fundamental role of sustainable development in securing peace for current and future generations. She then offered four observations for building and sustaining peace that is founded on inclusive, sustainable development.
First, she said that efforts to achieve peace must be based on a shared understanding of peace and the pathways thereto, spotlighting the United Nations “New Agenda for Peace”, which will aim to identify additional ways to support national prevention and peacebuilding priorities and channel international support to nationally owned violence-reduction initiatives. Inclusion will also be at the centre of the Agenda. Detailing her second point, she underlined that investing in the same is not only right, but wise. Inclusion leads to public support and greater legitimacy, strengthens societal resilience and addresses the structural inequalities that are major risk factors for violent conflict. She also stressed that, among other things, inclusion means addressing fundamental gender inequalities, urging transformational change to halt the erosion of women’s rights and ensure gender equality to build and sustain peace. Youth, peace and security should also be more widely reflected in the mandates of special political missions and peacekeeping operations.
Third, she underlined the need to explore how the Council can further leverage the role and advice of the Peacebuilding Commission. The Commission is a valuable complement to the Council’s work, and increasingly, provides advice on important thematic and cross-cutting agendas and highlights country-specific and regional peacebuilding needs. She therefore urged the Council to capitalize on the Commission’s comparative advantages and integrate crucial prevention and peacebuilding lenses more squarely into its work. Finally, she underscored that the success of collective efforts to advance sustainable peace worldwide depends on adequate investment in peacebuilding. The Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund remains the United Nations’ leading instrument to invest in peacebuilding and prevention, she added, stressing that “we cannot allow crises — of which there are many — to divert funding away from these core efforts”.
MUHAMMAD ABDUL MUHITH (Bangladesh), Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, emphasized the need to enhance the ability of individuals, societies and nations to cope with multifaceted and often interlinked challenges. This has led to an increased interest from countries and regions to engage with the Commission in expanding and strengthening its capacities for peacebuilding, he reported, noting that it learned from the experiences of several new contexts — including Timor‑Leste, South Sudan and the Central Asia region — for the first time last year. Supporting nationally owned and led efforts to build effective, accountable, inclusive and responsive institutions for reducing vulnerability and protecting and empowering citizens has repeatedly emerged as a critical lesson. In light of this, the Commission recognizes the need to increase investments in strengthening effective, accountable and inclusive public service institutions that deliver for all citizens within the rule of law, cutting across all the Sustainable Development Goals in an integrated and coordinated manner.
Inclusivity is key to advancing national peacebuilding processes and objectives to ensure that the needs of all segments of society are taken into account, he continued, underlining the importance of the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and called for the inclusion of both women and youth in capacity-building efforts at all levels. Further, as the demand for peacebuilding support continues to grow, stronger responses are needed, with a greater emphasis on efficiency, coherence, leveraging comparative advantages and ensuring impact on the ground. Achieving this while working in full respect of national ownership and existing United Nations mandates requires the full commitment of all towards finding agreed and often innovative solutions.
Noting the Commission’s strengthened advisory role on the Council’s request, he reported that the number of submissions to the Council has continued to grow, reaching 17 in 2022. This has supported the Council to take decisions benefiting from broader peacebuilding perspectives. Such progress was due to a number of informal arrangements which made better use of the Commission’s advisory, bridging and convening role and included: informal interactive dialogues; appointment of an informal coordinator enabling better alignment of programmes of work; and the sharing of advance copies of relevant reports of the Secretary-General allowing for substantive, complementary and non-duplicative advice. He encouraged all to further explore innovative ideas on how the Council can make better use of the Commission to complement its work. In addition, the Commission is open to exploring other forms of advice on relevant countries, especially those with the presence of a peace operation, which will build on its interactions with those countries and the Organization while taking advantage of its convening role vis-à-vis regional and subregional organizations, international financial institutions, regional development banks and civil society.
Turning to the Secretary-General’s “New Agenda for Peace”, he said the Commission looks forward to further discussions which echo the need to enhance support for national peacebuilding priorities and the inclusion of women and youth. As well, the Commission has reiterated its call for adequate, predictable and sustained financing for peacebuilding with a view to reinforcing efforts to build and sustain peace at the national and local levels. It will convene a dedicated discussion on the New Agenda for Peace next week which will be an opportunity for its members to complement the ongoing consultation process by providing peacebuilding-specific ideas, he announced.
DIAGO NDIAYE, President of Network on Peace and Security for Women in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), reflecting on how the Council could better address emerging threats, pointed out that domestic conflicts are triggered by governance issues, poorly organized elections and non-compliance with Constitutions, and encouraged the Council to find way to preventing such situations, including by expanding discussion frameworks to involve non-State actors — civil society, young people, political and trade union organizations — in consultations and discussions. Noting that social inequalities and exclusions related to religious, regional and ethnic differences constitute sources of conflict in African countries, she urged the Council to find approaches to rectify such trends in countries with inequality and discrimination. Encouraging the Council to promote collaborative security, she urged it to ensure dissemination of resolutions with stakeholders concerned.
Turning to building resilient and effective institutions, she pointed out that countries that decided to rebuild State institutions should be supported through citizens initiatives. Advocacy should be conducted to ensure democratic processes and to combat corruption she added. Spotlighting the key role of schooling children during the conflict periods, she recalled that thousands of girls had to leave school in the Sahel, whereas abduction of women and girls was on the rise in other regions, pushing back women empowerment. In this regard, she underscored the need of building capacity, funding institutions that work on women, peace and security agenda and cooperating with Ministries that promote women-related issues.
Mediation teams in all regions of the world should also include women participating in peace processes, she continued, calling for greater integration of women and young people in conflict prevention and in combatting inequality. Underscoring the importance of integrating women and young people in conflict prevention and combatting inequality, she cited the Secretary-General saying that “we should not wait for a conflict to erupt to start working on sustaining peace; we have to start earlier through conflict prevention and eradicating its root causes”.
She went on to underscore the need of putting together basic infrastructure, including, community schools and health clinics, to ease women’s burdens, while also promoting women empowerment through literacy and functional programmes to help raise awareness and development in rural areas. Government must put together sociocommunal infrastructure to meet the needs of vulnerable groups, she stressed. Turning to recommendations for the “New Agenda for Peace” in the context of peacebuilding, she spotlighted climate change; new security threats impacting women, including abductions and kidnappings; health emergencies and economic, energy and food crises; good governance of natural and environmental resources; digital gap and migration that need to be approached in the framework of development.
ISHIKANE KIMIHIRO (Japan), Council President for January, speaking in his national capacity, highlighted the importance of establishing resilient institutions that should offer basic socioeconomic services and development, including health care and education. Underlining the crucial role of investing in people in all segments of society, he encouraged the Council to strengthen the humanitarian-development-peace nexus in its mandates, promote inclusivity and mainstream the concept of human security. He further advocated for convening a meeting where all Peacebuilding Commission and Council members engage through informal interactive dialogue. Encouraging the Council to reflect the Commission’s advice relating to peacekeeping operations mandate renewals and special political missions, he noted that the Council could request the Commission to provide advice before a penholder starts working on a draft mandate resolution and could ask the head of a peacekeeping operation to brief the Commission to help it develop advice. Noting that the development of the “New Agenda for Peace” was under way, he called it a historic opportunity to rebuild a common vision on peacebuilding and conflict prevention, while also upgrading the United Nations toolbox to that end.
CAROLYN OPPONG-NTIRI (Ghana) said the best guarantor for sustaining peace is to prevent conflicts by addressing their underlying drivers. Council decisions should reinforce actions that support programmes building the resilience of systems, institutions and individuals. The Council could work more closely with other organs and bodies within the United Nations system, especially with the Peacebuilding Commission, which plays an advisory role to the Council and General Assembly. Early warning systems are more effective if anchored in regional arrangements, including the African Union and its regional economic communities, such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). These regional organizations are closer to the conflict settings and usually have an institutional memory and keen awareness of sensitivities that help to better defuse conflicts. She also advocated for the equal inclusion of women and embracing youth-led organizations in decision- and policymaking at national and local levels on peace and security. They should be actively empowered through local peace initiatives as the local ownership of peace processes helps ensure the success of every peace mission, she stressed.
ZHANG JUN (China), highlighting the nexus between peace and development, stressed that development is the ultimate solution for many developing countries’ challenges. The lack of development is a root cause for many issues on the Council’s agenda, he pointed out, drawing attention to the situations in South Sudan and the Sahel. Peacebuilding needs to identify its aspirations, prioritize development and distribute resources towards poverty elimination. Further, developed countries need to fulfil their commitment to climate financing and international financial institutions should fulfil their responsibilities and be deeply involved in peacebuilding. Given that post-conflict countries have a lot on their plates, “we have to pivot from blood transfusions to blood generation”, he said, adding that strengthening capacity-building across the board is an imperative. Detailing China’s cooperation with Africa, he spotlighted projects that have effectively helped countries address lacking infrastructure and have brought tangible opportunities to the African people. Turning to the peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan, he said the rights of women and girls to education and employment should be guaranteed. He called on the Taliban authorities to make positive efforts to that end. He also stressed that parties in developing countries with internal conflicts must transcend differences to ensure lasting peace. External forces should refrain from recklessly interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, he asserted.
NATHALIE BROADHURST ESTIVAL (France), stressing that the Council must prevent new threats to peace, called on the 15-nation organ to support the work of regional organizations, such as the African Union’s efforts to resolve the conflict in the north of Ethiopia. Peace operations must support security sector reform, she emphasized, adding that they must also ensure the participation of civilians, especially women and youth. In addition, the entire United Nations system must take better account of the impact of climate change on peace and security, she stressed. She also pointed out that human rights and access to justice are key preconditions for the prevention of conflicts. Reaffirming support for the efforts of institutions combating impunity, she also highlighted the work of the Peacebuilding Commission, which has shown its ability to bring together States, civil society and other regional actors. She urged that the Commission focus its action on specific geographic locations and must be present in the transitional and post-conflict periods. Noting that France will continue to support the Peacebuilding Fund financially, she stressed: “We also need to mobilize the private sector.” She also highlighted the importance of preventive diplomacy in combating the root causes of conflict.
FERIT HOXHA (Albania), stating that “peace means life”, emphasized that the United Nations strives for life, freedom, dignity and prosperity. History proves that countries that invest in their people are better equipped to make peace sustainable, prevent conflict and achieve prosperity. This begins by respecting all rights — civil, political, socioeconomic and cultural — as systemic violations of the same serve as a prelude to conflict. Underscoring that a rights-based understanding of peace and security requires the international community to address injustice directed at women — half of the world’s population — he said that in no country do women enjoy full equality with men. However, democracies — with freedom and rights, dedicated institutions, strong civil society and uncompromising free press — seek for ways to improve, do better, correct mistakes and hold themselves to account. In other places, though, regimes — under the guise of local tradition and culture — systematically exclude women from public life and political participation, including by going to extremes such as excluding them from education, like in Afghanistan. No country, he stressed, can afford to underinvest in human capital as, without urgent global efforts to do so, millions will be excluded from future prosperity and the Sustainable Development Goals will not be met.
JOÃO GENÉSIO DE ALMEIDA FILHO (Brazil) said the Peacebuilding Commission is uniquely positioned to bridge discussions across different United Nations pillars, and to garner international support to tackle the root causes of conflict. Calling on the Council to adopt a comprehensive approach to the interlinked political, economic and social roots of conflict, he said his country would welcome more frequent exchanges between the 15-nation organ and the Peacebuilding Commission. “We believe [this cooperation] is a key element to be included in the ‘New Agenda for Peace’, which we hope will be drafted in a transparent, member-driven manner,” he said. Among other things, the Commission can mobilize regional organizations and international financial institutions and foster South-South and triangular cooperation. Outlining other areas of added value, he said the Commission’s advisory role should be strengthened, and proposed holding relevant consultations before the formation, review, drawdown and transition of peace operations and special political missions. He also proposed that written advice by the Commission be regularly submitted, and that the work programmes of the Commission and the Council be further aligned. In addition, among several other suggestions, he called for greater interaction between the Commission and the Council’s penholders.
ROBERT A. WOOD (United States) called for more ambitious and structured Council collaboration with the Commission since it is ideally placed to raise awareness of regional efforts, local communities’ expertise and the cross-border dimension of conflicts. He voiced his strong support for expanding the Commission’s role in regional settings and cross-cutting areas, including human rights and climate-related peace and security risks. Such an expansion would support making peacebuilding activities integrated, coordinated and responsive. Peacebuilding gains cannot be fully achieved unless they are inclusive and shared by everyone, he stressed, noting that peace processes are often put to the test because they lack legitimacy among impacted populations. As well, international actors often cannot be architects of peace. Local actors must be supported in finding their own solutions. In that regard, the United Nations should shift resources to increase the capacity of local, national and regional peacebuilding activities. He spotlighted the importance of actively engaging and empowering women, youth, local actors and civil society and encouraged the Organization to produce more detailed impact assessments of its peacebuilding work. “Our hope is to build consensus around a future in which the UN is fully activated and empowered to deliver in ways we know it can,” he said.
PEDRO COMISSÁRIO (Mozambique), recalling his country’s experience in peacekeeping and peacebuilding, highlighted the linkages among peace, security, and development, while addressing internal and external root causes of violent conflict. Underscoring the importance of addressing development challenges and establishing inclusive, people-centred policies and strategies, he said that peacebuilding measures must be focused on strengthening State authority and governance structure, whereas the affected societies need assistance to build their own peace architecture. Advocating for greater engagement of women and girls in peacebuilding processes, he pointed out that peacebuilding interventions need to be carefully planned and possess effective institutions. In this regard, he called attention to the key role of partnerships between international, national and local actors. The “New Agenda for Peace” must avoid all-sizes-fits-all solutions, he said, suggesting it includes promotion of poverty reduction and critical investment in human capital; reinforcement of investment in infrastructure, restoration and development; engagement of local communities in violent conflicts prevention and resolution; and deeper specificity of societies affected by violent conflict, among other topics.
PASCALE CHRISTINE BAERISWYL (Switzerland) called on the Council to engage in constructive discussions and strengthen the links between development, peace and security and human rights, especially in the field of transitional justice and in the transitions of peacekeeping operations. To build trust, it must also focus on local actors. Since local communities and authorities are at the front line for building sustainable peace and preventing a relapse into violence, the international community must build on their skills and capacities. Welcoming the pioneering work of the Peacebuilding Commission in this regard, she emphasized that sustainable peace also requires strong and accountable institutions that protect and advance the rights of those who depend on them. If such rights are violated, those responsible must be held accountable so that trust in these institutions are maintained. She also highlighted the need to promote transparency and truth as a basis for concrete action especially as the world faces new threats to international security and risk multipliers, from climate change to cyberspace. The Council must have up to date, disaggregated scientific information and data; integrate this into its work; and account for and counter the threat posed by disinformation.
VANESSA FRAZIER (Malta) said it is crucial to identify ways to implement national, regional and local peacebuilding strategies. She welcomed the Commission’s work and encouraged its work with the Council and other entities throughout the United Nations system. Sustainable financing for peacebuilding is another important measure and an integral part of multilateralism. Noting that Malta contributes to the Peacebuilding Fund, she encouraged all delegations to make contributions. Sustainable development has an important role to play in peacebuilding and can help make communities resilient to future conflicts. Education is also key and literacy can be used as a conflict prevention tool and to help communities build more resilience. Dialogue between United Nations bodies, the Commission and local groups is helpful. Women and children, who frequently suffer the most from conflict, are crucial building blocks in creating sustainable peace for communities. The voice of women must be heard as road maps for peace are created.
ANNA M. EVSTIGNEEVA (Russian Federation) described a proper State policy on creating a responsible body of power and building fair societal relationship as a key towards a stable nation. Further, she stressed the importance of creating a competitive economy and promoting national health care and education programmes. Many countries on the Council’s agenda — especially from the African continent — still feel the consequences of the colonial past. As a result of such tragic events, the natural historic State-building process was disrupted, borders were randomly drawn and many people ended up being divided. In this context, she continued, imposing foreign languages and customs could be conducive to interethnic conflicts. Some colonial empires intentionally left behind artificial dividing lines, she recalled, adding that their policies were accompanied by economic exploitation. Political decisions and principles of State-building should be pursued on the basis of national interests, she added. Highlighting Council’s duty to cut the most acute phases of conflict, she pointed to comprehensive strategies on post-conflict recovery. International support should be extended exclusively with the consent of the host Government, while strictly respecting that Government’s sovereignty, she asserted. Describing as “unacceptable” when donors condition their assistance on implementing certain political requirements, she said such attempts are not conducive to bringing peace. Using human rights violations as an indicator of conflict opens up the possibility of interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign States. She further emphasized that political settlement of conflict lays a foundation for improving the human rights situation in a country and building democratic institutions there, not the other way around.
MICHAEL XAVIER BIANG (Gabon), describing peacebuilding as a multi-pronged process involving a broad range of international community actors, said it must support resilience and facilitate the national ownership of peace. Stressing the importance of a comprehensive effort to ensure that hostilities are not resumed, he said it is closely linked to post-conflict recovery and social, political and economic resilience. Investing in education is essential for neutralizing the root causes of conflict, he said, adding that contemporary conflict makes this already difficult task even more challenging. Peace and security are inextricably linked with development, he stressed, noting that many countries dealing with armed conflict are also encountering development obstacles. Their institutional capacity is outstripped by the conflict, he pointed out, adding that terrorism, violent extremism, intercommunal violence and organized crime prosper in such contexts. Contemporary risk factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change add additional complexity to this difficult security landscape. Calling for a comprehensive and consistent strategy, he underscored the Council’s primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security.
JAMES KARIUKI (United Kingdom), stressing that the cost of conflict is unsustainable both in terms of human suffering and resources, said the “New Agenda for Peace” is an opportunity to put prevention front and centre, and to save lives and reduce costs down the line. While the concept of “prevention” is considered sensitive for countries, nationally owned peacebuilding processes can actually bolster sovereignty and strengthen State resilience. Against that backdrop, he called for efforts to strengthen the United Nations foresight capabilities, anticipate risks and better leverage data and technology — including in places where climate change is exacerbating risks. The United Nations must have the right mediation capacities, and wider networks, to help resolve conflicts before they escalate. The Organization and its Member States should be held fully accountable for implementing the sustaining peace agenda, through empowered resident coordinators and coherent system-wide efforts. In addition, the Council — along with the Peacebuilding Commission — can do more to help drive integrated responses, he said.
HERNÁN PÉREZ LOOSE (Ecuador) observed that the Council might, at times, give the impression that it functions as “a sort of global ambulance”, going from one conflict to another when they are already in full swing — even though prevention is the most-effective way to maintain global peace and security. Underlining the importance of conflict prevention, he also said that the “New Agenda for Peace” must include effective mechanisms to overcome the challenges posed by non-military threats — such as organized transnational crime that takes advantage of porous borders during times of transition. He went on to stress that women’s full, fair and meaningful participation in all phases of conflict prevention and resolution, and in the peacebuilding process, can lead to lasting, sustainable peace. He therefore underscored the importance of implementing resolution 1325 (2000) and subsequent decisions relating to the women, peace and security agenda, also spotlighting the Peacebuilding Commission’s strategy to promote the inclusion of a gender perspective. Turning to the Peacebuilding Fund, he supported the Secretary-General’s efforts to ensure greater predictability and sustainability in its financing, including through assessed contributions. Another source of funding, he added, can be more-effective partnerships with regional organizations and international financial institutions.
LANA ZAKI NUSSEIBEH (United Arab Emirates) pointed out that, 31 years after the original agenda for peace, the United Nations system still struggles to find sustainable solutions to conflicts and growing instability. “We do not have to reinvent the wheel, but we do need to mobilize the different tools at our disposal in the UN peacebuilding architecture,” she said, adding that institutions do not exist for the sake of existing. Rather, they are here to support communities and if they are not optimized in how they are use them, “we are failing the people we are expected to serve”. To that end, the Council should better coordinate with the Commission through the latter’s written advice, informal dialogues and the participation of the chairs of country-specific configurations within its discussions. As gender apartheid is a driver of conflict and instability, women’s contributions to society must never been seen as an option, but, instead, as a prerequisite for security and prosperity. Peacebuilding must be inclusive, invest in women and youth and ensure that prevention moves to resolve conflicts quickly. She also emphasized the need to respond effectively to evolving and complex challenges, such as climate change, extremism and pandemics; called for the New Agenda to provide a nimble and adaptable framework with funding matching needs; and encouraged leveraging the facilitation efforts of other actors to ensure that local, national and global initiatives complement each other.
PÉTER SZIJJÁRTÓ, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, pointing out that in international political discourse the rhetoric of war is loud, but the rhetoric of peace is being hardly heard, said that his country, as a direct neighbour of Ukraine, is interested in peace, given the severe and immediate effects of the war in Ukraine. Reporting that more than a million refugees entered his country, he spotlighted the largest humanitarian operation in Hungary’s history, while pointing out that the national energy bill for imports increased from €7 billion to €17 billion within one year and underlining the negative impact of inflation on food prices. He underscored that, besides Ukrainians, Hungarian nationals were also dying in the war, as members of the Hungarian community in the west of Ukraine were being recruited to the Ukrainian army. Hungarian people “do not want this war and do not want to be involved in any war against anyone”, he said. Instead of deploying more weapons, concentrate on establishing a ceasefire and launching peace talks, he noted, recalling that the United Nations is a platform for discussion “even” between those countries that are not happy to sit together. If the channels of communication are being cut, the hope for peace is being given up, he pointed out, calling on the representatives of the so-called “super-Powers” to sit around the negotiating table and negotiate how peace could be created in the neighbourhood.
OSAMA MAHMOUD ABDELKHALEK MAHMOUD (Egypt), associating himself with all three African members of the Council and the United Arab Emirates, said his delegation has always stressed the need to focus on peace. Financing is essential to promoting the peacebuilding process and it is necessary to build the capacity of States and their institutions to promote sustainable peace and prevent conflicts. More attention must be paid to financing, building resiliency in countries and address the root causes of conflicts. He voiced his support for States’ efforts to build their institutions and rules in order to prevent conflicts. Development is also important, he stressed, adding that it is necessary to mobilize the necessary forces to generate economic growth and create jobs. He also expressed his support for all efforts to include women and youth in peacebuilding efforts and supported joint efforts of the Council and African Union. Investment to build strong national institutions is key, he emphasized.
KRZYSZTOF MARIA SZCZERSKI (Poland) said the role played by the young generation in sustainable peace cannot be overstated. It is essential to constantly engage youth in all dimensions of peacebuilding processes. The most constructive way to empower young people and ensure they are not radicalized in conflict situations is to invest in high-quality education, vocational training and employment opportunities. “While in times of peace, education is generally treated as a significant investment and fundamental right, in times of war it is unfortunately often side-lined,” he observed. Poland continues to assist students from developing and conflict-affected countries, including Ukraine, as it continues to reel from the Russian Federation’s aggression, he said, adding that when peace is achieved in that conflict, Ukraine may need reconstruction on the similar scale as after the Second World War. He commended the Peacebuilding Commission for bringing together international, national and local stakeholders to examine and address complex peacebuilding challenges and added his strong support for the Commission’s collaboration with various United Nations bodies, including the Council, General Assembly, United Nations missions in the field and the Economic and Social Council. Poland also endorses the work of the Peacebuilding Fund, which addresses peacebuilding challenges and work with all relevant actors on the ground, he said.
CLAVER GATETE (Rwanda) said his country’s journey to peace has focused on a people-centred approach, ownership and accountability. Sustaining peace in the Great Lakes region is a desire of all regional countries, including Rwanda, he said, voicing deep concern about the evolving security situation in North and South Kivu. The cycle of violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, specifically against Kinyarwanda-speaking Congolese, results from structural failures with the absence of State authority to guarantee safety for its people and spill-over effects to neighbouring countries. Moreover, persecution and violence against a section of Congolese citizens have forced 80,000 Congolese to seek refuge in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania. Resolving the refugee issue and preventing future internal displacement crises are inextricably linked to achieving lasting peace in the region. The plight of the Congolese people facing perpetual internal displacement and indefinite exile without a viable prospect to return home, must be categorically addressed. Further, he warned against a serious threat posed by the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda and its splinter groups not only to the Congolese people, but to Rwanda’s peace sustainability. “Rwanda cannot sustain its hard-earned peace with this looming threat at its doorstep in [Democratic Republic of the Congo],” he declared.
ARRMANATHA CHRISTIAWAN NASIR (Indonesia), calling for a new and inclusive approach to peacebuilding, pointed to the wide range of impact that contemporary conflicts have. Empowering and amplifying the role of women is crucial for putting in place a bottoms-up approach, he said, adding that strong and resilient institutions must be built through good governance and sustainable financing. Broadening the source of funding through partnerships with regional organizations and international financial institutions, as well as South-South and triangular cooperation, are essential. The international community cannot afford to continue to work in silos, he said, highlighting the key role of the Peacebuilding Commission. It must coordinate with the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, he said, reaffirming his country’s support for the Organization’s peacebuilding activities.
MITCHELL PETER FIFIELD (Australia) pointed out that global spending on peacebuilding represents only a fraction of military spending and the money expended on crisis response and reconstruction. However, sustained, inclusive and targeted peacebuilding results in lives and money saved in the long-term — up to $70 billion per year on average according to the World Bank. He offered, by way of example, the “peace huts” started by women in Liberia shortly after the end of the civil war in 2003. These huts mediated local disputes, monitored police and justice services and referred victims of violence to counselling. Costing only 1.5 per cent of the money spent on peacekeeping, political and the justice sector in Liberia that year, they were considered by local police as key to reducing and preventing violence in the community. Peacebuilding — despite being a core task of the United Nations — is underfunded, he said, calling on all States to consider making and increasing voluntary contributions to the Peacebuilding Fund and supporting assessed contributions for the same. He added that, for its part, Australia has committed to a further three-year agreement with an increased contribution of A$12 million for the Fund, which represents a core part of Australia’s peace-investment portfolio.
IVARS LIEPNIEKS (Latvia), as a former member of the Peacebuilding Commission, acknowledged the key role of resilience in peacebuilding efforts and highlighted his country’s long-standing practical experience in investing in people, both at home and in other countries. For several years Latvian non-governmental organizations have been implementing projects in the countries of Central Asia aimed at strengthening women's participation in the democratic process, public administration and business. Spotlighting the importance of strengthening interaction between the Council and the Peacebuilding Commission, he pointed out the need of addressing accountability. He also underscored the importance of strengthening media and information literacy, including working on the global code of conduct in integrity of public information and combating the spread of disinformation and misinformation. As a donor to the Peacebuilding Fund and other programmes, he supported the initiative of sustainable financing for peacebuilding, including through contributions from the regular budget.
ALICIA GUADALUPE BUENROSTRO MASSIEU (Mexico) said the world’s crisis are becoming increasingly complex and conflicts are now fuelled by diverse factors, such as climate change, which can lead to large groups of displaced people. The Council must bear this in mind when looking at the root causes of conflicts. Climate change, for example, is affecting peace and security in the Sahel and Somalia. Investment in people and building resilience in communities is critical. If not, the Council will be stuck in mere conflict management. These challenges have made implementing the Sustainable Development Goals more complex. The response of United Nations bodies must be consistent and focus on prevention. The Council should use the tools at its disposal. In that regard, the Peacebuilding Commission, for example, has a vast unused potential. Other United Nations bodies should also be included in the peacebuilding dialogue. Ongoing communication between the Council and States that are not Council members is important, as well, he stressed.
SANGJIN KIM (Republic of Korea), noting that his country is a long-standing member of the Peacebuilding Commission, highlighted that body’s role in addressing complex challenges and welcomed its meaningful developments with the Council. To further capitalize on its advisory and convening functions, he voiced support for interactive communication, the strengthened role of an informal coordinator and better alignment with the workplans of the Council, General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council. A more systematic and integrated approach is needed within and beyond the United Nations, he added, spotlighting emerging security threats and risk multipliers, such as climate change, food insecurity and pandemics. Since these factors are closely related to underdevelopment, he advocated for the strengthening of the humanitarian-development-peace nexus and expanding of partnerships with civil society, the private sector and regional and international financial institutions. He also announced that his Government will provide $4.3 million to the Peacebuilding Fund this year, a more than 70 per cent increase. The Republic of Korea looks forward to further progress on peacebuilding financing, including on the provision of assessed contributions, he said.
SAŠA JUREČKO (Slovenia) said that sustainable and predictable funding is key in peacebuilding, pledging her country’s continued contributions to the Peacebuilding Fund and its work towards multiannual planning to increase predictability. Integrating sustainable development into peacebuilding provides the basis for reconciling and rebuilding communities and promotes inclusive socioeconomic growth, environmental protection and access to education and health care. Addressing people’s needs and investing in promoting and protecting their human rights paves the path to building peaceful and resilient societies. An inclusive approach is also key for validating the peacebuilding process. Expressing concern over the situation in Afghanistan, she urged the international community to do more to support women’s rights and ensure their full, equal and meaningful participation. It must also empower local and regional actors and lean on them to prepare, implement and evaluate projects. For its part, the Council should make better use of existing tools and expertise, benefit from working in synergy with the Organization’s bodies and agencies, and strengthen linkages and cooperation with the Peacebuilding Commission.
MICHAEL KIBOINO (Kenya) recalled that the crafters of the Charter of the United Nations sought to ensure international peace using collective defence, protection of human rights and promotion of development. These commitments should be complementary aspects of the United Nations policies and operations. He pointed out that there is no true defence of human rights in countries and regions beset by poverty and armed conflict; no way to protect peace when citizens have no decent livelihood; and no chance to promote peacebuilding by investing in people-centred development while cutting the core budget of the development agencies. Therefore, the New Agenda for Peace will not meet the expectations without an agenda for development, he stressed. Recalling that peacekeeping was invented to further the defence of international peace and security, he urged that the same spirit be used to harness the potential of the Peacebuilding Commission and innovate peacekeeping, particularly in the mandating, funding and equipping regional peace operations.
GIANLUCA GRECO (Italy) urged the international community to invest in people and communities by engaging societies beyond political elites and grounding its action in a deep knowledge of those it serves. It must restore youth’s trust towards national authorities and international governance; promote peaceful, justice and inclusive societies centred on human rights; integrate a gender perspective in all policies; and take measures to advance the protection and participation of women, youth and marginalized groups or communities while prioritizing the safeguarding of their rights. International support must be aligned with communities’ priorities, offering equal access to work opportunities, youth employment, quality education, poverty eradication, climate-resilient economies and reduced inequalities, among others. He also stressed that investing in people means investing in multilateralism by revitalizing the mechanisms contained in Chapter IV of the Charter; providing peacebuilding with sustainable, adequate, predictable and flexible financing, including through significant assessed contributions; and ensuring more ambitious and structured collaboration between the Commission and Council, to name a few. “We cannot divide ourselves between the North and the South of the world,” he emphasized.
OLIVIER MAES (Luxembourg) encouraged more regular exchanges between the Council and all peacebuilding stakeholders, including on the topic addressing climate and security. The “New Agenda for Peace” proposed by the Secretary-General should help bolster the link between the Councill and the Peacebuilding Commission, he emphasized. Investing in peoples’ capacity is crucial to establishing resilient institutions and providing access to education and basic services. Luxembourg will continue its annual financial support to the Peacebuilding Fund, he said, voicing support for the Secretary-General’s proposal to fuel the fund in part by extra contributions. Further, he noted that Luxembourg will contribute in constructive manner to prevention and peacebuilding efforts.
IVAN ŠIMONOVIĆ (Croatia), highlighting the need for inclusive, networked multilateralism that does not operate in silos, noted that the “New Agenda for Peace” should reflect these points. He encouraged the United Nations bodies to cooperate, coordinate and complement each other’s work. Pointing out that there can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development, he underlined the importance of centring peace and peacebuilding around people while also investing in them. Calling on the Council to be proactive at prevention and resilience, he said that inclusive and sustainable development anchored in human rights, gender equality and leaving no one behind would the best structural prevention of conflicts. The Peacebuilding Commission could be a bridge-builder that provides advice and recommendations connecting peace and security with socioeconomic development and environmental protection. It could also bring together actors from different pillars and work with countries in question to find more coherent and coordinated approach to strengthening peace and security and addressing root causes of conflict, he added.
Inclusivity is also key, he said, stressing that the global community must promote human rights and support the meaningful participation of women and young people, including in conflict resolution and peacebuilding work. “We must improve the diversity of voices that brief this Council,” he stressed, noting that there remains room to grow in that regard. Finally, the world’s joint ability to address challenges requires an integrated approach across the peace-development-human rights nexus, as well as closer collaboration between the United Nations and regional organizations and adequate, predictable and sustainable financing, he said.
CORNEL FERUTA (Romania) said that his country’s efforts focus on long-term investment, strengthening institutions, human security and investing in people, which includes promoting gender equality and access to education. Education is one of the best ways to bolster institutional capacity, and therefore, Romania grants scholarships to foreign students to promote sustainable development. He also spotlighted the Euro-Atlantic Centre for Resilience, located in Bucharest, which reflects his country’s commitment to promoting Sustainable Development Goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions. The Centre’s work is all the more important in the context of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine, he added. Further, as sustainable development cannot be achieved without inclusivity, Romania is promoting programmes relating to the women, peace and security agenda, and stands ready to engage on this topic with all stakeholders. He also pointed out that financing is one of the main challenges for effective peacebuilding and State resilience, underlining his country’s commitment to the work of the Peacebuilding Fund. He added that his country is one of the main promoters of resolution 1631 (2005), which concerns cooperation between various bodies and the United Nations to maintain international peace and security.
ANTJE LEENDERTSE (Germany) noted that, despite shared analyses and continued pledges, the international community has not done enough to put conflict prevention and peacebuilding at the centre of its efforts. Many resources are going into the management of conflicts and the alleviation of humanitarian consequences while investments in preventing the outbreaks of new conflicts and supporting countries emerging from conflicts are still limited. This must change, she emphasized, spotlighting her country’s efforts as the biggest voluntary donor to the Peacebuilding Fund, its numerous bilateral programmes, investments in early warning and conflict mitigation mechanisms, and contributions to United Nations stabilization instruments. Assessed contributions would contribute to more adequate, predictable and sustainable financing and increase all Member States’ joint ownership, she said, urging States to heed the call of the African Group and many conflict-affected countries to finally get this done. An increase in such funding, however, cannot be a substitute for the Organization’s efforts to produce more impact assessments of its peacebuilding programming. She underlined the Commission’s role to encourage continue exchanges with the Council and more focused and concrete recommendations for that organ. National and regional priorities reflected in such recommendation should not be censored for political or ideological regions, she added.
MAHMOUD HMOUD (Jordan), underlining the United Nations central role in maintaining international peace and security, welcomed the drafting of the “New Agenda for Peace”. The world is facing new threats and challenges that require further investment in conflict prevention and peacebuilding, he said, underscoring the need to address the root causes of conflict, uphold human rights and further pursue disarmament. The Council and other United Nations organs should provide more resources and ensure a broader mandate to the concerned entities and missions, in order to contribute to positive peacekeeping outcomes and support the global development agenda. The concept of peacebuilding should be revisited, in order to move beyond conflict management and allow peacekeeping operations to further support the development agendas of the countries concerned. In that regard, he said it was unfortunate that the concept of peacebuilding has achieved mixed results over the last three decades, due in part to the United Nations tendency towards conflict management rather than prevention. The upcoming Summit of the Future is an appropriate platform to advance a new direction in that regard, he added.
CARLA MARIA RODRÍGUEZ MANCIA (Guatemala), pointing out that the Russian Federation has unjustifiably attacked its neighbouring country, said that such unilateral actions weaken the rule of law. “We cannot speak of peace without sustainable development, nor speak of sustainable development without peace,” she stressed, noting that human rights must guide both efforts simultaneously. Recognizing the essential role of financing for maintaining peace and security from a preventive perspective through capacity-building, she encouraged the Council to consider strategic instruments at the operational level to include the peacekeeping component in the mandates of peacekeeping operations. The Council should benefit from interaction with non-Member States and other organs and acknowledge the added value of the Peacebuilding Commission as an advisory body, she said. Recognizing the value of cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations, she encouraged strengthening the relationship between the Organization of American States (OAS)and the Peacebuilding Commission.
SURIYA CHINDAWONGSE (Thailand) underlined that addressing the root causes of conflict and violence invariably comes down to tackling the issues affecting people. At the strategic level, policies that matter to them must be promoted which includes closing income gaps, promoting universal health coverage and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals, he said, advocating for human security to be incorporated into the “New Agenda for Peace”. At the tactical level, it is important to recognize and quickly and effectively address pressing humanitarian concerns and alleviate human suffering immediately. Without overcoming this urgent challenge, it is almost impossible to generate sustained support from stakeholders for sustained peacebuilding efforts. At the operational level, he continued, those engaged in peacekeeping should try to seek ways to perform the role of early peacebuilders, which includes working with host countries and local communities in the area of local development in accordance with their specific needs. Finally, at the local level, national institutions must be strong and effective and cater to the needs of people and national priorities. Putting people front and centre in policymaking will have long-term dividends by strengthening the social contract between Governments and various stakeholders, thereby enhancing society’s immunities to strife and giving sustainable peace a better chance.
MICHAL MLYNÁR (Slovakia) said the number of conflicts and crises is rising due to the absence of political settlements and capable institutions. “Weak State capacities and institutions often fail to provide basic security, services and economic opportunities, and are unable to maintain citizen confidence and trust,” he said, calling for investments in the self-organizing capacity of communities and societies. National Governments bear the primary responsibility for sustaining peace, and inclusivity is critical. As a member of the Peacebuilding Commission in 2020-2021, Slovakia worked closely with partners to enable people in fragile countries to live in peaceful, inclusive and resilient societies. He welcomed the strengthening of the Commission’s advisory, bridging and convening roles in support of national efforts and priorities, noting the importance of including women, young people and actors across the political spectrum. As Co-Chair of the Group of Friends on Security Sector Reform, Slovakia also takes seriously the importance of security in sustaining peace, he said, noting that he looked forward to a Council meeting on security sector governance and reform, slated for March.
MOHAMED SIAD DOUALEH (Djibouti), underscoring the importance of prevention and supporting revitalization of mechanisms contained in the Charter, pointed out that the fundamental objective of mediation initiatives is to ensure dispute settlement. Noting that allocation of resources for prevention, implementation of peace agreements and post-conflict reconstruction minimizes the chances of conflict resurgence, he spotlighted the key role of the Peacebuilding Commission in mobilizing resources and the crucial support of external partners, bilateral donors and international financial institutions. Fostering enhanced collaboration between the Peacebuilding Commission and the Council could contribute to the formulation of mandates and elaboration of drawdown and exit strategies, he said, suggesting undertaking a thorough analysis of operational challenges of peace operations; the changing conflict patterns in peacekeeping; the spread of terrorism; and the diffusion of emerging disruptive technology.
PAULA NARVÁEZ OJEDA (Chile) said the international community must adopt an integrated approach to maintaining peace that envelopes military, political, economic and social aspects. Strengthening cooperation and institutions at the national and international levels is important. A fundamental component of maintaining peace and security is adherence to the rule of law, which helps give people access to justice and fights against impunity. There must be respect for the principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The Council must proactively prevent conflicts by taking such measures as promoting gender equality, strengthening democracy and the rule of law. Strengthening governance and transparency is crucial. Investing in infrastructure will help build a community’s resilience. Predictable, long-term financing is important to build a sustainable peace and the financing mechanism for the Peacebuilding Fund should be strengthened. Peace initiatives should include local community members in the dialogue and the participation of women and young people.
ANA PAULA ZACARIAS (Portugal), emphasizing the need for a representative, inclusive Council that is capable of effectively addressing today’s challenges, said that the organ’s composition must adequately reflect the international community’s diversity. Further, the Council should listen to, and benefit from, different perspectives and suggestions from a broad range of actors by maintaining regular dialogue and consultations with the wider membership and non-State stakeholders. Pointing out that such actors can bring vast knowledge of the root causes of conflict and help ensure local ownership by promoting trust and dialogue, she underlined the importance of trust to building resilient institutions and promoting social cohesion and development. It is also essential that the voices of women and youth are heard in the Council Chamber, and that both groups are included and engaged in all stages of peacebuilding. Further, the Peacebuilding Commission’s convening role must continue to be used to bring together relevant stakeholders to address the underlying causes of conflict and support national peacebuilding priorities, she said, adding that cooperation between the Commission and the Council must be further strengthened.
JOCHEN HANS-JOACHIM ALMOSLECHNER (Austria) warned that the world is moving closer to the brink of instability, with multiple strategic threats, including terrorism, arms proliferation, organized crime and cyberwarfare. In this increasingly challenging environment for peace and security, the work of the United Nations can only prevail if the international community invests in conflict prevention and building sustainable peace. Stressing the need to reduce strategic risks by adopting a holistic approach to peace and security, he said the Council needs to become better at integrating climate security, socioeconomic factors and human rights in its work. Moreover, it needs to strengthen its link with the Peacebuilding Commission. Further, the United Nations must foster even stronger partnerships with regional organizations to better build regional comprehensive strategies. To this end, he proposed holding an annual multilateral meeting between the Secretary-General and heads of regional organizations to boost partnerships with regional organizations such as the African Union. He also noted that all members of the civil society have a vital part in building resilient societies and recognized the fundamental role of women and young people in conflict prevention.
MARK ZELLENRATH (Netherlands) encouraged the Council to listen more to the voices of women, youth and civil society organizations. Doing so from people who are affected by conflict, have a direct stake in the subject matter or possess specific insights would not only enrich discussions and action-oriented decision-making, but also improve the Council’s legitimacy and representativeness, he said. As such, achieving stronger results on the women and youth agendas for peace and security will fundamentally improve building and sustaining peace, and by extension, international stability. On the role of the Peacebuilding Commission, he pointed out that proactively asking that body to provide advice and inviting it to brief the Council more frequently would create synergies and strengthen their work. There must also be adequate, predictable and sustainable funding for mandates, he continued, urging Member States to reach consensus on assessed contributions for the Peacebuilding Fund. Turning to the “New Agenda for Peace”, he advocated for a people-centred, inclusive and integrated cross-pillar approach, the inclusion of mental health and psychosocial support, re-establishment of the rule of law and improved access to justice as critical components and an emphasis on strengthening the protection of civilians in both policies and practice.
ARIEL RODELAS PENARANDA (Philippines), emphasizing the importance of investing in people especially through strengthening the meaningful participation of vulnerable groups, namely women and youth, spotlighted his country’s experience through the peace process in the southern Philippines. Through the Government’s efforts, it promoted an inclusive and participatory dialogue which involved all stakeholders; invested in people’s education to sustain the peacebuilding process; improved education infrastructure; and significantly decreased poverty incidence in the region, to name a few. Voicing his support for the “New Agenda for Peace”, he stressed that it should include ways in which the Organization can provide tools and resources to people in conflict-affected and high-risk areas. Providing education is critical for building resilience and promoting development, he insisted. For its part, the Commission should further enhance the inclusion of women, youth and civil society in its work and create opportunities for their active engagement within Councill discussions. On financing, he called for States to bolster institutions for peace by infusing the necessary resources, strengthening participatory processes and having the Council consider the Secretary-General’s proposal of a Peacebuilding Fund. He also encouraged States to further enhance the Commission’s effectiveness and the Council to institute more meaningful dialogues.
MARITZA CHAN VALVERDE (Costa Rica), outlining several elements that should be included in the “New Agenda for Peace”, said it should seek to address increases in military spending, which reduce funds available for key elements of human development. Without regulatory efforts, such spending will have major detrimental impacts, she said, advocating for the submission of plans for a system of armament regulation. That should include efforts to better enforce the Council’s arms embargoes at all levels. Meanwhile, the “New Agenda for Peace” should acknowledge that violence is an everyday reality in homes and communities all over the world, she said, urging all States to implement nationally led violence‑reduction strategies to tackle the interlinked root drivers of conflict. The Secretary-General, Security Council, Peacebuilding Commission and other actors should encourage States to implement risk-sensitive policies in response to major global challenges. While military forces might have useful roles to play in certain contexts, she cautioned again against a broader culture of militarism and excessive military spending, and instead called for support to efforts to allow human beings to live in dignity.
XOLISA MFUNDISO MABHONGO (South Africa) stressed that there is a need to transform the way drivers and root causes of conflict and instability are addressed, calling for rhetoric iterations and actions to be replaced by transformative strategies and tangible actions. However, the success of any peacebuilding activities will be determined by the political commitment, leadership, ownership and capacity of national and local actors in the concerned country. Against this backdrop, investing in people and institutions is vital. As institution-building is a complex and expensive exercise which requires the support of the Organization and the international community, securing sustainable funding for peacebuilding activities remains a challenge and subject of infinite discussion since demands exceed what is available. The Secretary-General’s “New Agenda for Peace” provides an opportunity to repurpose the Council’s approach by investing more in conflict prevention and preventive diplomacy. Advancing conflict prevention also requires building and enhancing partnerships with a wide variety of actors, including the private sector and non-governmental institutions. It is imperative to invest in people, institutions and efforts to address both internal and external threats of peace, he insisted.
MUNIR AKRAM (Pakistan) stressed that enabling the people of Palestine and Jammu and Kashmir to exercise their right to self-determination must be a priority objective for the Council. Recognizing the failure of ensuring the universal respect for human rights due to double standards and political priorities of some countries, he pointed out that the United Nations did not succeed in promoting higher living conditions either. “Our world is vastly richer than it was 70 years ago, yet inequality has increased and the division between the rich and the poor is growing,” he said, underscoring that resilient development is needed to build resilient peace, and achieving the climate agenda and climate justice is required to reach a durable peace. He reported that, in response to the recent floods, Pakistan, in cooperation with its partners, has formulated the resilient Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Framework.
CARLA MARÍA CARLSON (Dominican Republic) said the world is facing a growing number of catastrophes, including humanitarian crises, amidst the devastating impact of climate change. The Council’s responsibility is to develop long-term approaches as it deals with existing disputes and works to avoid future conflicts. The Peacebuilding Commission provides an exemplary platform of how best to support regions in conflict. Its advisory role with the Council must be deepened and expanded. For sustainable peace, nations must take ownership of peacebuilding activities. The Commission can advise the Council in situations in which the Council is unaware or in which agreements could not be reached. The Council should also use the expertise of United Nations agencies with experience in various regions as they can bring impartiality to situations and contribute to reconciliation. During many decades, women have played an important role in maintaining peace and security. It is also essential to develop youth’s potential in building more inclusive societies. The United Nations must also build partnerships with other stakeholders, including civil society members, the private sector, academia, financial institutions and local people.
ALHAJI FANDAY TURAY (Sierra Leone) said to enhance resilience and build a sustainable peace, it is critical for all stakeholders — Governments, civil society, the private sector, women and youth — to engage holistically in order to expand people’s capabilities and potential. This means empowering people by enhancing their skills for work, knowledge, productivity and inventiveness, which will help them develop their countries. His Government’s approach to develop its human capital has been driven by its national policy “Free Quality Education”, which is a radical inclusion for quality education for all. In the past four years, it has allocated 22 per cent of its national budget to education. This strategic policy direction emphasizes the inclusion of historically marginalized groups, including pregnant girls and parent learners, children with disabilities, children from rural and underserved areas and children from low-income families. The policy provides guidelines for decision-making and streamlining processes so that schools throughout Sierra Leone are accessible and include all children, without stigma, harassment, intolerance and exclusion of any kind.
AMRIT BAHADUR RAI (Nepal) pointed out that only a competent and healthy workforce can accelerate economic prosperity and tackle complex challenges, including external shocks with resilience. Effective peacebuilding must involve the entire United Nations system, including the Council and the Peacebuilding Commission, regional organizations and local actors, he stressed, noting that regular dialogues and cooperation among all bodies are necessary to identify and address challenges. He further underlined the importance of nationally owned peacebuilding efforts based on political dialogue, accountability, inclusion and participation, underscoring that participation of women, youth and ethnic and religious minorities is a cornerstone of any peace process. Recalling that his country has been contributing to peace operations in many conflict-ridden parts of the world since 1958, he also underlined the importance of a holistic response addressing peace and security, stressing that such an approach would bring political actors together by nurturing trust and collaboration.
ENKHBOLD VORSHILOV (Mongolia) stressing the crucial role of the Council in peacebuilding and sustaining peace in today’s turbulent world, said it must pay more attention to the voices of all Member States, including developing and small countries. Noting that Africa, Asia and Latin America provide more than 90 per cent of military and police personnel to United Nations peace operations, he highlighted the socioeconomic and environmental dimension of peace. Developing or small countries should be provided with opportunities to constructively engage in open debates and other activities of the Council, he said, expressing support for the Secretary-General’s initiative to develop a “New Agenda for Peace”. Underscoring the importance of preventive diplomacy, he added that all security and peacebuilding activities need to centre not only women and girls, but also youth. Calling on Governments to work towards generating a culture of peace, he highlighted the need for leadership development programmes to support and empower young people
OMAR KADIRI (Morocco) underscored that current conflicts involve complex geopolitical cross-border dynamic, in particular armed groups and separatists, transnational crime, terrorism and illicit trafficking of arms. In the context of these challenges, it is important to strengthen multilateralism and propose political solutions to conflict while respecting the sovereignty of States. Moreover, he stressed the need to ensure participation of women in national, regional and international institutions. Reiterating his Government’s support for the proposal of the Secretary-General to develop the “New Agenda for Peace” focused on prevention and peacebuilding, he said the New Agenda needs to take into consideration arms control and disarmament. He further stressed the need to allocate $100 million from the regular budget of the United Nations for the Peacebuilding Fund.
ROBERT RAE (Canada), citing new threats and complex challenges that risk setting back global development and human rights, noted that the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine is a manifestation of such changes. “Trust, truth, the law and solidarity are all victims of the corrosive impact of promises that have not been kept,” he stressed, calling for flexibility, creativity and innovation. Investing in the prevention of conflicts “with real money” is a critical challenge. While the Council bears the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, it does not bear the sole responsibility. The misuse of the veto only further underscores that dynamic. He also described the Peacebuilding Commission as a crucial forum which has, in the past, brought international financial institutions and regional groups to the table. Women must be included in all matters of peace and security, and the Council should work harder to bring the voices of all those who are affected by conflict — but are all too often excluded — to their work. Finally, he warned that “a strategy without resources is better called a hallucination”, and emphasized that peacebuilding and conflict prevention ultimately require money — including through United Nations assessed contributions.
JEANNE MRAD (Lebanon) said his country lacks the basic conditions for steadfastness in light of an unprecedented economic and financial crisis in its modern history. In this context, he pointed to a steady stalemate of Lebanon’s constitutional institutions compounded with the burden of refugee influx from different countries. The importance of expanding consultation to a plurality of actors is compounded by the transnational character of emerging threats which must increasingly be viewed in a holistic manner, he said, highlighting the issue of climate change, water scarcity, food security and pandemics. The Council could make better use of the convening power of the Peacebuilding Commission by expanding its mandate to promote more effective interaction with non-Council Members and United Nations bodies and allowing for a formalization of partnerships with civil society entities. In doing so, the Council would tangibly increase its efforts to create a participatory environment in the implementation of Peacebuilding strategies that could include women, youth and other marginalized groups.
FERGAL MYTHEN (Ireland), listing three actions the Council can take towards investing in peace, said that the first focuses on prevention and early action — “an area where the Council consistently fails to deliver”. A focus on prevention not only makes sense politically and morally, but financially — saving both lives and money. Recalling Ireland’s recent term on the Council, he highlighted the importance of an early response to the unfolding crisis in Ethiopia. Right now, the Council’s ongoing attention to the situation in Armenia and Azerbaijan is also critical. “The longer we take to understand and heed the root causes of conflict, the hungrier people grow, the more destitute their poverty becomes, and the more likely conflict is to arise,” he said. Drivers of conflict, such as inequality, climate change and displacement must be tackled, work that requires sustainable financing, including through enhanced voluntary and assessed contributions to the Peacebuilding Fund. He also drew attention to crucial efforts to empower the Peacebuilding Commission, noting that it advises the Council monthly. “It is high time for [members] to turn that advice to action, where it can,” he added, stressing that listening to such advice is not about overstepping mandates, but about using them to their full potential.
FAHAD M. E. H. A. MOHAMMAD (Kuwait), spotlighting the many tools in the Charter to encourage the peaceful resolution of conflict, pointed out that the Council should look for means and methods to effectively prevent the outbreak of conflicts. In this regard, he encouraged giving a greater role to regional and subregional organizations in the field of conflict prevention, through boosting strategic partnerships with the United Nations to conduct mediation. Highlighting the important role of Sustainable Development Goal 16 on the promotion of peaceful, just and inclusive societies for all, he underscored the need to invest in development and increase attention and further invest in women and youth. He also called for an investment in policies and systems that will create societies where righteousness, justice and equality prevail. Urging the Council to make better use of the tools available in the Charter, he commended the important role of the Peacebuilding Commission and called for enhancing cooperation, consultation and coordination between the Council and the Commission.
LUIS UGARELLI (Peru) said that the structure of peacekeeping operations and special political missions should correspond to the process of transitioning from conflict to peacebuilding; consider the Council’s mandates; and incorporate fundamental principles such as respect for human rights, gender equality and the rule of law, to name a few. Activities aimed at strengthening the resilience of people and local authorities must be based on flexible criteria and independent indicators and evaluation parameters which are guided by ethical principles and moral imperatives, he emphasized, underscoring that strengthened governance generates increased trust and rebuilds the social fabric. As such, investment in resilience must envision the participation of women and young people in decision-making processes and structures, increase their participation in political life and facilitate their engagement in economic recovery and transitional justice processes. On promoting investments that contribute to reconstruction and the building of strong institutions, he called for the involvement of the private sector and civil society. Such investments should focus on improved governance; prioritize protection, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration; and increase capacities on justice, security and productive entrepreneurship.
KYAW MOE TUN (Myanmar) said, based on his country’s national experience, achieving lasting peace requires restoring stability and strengthening political, economic and social institutions. Myanmar’s democratically elected Government made concerted efforts to improve the national institutions, resulting in an increase in Myanmar’s historically levels of low public trust. However, the State is now controlled by a military-drafted Constitution, following a 2021 coup by unaccountable, corrupted and brutal military generals who exploited State institutions for their own interests. Noting that the security forces have been committing repeated atrocities and even crimes against humanity and war crimes, he said institutions have become mere tools of the illegal junta’s oppression machine. Thanking the United Nations for its ongoing efforts to help the people of Myanmar restore democracy and the rule of law, he called for a transition to a federal democratic union with effective, accountable, inclusive and transparent institutions.
AKSOLTAN ATAEVA (Turkmenistan), also speaking for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, recalled that the region established the “Zone of peace, trust and cooperation of Central Asia” in July 2022 and the Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia in 2006. Underlining its commitment to sustaining peace globally, she said Tajikistan also hosted a high-level conference to further the Dushanbe Process on Combating Terrorism and its Financing, which was first launched in 2018. Outlining a range of similar initiatives, she expressed support for the Secretary-General’s efforts to draft the ambitious “New Agenda for Peace” and noted that efforts to implement peacebuilding agendas require adequate resources.
On 8 September 2022, she recalled that the General Assembly adopted by consensus resolution 76/305, the first of its kind, which was focused on financing for peacebuilding. Stressing the need for such funding to be predictable and sustainable, she praised the work of the Peacebuilding Fund “as a catalytic, rapid-response and flexible pre-positioned pooled fund” providing financing for crucial activities in conflict-affected countries. She also underlined the importance of supporting gender equality and the engagement of young people in activities linked to conflict prevention and social justice.
AZRIL BIN ABD AZIZ (Malaysia) called for greater efforts towards a dynamic equilibrium between solving and preventing crises and post-conflict reconstruction. Sustaining peace should incorporate the whole system of peacebuilding, peacekeeping and capacity-building alongside sustainable development and humanitarian efforts. As the Council has benefitted from its increased interaction with the Commission, it should continue to enhance and strength its relations especially in light of the nexus between peacebuilding and peacekeeping. Efforts to support post-conflict countries must be premised on the principle of national ownership, with policies for post-conflict reconstruction, institution-building and economic development reflecting the needs of local stakeholders and ensuring inclusivity and legitimacy. Regional engagement and commitment towards sustainable peace is an imperative, as is the mainstreaming of the role of women and youth in peace and security and providing them with capacity-building programmes, he continued. Pledging his Government’s continued support to enhancing resilience in peace efforts, he spotlighted the work of its 849 peacekeepers in five United Nations peacekeeping operations, as well as its support for capacity-building programmes in his country’s region.
KARLITO NUNES (Timor-Leste) said that peace operations must be given clear mandates, adequate planning, management, financial support and sufficient time and resources to engage in multifunctional peacebuilding. Recognizing that peacebuilding and sustaining peace are a long-term process that requires flexible and timely resources, he said that peace operations need to make use of adequate facilities provided through better prioritization, integration and focus on efficiency. He also underscored the importance of partnerships between the United Nations, the host country and countries with specialized experience to create conditions for long-term regional stability and lay down the foundation of economic growth and development. A better performance of peace operations will also be determined by understanding of the local context, including history, cultures, customary laws, national priorities and needs of the host country and its people, he stressed, noting that such knowledge can be acquired through active engagement with local communities and civil society.
MAGED ABDELFATTAH ABDELAZIZ, Permanent Observer for the League of Arab States, said the international multilateral system is facing many global challenges right now. He recognized the pioneering role of former United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the only Arab Secretary-General, who helped lay the foundation for post-conflict peacebuilding with his 1992 report “An agenda for peace: preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and peacekeeping”. Submitted to the Council in 1992, it added an important pillar to the Organization’s work on peacebuilding. He noted the General Assembly’s consultations on Our Common Agenda and the Secretary-General’s “New Agenda for Peace”, which aims to meet the many challenges of sustaining peace in today’s world. New tools must be developed to deal with international tensions and geopolitical developments that “cast a heavy shadow” on efforts to achieve peace.
He spotlighted how peacebuilding focuses on investing in people, along with the responsibility to protect and enhance social protections for people and human rights. However, the most recent geopolitical disputes have created shifting alliances and exposed the world to unthinkable dangers, including the possible use of nuclear weapons. These global challenges affect ordinary people. The Council’s failure to resolve protracted conflicts, including in the Arab region, has led to new threats, such as terrorism, conflicts and revolts. Conflicts have created challenges, such as food and water security, and diminished efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. There is international anxiety, especially among middle-income, low-income and small island States and African States that do not belong to any alliance. It is responsibility of the Council, especially the five permanent members until the Council is reformed, to lead efforts for peace and respect the Charter and build upon and respect international law.
DAVID BAKRADZE (Georgia) said the Russian Federation’s ongoing full-scale military aggression against Ukraine and continued occupation of two integral regions of Georgia have cause enormous human suffering with the wider implications on global security and sustainable development. Grave threats stemming from pandemic diseases, technology-enabled threats and rapid spread of disinformation, coupled with unmitigated climate change, exacerbates the gloomy reality. Multilateral cooperation and a rules-based international order have no alternative. Raging wars and protracted conflicts require decisive actions from the Council to fulfil its primary responsibility, under the Charter of the United Nations, he asserted, noting that sustaining peace can be achieved only by Member States’ strong adherence to the principles of the Charter and presence of strong accountability. The “New Agenda for Peace” should envisage bold actions on peaceful conflict resolution as it has paramount importance for ensuring peace and stability globally. Highlighting the strong nexus between peace and development, he underlined that addressing people’s need for socioeconomic development and protecting their human rights are of utmost importance for the prevention of conflicts.
SOPHEA EAT (Cambodia) underlined the need to prioritize the maintenance of peace and political stability in building people’s resilience against the backdrop of an increasingly turbulent world with numerous interconnected and complicated challenges that hinder achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Preventive diplomacy and sensitivity to all stakeholders’ concerns should be embraced, she said, voicing support for the Secretary-General’s call for enhanced investment in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. Partnerships between international and homegrown peace and peacebuilding processes are crucial to achieving lasting peace and stability. Her country’s national experience, following three decades of war and genocide, is an example of how national leadership and ownership of development strategies enabled it to progressively enhance its people’s economic, political and social freedom. In Cambodia, no one is left behind and women and youth are equally empowered to contribute to the consolidation of peace and sustainable development. Her Government stands ready to enhance its contribution and role in peacekeeping and peacebuilding under the United Nations umbrella. More open debates enable the Council to hear diverse voices and constructive ideas from non-Council members, she added.
RAVINDRA RAGUTTAHALLI (India) said the international community’s perspective on how to address conflicts has undergone a “paradigmatic shift” in recent years — from resolution, reconciliation and recovery to prevention and reconstruction. As a leading troop- and police-contributing country to United Nations peacekeeping operations and a founding member of the Peacebuilding Commission, India stresses the need to recognize the primacy of national Governments in identifying and driving priorities, strategies and activities for sustaining peace. Forging social cohesion and trust in governance institutions in divided societies is crucial to prevent relapse into conflict. Representative, inclusive and resilient governance structures will help stabilize States, safeguard fundamental rights and protect the rule of law. Among other recommendations, he stressed that peacekeeping and peacebuilding are mutually exclusive, and warned that attempts to extend the role of peacekeeping missions to peacebuilding tasks would strengthen neither, and only weaken both. In response to Pakistan’s unwarranted reference to Jammu and Kashmir, he said that both are an integral and inalienable part of India regardless of what that country believes or covets. Such desperate and deliberate attempts to peddle falsehoods and the habit of abusing the sanctity of multilateral forums deserve collective contempt and perhaps sympathy, he added.
ANTONIOS PAPAKOSTAS (Greece) said that, as a non-permanent-member candidate to the Security Council for 2025-2026 and a staunch supporter of the primacy of international law, his country is ready to support a wide array of tools for the prevention and resolution of conflict — including through addressing the root causes and drivers of conflicts. Underlining the Council’s role in conflict prevention and peacebuilding in cooperation with international, regional and subregional organizations, he echoed other speakers in stressing that the Council should better take into account the Peacebuilding Commission’s advisory role. The “New Agenda for Peace” is an opportunity to reinforce the United Nations long-standing commitment to timely, coordinated and sustained conflict prevention, he said, emphasizing that Greece’s own foreign policy is defined by the need for respect of international law and a Charter-compliant approach to peace and security.
YASHAR ALIYEV (Azerbaijan) pointed out that, by the time the Agenda for Peace was adopted and the concept of peacebuilding was launched, his country had already been facing armed aggression by its neighbour, Armenia. Neither the landmark messages delivered through the report of the Secretary-General, nor the subsequent resolutions of the Council prevented the aggressor from further attacks, mass atrocities and territorial seizures, he added. He went on to say that, during almost 30 years of war and occupation, Armenia refused to account for thousands of missing Azerbaijanis and to conduct investigations into atrocity crimes committed during the conflict, adding that, only in 2022 did it hand over 67 bags containing mixed remains of 106 persons. Azerbaijan’s experience is an illustration and a reminder of the need to do much more to prevent and resolve conflicts, ensure respect for the sovereignty and integrity of States, confront hatred and disinformation and build and sustain peace, he stressed, pointing out that providing support to States affected by conflict and engaged in post-conflict peacebuilding, reconstruction, rehabilitation and reintegration must remain a critical commitment of the United Nations.
MARTÍN JUAN MAINERO (Argentina) stressed that the maintenance of international peace and security must coherently cover a wide range of concerns, including socioeconomic development, human rights and humanitarian issues. When insufficient attention is paid to the needs of societies emerging from conflicts, the consequences are serious for all with societies themselves at risk of poverty, population displacement, reversed development gains and fresh violence. Peacebuilding aims to resolve conflicts and build societies, institutions, policies and relationships that are better able to sustain peace and justice over time. Peace must be understood as a continuous process involving the peacebuilding system before, during and after conflicts, he said, adding that it should strengthen the rule of law, promote sustained and sustainable economic growth, eradicate poverty, ensure social development, promote democracy and respect human rights. As the transition from war to peace is a highly political process, he underscored the need for coordination among the Organization’s principle bodies to avoid working in silos and ensure systemic coherence on peacebuilding strategies. On the Commission, he highlighted its central role within the conflict resolution architecture and said that it is not right to assume that more spending on peacebuilding means less financing for development. He suggested schemes similar to South-South and triangular cooperation for peacebuilding financing.
EGRISELDA ARACELY GONZÁLEZ LÓPEZ (El Salvador), calling for the United Nations and its Member States to intensify efforts on consolidating and sustaining peace, stressed that the search for and implementation of sustainable political solutions to conflicts must always focus on combating root causes and triggers. Greater efforts are needed to ensure more effective security responses, ensure the inclusive and effective participation of all actors at all stages of peace processes, establish effective and resilient institutions and invest in people throughout their life cycle. Such investment must also address socioeconomic development, the protection of human rights and the empowerment of people as agents of change. As peace is a holistic and continuous process, she underscored the relevance of strengthening the Commission’s advisory, liaison and convening role in implementing consistent, collective approaches. Funding gaps for peacebuilding must be decisively addressed so that conflicts are prevented and ended; the demands of Member States for support are met; and recovery, reconstruction and development are advanced. To continue strengthening integration, coordination and consistency in the area of peacebuilding and sustainable peace for all, strengthening dialogue and establishing strategic alliances will make it possible to broaden the impact of interventions and initiatives.
ILANA SEID (Palau), speaking for the Pacific Small Island Developing States, cited two threats to peace that are important to the bloc: the impact of historical nuclear testing in the Pacific; and the present and escalating phenomenon of climate change as a threat multiplier. The Pacific experienced over 300 nuclear-test explosions conducted over the course of five decades. “It is through our unique historical experience that we urge that the ‘New Agenda for Peace’ establish stronger commitments on the non-use and total elimination of nuclear weapons,” she stressed, stressing that it is of utmost importance that the Agenda address ways for the international community to limit strategic risks.
Across the Pacific, she continued, rising sea-levels have flooded coastal towns and villages, causing displacement and forced migration. Sea-level rise has also created saltwater intrusion of water tables, creating water insecurity and has threatened food security. “Forced migration, displacement, food and water insecurity and infrastructure damage — these are all terms we associate with war zones, but for [small island developing States], it is climate change that is the root cause of these threats to peace,” she reported. When much of a developing country’s fiscal space is choked by ever-increasing climate disaster relief, there is less to spend on development, she added, noting that fewer resources are available for education, health, nutrition, infrastructure, social services and training. In that vein, she called for the urgent appointment of a Special Representative on Climate Change and Security, who would inform the future work of both the Council and the General Assembly.
JEEM LIPPWE (Federated States of Micronesia), associating himself with the Pacific small island developing States, said the increasing complexity of the global security landscape has forced the Council — as well as traditional concepts of peacekeeping and post-conflict peacebuilding — to evolve. A holistic approach is now needed, while national institutions and processes aimed at future hostilities should be supported. In the Blue Pacific Continent, the main threats facing Pacific small island developing States are not the encroachment of foreign armies, but the grave and mounting threats of sea-level rise and climate change, which are no less harmful. Citing unprecedented king tides, the intensification of typhoons, droughts, floods, the salinity of ground water, the disappearance of beaches, ocean acidification and other serious impacts, he said peacebuilding must be designed in a “future-proof” manner that takes climate change into account. Against that backdrop, he noted his country’s support for efforts to appointment a Special Representative on Climate Change and Security, and implored the Council to pay more attention to that phenomenon.
MONWAR HOSSAIN (Bangladesh) noted that, as a country that experienced bloodshed to gain its independence, Bangladesh has always been committed to the peacekeeping and peacebuilding activities, including as a member and a coordinator of the Non-Aligned Movement in the Peacebuilding Commission. Recognizing peacekeeping as one of the most effective tools to assist host countries to navigate from conflict to peace, he called for reinforcing peacebuilding mandates of peacekeeping operations. Welcoming the initiatives to strengthen the advisory role of the Peacebuilding Commission, he underlined the importance of informal interactive dialogues. Expressing support for the “New Agenda for Peace”, he also reiterated the urgency of ensuring adequate, predictable and sustained financing for peacebuilding, including the need to address the perennial funding gap. Furthermore, he underscored the importance of South-South and triangular cooperation in supporting the countries implementing their peacebuilding initiatives by facilitating exchange-of-good practices among State-led organizations, non-State actors and non-governmental organizations.
CECILIA FORGBE WREH-MCGILL (Liberia) said that targeted investments in women and youth would enhance countries’ abilities to prevent and mitigate conflicts and ensure inclusivity, whereas technical support would facilitate building the resilience of institutions in conflict-affected and post-conflict countries. She detailed Liberia’s national development plan — the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development — which prioritizes empowerment of women and girls and addresses inequalities. Further, in the effort to “leave no one behind”, the Government launched a national fund drive for the rehabilitation, empowerment and reintegration of at-risk youth into their communities. She also highlighted the engagement of the Peacebuilding Commission in support of her country’s peacebuilding initiatives, including national programmes to empower women and youth and ensure their participation in peacebuilding and political processes. The Peacebuilding Fund’s support is also ensuring a more peaceful electoral environment before, during and after the forthcoming 2023 elections, strengthening prevention of electoral violence and promoting an early warning and response mechanism, including by mainstreaming human rights, gender and youth-based approaches.
SERHII BRATCHYK (Ukraine) expressed his support for the need to focus on complex risk multipliers, including food insecurity, while addressing the issue of peace maintenance. He also recalled the full blockade of Ukrainian seaports and food exports by the Russian Federation and spotlighted the mediation efforts of the United Nations and Türkiye to enforce the Black Sea Grain Initiative agreement. He pointed out that the Organization should support national efforts to create effective and inclusive mechanisms and institutions to address political and socioeconomic conflict triggers. Commending the efforts of the Peacebuilding Commission, he also voiced his support for expanding the Commission’s role to address cross-cutting issues related to security. Pointing out that Ukraine — a country that is withstanding a full-fledged armed aggression — has persistently advocated for developing a prevention toolbox, he noted that the United Nations failed to prevent the invasion, which has resulted in destruction of critical infrastructure and an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, among others. “The current task is to stop the aggression and ensure a comprehensive, just and lasting peace,” he said. The efforts of strengthening the prevention toolbox should address preventing new conflicts and averting relapses of existing conflicts, he added, noting that the only viable recipe for sustaining peace is to ensure that conflict resolution is based on the principles of the Charter. In this regard, if an instigator of a conflict attempts to immobilize the Council by misusing its permanent seat, the United Nations should be ready to provide an adequate and resolute response to halt such attempts, he said.
MYRIAM OEHRI (Liechtenstein) underscored that conflict prevention and resolution can only be successful and sustainable when it is fully inclusive. While there is no doubt that gender equality offers a path to sustainable peace and conflict prevention, the world is moving in the opposite direction, with the reversal of generational gains in women’s rights in many parts, she pointed out. As the Council has an obligation to ensure that peace processes are inclusive and gender-sensitive in accordance with resolution 1325 (2000) and its follow-up resolutions, the women, peace and security agenda must feature across all agendas and country situations, and the empowerment of women as agents of change must be a priority. Turning to the Peacebuilding Commission, she emphasized its indispensable role in implementing many of the Council’s thematic agendas with its advisory, bridging and convening roles having benefited many country situations. She encouraged it to continue including in its work relevant stakeholders that can further support peace processes and governance and called for further engagement on transitional justice as a standalone topic. She also highlighted the added value created by General Assembly resolution 76/262, the “veto initiative”.
DAVIT KNYAZYAN (Armenia) pointed out that the rise of intolerance, hate and racism on ethnic and religious grounds, as well as systematic violations of fundamental human rights, serve as reminders to scale up efforts in conflict prevention. The resilience of the United Nations to recognizing manipulations aimed at legitimizing the consequences of the use of force and atrocity crimes is crucial in countering misinformation and false narratives, he added. As a consistent supporter of strengthening the prevention toolbox, he stressed the need for addressing the risks of genocide and other atrocity crimes. He went on to say that Armenia continues to face attempts to pursue forceful resolution of conflict, instigation of violence and hate, denial of fundamental human rights and violations of international humanitarian law. For 46 days, the passage of people and goods from and to Nagorno-Karabakh through the Lachin corridor has been denied, he lamented, pointing out that the aggressive actions on the ground, war-mongering and hateful statements of Azerbaijan’s leadership that encourage ethnic cleansing and hate crimes, leave no doubt of the imminent threat to the physical security of the Armenian population, he stressed.
RABIA IJAZ (Pakistan) said India continues to perpetuate a factually incorrect position year after year. Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognized territory and not an integral part of India, she stressed, noting that the right of the Kashmiri people to self-determination had been promised to them by Council resolutions. However, India has prevented Kashmiris from exercising this right, illegally detained thousands of Kashmiri youth, executed young boys, put down protests violently and burned down entire villages. Such measures only strengthen the resilience of the Kashmiri people to continue their struggle against the illegal Indian occupation, she asserted, adding that Pakistan will keep exposing Indian brutality.