Switzerland thanks Tunisia for organizing this timely debate and the distinguished briefers for their contributions. Today’s debate reflects a continued focus by the Security Council on contemporary drivers of conflict and their complex interlinkages, as well as the necessity of a broad understanding of the notion of security. It allows building on debates organized by previous Council presidencies in July, September and November 2020. Importantly, these deliberations reaffirm the pertinence of a holistic approach to international peace and security, which engages all three pillars of the United Nations.
The third review of the United Nations’ Peacebuilding Architecture reaffirms the framework of Sustaining Peace to guide the efforts of member states and the entire UN system at all stages of conflict and in all its dimensions. The Security Council continues to play a key role in the implementation of this agenda, including through consistent attention to linkages between conflict and fragility in its deliberations and decisions.
According to the OECD “States of Fragility” report, 41 out of 54 fragile contexts for which data is available are off track to reach Sustainable Development Goal 16. The absence of peace and the lack of effective, accountable and inclusive institutions hinder the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Fragmentation of peacebuilding and conflict prevention efforts is the biggest obstacle to preventing violent conflict. In dealing with the global consequences of COVID 19, it is even more imperative for the international community to focus on fragile countries and regions to prevent violent conflict.
To bring greater coherence to peacebuilding efforts and to address drivers of fragility, the Security Council needs to make use of its entire toolbox in a concerted way. We see a particular need for coherence in the following areas:
First, political and social achievements, as important peacebuilding gains, are particularly at risk during transitions. It is crucial that the Council systematically apply best practice in the drafting and renewal of mandates and in dealing with the transition from mission to non-mission settings. Recent reports highlighted potentially severe protection gaps in conflict affected areas after the drawdown of UNAMID. This in turn could reinvigorate drivers of conflict and fragility. A concerted effort of all relevant UN agencies and programs is required to prevent such a scenario. Switzerland welcomes that the Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund recognizes transitions as a priority for engagement. We call on the Council to make full use of the Peacebuilding Commission’s advice in all relevant contexts, including on building accountable institutions, supporting inclusive political settlements, and fostering inclusive, resilient and reconciled societies.
Second, in line with the ongoing reforms, the UN should improve system-wide coherence through enhanced cooperation, collaboration and coordination across sectors. In mission mandates, the Security Council should specify objectives across the Humanitarian, Development, Peace and Human Rights nexus to work on all drivers of fragility in a sustained way. Jointly developed and risk-informed analysis and joined-up planning, developed under the leadership of the Resident Coordinator, are crucial to prevent and address crises, as evidenced also in the COVID-response.
And finally, human rights are essential to building resilient and inclusive societies where everybody, especially the most vulnerable, are protected. Human rights play a key role in conflict prevention and are important early-warning systems. Therefore, Switzerland encourages the Security Council to integrate human rights instruments throughout its activities, from joined-up analysis to decision-making and accountability. These include the Human Rights Council, the Special Procedures and the recommendations of the Treaty Bodies.
Switzerland welcomes the thematic focus on the interlinkages of peace and security, development, human rights and humanitarian affairs and calls for more systematic consideration thereof in all contexts on the Security Council’s agenda. Switzerland is fully committed to contributing to system-wide coherence as Vice-president of ECOSOC, as member of the Peacebuilding Commission, and as candidate for the Security Council in 2023–24.
I thank you.