Switzerland would like to thank Albania for organizing this debate on a subject of great importance to Switzerland, which has a long humanitarian tradition. I would also, of course, like to thank the speakers for their contributions.
I think it's more than clear now, as the Albanian Minister also reminded us: we are facing a global humanitarian crisis. The world is in the grip of more than 100 armed conflicts, and these conflicts are lasting longer and longer. The number of displaced people has more than doubled in the last ten years. The number of people with humanitarian needs has more than quintupled! The Director of the World Food Program gave us some impressive figures on food security. And while distress is increasing, funding is decreasing. In 2022, only almost half of the world's humanitarian needs were funded.
My first observation is as obvious as it is alarming: The gap between humanitarian needs and the capacity to meet them is widening. We know the causes: this is due to the adverse effects of climate change, weaknesses in governance, the consequences of the recent pandemic and armed conflicts. Conversely, any dispute that is resolved peacefully, any conflict that finds a political solution, helps to curb humanitarian needs. This Council is thus in the front line here.
But my second observation is encouraging: humanitarian needs can be reduced if we invest more in anticipatory action based on risk assessment and management, and if we work in partnership.
As we have heard, new technologies can play an important role in this. They make early warning systems more effective, as does the processing of data - the collection, use and deployment of which must, of course, always be secure and responsible. In addition, let us not underestimate the importance, for example, of a stable and secure internet connection. This enables people to get information and the help they need to reach those in need quickly. It is therefore sometimes a question of survival.
To take full advantage of innovation, this debate comes just at the right time, as we need to further strengthen partnerships between the public and private sectors. Switzerland has long experience in this area, which I will illustrate with two simple examples.
Firstly, the "Humanitarian and Resilience Investing" initiative launched in 2019 by the Davos World Economic Forum, aims to encourage private capital investment in financially sustainable opportunities for communities in fragile contexts.
Secondly, Switzerland has been supporting cash and voucher aid since the 1990s. By focusing on local markets and investing in small businesses run by women, this assistance enables people affected by a crisis or disaster to quickly cover their most urgent needs. It also stimulates local demand, helping to create livelihoods throughout the value chain, from women producers to sellers. Collaboration with the private sector has significantly improved the efficiency of this type of assistance and should be further strengthened.
Our experience has taught us the following lessons:
Firstly, public and private players can and must adopt common approaches in the short and long term, in order to meet the specific challenges of fragile contexts. Partnerships like these can make a difference to millions of people on the ground.
Secondly, local actors must be at the center of any humanitarian response. Their expertise and networks deserve to be better integrated.
Finally, despite the progress made over the last ten years, the potential of public-private partnerships still remains under-exploited. In fragile contexts, the ad hoc promotion of mixed financing models can help to reduce risks. In addition, raising awareness of ethical practices in the private sector remains important.
Any action linked to private sector involvement and innovative financing must be based on humanitarian principles and human rights. In fragile contexts, it is also necessary to strengthen the exercise of due diligence with regard to human rights, in accordance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. For Switzerland, these principles apply unreservedly to all our partnerships.
In conclusion, I would like to emphasize once again the responsibility of this Council.
Experiences with public-private partnerships are also discussed within ECOSOC and within the General Assembly. Once again, we call on the Security Council to cooperate more closely with other competent bodies of the United Nations system.
Finally, we always come back to the same fundamental conclusion. I would like to stress the essential role of conflict prevention by this Council, with a view to reducing humanitarian needs. This Council must continue to seek the unity that will enable it to act to prevent and rapidly resolve conflicts with a view to achieving a lasting peace.
I thank you.