I would like to thank you, Mr. President, for organizing this debate on a subject we consider key. I would also like to thank the speakers for their valuable contributions and enlightening ideas.

A month ago, this Council followed in Colombia the traces of the cycle that leads to sustainable peace. From prevention to mediation to peacebuilding, the three stages of the cycle were all visible, often overlapping. In the south of the country, we met former combatants who are now working in demining. In Buenaventura, on the Pacific coast, we listened to the testimonies of young people from the Afro-Colombian minority who are confronted with violence. In Bogotá, we met women who are anchoring peace at the heart of local communities and political leaders who are committed to consolidating the 2016 Agreement through dialogue.

In Colombia, we saw at first hand that lasting peace is built by motivated and empowered individuals, whose actions are enhanced by networks and guided by a broader strategy, and that it requires international support 

As each society and community is unique, so must be the approach to prevention. National and regional prevention strategies, based on human rights, are therefore an instrument of first choice. In this respect, Switzerland refers to the Caucus' joint declaration on human rights and conflict prevention.

But what makes a good prevention strategy? How can we prevent violent conflicts and promote peace in each circumstance?

It's a question of looking at the specific risks that can lead to violence, and identifying their root causes in order to prevent their recurrence. And no one is better placed to carry out this analysis than the men and women who are the agents of change: the parliamentarian, the farm worker, the local police officer, the student, the schoolchild, and the young people who are fighting against the odds for a better future.

But these individuals must not remain isolated, and their capacity to defend peace must be strengthened. This is why effective prevention aims, as the Secretary General calls for in his New Agenda for Peace, to provide information, accessible tools and safe spaces for the participation of women, young people and marginalised groups; but also to invest in local prevention initiatives.

Because at local level, civil society and women in particular often create their own “islands of peace”. A prevention strategy therefore must link these islands to make them national or even international"archipelagos".

It is necessary to create a genuine network of change to catalyze national efforts: a network that links the public and private sectors, the humanitarian sector, development cooperation and civil society, extending from the smallest village to the conference rooms of the United Nations.

It is only in networks that we can learn from each other, and draw lessons, for example, from national action plans on the women, peace and security agenda, while mobilising the resources needed for prevention.


In these networks, the role of the Peacebuilding Commission must be strengthened, its resources increased and our commitment to it grown tenfold. The Pact for the Future and the review of the peacebuilding architecture in 2025 give us the opportunity to do so.

The Security Council, for its part, must fully integrate this network, by systematically taking account of the Commission's opinions in the contexts on its agenda and by lending its support to national preventive action, such as in Colombia. The Council can and must also act through Chapter VI of the Charter and make more skillful use of the tools at its disposal for the peaceful settlement of disputes. The resolutions and missions that we mandate are a support for the country concerned.

Mr President,

As we have seen in Colombia, peace is built in a cycle that begins with prevention and links all the actors for change. As Colombian peace activist Rosa Emilia Salamanca said during our visit: "Siempre estaremos ahí para construir la paz. Somos una fuerza de paz ". So let's do our part too.

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