Switzerland thanks China for organising this open debate and the speakers for their contributions.
"There is no peace without development, there is no development without peace, and there is no lasting peace or sustainable development without respect of human rights and the rule of law.”
This was already stressed by Jan Eliasson, former UN Deputy Secretary-General in 2013. Today, sub-Saharan African states remain among the most affected by armed conflicts and other situations of violence, often exacerbated by the impacts of climate change on human security. Switzerland is committed to sustainable peace through the following set of actions:
First, a holistic approach with diverse partnerships is essential to address the root causes of conflict and build sustainable peace. Switzerland shares its expertise related to peace, humanitarian aid and development. It works closely with multilateral, regional and local actors in Africa, in support of Member States' priorities and in line with the Agenda 2030 and the African Union's Agenda 2063. For example, in Mozambique, Switzerland supports improved access to land by strengthening dialogue between local government, civil society and the private sector. We have also intensified cooperation between the Swiss justice system and that of certain African states, including in the Central African Republic. Finally, as we are aware of the role of civil society in peacebuilding, we have also worked directly with rural communities, for example in Burkina Faso, in adapting herd management to climate and security challenges.
Second, the Security Council and the UN have a responsibility to support the peacebuilding capacities of regional and sub-regional organisations. The UN-African Union Joint Framework for Enhanced Partnership on Peace and Security is a good practice that promotes close cooperation. Switzerland also welcomes the work of African regional organisations on food security and climate change. Furthermore, it calls on the Security Council to systematically take into account the essential contribution of women and youth in peace processes and to provide them with increased support. For example, through UN regional mandates such as the UN Offices for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) and Central Africa. Thus, Switzerland will support UNOWAS in the organization of a "seminar for the prevention of violent extremism in West Africa" in early 2023.
Thirdly, Switzerland supports the establishment of sufficient, predictable and sustainable funding for peacebuilding. Switzerland is one of the top 10 donors to the Peacebuilding Fund. Working in complementarity with other funding mechanisms and partners, the PBF is particularly well situated to serve as a catalyst for peace, especially in Africa. However, experience has shown that funding is still insufficient to address the causes of conflict in a sustainable manner. Therefore, Switzerland will actively participate in the negotiations, facilitated by Kenya and Sweden, of a resolution on peacebuilding financing, as well as in the negotiations in the Fifth Committee on the possibility of statutory contributions to the Fund. Only with sufficient resources will we be able to support sustainable development and peacebuilding in Africa. In this respect, Switzerland also contributes to the Green Climate Fund and the Climate Change Adaptation Fund, which focus on Africa and conflict prevention.
Sub-Saharan Africa continues to grow in its role as a political, economic and global player. Despite many challenges, its rapid transformation offers new opportunities. As an elected member of the Security Council, Switzerland will continue its long-term partnership with African countries and the African Peace and Security Architecture in order to build and consolidate a lasting peace together.