We wish Brazil all the best in its presidency! Switzerland thanks you for organizing this open debate and the speakers for their contributions.
“Action for Peacekeeping Plus” emphasizes that strategic communication can promote success, manage expectations and help address disinformation and hate speech. We commend the Secretariat for prioritizing this theme in the follow-up to A4P and would like to highlight the following:
First, in several peacekeeping operations we observe a mismatch between the mandate and capabilities on the one hand and the expectations of local populations on the other. Peacekeepers are often perceived by the population as the main guarantor of their protection, whereas they are only deployed in support of the host state government. PKOs face the challenge of explaining their mandate and the limits of their action. They should understand to local concerns, particularly those of women, and respond appropriately in order to avoid frustrations that can lead to additional risks for peacekeepers. This is particularly the case during the transition from an operation to another UN presence.
Second, strategic communication must advance key UN agendas and use modern channels. The emphasis on diversity within missions underscores the importance of the equal role that women should play in peace processes. Communication channels should also be tailored to target groups, including youth, for example through community liaison teams or social media.
Third, action speaks louder than words. A UN mission that performs effectively and efficiently contributes to the implementation of its mandate and the safety and security of its staff, but it also communicates its capacity to act. PKOs must become even more effective, particularly through training and the implementation of the Comprehensive Planning and Performance Assessment System, which allows for the visualization and communication of results.
Finally, effective strategic communication requires an appropriate framework for its implementation. This framework must advance coordination among the different pillars of the PKOs. We welcome the Secretariat's efforts to develop a policy in this area. This should emphasize the need to integrate communication into strategic planning with the aim of achieving a proactive and anticipatory communication that contributes to the success of PKOs.
Communication is also important for this Council. The inclusion of perspectives from member states, troop and police contributing countries, the Peacebuilding Commission, as well as the voices of women and civil society make the Council's communication transparent and credible - and therefore more effective. As a future member of the Council, Switzerland will work towards this goal.
I thank you.