– Final –
Mr. Secretary General, Mr. President of the General Assembly, Excellences, distinguished Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The Candidate Countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.
- We welcome the UNSG Report on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace pursuant to the twin resolutions of the GA and the UNSC on the review of the Peacebuilding Architecture, driven by the endeavour to pursue peace at all stages of conflict in a more efficient, effective and impactful way. Sustaining peace is the joint responsibility of governments and societies, and should flow through all three pillars – peace and security, development and human rights – of the United Nations. We are encouraged by the results achieved so far, including through the diversified activities of the Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Support Office, which play a `hinge role` in integrating cross-pillar action at the UN, and merit the attention and sustained support of the entire membership.
- We would like to express our determination to further implement these objectives and achieve a strong, supportive outcome at the High Level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace on 24-25 April. This would ensure that the Secretary-General is given an opportunity for continued reporting to Member States, and support the next review of the peacebuilding architecture scheduled for 2020.
- While each has its own objectives, the Sustaining Peace concept provides a valuable framework to phase the UN reform agendas on peace and security, management and development into a mutually reinforcing coherence. In this context, the EU strongly supports a balanced articulation of these processes.
- Sustaining peace will demand the full use of the UN’s political tools, including the use of preventive diplomacy and mediation. Peacebuilding and sustaining peace is inherently linked to democratic governance and the rule of law and operate in the context of inclusive political settlements.
- As the Secretary General himself recently noted, “an emphasis on human rights lies at the heart of conflict prevention, which must be our highest priority”. Sustaining peace also requires that the UN ensures that human rights and fundamental freedoms are respected, protected and fulfilled.
- Inclusive economic development and resilience also lie at the centre of prevention. We stress the need to strengthen the UN development system’s capacity to address the root causes of instability, vulnerability, exclusion and violent conflict in a system-wide manner. The 2030 Agenda proposes measures that could help make the UN fit for such a purpose – and we should remember that member states agreed in 2015 that Peace is one of five priority cross-cutting outcomes of the SDGs. We would also like to see a more strengthened linkage between humanitarian, development and peacebuilding activities and we stress the important role of the Resident Coordinator in this respect.
- The EU continues to foster coherence and coordination through its Global Strategy adopted in 2016. Last year we adopted a strategic approach to resilience in external action to address vulnerabilities and underlying risks. This January, the Council of the EU adopted conclusions on the Integrated Approach, identified by our Global Strategy as the framework for a more holistic engagement to external conflicts and crises, promoting human security. This approach, involving conflict resolution and mediation, stresses the importance of local ownership, inclusiveness, sustainability of actions, by engaging with national and local authorities, communities and the civil society.
- We welcome the emphasis of the UNSG report on women’s and youth empowerment and the link between inclusive peacebuilding and community-level engagement, especially with field-based civil society organisations.
- In the same vein, we would like to stress the need to work closely with key international and regional partners, building new partnerships in a harmonised manner. In particular, the UN’s partnership with the World Bank is especially important to ensure each brings their comparative advantage to sustaining peace, also illustrated by the joint UN-WB study `Pathways for Peace`.
Mr. Secretary General, Mr. President,
- We appreciate your consistent and constructive outreach in an effort to pursue inclusive consultations with all stakeholders. We encourage further dialogue in this sense. As a staunch supporter of multilateralism, the EU welcomes the UN’s ambition to lead the path in our common engagement to build and sustain peace.
* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.