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I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Member States of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine align themselves with this statement.
I would first like to thank Ms. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Chef de Cabinet, as well as Mr. Abdallah Bachar Bong, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for presenting the reports on this agenda item. I would also like to thank Ms. Rosemary Dicarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, for their presence today.
Three years ago, when the Secretary-General launched his ambitious reform agenda, he pledged to unify the United Nations peace and security pillar and align it more closely with the development and human rights pillars, in order to create greater cross-pillar coherence and coordination. The Member States of the European Union fully supported his vision and welcomed in particular the renewed commitment to prevention and sustaining peace and the move towards a more coherent, pragmatic, nimble and effective peace and security pillar.
Today, the restructured peace and security pillar is better positioned to fulfil its central role in helping to prevent violent conflicts:
First, the pillar's overriding focus on effective conflict prevention and sustaining peace helps to ensure that peace and security engagements are undertaken early and are able to answer the Secretary-General’s call for a “surge in diplomacy for peace”.
Second, the unified pillar enhances the effectiveness and coherence of its field presences, from peacekeeping to special political missions. It has contributed towards tailored and political solutions, in line with the Action for Peacekeeping agenda and the Women, Peace and Security agenda. It has also enhanced prospects of more forward-looking and sustainable missions' transition processes – particularly salient this year in the context of the downsizing of UNAMID and the establishment of the UNITAMS.
Finally, it helps delivering the Secretary-General’s vision of alignment between peace and security, human rights, and development. Internal barriers to collaboration within the peace and security pillar and with the development pillar have significantly reduced. In this regard, we welcome the closer alignment with the United Nations development system, strengthened partnership with the World Bank as well as other development actors, including the European Union.
The Members of the European Union welcome the progress already made in the implementation of the peace and security reform. While the reform has already yielded some early benefits, reform implementation is an ongoing process. Changes in practices, culture and processes take time. They require a continuous learning effort and further re-alignment or re-engineering of administrative processes will be necessary to further increase concrete impact in the field.
Let us not forget that monitoring progress in reform implementation and ensuring a regular and systemic review of how better results can be achieved is paramount. In this regard, we welcome the plan to introduce a mechanism for continuous improvement that will help the Organisation to adapt steadily to global needs and challenges.
The year 2020 has put a test and a challenge to us all. The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated communities and economies throughout the world, reversing development and peacebuilding gains and aggravating conflicts or fomenting new ones. In this extraordinary context, all the improvements resulting from the reform of the peace and security pillar proved critically needed in the global pandemic: they enabled the two departments to address more consistently the field-based needs. We would like to express our sincere thanks to all Secretariat staff for their efforts and engagement throughout these challenging times.
In this context, the focus on prevention and sustaining peace, and the cross-pillar complementarity remain more important than ever in order to ensure that the peace and security pillar engagement in the field is impactful. In that regard, we welcome the progress made so far and we wish to reiterate our strong and continued support to the Secretary-General’s reform agenda.
I thank you, Mr. Chair.