Let me first congratulate you warmly, Ambassador Cho Tae-yul of Korea, on your new role as Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission.
We look forward to working closely with you as we now re-enter the Peacebuilding Commission, after a few years ‘in the dark’. You can count on our support.
Let me also take this opportunity to thank the outgoing Chair, Ambassador Kamau, for having chaired the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) in such an excellent manner over the last year.
Macharia, you have provided visionary leadership of the PBC through an extremely important year. We are pleased that you will continue as Vice Chair.
As others have mentioned, we have a real opportunity this year to enable the peacebuilding architecture to live up to its full potential. The sustaining peace resolutions call on us to place prevention and durable political solutions at the top of our agenda.
The incoming Secretary-General has already showed the way, and we have just had a thorough discussion about these issues in the high-level meeting arranged yesterday by the President of the General Assembly.
The bottom line should always be how our initiatives actually make a difference to the countries and people concerned. 2017 should therefore be a year of implementation.
The draft work plan that you have presented is ambitious and forward-looking. We look forward to working together with you and other PBC members to flesh out this strategy in more detail.
Allow me to make three comments in this regard:
First, we fully support the changes in the working methods to make the PBC more agile and relevant, notably in supporting countries and regions in developing or delivering on their peacebuilding strategies.
When we work with countries in the PBC context, the notion of partnership and national ownership must always be at the heart.
Second, we welcome the efforts that have been made to clarify the added value of the peacebuilding architecture. In our view, its potential convening power and bridge-building role, are the keys in this respect.
We are convinced that the links between the Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund should be further strengthened. The Fund can provide the PBC with a link to the field that increases its clout; the PBC can provide the Fund with political backing.
Together they can form a peacebuilding platform at country level that can enable contributions from other stakeholders.
We also believe that a stronger partnership between the PBC and the Security Council is possible and necessary.
Ideally, a more energized PBC could alleviate the Council’s workload and provide smoother transitions for countries emerging out of conflict.
Finally, Norway welcomes the idea of appointing Focal Points for key policy themes. We are ready to contribute in this regard, and remain fully in your hands as to how this idea could be developed in the best possible way.