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PBC: The Gambia

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador Odd-Inge Kvalheim on the Gambia in the Peacebuilding Commission 28 October 2019.

| Peacebuilding Commission

Thank you, Chair.

We are honored by your presence, Hon. Minister. Thank you so much for again coming to the PBC to provide us with an update, and to share your analysis.

Thank you also to all the briefers.

The stability in the Gambia, and important human rights improvements, are commendable.

The work of the truth, reconciliation and reparations commission (TRRC) is important, and understandably challenging. We recognize this from facilitating peace processes for example in Colombia and the Philippines.

We understand it can be difficult to make demanding and unpopular decisions, at a time when it is also important to maintain a certain level of popularity among the public. Only the Gambians can strike the right balance and find solutions.

The ongoing security sector reform remains crucial.

The government’s ownership of the reform processes, and close co-operation with the UN and others, is necessary to fully succeed.

We encourage further efforts for a professional, independent and financially sustainable army and police service.

ECOMIG has been vital for security and stability in the transitional period - as national forces gradually should increase their role in maintaining peace and security. This process will further consolidate the commendable democratic transition.

We encourage the UN to continue its efforts to assist in the Gambia, and to act as one UN. We are pleased that the working conditions for the UN have dramatically improved under this government.

We are hopeful that the upcoming UN visit to The Gambia (tent. early November) will be useful to define what assistance the UN can provide. Again, co-ordination with other partners will be essential.

Norway applauds the helpful role of the Peacebuilding Fund in The Gambia.

Norway remains committed to the PBC’s work, and we commend the positive developments in The Gambia. Hopefully this will continue at a scale that encourages the youth to contribute and help further develop their country. We wish all the best for the country and its people.

Chair, Minister – let me again thank you for this meeting.