Thank you to Germany and the co-conveners for this opportunity to discuss mediation in the context of the UN’s efforts for peace.
Mediation efforts carried out by: the good offices and special envoys of the Secretary-General, Member States, civil society actors and others, are of tremendous importance to saving lives and reducing human suffering.
As an elected member of the Security Council, Norway will draw on our experience facilitating a range of peace processes.
Though all conflicts are unique, and require a context specific approach, some features should be consistent in peace mediation:
First; a willingness to talk with all actors.
Engaging actors that others have deemed ‘off limits’ can make a major difference.
To Norway, this was evident in the Middle East peace process, where we involved the PLO from an early stage.
The same approach has been true in Nepal and Venezuela.
Second, the parties themselves own the conflict and the process.
Finding a peaceful solution will always depend on the willingness of the parties themselves to find common ground.
It lowers the political costs, allow positions to be clarified, and eases the development of solutions.
In the Colombian peace process, the secret phase facilitated by Norway and Cuba was crucial in producing an agenda for the eventual negotiations.
Fourth, engagement does not end when a peace agreement is signed.
Implementation is where the parties are tested.
The Security Council can play a crucial role in this fragile stage.
Last, but not least: inclusion is key.
Peace processes that include civil society, particularly women and victims, ensures greater ownership and legitimacy. Carefully designed mechanisms to ensure women’s participation at all levels, and in all phases of peace processes, is crucial.
Understanding the many dimensions of a conflict- and their root causes- is of utmost importance to facilitating peaceful solutions.
We therefore believe the Security Council should increase its engagement with all sides: victims, mediators, and other relevant actors in conflict situations.
The UN has responded to the agenda of sustaining peace with many impressive new capabilities.
As Member States we should focus on how best to put our weight behind them, and to ensure that the UN has the flexibility, and adaptability, to lead in peacemaking.