Allow me first to thank Ireland for calling attention to a topic which deserves more focus. Let me also thank the Secretary-General, President Johnson Sirleaf, and Ms. Adam for their informative briefings.
Transitions pose particular challenges for peacekeeping. To overcome them, it is crucial to sustain our momentum in the implementation of the Secretary-General’s reform initiative “Action for Peacekeeping” - or A4P. If we succeed in following up on all eight priority areas, transitions will be made easier, which ultimately benefits all parties involved.
As Council Members we have a shared responsibility for crafting mission mandates that call for the planning of gradual, and sequenced, transitions from the outset.
Norway strongly believes that transitions should depend upon progress along clear political, security, judicial and humanitarian benchmarks, and should be based on an exit strategy developed collaboratively between the UN, host state authorities, and civil society.
The transition process should be guided by a view of transitions not as a withdrawal, but rather as a reconfiguration of the UN country presence.
Transitions must therefore entail close coordination with, and adequate financing of, other UN entities that assume additional functions as missions draw down. This should include: country teams, Resident Coordinators and regional offices, as well as the Peacebuilding Commission and Peacebuilding Fund.
To ensure sustainable peace, transitions must consolidate progress on all aspects of mission mandates. Allow me to briefly note four areas of particular importance.
First, the protection of civilians. Transitions can have a destabilising impact on the security environment, potentially endangering vulnerable populations as the mission’s protective capabilities diminish. It is critical to establish a protective environment during transitions.
The situation in Sudan is a case in point. During a recent visit by our Minister of Development to Sudan, the increased level of violence and alarming protection challenges were highlighted by all humanitarian partners. And is also reflected in the Secretary-General’s latest report on the UN Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan, where he observes that insecurity, and lack of protection of civilians remain issues of concern.
Norway takes note of the steps taken so far by the Government of Sudan to implement its national action plan for the protection of civilians. At the same time, we would like to stress the urgency of speedy follow-up, and underline the importance of continued UN engagement.
Second: women, peace, and security. Transitions must be planned and carried out through inclusive processes. Ones which include the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women, based on gender-transformative approaches. The aim should be to consolidate, and sustain, pre-transition WPS gains.
Third: climate and security. The UN country presence should incorporate the implications of climate-related security risks in its reconfiguration strategy. To this end, it must ensure that adequate analytical and programmatic capacity remains to support host communities in addressing risks and building resilience.
Fourth, and finally: peace diplomacy. As the resolution adopted today reaffirms, lasting peace can be achieved only through political solutions. It is therefore vital that UN support to host state peace efforts continue during transitions.
The goal of transitions should be to help host state authorities consolidate political and security gains, and sustain peace through: strong institutions, the rule of law, human rights, and sustainable development. To achieve these goals, it is imperative that this Council continues to advance peacekeeping reform, and, that we help consolidate the reforms of the UN Development System- in particular the key role of the reinvigorated Resident Coordinator System. This will ensure we are equipping ourselves to effectively implement transitions as truly “one UN.”
I thank you.