Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen.
First of all, I would like to thank the Commission for hosting this Breakfast Meeting to launch the report of the Consultative Dialogue and highlight its key insights and recommendations. I am honoured to take part in your discussions this morning.
At the outset, I would also like to recognize the important contribution of the Training for Peace Programme to the dialogue and this report. TfP is a demand-driven support mechanism that is notable for its long-term engagement with APSA stakeholders. The workshop, the report of which is being launched today, was one of the key recommendations of the 2016 workshop organized to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the AU PCRD policy. It is just one of many examples of how the TfP programme and the APSA stakeholders have worked together over time to produce practical, implementable and essential results.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The PCRD agenda is in no way unique to this continent. If we look at European History, transitioning from recovery and stabilisation to development, we will see that Security Sector Reform, Rule of Law, Transitional Justice and governance was key factors. The level of prosperity and security we enjoy today would not have been possible without years of continuously reforms after the Second World War.
Indeed, a vibrant democracy will constantly reflect on how best to ensure peace and development for its citizens while protecting its core values: respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
This is why PCRD matters. Not only to Africa, but also to Europe. It is vital for our security and prosperity. Instability in one part of the world is becoming a security concern for us all and it is in our common interests to support each other in tackling such challenges.
Research has shown that a significant number of post-conflict countries, relapse into conflict within five years. This means that if we are to Silence the Guns and ensure that they remain silent, a great deal of attention must be paid to the long-term issues of stabilization.
The four issues discussed in this report are critical to keeping the guns silent. These are issues that lie primarily within the domain of states. Strategic direction from the AUC is important, but states have the primary responsibility for their implementation and protection. As the report highlights, the four issues can also be mediums for promoting inclusivity, managing diversity and fostering coexistence, which are all critical ingredients to creating a peaceful and secure Africa.
As recognised in the report, the first step in making SSR partnerships efficient is to recognise the importance of local ownership. However, local ownership does not mean global disengagement. As international partners, we need to support local and regional efforts, both politically and financially. Simultaneously, affected countries and regions must lead by example, providing what they can in terms of expertise and finance, drawing up credible strategies, and making sure the processes are inclusive.
Norway is committed to working with countries and regional organisations to find common solutions across regions. We consider the African Union to be a key strategic partner in this regard.
Norway has a strategic partnership with the AU and this partnership is based on our recognition of the role of the important and crucial role of AU in promoting an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa.
One of the key aims of the partnership– and one that is of particular relevance for today’s discussion – is to build capacity across the peace and security spectrum. Through dialogue and cooperation, we will seek to strengthen the ability of African countries to respond to and manage a broad range of peace and security challenges, including conflict prevention, conflict resolution, crisis management, peace support operations and peacebuilding.
In addition, strengthening the partnership between the UN and the AU is essential. The Joint UN-AU Framework for Enhanced Partnership on Peace and Security and the AU-UN framework for the implementation of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development are important steps towards making this partnership predictable, systematic and strategic.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The inclusion of SSR, Rule of Law, Transitional Justice and governance in the sustaining peace agenda is an important step forward. Rightfully, the report stresses the need for these four pillars to be included throughout stabilisation efforts. Too often, we have focused on sustaining peace after conflict, while PCRD should be included in all phases of peacebuilding.
Finally, the report calls for support to strengthen institutional capacity in undertaking post-conflict stabilisation, peacebuilding and reconstruction and increase other peace and security activities to enhance overall peacebuilding efforts on the continent.
Norway will continue to be a partner in this regard, inter alia through the Training for Peace programme and our overall partnership with the AU.
I will end my remarks here, as we have much to discuss.