At the outset, I would like to thank the Under-Secretary-Generals for Political Affairs and Field Support, and the President of the General Assembly, for their opening statements.
Norway welcomes this opportunity to discuss the UN's Special Political Missions. I would like to make three points:
Firstly, preventing and resolving armed conflict and sustaining peace should be the United Nations' top priority.
The Special Political Missions are the most operational end of the UN's political efforts in the field, and they need our full support. The UN Missions in Syria, Yemen, Colombia and Afghanistan are among the clearest examples of how indispensable these missions are.
The demand for such missions has been increasing over the last decade because they are effective in the field at a low cost. If we fail to support them properly, the alternative will often be much more expensive.
Regrettably, the membership has not yet managed to agree on a solid framework for adequately funding and backstopping these missions, and we remain stuck in an artificial dichotomy between peacekeeping operations and Special Political Missions.
Secondly, in order to find new common ground and take a more holistic approach, we need to look at the Special Political Missions as part of a spectrum of peace operations, as described in the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations and the Secretary-General in his implementation report.
Finally, the recent parallel resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council represent a unique opportunity to refocus our attention in this regard in this phase of transition that we are entering.
Norway hopes that these resolutions will gradually change how we, the Member States, approach peace operations, and make them more tailored to the needs on the ground.
We are pleased that the incoming Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres has identified these issues as one of his main priorities for the Organization as a whole, and has called for a 'surge in diplomacy for peace'. Norway pledges our full support to this ambition.
In order to fulfil the spirit and letter of the UN Charter, the whole UN system must pull together in a system-wide effort to achieve this goal, both at headquarters and in the field.