Chair, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
Norway welcomes having this opportunity to engage with other Member States in ensuring that UN peacekeeping remains an adequate and relevant instrument in the maintenance of international peace and security. If we are to succeed in this, we must all make an effort to implement the Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping initiative, including the Declaration on Shared Commitments. As a consistent and long-standing contributor to UN peacekeeping operations, Norway stands ready to follow up these commitments.
In May, Norway will once again step up its participation in the UN mission in Mali (MINUSMA) by providing a military transport aircraft for six months, under the multinational rotational concept that Norway initiated in 2016. We are pleased to see that this concept is becoming a model for UN force generation and deployment. Norway will maintain its camp facilities outside Bamako for current and future partners until the end of 2022, and will provide a transport aircraft once again in 2021.
I would now like to mention six Norwegian priorities for the upcoming negotiations:
Norway welcomes the restructuring of the UN’s peace and security pillar as a means of enabling a more strategic and regionally coordinated response to the peace and security challenges in all mission areas – paving the way for viable political solutions. This is a prerequisite for sustainable peace.
Norway believes that the comprehensive performance assessment system (CPAS) will help strengthen the effectiveness of operations – including when it comes to support for political processes. Norway will continue to support the development of CPAS – both financially and through the provision of technical expertise.
“The UN needs more women deployed at all levels and included in operations, decisions and strategies on peacekeeping.” Norway fully subscribes to this message, which was voiced by Under-Secretary-General Lacroix during the Peacekeeping Ministerial Preparatory Meeting in Addis Ababa two weeks ago. Gender parity for uniformed personnel is a key priority for Norway, and we strongly support the UN’s new Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy.
The safety and security of UN peacekeepers remains a key Norwegian concern. Recent attacks on MINUSMA are a stark reminder of the need for continued implementation of the Action Plan based on the Santos Cruz report. Intelligence is essential, and missions must have effective casualty and medical evacuation.
Terrorism is a serious threat in some mission areas, and it is often closely linked to transnational organised crime. To succeed in combating these global security challenges, efforts must continue to strengthen the capacity of UN Police as well as that of other rule-of-law personnel – so that they can enhance the capacity of the police and the wider justice system in host countries. At the same time, cooperation between UN missions, host countries, the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Interpol must be increased.
Norway is a strong supporter of the ongoing efforts to strengthen the UN’s partnership with the African Union. As noted by the Secretary-General in his report to this committee (A/73/480), effective African capacities are increasingly important for stability on the continent. Stability in Africa will benefit all of us. Norway therefore urges all parties involved in the discussions on the use of UN-assessed contributions to finance peace support operations led by the AU to engage constructively in finding a solution.
Let me conclude by adding that Norway welcomes the broadened scope of this year’s Peacekeeping Ministerial – reflecting the need for a comprehensive approach to strengthen UN peace operations. This will form the basis for our engagement in the upcoming negotiations – which we are very much looking forward to.