Thank you Chair
At the outset, let me thank the President of the General Assembly and the current and previous chairs of the Peacebuilding Commission for their introductions.
Supporting Member States in their efforts to prevent conflict and lay the foundations for lasting peace, is a key role for the United Nations according to the UN Charter.
After extensive deliberations over the last three years -- culminating in the recent successful High-level meeting of the General Assembly on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace -- we have found a new consensus and a path ahead.
Time is now to enter an operational mode, focusing on practical steps and implementation of the various proposals before us.
The UN peacebuilding architecture should continue be the engine for this process, aiming to integrate the ideas and practice of sustaining peace in the rest of the UN family – both in the headquarters and at country level.
Allow me to make three points:
First, The Peacebuilding Commission is becoming more dynamic and flexible, and we need to build on these gains in the coming years.
Norway would like to commend the current and previous Chairs, as well as the other members of the Commission, for their consistent efforts to make the Commission more agile and better connected to the needs at country level.
In particular, together with other parts of the UN system, the Commission has been able to contribute to a positive development in West Africa.
In many ways, the recent positive developments in countries like the Gambia, Liberia and Sierra Leone, provide the model for how we should work -- firmly led by the countries themselves, but supported in a coherent and effective way by the UN, working in close partnerships with regional and subregional organizations, and other supporters.
Building on this model, we fully support the emphasis by the Chair to engage in the Sahel region in the coming years.
Furthermore, the Commission has been able to improve the quality of advice to enrich the debates of the General Assembly and the Security Council.
It has also strengthened the bridging role it was initially set up to play, in order to pursue a coherent, integrated approach to building and sustaining peace.
Second, We need even stronger partnerships and more collaboration among international actors.
Both the World Bank and the UN are stepping up their efforts to support states affected by conflict, fragility and violence.
This provides important opportunities for a strengthened partnership for sustaining peace.
Their joint study on conflict prevention: "Pathways for Peace", makes a strong case for stronger partnership between UN entities and the World Bank at headquarter level.
We must make sure that this translates into a collective effort that explores the comparative advantages of the UN and the World Bank.
Furthermore, we need to intensify partnerships with regional and subregional organizations; civil society and private business actors.
Finally, We need to ensure adequate, predictable and sustained financing for peacebuilding in order to make progress in the sustaining peace agenda.
As violent conflicts are increasing in numbers and becoming more complex, UN peacebuilding efforts remain severely underfunded. This is a collective problem.
We would like to commend the Peacebuilding Support Office for the Peacebuilding Fund’s impressive track record in 2017.
Norway is one of the largest donors to the Fund, and we will increase our contribution for 2018 substantively.
The Fund has continued to be flexible, risk-tolerant and catalytic, and has contributed to stabilizing and building peace in a number of countries.
Norway is particularly pleased that the Fund continues to raise the bar in terms of gender equality and empowering women. The ambitions and the achievements of the fund in this area is an example to be followed by other UN entities.
While the Peacebuilding Fund is central to the UN peacebuilding efforts in practice, financing for peacebuilding is more than generating more resources to the Fund.
It is about shifting the flow of resources from repairing after conflict – to preventing conflict and building and sustaining peace.
The Secretary-General’s recent report on peacebuilding and sustaining peace contains many concrete proposals in this regard, that deserve our full attention.
Together with Indonesia, our close partner on financing in the PBC, Norway will continue to engage to convert these proposals into action.