SC: Exclusion, Inequality and Conflict

Statement by Permanent Representative Ambassador Mona Juul in the UN Security Council meeting on "Maintenance of international peace and security: Exclusion, Inequality and Conflict", 9 November 2021.

I would like to express my appreciation to Mexico for organising today’s debate, and putting these important topics on the Council’s agenda. I also thank the Secretary-General and Ms. Lourdes Tiban Guala for their insightful remarks.

This debate strongly resonates with the Secretary-General’s report “Our Common Agenda”, which lays out how a lack of trust; the absence of justice; deepening inequalities; and exclusion and marginalisation can lead to: instability, fragility, and conflict. We share this analysis, and will support moving this agenda forward. Including here in the Security Council.


Protracted armed conflicts, worsening climate change, systemic inequality, and persistent poverty is affecting the peace and security of a growing number of people. The COVID-19 pandemic has further endangered the world’s most vulnerable populations, compounding the root causes of conflict. To respond effectively we must strengthen efforts across the UNs work from humanitarian, to development, to peacebuilding and human rights. Especially to tackle complex issues like exclusion, inequality, and poverty as drivers of conflict. For example, populations emerging from conflict need sustained investments in reconciliation; as well asimproved: livelihoods, preparedness, and resilience to future crises.

For this, Norway supports an integrated approach. We are committed to the principles of the nexus as exemplified in the Grand Bargain; the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework; and the reform of the UN Development System. Better, and more coordinated, financing across the nexus is one way to move beyond institutional silos and deliver results together. Another way is mobilising grassroot movements and civil society- including women’s organizations. This is crucial to breaking cycles of conflict, and fostering sustainable solutions for people where they live.


These issues also form an important part of the UN’s preventative work. In this respect, the Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund are both important tools for coherence. The PBC acts as a bridge among the principal organs and relevant UN entities by sharing advice on peacebuilding needs and priorities. It is well placed to contribute to a holistic approach, and should be better utilised.We encourage the Security Council to actively seek the views and support of the PBC in its work. 


Inclusive societies are peaceful societies. Development and peace gains are not sustainable if large parts of the population are marginalised, and human rights are not respected. We know that exclusion is a driver of conflict, and this is why promotion of human rights is one key component of both Norway's foreign and development policy. Women’s empowerment through direct and meaningful participation is fundamental, and a well proven way to build sustainable peace.

Creating a culture of public participation can also: ease tensions, reduce frustrations, and build trust. As can accountable institutions, and competent, independent, and impartial judiciaries - which are essential to upholding the rule of law, and ensuring that human rights and fundamental freedoms are respected.


There is little hope of achieving peace and security as long as underlying political conflicts remain unresolved- especially those stemming from exclusion and inequality. So we thank Mexico again for putting this issue on our agenda today. We must all must give higher priority towards promoting inclusive political settlements in our peacebuilding and reconciliation efforts.

Thank you