Thank you for convening this important debate.
And we also thank the Secretary General and the distinguished briefers for their statements.
As the Secretary-General, have confirmed in “Our Common Agenda” - investments in prevention, resilience-building, and preparedness pay for themselves many times over.
Making these investments in peace operations is key to making the operations more effective in responding to the changing security dynamics they encounter- in Africa, and globally.
Let me start by underlining the importance of ensuring that support for political solutions is at the centre of all peacekeeping.
Lasting peace can neither be achieved nor sustained by military means alone.
We, here in the Security Council, must enhance the link between peacekeeping and peacebuilding when we are planning and mandating peace operations.
The current efforts in the Sahel illustrates the need for holistic solutions.
We must deal with growing insecurity, while also addressing root causes of conflict.
We need innovative thinking on renewed partnerships- bringing out the best of UN, AU and regional complementarity.
This is why Norway strongly and actively supports the UN-AU-initiated High-Level Panel on Security, Development and Governance in the Sahel ‘the Issoufou panel’.
For truly sustainable peace, this Council must also ensure that peace operations facilitate the participation of women. Local women, women’s organizations, and civil society groups have unique insights and inter-generational knowledge which should be included in all stages of developing preventive policies- including early warning mechanisms.
The full, equal, and meaningful participation of women enables policies to be more equitable, and responsive to local community needs – which is key to building resilience.
Furthermore, the inclusion of youth is important, and their innovative ideas and perspectives must be heard.
It is also critical that we address drivers of conflict, such as: climate change, inequality, corruption, unemployment, and violent extremism.
Without these broader steps, the efforts of peacekeeping operations are unlikely to be successful.
A lack of protection of civilians during conflict also damages prospects for conflict-resolution, and sustainable peace.
Such protection must be an integral part of peacekeeping and peacebuilding- and is particularly important in transition settings.
While the Security Council has the primary responsibility for international peace and security; all parts of the UN system must work together to build resilience and prevent conflict.
There is no better way of preventing conflict than protecting human rights.
Greater interaction between: the Security Council and its peacekeeping operations; together with the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Human Rights Council; is needed to facilitate early engagement, and prevention.
The Peacebuilding Commission is another underutilised tool in our resilience-building toolbox.
Through its cross-pillar coordination mandate, the PBC is well positioned to holistically address drivers of conflict- without the limitations suffered by other UN bodies.
This Council should more frequently seek, and use its advice, and invite the PBC Chair to brief to inform our decisions.
And we must increase financing for peacebuilding and prevention of conflict. In this, the Peacebuilding Fund is centrally placed.
We continue to be impressed by the fund’s agility, efficiency, and spirit of innovation.
We are, and will remain, a major donor to the fund – and encourage other Members State to increase their contributions.
We must be able to build resilience in parallel to countering immediate security threats and protecting civilians.
To achieve long-lasting peace, we cannot afford to overlook prevention, resilience-building, and preparedness.