Let me first thank you for convening this timely debate, and the briefers for their insights.
To effectively support the AU in delivering sustained peace and security, we need look no further than the Aspirations of AU Vision 2063, which outlines:
An Africa of Good Governance, respect for Human Rights, Justice and Rule of Law, full gender equality in all spheres of life, and caring for children.
The key challenge now is how we as partners can more effectively pool resources, and coordinate our efforts, in support of Africa’s aspirations.
Global challenges are disproportionately affecting Africa.
From the sharp rise in acute food insecurity, hunger, and malnutrition. To the climate crisis becoming increasingly evident- affecting livelihoods, and multiplying the risk of further conflict.
While the Black Sea Grain Initiative- if implemented- can ensure that grain, fertilizers, and other food-related items are available at reasonable prices; the long-term solution is to increase sustainable food production in Africa.
Africa has its own potential to become the world’s breadbasket.
So alongside humanitarian efforts, we must scale up our investments in food production and resilience in Africa-
in and outside conflict zones- in a climate-smart way.
Our shared goal is to prevent and contain conflict.
We welcome the AU’s leadership on African conflicts. Demonstrated repeatedly by the AU Peace and Security Council’s firm actions- including in response to unconstitutional takeovers.
The UN and the AU have also made great strides in promoting more structured and strategic cooperation.
Norway is pleased to support these efforts. But we need greater political support from Member States;
and predictable, sustainable, and flexible funding- including for AU-led and regional missions.
Norway has backed the Secretary-General’s call for a UN support office for the G5 Sahel Joint Force; and we remain open to using assessed contributions to AU and regionally led missions when conditions are right.
From decades of engagement in, and support to, African-led peace processes- including in Sudan, South Sudan, and Somalia- Norway has learned that peace and reconciliation requires long term commitment.
Signing peace agreements do not alone bring peace.
In addressing root causes and drivers of conflict, the necessary political will is key, and is most effectively generated by the region itself.
But support from strategic partners is important, and we believe cooperation and coordination on conflict resolution and peacebuilding can be improved.
In fragile contexts, it is vital that we deliver as one.
Including in efforts to reform the security and justice sectors, and in the prevention of violent extremism.
By exchanging analysis, views, and possible messages earlier- and countering disinformation campaigns that incite violence and fuel conflict- we may prevent conflicts from erupting or spreading.
In this, strengthened cooperation, and more frequent interaction between the UN Security Council, the AU Peace and Security Council and the Peacebuilding Commission would be useful.
Africa is home to a young and growing population, yearning for stability, economic and social progress, and for Africa to fulfil its true promise.
Peace and stability are the most important building blocks to realise this ambition. And African countries hold the critical experience and insights.
Cooperation with Africa is paramount dealing with security issues on the continent.
This is why the Security Council must also reflect the geopolitical realities of today. Norway supports efforts to expand the Council, and increase the number of permanent and non-permanent seats for Africa.