SC: Joint Nordic Statement on the Role of Women and Young People

Joint Nordic (N5) statement delivered by Denmark's Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador Erik Laursen on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden

Your Excellencies, distinguished delegates,

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries – Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and my own country, Denmark. We thank the Mozambican presidency for convening this meeting, and the briefers for sharing their valuable insights.

We commend Mozambique for prioritizing the role of women and young people in maintaining peace and security, and for putting it on the agenda of the Security Council.

Let me highlight three main points.

Firstly, young people play an important role when addressing challenges and fostering peace in their communities. At the same time, young people, particularly young women, are disproportionately affected by violent conflict.

Inclusivity is key to sustaining peace. It is crucial to ensure the full, effective, meaningful and safe participation of youth in their diversity at all levels of decision-making and peacebuilding processes. Yet too often, the expertise, priorities, and needs of young people are overlooked.

Secondly, while progress has been made on the Women, Peace and Security and the Youth, Peace and Security agendas, much remains to be done. It is critical not to treat women and youth as having the same needs and agency. The WPS and YPS agendas are different, yet complementary.

To accelerate implementation of the agendas, the Nordics recommend;

- To provide accessible and flexible funding for local peacebuilding networks, including youth-led and women-led initiatives, and by leveraging mechanisms like the UN Peacebuilding Fund and the Women, Peace, and Humanitarian Fund;

- To promote young women’s participation in mediation, conflict prevention, peacebuilding and peacekeeping, while also addressing the particular threats to their safety in times of conflict;

- To engage young men in discussions around WPS and to challenge existing gender stereotypes and structures;

- To support the development and implementation of national and regional frameworks, including National Action Plans on YPS and WPS; and

- To reflect the WPS and YPS agendas in the peace and security chapter of the Pact for the Future.

Additionally, we applaud the African Union for its significant efforts in implementing the YPS and WPS agendas on the continent.

Thirdly, we welcome the recent report by the Secretary-General on YPS and support his call to action. The Secretary-General recommends the integration of YPS into the mandates of peace operations as well as better protection of youth engaging with the UN. In addition, we strongly encourage the Council to consider regularly convening an open debate on the Secretary-General’s report on YPS and to increase opportunities for youth to participate in the Council’s deliberations.

Your Excellencies, let us reaffirm our commitment to supporting and promoting the role of women and young people. We can only expect peace to last when the whole of society can participate.

Thank you