Nordic Joint Statement
Issued by Ambassador Martin Bille Hermann on the occasion of the
Signature Event of the UN Security Council on Maintaining International Peace and Security: Exclusion, Inequality and Conflict
9 November 2021
Members of the Security Council,
I have the pleasure to submit this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries: Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Denmark.
We thank the Secretary-General and Lourdes Tibán Guala for sharing valuable insights, and welcome this timely debate on the maintenance of international peace and security in relation to exclusion, inequality and conflict.
Recently, we have witnessed how COVID-19 and dire effects of climate change have accelerated existing drivers of conflict, multiplied security risks, and further exacerbated the situation for the most vulnerable groups and populations. There is no doubt that global security challenges reinforce each other. Therefore, addressing root causes and drivers of conflict - such as exclusion and inequality – must be part of prevention and peacebuilding.
Let me share four reflections on the Council’s work in relation to exclusion, inequality and conflict:
1. Inclusion is key to building sustainable peace. The Council affirmed this in the twin resolutions on the review of the peacebuilding architecture [A/RES/70/262 and S/RES/2282 (2016)], which call for the needs of all segments of the population to be taken into account in building a common vision for society. Sustaining Peace obliges us to ensure inclusion as part of building peace and upholding human rights – not least through the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and youth in peacebuilding.
2. Sustaining Peace should build on an integrated, one-UN approach at all stages of conflict. In this regard, the Council must ensure that UN peacekeeping operations are able to further the interlinkages between development, security and human rights. This calls for more joined up analysis and effective strategic planning, as well as making long-term peacebuilding efforts a part of peacekeeping operations from the outset. Peace and Development Advisors (PDA), seconded by the “Joint UNDP-DPPA Programme” has proven to be an effective tool in this regard, serving the whole UN system in conflict-affected contexts. To strengthen efforts across the HDP-nexus, the Nordic countries also urge the Council to increase cooperation with the Resident Coordinators and UN Country Teams on the ground, as well as with other international, regional and local partners, including international financial institutions, regional organizations and civil society, throughout the conflict cycle.
3. The Nordic countries call on the Council to strengthen its cooperation with the Peacebuilding Commission, including by drawing on its recommendations and its advisory, bridging and convening roles. We welcome the Secretary General’s (SG) proposal for a New Agenda for Peace, outlined in Our Common Agenda, including the call for Member States to make greater investments in prevention and ensuring adequate, predictable and sustained financing for peacebuilding. As part of this, we welcome the proposal to allocate a dedicated amount from assessed contributions to the Peacebuilding Fund.
4. Finally, Sustaining Peace helps us direct our attention to the importance of addressing inequality, exclusion and other root causes of conflict in peacebuilding. It also helps us to invest in what we know drives sustainable peace and prosperity, including targeted work for gender equality. The Nordic countries stand ready to work proactively on addressing root causes of conflict and continue to invest in drivers of peace by following up on the SG’s Our Common Agenda Report. As the SG notes in the report, “addressing racism, discrimination and inequality” and ensuring universal access to “social protection, health coverage, education, skills, decent work and housing” is key to preventing exclusion and conflict. So is the development of a “social contract” between governments and their people wherein all citizens have a say in envisioning their countries’ futures.
Let us turn exclusion, inequality and conflict into inclusion, equality and sustainable peace for all.