Thank you, Secretary General Guterres and Mr Ban and all the rapporteurs for the poignant reminders of the challenges we collectively face.
As we all know, conflicts have a devastating impact. We know that it hits the hardest among the poorest and even the most vulnerable.
According to the World Bank’s calculation, by 2030, two-thirds of the world’s extremely poor people could be affected by fragility, conflict and violence.
The Council’s agenda is unfortunately a tragic testimony. In the last two weeks alone, we have been discussing the conflicts in Yemen, Mali, Syria and the Great Lakes region, among others.
So, Mr. President, we welcome the adoption today of a presidential statement under your leadership. We hope that it will serve to strengthen confidence-building measures and, indeed, mechanisms for dialogue with regional and subregional organizations and especially civil society organizations on which peace processes so deeply depend.
I would like to highlight three ways in which we believe we can strengthen the vital role of these organizations.
First, regional and subregional organizations can restore trust among conflict-affected communities. In particular, the work of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities reduced tensions and prevented conflicts throughout the OSCE region. As regional organizations develop their technical capacity, they should seek to follow this example. And we should seek to strengthen their willingness to use confidence-building measures when necessary.
Second, confidence building and dialogue must absolutely be part of a broader strategy coordinated through the good offices of the United Nations.
We recognize the unique role of ASEAN in resolving the crisis in Myanmar. The UK further welcomes ASEAN’s willingness to support positive and constructive efforts. And that is why we look forward to the close cooperation between the United Nations and ASEAN to resolve the conflict and serve those who suffer, those in need.
We also applaud the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for a Enhanced Partnership for Peace and Security. This was indeed instrumental in the 2019 peace agreement between the government of the Central African Republic and 14 armed groups. And we call on all political actors to get involved directly.
Third, regional bodies must include civil society organizations in a meaningful capacity at all levels of dialogue. If we are serious about building an inclusive and lasting peace, the organs of civil society should be – must be – essential in all aspects of conflict prevention and, above all, in conflict resolution.
As others have said, including my good friend, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland, it is important that women are at the heart of peacemaking. In particular, regional women’s networks, such as the African Union’s ASEAN Women for Peace Registry and FEMWISE Africa, are essential actors in the pursuit of lasting and lasting peace.
The UK, I assure you, is absolutely committed to protecting and promoting women peacemakers, and we are proud to have supported the protection framework of the International Civil Society Action Network. I urge others to support and implement its expert and effective recommendations.
On our common path to peace, we need this more open and inclusive approach for a stronger and more coherent international response. The nature of the conflict has changed. Increasingly, we are seeing conflicts of an intra-state nature, which have the potential to destabilize global peace and security. We also see how marginalization and human rights violations can totally and totally isolate communities and even perpetrate violence.
To combat the driving forces behind these conflicts, we must and we must combine our humanitarian, development and peacebuilding efforts. The Peacebuilding Commission is absolutely at the heart of it all, and we welcome the support of the Peacebuilding Fund, which builds trust between communities, because ultimately, where national and regional efforts fail, it is the Security Council which has primary responsibility for international peace and international security.
We do it best when we have a clear view. The UK supports regular and coordinated early warning capacities, which help the Council prevent escalation. Regional organizations can strengthen this capacity by sharing early warning assessments and bringing emerging situations to the direct attention of the Council. Accurate and timely information must be combined with effective and early engagement and support at the community, state, regional or continental level.
And where prevention activities fail, or if there is no regional consensus, it is this Council that should lead the international community not only to discuss, to debate, but to act. The UK stands ready to support regional and sub-regional organizations as they continue to strengthen efforts to build confidence and dialogue.
It is only by mobilizing all the tools at our collective disposal, Mr. President, that we can avoid the escalation of violence and ensure the lasting and lasting peace we all desire.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.