Swedish statement at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Peace and Security in Africa
National statement delivered by Ambassador Irina Schoulgin Nyoni on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on Peace and Security in Africa, 20 November 2018, New York.
Thank you, Mr President,
I would like to start by expressing condolences to the families and the peacekeepers who lost their lives in the DRC a few days ago. I would also like to thank the Secretary-General and the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security for their insightful briefings this morning. I align myself with the statement to be delivered on behalf of the European Union later today.
Today’s challenges to security and development are increasingly interconnected. Climate change, inequality, terrorism and violent extremism represent pertinent examples. African countries face security threats and risks that have clear implications beyond the African continent. Supporting and further strengthening African capabilities to deal with these challenges is therefore essential. Peace is best pursued in partnership.
Sweden has been a longstanding supporter of an enhanced strategic partnership between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations in Africa. We welcome the renewed momentum and concrete steps taken to advance this partnership, not least thanks to the dedicated leadership of the respective organizations.
Last week we saw first-hand evidence of the closer cooperation, through a briefing on the joint visit to South Sudan by USG Lacroix and Commissioner Chergui, accompanied by Executive Director Phumzile of UN Women. This represents a concrete example of where cooperation between the sub-region, region and global level can generate results that will contribute to peace. We believe our two Councils should build on our successful meeting in July and follow suit by conducting similar joint visits to enhance shared analysis of situations on our agendas.
We commend the work carried out by the AU to enhance its capacity in preventing, mediating, and settling conflicts on the African continent, including by strengthening the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). The launch of the AU Peace Fund at the AU Summit last week, with the mobilization of 60 MUSD, is a particularly important step to enhance self-reliance and financing of the AU’s own activities, and represents concrete progress on the institutional reform agenda. Perspectives from civil society remains crucial to these effort.
However, in order to realize the full potential of the AU-UN partnership, additional financial and political support is needed. We welcome the discussions on the proposals pertaining to financing laid out in the Secretary-Generals reports, including the use of assessed UN contributions. We are encouraged by the collaborative work on strengthening oversight and accountability of AU-led peace operations, including the ongoing work to strengthen and ensuring compliance with Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law as well as the UN’s and the AU’s conduct and discipline frameworks.
Our joint efforts to enhance African capabilities must go beyond strengthening military responses. Holistic approaches across the conflict cycle are needed. This includes addressing root causes to conflict, to achieve structural prevention at national level, building effective, transparent and inclusive institutions. It also requires scaled up efforts to address illicit financial flows and fight transnational organized crime, which exploit and exacerbate state fragility. Mitigating effects of climate change is also critical.
We commend the commitment of the African Union to implement Agenda 2063 as a means to ensure peace, stability and prosperity in Africa - efforts that clearly embody African leadership and ownership. The women, peace and security agenda remains a particular vital area, and important steps have already been taken by the AU to advance its implementation. Still, there is need to ensure continued political will and leadership to implement the regional action plan. The support to FemWise to promote women’s role, inclusion and leadership in peace processes is encouraging, as is the work carried out by the African Women Leaders Network to build on and harness women’s participation throughout the region.
Triangular partnerships beyond the AU and the UN should also be further explored. The EU has been a long-standing supporter of the AU’s peace operations, not least in Somalia and the Sahel where we have close collaboration between the AU, EU and UN. Further opportunities for trilateral collaborations should be sought.
We spend a large amount of time in this chamber discussing devastating crises on the African continent. Today is an opportunity to focus solely on cooperation and solutions, and on how our respective efforts can yield better results if we join forces. Moving forward on this agenda will require our substantial and sustained political investment. We look forward to doing our part.
I thank you.