Numerous protracted conflicts are further exacerbated by the increasing food insecurity, the adverse effects of climate change and debt crises. Yet, despite a shared analysis and continued pledges, we have not done enough to put conflict prevention and peacebuilding at the center of our efforts.
I will therefore focus on key recommendations along two lines of efforts within the UN peace & security architecture:
First, we need to invest more in Peacebuilding and Prevention:
Many resources are going into the management of conflicts and the alleviation of their humanitarian consequences and they are continuously rising. Our investments to prevent the outbreak of new conflicts and to support countries emerging from conflict in their quest to build and sustain peace are still very limited though. This must change.
Germany plays its part to support nationally and regionally owned prevention and peacebuilding efforts: a) as the biggest voluntary donor to the Peacebuilding Fund, having contributed over 130 million USD to the fund in the last three years alone, and b) through its numerous bilateral programs and targeted contributions to UN stabilization and peacebuilding instruments, such as UNDP´s Stabilization Facilities in Liptako Gourma or Lake Chad.
In parallel, we are investing in local and regional early warning and conflict-mitigation mechanisms. One example is our support for climate-mitigation initiatives in West Africa announced at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh.
The emerging consensus on the introduction of assessed contributions for the Peacebuilding Fund is encouraging. It would not only contribute to the Fund’s more adequate, predictable and sustained financing, but it would also increase all Member States´ joint political ownership for this core mission of the UN. Let us heed the African Group’s and many conflict-affected countries’ call and finally get this done!
An increase in peacebuilding funding can, however, not be a substitute for additional efforts by the UN to produce more impact assessments of its peacebuilding programing, demonstrating how, and under which circumstances, it can contribute to impactful reductions in violent conflict.
Second, we should build upon the Peacebuilding Commission’s success to enshrine Peacebuilding in the Security Council’s work and beyond:
The increasing number of countries seeking the PBC’s support to implement their national peacebuilding strategies is testament to its success. The PBC is based on national ownership and inclusiveness and, thus, enabling a direct dialogue between local, national, regional and international stakeholders. As a consequence, the PBC is ideally placed to raise the Council’s awareness on local communities’ understanding and expertise as well as cross-border dimension of conflicts.
We welcome and strongly support the continued exchange between the PBC and the Council. The PBC’s written advices and Chair’s Statements to the Council should, however, be yet more focused and provide concrete recommendations for the Council’s consideration. In this context, national and regional priorities reflected in PBC recommendations should not be censored for political or ideological reasons. To give you one concrete example: if affected countries and regions call for a stronger focus on their efforts to prevent and mitigate risks to peace and security stemming from climate change, members of the PBC should pay full respect to national priorities and refrain from blocking these recommendations to the Council.
The Secretary General’s “New Agenda for Peace” provides a great opportunity to further strengthen and develop the UN’s peacebuilding instruments and give them a more central role. We firmly believe that early-warning, conflict prevention, mediation and peacebuilding should be at its core.
The Peacebuilding Commission could increase its focus on conflict prevention, including by bringing situations at risk of causing crisis and conflict to the attention of the Security Council. Such an approach would require the establishment of analytical capabilities within the UN Secretariat, to provide enhanced monitoring, early warning, and understanding of both risks and opportunities for timely preventive action.
The development of regional UN prevention offices in the Sahel, Central Africa, the Horn of Africa, and Central and Western Asia has already contributed to greater UN capacities in many conflict-affected regions. This approach and ability to respond to conflict risks at an earlier stage, including by lending support to regional organizations, should be further explored and closely connected to the work of relevant UN Peace and Security fora and instruments.
We welcome that the Peacebuilding Commission will discuss and actively engage on the New Agenda for Peace in the coming months and are looking forward to actively supporting this process.
As co-facilitator of the “Our Common Agenda” process, together with Namibia, Germany will make sure that the outcome of the “New Agenda for Peace” are properly reflected in the “Summit of the Future” outcome in 2024.