I would like to commend you for convening this timely debate on how to build trust to foster sustainable peace. I would also like to thank the briefers for their valuable analysis and recommendations.
People around the world trust in the UN. They see us as a beacon of hope. Particularly in times of darkness it is the UN and its agencies that remain on the ground - providing food and shelter when most needed. And fostering trust when hatred prevails. Trust is vital for building and sustaining peace. Not only in conflict-affected countries, but also within the multilateral system.
To foster trust within the multilateral system all UN member states must adhere to the UN principles. We need to agree on a coherent value-based framework for our joint, multilateral efforts to build and sustain peace worldwide. This Council has a particular responsibility for building and sustaining peace based on agreed core principles.
I will focus my statement on two main points: First, trust as a core element for successful peacebuilding and second concrete steps to strengthen trust in our common efforts towards building and sustaining peace.
First, in your statement, you rightfully identified trust as a central element and prerequisite for successful peacebuilding efforts.
At the UN level, this implies adherence to the jointly developed Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace Agenda as formulated in the twin resolutions of 2016. Both the UN General Assembly and this Council passed this agenda by consensus. It should therefore continue to serve as the main framework for UN Peacebuilding.
The agenda is clear about the interlinkage between security, development and human rights. It is also clear about the importance of prevention, by specifying, I quote:
“Sustaining Peace encompasses preventing the outbreak and recurrence of conflict (…) and addressing root causes”.
In this context, we are glad to see that the Peacebuilding Commission’s written advice to this debate contains a clear reference to the importance of prevention, referencing “the rule of law, transitional justice, accountability, democracy, gender equality and the respect for, and protection of, human rights and fundamental freedoms” as key aspects for Sustaining Peace.
At national and local levels, trust and prevention necessitate broad inclusion and participation. To be successful, peacebuilding efforts should recognize the positive force of diversity. They need to address the causes and consequences of conflict and also respond to the needs of diverse communities. Peacebuilding efforts have to respect the dignity of all people and groups.
For instance in Mozambique - as recently discussed in this Council and the Peacebuilding Commission - the peace process has ultimately been successful thanks to its inclusive nature and the recognition of the country’s diversity.
In acknowledgement of the particularly important role of women, children and marginalized groups in peacebuilding, Germany advocates for their systematic inclusion. Our recently published guidelines on Feminist Foreign Policy offer an orientation in that respect. It is a proven fact that the inclusion of women in Peacekeeping and –building has contributed to more peaceful post-conflict societies.
Together with other member states present today, Germany supports the “Principles for Peace”-Initiative that advocates for the establishment of a shared frame of reference and common standards among peacebuilding actors.
Second, let me now outline concrete steps to advance trust in our joint efforts towards building and sustaining peace:
Following up on recent open debates in this Council and ongoing discussions in the Peacebuilding Commission, both bodies should further foster their exchange to better address existing challenges.
To overcome these we need full political ownership for Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace from all UN Member States. An agreement on the introduction of assessed contributions for the UN Peacebuilding Fund would underline this joint political ownership.
Germany, as current Vice-Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission and main voluntary contributor to the UN Peacebuilding Fund, will remain committed to bring forward the UN peacebuilding agenda.
In order to advance and deliver on the prevention aspects of the Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace agenda, data-based early warning and anticipatory action - including climate adaptation - play a key role. For this reason, Germany supports several projects, such as the UN’s Complex Risk Analysis Fund and AU’s early warning and climate mitigation initiatives.
In closing, I would like to reiterate that the Secretary General’s New Agenda for Peace offers a great opportunity to develop and agree on ways to strengthen trust in our joint efforts towards Sustaining Peace. As Co-Facilitators of the Summit of the Future, together with Namibia, we stand ready to actively support and engage in discussions to identify a common approach.