Statement by State Minister Niels Annen in the Security Council VTC meeting on Security Sector Governance and Reform, December 3

03.12.2020 - Speech

Check Against Delivery

Madame President, Your Excellency Minister Naledi Pandor,

“Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace” has recently become a regular agenda item on this Council’s agenda. This is a crucial and hopeful sign of a more forward leaning and preventative Council, which Germany has advocated for throughout its membership over the past two years.

Therefore, I would like to thank South Africa for the opportunity to have today’s discussion. Minister, we are grateful for the excellent cooperation during the last two years. This has been the second time South Africa and Germany have jointly served on the Council. I believe we have profited a lot from this, not least with a view to our bilateral relations in difficult times. Let’s aim for a third joint period on the Council.

Coming back to today’s meeting: Security Sector Reform is an essential aspect of a comprehensive approach to peace and security. It has become a key component of the international agenda in countries affected by conflict. It requires continued and early attention, as well as the engagement and support of a wide range of actors, to develop an effective, legitimate and accountable security sector.

We have proposed very concrete steps on how this Council should better address root causes, thereby anticipating challenges and strengthening prevention, peacebuilding and sustaining peace. Allow me, Madame President, to point out some recommendations and how this approach relates to Security Sector Reform:

First, we, as members of the Security Council, need to ensure that the UN and its presences on the ground, its Peacekeeping Operations and Special Political Missions, are sufficiently mandated and resourced to implement a comprehensive understanding of peace and security. Every peace operation needs to be able to provide advice and support to national security actors, including on the crucial aspect of combatting the proliferation of small arms and lights weapons. We have partnered with the AU in support of their ‘silencing the guns’ initiative to cut the flow of weapons into areas of conflict, improve the control of arms and ammunition in fragile states, including through SSR, and train a new generation of experts to take the lead in arms control. This is particularly important in the context of transitions.

Support to SSR-processes is also very much needed in non-mission settings, with a potential role for Resident Coordinators. The standing capacity in Brindisi is an important platform providing specific SSR expertise. Germany is happy to support these capacities financially on a bilateral basis, while we hope for the general budget to take over. I’d like to appeal to those who have second thoughts about including this into the general budget: A penny spent on prevention saves dollars on intervention. Let’s work on this together.

Second, while we need better coordination and coherence within the UN system, its agencies, funds and programs, coordination alone won’t do the trick: Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace also need sustainable and predictable funding. We need to explore innovative funding mechanisms as well as further strengthen partnerships with international financial institutions, regional banks but also private sector.

Third, all efforts will be in vain if they are not based on national ownership. We need to make sure that what we build actually holds: The respect for human rights and political processes that are inclusive and allow all parts of society, especially women, youth and marginalized groups, to participate in a meaningful way, are crucial for building lasting structures and security sectors that enjoy - maybe most important - the trust of the people. It is the Council’s task and duty to embed these requirements in its mandates.  

Madam President,

Thank you again for initiating today’s discussion. It is important to highlight the crucial issue of SSR itself, and even more so to fully understand that successful Security Sector Reforms are central to stabilizing and creating resilient and inclusive societies.

SSR is a natural link between any peacekeeping mission and the transition to an eventual peacebuilding setting. SSR is a long-term investment in peace and security. In this spirit, this Council needs to systematically consider this crosscutting issue in its discussions and mandates.

I thank you.

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