Statement by Ambassador Günter Sautter at the Security Council Open Debate on Peace and security through preventive diplomacy: A common objective to all UN principal organs, 16 November

17.11.2021 - Speech

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Mr. President,

I would like to start by expressing my gratitude to Mexico for this important initiative. I firmly believe that prevention should be at the core of our common efforts for the maintenance of international peace and security.

Conflict prevention requires a “whole-of-UN approach”. At the same time, it is ultimately up to all of us member states to support the UN in strengthening these interlinkages and thereby fostering conflict prevention.

Diplomacy, mediation, the promotion of human rights, social inclusion and respect for the rule of law are all critical to prevent disputes from evolving into conflicts. Conflict prevention, resolution and peacebuilding efforts build a continuum and should not be considered nor addressed in isolation. Yet, too often this continues to be the case, also in this body.

Today’s Open Debate offers a pivotal opportunity to recall a key instrument that helps foster coordination: the Peacebuilding Commission and its mandate to “serve as a bridging role among the principal organs and relevant entities of the United Nations”. 

I share the Secretary General’s conviction that by its mandate and actions the Peacebuilding Commission embodies the interlinkages necessary to mobilize the entire UN system for conflict prevention and sustaining peace.

To maximise its impact, the Commission needs to freely interact and coordinate with all relevant UN bodies. It must be in a position to brief UN bodies on its work, as intended in the twin resolutions. While the Commission’s interconnectedness with this Council, the General Assembly and ECOSOC has continuously increased, other relevant UN bodies are yet to be involved.

Both the General Assembly and the Security Council rightly commended the Peacebuilding Commission’s activities in 2016: “security, development and human rights are closely interlinked and mutually reinforcing”.

Mr. President,

I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the centrality of human rights as a crucial element in conflict prevention. Respect for human rights is essential to building resilient and inclusive societies and to protecting all of its different segments, including the most vulnerable groups. Systematic violations of human rights, on the other hand, often serve as precursors of a slide into violent conflict.

With this conviction, Germany -  together with Switzerland - is co-chairing the Human Rights and Conflict Prevention Caucus in New York, a cross-regional group dedicated to strengthening collaboration between all three pillars of the UN. We also put a clear focus on strengthening human rights and conflict prevention during our term on the Security Council from 2019 to 2020, including by inviting the High Commissioner for Human Rights to brief the Security Council.

Our common goal should be to make expertise available to all UN actors in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. Therefore, Germany advocates dialogue and exchange between all three pillars, whenever possible. This includes providing the PBC chair with the opportunity to brief the Human Rights Council.


Mr. President,

Let me conclude by reaffirming Germany’s strong commitment to - and support for - preventive diplomacy and conflict prevention. They lie at the heart of the UN and they require comprehensive action by the entire UN system.

I thank you.

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