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Statement by Ambassador Christoph Heusgen in the Informal Interactive Dialogue between the Security Council and the Peacebuilding Commission on the implications of COVID-19 on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace in conflict-affected countries, July 22

22.07.2020 - Speech

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I would like to participate in this effort to be interactive. There were many very good remarks made. I'd like to come back to what Louise (Blais) said at the very beginning: we don't talk about a country, we talk with a country. This is key, as is cooperating with the country. It is important that all the activities of the Peacebuilding Commission and Peacebuilding Support Office are integrated regionally with a country team. All the different actors should be going in the same direction so that we don't compartmentalize, but rather make efforts together. Only then will we be successful. This also applies to the relationship between the Security Council and the Peacebuilding Commission. When we look at conflict situation during COVID-19, how do we make sure that transition processes succeed? This was just mentioned by the colleague of Dominican Republic with regard to 2532.

We have such a wonderful cooperation between the different actors I mentioned. I have a question for Oscar: What do you do in a situation where you want to work with the government, but then the government's policy response does not match the way that we intend? That is, instead of looking after the fate of women and children, they marginalize women and children. In the COVID-19 crisis, the fate of women is not looked after. What do you do if minorities are discriminated against, and if you have what I would call bad governance?

Are you thinking of saying that we tried hard to work with the government, the government is of a different opinion and is not operating according to the textbook? How do you approach the line of thinking that, before we waste our money, we leave this country and wait for better times?

What do you do if the government is not really responding the solution? The question of conditionality arises, so that money is not wasted if the government doesn't correspond to the needs that COVID-19 in particular brings?

My second question goes to the PBC chair. Now that the PBC has over time always tried to see that we work more closely together with financial institutions, do you see in COVID-19 an opportunity to engage more with the IMF and the World Bank and the regional banks?

The third question was alluded to before. We are right now at the end of the informal phase with regard to the review process of the UN peacebuilding architecture. We think that the PBC has done a great job in adapting and integrating the issue into its consideration. How do you think this should inform the more formal face of the review?

I would like to turn to the briefers. But if this is okay with you, I would like to start with those who haven't said anything, but who have been engaged very much with the issue. I would like to turn to the Vice-Chairs of the Peacebuilding Commission first. Guillermo, I don't want to put you on the spot, but I would like to give you the floor first, and thank you for all your work as Vice Chair. Afterwards, we will hear from Kimihiro before we go back to the PBC Chair and the ASG.  

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