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Statement delivered by H.E. Mr. Jonas Bering Liisberg, State Secretary for Foreign Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at High-Level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace, 25 April 2018 in New York

25.04.2018  21:02

(Check against delivery)

Mr. President,

Denmark welcomes the convening of this High-level Meeting of the General Assembly. We are gathered here at a critical juncture in the history of the United Nations.

Where we need to advance key reforms of the organization to make it more effective in dealing with today’s ever-more complex threats and challenges to international peace and security.

And where divisions and lack of trust among Member States hampers the UN’s ability to prevent conflict, to stop atrocities and hold the perpetrators accountable and to stabilize crisis-affected countries and regions.

At stake is the legitimacy and credibility of the UN, and this High-level Meeting is an important opportunity to come together and reinforce our shared commitment. The Government of Denmark will remain a strong partner of the United Nations in this regard.

Fortunately, what we have seen today is strong testimony to the Member States’ support to the UN and to advancing a durable and concerted effort to build and sustain peace. It is also a testimony to our collective and fundamental concern for the deteriorating global security situation. We hear a strong call from across the membership to reinvigorate and reform our multilateral rule-based order.

Mr. President,

The Sustaining Peace concept provides a valuable framework for the work of all three pillars of the UN system – peace and security, development and human rights. Translating it into action will require bold action. From the Secretary–General to the Security Council to the full spectrum of UN instruments and agencies. Denmark strongly supports the reform vision of the Secretary-General which calls for a fundamental change in the approach to cooperation and coordination. Status quo is not acceptable, if the UN is to remain relevant in the maintenance of international peace and security.

We welcome the Secretary-General’s report on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace. We appreciate the strong focus on the role of women and youth. We look forward to discussing its many constructive suggestions with other Member States, especially the way forward for reliable and stable financing of the peacebuilding work.

We call on all Member States to invest more in our common multilateral framework for peace and security. Denmark has been a long-standing supporter of the UN efforts to prevent conflict and sustain peace, including through the UN Peacebuilding Fund, the Department of Political Affairs and peacekeeping missions. Furthermore, a central focus of Denmark’s development and humanitarian strategy is promoting stability and supporting the most vulnerable in fragile situations, working through the key UN agencies on the ground with a strong emphasis on forging a stronger nexus between development, humanitarian and peace efforts.

Human rights must remain at the core of our efforts towards preventing conflict and sustaining peace. Likewise, the violation of human rights often serve as an early warning-indicator of potential conflict. Denmark welcomes the statements by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in which he calls for an extended and early focus on violations of human rights. After all, “the first tear in the fabric of peace often begins with a separation of the first few fibres”, as the High Commissioner so rightfully said in February at the Human Rights Council.

Mr. President,

Let me conclude by stressing that we will not succeed in sustaining the peace without a strong focus on human rights and the core values on which this organization is built. An essential cause of violence and extremism is a feeling of being left out and excluded – from political processes and from economic life – and violation of human rights. In his last address to the Human Rights Council, the Secretary-General correctly pointed out that “Perhaps the best prevention tool we have is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights…. [it] identif[ies] many of the root causes of conflict.” It is crucial that the United Nations Secretariat continues to put Human Rights Up Front and the protection of human rights in general at the heart of its prevention and peacebuilding efforts. As a candidate for membership of the Human Rights Council for the period 2019-2021, Denmark will continue to push for a strong focus on human rights in the United Nations’ maintenance of international peace and security.

Let us advance this common agenda together.

Thank you.