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Statement delivered by H.E. Mr. Peter Lehmann Nielsen, Deputy Permanent Representative of Denmark, at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Conflict Prevention and Sustaining Peace, 10 January 2017.

11.01.2017  15:42


(Check against delivery)

Mr. President,

Denmark aligns itself with the statement delivered earlier today by the European Union.

Denmark thanks Sweden for convening this debate on a topic of extreme importance for the United Nations. In its widest sense, prevention constitutes the bedrock of our cooperation. It is a shared strategic agenda which should guide and mobilize all parts of the UN System and Member States.

Against this background, Denmark strongly supports the vision outlined today by the Secretary-General. We look forward to working with Mr. Guterres and his team to turn this new agenda into concrete actions and reforms that will make the UN’s prevention and sustaining peace efforts more effective.

Mr. President,
Denmark firmly shares the view that the organization’s work on conflict prevention, supporting political solutions and providing good offices and mediation must be further strengthened.

The UN System must work on the basis of a common and integrated operational strategy for prevention and sustaining peace. We welcome the Secretary-General’s ambition to improve coherence of the country level work being undertaken by the Secretariat across departments. More predictable resources for prevention, including for Special Political Missions, will also be crucial. Denmark is a major donor to the Department of Political Affairs and we will remain a close partner in the future.

As has been illustrated very clearly in today’s debate, prevention and sustaining peace requires much deeper and wider coordination of the UN’s peace efforts. Denmark welcomes the Secretary-General’s strong emphasis on enhancing coherence within the UN System. Denmark is a long-standing supporter of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture and donor to the Peacebuilding Fund, which is a key tool in this regard.

Mr. President,
The imperative must be to protect people and ensuring respect for international humanitarian law and human rights by states and non-state actors. Denmark has been among the core supporters of the Human Rights Up Front initiative and will remain committed to ensure its further development as a critical instrument of the UN.

Member States carry the primary responsibility for protecting populations from atrocity crimes. But the international community, including the UN, has a responsibility to act where states fail to do so.

The Security Council must live up to its responsibility in the maintenance of international peace and security and strengthen its leading role in prevention. Syria remains the most striking and heartbreaking recent example of the consequences of when the Council fails to stop conflict and bloodshed.

Mr. President,
The most effective prevention strategy is to address the causes and core drivers of conflict. Member States must ensure representative, legitimate and inclusive political and economic institutions, respect for human rights and the rule of law. Without effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda, we will not succeed.

Furthermore, the UN must make youth a strategic priority and give the leaders of tomorrow a much stronger role in prevention and sustaining peace. Through its development cooperation, Denmark is strongly engaged in the global youth agenda and stands ready to support the Secretary-General in creating opportunities for future generations and making sure that youth are included in decision-making.

The strengths and capacities of young people must be met with optimism and opportunities. If not, we risk further marginalization, radicalization and frustration, fueling violence and destabilization. Denmark looks forward to working with all partners to implement Security Council resolution 2250.

Mr. President,
As we put behind us a year marked by conflict, violence, terrorism and human suffering around the world, the expectations for this organization and its new Secretary-General to deliver on the UN’s promise are high. We have a shared responsibility to make 2017 a year for multilateralism, common solutions and a strong UN prevention role.

Thank you.