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Nordic statement delivered on by H.E. Ambassador Ib Petersen, Permanent Representative of Denmark to the UN, on Enhancing African capacities in the area of peace and security, at the Security Council Open Debate, 19 July 2017 in New York

20.07.2017  15:56

©UN Photo/Manuel Elias

(Check against delivery)

Dear colleagues,

It is my honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic countries – Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and my own country, Denmark.

Threats posed by terrorism, radicalization and instability constitute a challenge to all countries. Addressing these challenges require strong cooperation between all involved parties. African countries are meeting these challenges at the front along with partners, including the Nordic countries. The African countries shoulder their part of the burden;

- when the AU assumes responsibility for peace operations along with regional economic communities;
- when African countries join hands to create multinational forces like the Multi-National Joint Task Force to fight Boko Haram in the Lake Chad region, and the G5 joint force to combat terrorism and transnational crime in the Sahel;
- and when African countries make vital contributions to UN peacekeeping operations to keep them engaged, despite very complex situations.

In the Nordic countries, we welcome these efforts to meet the challenge of terrorism, radicalization and instability. We believe the strengthened cooperation on peace and security between the AU and the UN is key to enhancing our efforts and address the challenges. The next step is to ensure predictable and sustainable support to AU operations. The Secretary-General’s 26 May report sets out useful options for support and joint decision-making. The Nordic countries hope the Security Council will give its consent to use, on a case-by-case basis, UN assessed contributions to finance Security Council-mandated AU peace support missions. This will also entail close UN involvement, as highlighted in the Secretary-General’s report.

We welcome the signing in April of the UN-AU framework for enhanced partnership in peace and security. The Nordic countries are particularly encouraged by the emphasis on prevention and root causes, strong themes in our countries’ long-standing partnerships and cooperation with African partners. The Nordic countries have supported African mediation and early-warning capabilities.

When rule of law prevails and the voice of the people is heard, conflict can be avoided. The peaceful transition in the Gambia demonstrated this. Together with ECOWAS, a number of African countries stepped in with decisive support for a peaceful solution for the people of the Gambia. This support is an important signal of African unity and regional ownership of a process leading to a more prosperous and democratic continent.

Accountability and inclusive peace processes lead to better and more sustainable results. In peace processes where women and young people are included and exert real influence, peace agreements are more likely to be reached – and the peace is more likely to last. Where women are involved in peacekeeping, the operations gain more trust from communities and responds more effectively to the needs of the local population.

The Nordic countries support the AU and many African countries in their endeavours to train more women, and to ensure that their police forces are responsive to the needs of women.

Enhancing African capabilities in the area of peace and security is a key contribution to regional and global security, and the Nordic countries are supporters of the AU’s efforts in this regard. We welcome a strengthening the AU’s peace and security architecture and we hope it will bring greater coherence and high-level focus to these important issues.

Thank you, Mr. President.