Remarks by Mrs. Carolyn Oppong-Ntiri, Acting Head of Mission, Ghana Permanent Mission to the United Nations, at a UNSC Open Debate on Futureproofing Trust for Sustaining Peace

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May 03, 2023,

Mr. President, Your Excellency Mr. Ignazio Cassis,

At the outset, I wish to congratulate you and the delegation of Switzerland for assuming the Presidency of the Security Council for the month of May. We wish you success in your first ever Presidency. We also welcome the participation in this meeting of High Commissioner Volker Turk, Ms. Cynthia Chigwenya, Youth Ambassador for Peace for Southern Africa and Dr. Funmi Olonisakin, Vice President of Security and Development of Kings College, London. We thank them for their insightful remarks.

Mr. President

As Ghana has often stated, and is widely shared, the multilateral system remains the best platform for advancing norms for peacebuilding and forging global solidarity for sustaining peace efforts. We, therefore, welcome the focus of today’s debate, which provides us with an opportunity to deepen discussions on how to ring-fence trust and preserve space for national, regional and multilateral efforts to advance peacebuilding and sustain peace. When we look at the state of peace around the world, it is clear that we need to do more. We are living in an era with the highest number of violent conflicts since the Second World War. More than 2 billion estimated to be living in conflict zones and the threats and risks of insecurity have never been greater than now. The possibility of a nuclear conflict are higher; terrorism has become pervasive; the effects of pandemics persists; climate change vulnerability has worsened the plight of many; cyber threats are undermining freedoms, societies and democracies, and the migration crises as well as food and energy insecurity have degraded the human security of many.

Mr. President,

These threats have heightened the complexities, buoyancy, and density of global insecurity and exposed gaps between our agreed norms and the delivered outcomes. The credibility of our voice is being marred by the inadequacy of our will for effective actions and unless we make deliberate and concerted efforts to address them, the portend significant danger ahead. Against the backdrop of the remarks just made, we would like to share five (5) main points.

First, it is important to sustain the interrelated work of the three (3) pillars of the UN, comprising peace and security, human rights and development if we are to succeed with the peacebuilding and sustaining peace agenda. It is pertinent to embrace a cross-sectoral approach to enhance coordination of efforts across the pillars and many organs and bodies in the multilateral system. This can be done without hindering their unique contributions as expected by their mandates. As a Council we need to leverage the strength of other bodies such as the PBC, ECOSOC, and the GA in deepening our understanding of specific situations and informing how best our actions can better support the efforts to sustain peace in those contexts. We also believe that the 2016 twin resolutions of the Security Council (S/RES/2282) and the General Assembly resolution (A/RES/70/262) which broadened the concept of peacebuilding to encompass post-conflict situations and conflict prevention, in the first place and across the conflict cycle, must be prioritized for implementation particularly at the national and regional levels.

Second, a candid recognition of the realities of our time should reinforce our commitment to respect the Charter of the United Nations, including its purposes to develop friendly relations among nations. This should also underpin our efforts to embrace dialogue and deliberate diplomatic actions to build mutual trust consistent with the Diplomatic Convention. Through dialogue strategic intentions would not be misunderstood and misjudgments and unhealthy competition, especially among major military powers, could be avoided. This we believe would consolidate the kind of trust required in sustaining peace at the global level.

Third, in strategically partnering with regional arrangements under Chapter VIII of the Charter, the Security Council can tap into the scientific and data driven approach of peacebuilding through the early identification of patterns and drivers of violence and consequently, an improvement of conflict prediction and stronger early warning systems. This cost-effective approach helps to better allocate peacebuilding resources and we commend in particular support for national and regional early warning systems such as the 2002 AU Continental Early Warning System (CEWS) and the ECOWAS Early Warning and Response Network (ECOWARN).

Fourth, it goes without saying that prioritizing efforts in addressing the root causes of instability is the surest way to sustain peace. We encourage further investments in non-kinetic measures in tackling the underlying causes of instability through the adoption of a multi-dimensional approach that empowers at all levels critical agents of change such as women and the youth in the development, conflict prevention and governance processes. Commitment to the implementation of the Youth Peace and Security Agenda (YPS) as well as the Women Peace and Security (WPS) agenda are critical enablers in amplifying their voices and harnessing their contribution to this noble cause. It is equally important to leave no one behind by embracing at the national and local level a culture of peace that, among others, broaden awareness creation and the reinforcement of traditional and new institutions that pick up early signals of conflict and addresses them. This should include a system of laws and practices that ensures the rights and human security of all citizens are assured.

Finally, the Secretary-General’s new Agenda for Peace provides us with a great opportunity to advance confidence and build trust towards peace Furthermore, the promotion of transparency around the use of armaments, compliance with rules of engagement, prioritizing the use of diplomatic tools to address evolving threats are useful elements to consider. Additionally, proposing new ideas for boosting relationships such as the UN-AU relationship, integrating gender perspectives into decision making, are all useful elements that can enhance confidence and trust building in the new agenda for peace. We particularly believe that the provision of adequate resources to the Peacebuilding Fund should be a key component of the New Agenda for Peace since it translates into greater investments in prevention and in peacebuilding. While encouraging an expanded donor base to the Fund, we believe that one of the viable means of providing the PBF with a consistent baseline of funding is through UN assessed contributions. We, therefore, welcome the Secretary-General’s aspiration for an annual appropriation of $100 million to the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) starting from 1st July 2022 to 30th June 2023.

Mr. President,

In conclusion, Ghana believes that peacebuilding and sustaining peace is possible and can be realised if we adopt a multi-dimensional approach characterized by inclusivity, strategic deployment of the tools in the UN Charter, backed by data and science and the demonstration of strong political will in its implementation.

I thank you.


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