Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey participated in the high-level open debate of the United Nations Security Council on “Integrating effective resilience-building in peace operations for sustainable peace.
Attached below is the statement Ms Ayorkor Botchwey made
1. Let me begin by thanking all the Ministers and officials who have travelled from their capitals and, indeed, all the members of the Council and non-Council members for your participation in today’s open debate.
2. I thank you, Secretary General, for your important statement and welcome the clarity of your views on how best we can integrate effective resilience building in peace operations for sustainable peace.
3. I equally thank Assistant Secretary General, Martha Akyaa Pobee, Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, Commissioner of Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the African Union Commission, Mrs. Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and Chair of the Elders, and Ms Karin Landgren, Executive Director of the Security Council Report for their informative and insightful briefings.
4. As a Council, we have a primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. Getting right the balance of the instruments we deploy for peace operations is critical for ensuring that the peace we seek is sustained across the world.
5. The link between peace and development is clear fro all. The latest report on the SDGs has noted that cascading and interlinked crises are putting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in grave danger, along with peace and security and humanity’s very own survival.
We agree with your response the 3 request, Mr Secretary General: “We must rise higher to rescue the Sustainable Development Goals – and stay true to our promise of a world of peace, dignity and prosperity on a healthy planet”.
6. We therefore must ensure funding across the peace continuum if we are to achieve any measure of success in addressing the protracted and complex conflicts we presently confront. In addition, there is a need for a strong ecosystem to make the “triple cross-pillar nexus” a reality, and promote the transformative, prevention-focused and conflict-sensitive responses required to accelerate action to achieve the 2030 Agenda
7. Ghana is concerned that the resources devoted to programmatic interventions of peacekeeping missions are dwarfed by those devoted to kinetic operations.
Equally, it has not been lost on any member of this Council that the budget for peace-building support represents a smaller share of the resources available for peace operations.
The 2015 High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (The HIPPO report) had noted that “changes in conflict may be fast outpacing the ability of UN peace operations to respond”.
That sustainability gap now threatens current peacekeeping missions as a number of host countries of peacekeeping missions turn to interventions by outside forces, while at the same time limiting the mandate of peace missions.
8. We are even more concerned that poor countries shoulder the burden of addressing the socio-economic and political complexities and challenges that drive the rising levels of terrorism and violent extremism, while at the same time bearing the cost of the kinetic operations needed to defeat the terrorists.
Integrating effective resilience building in peace operations has to be a central preoccupation of this Council, if we are to remain a credible guarantor of peace and security around the world.
If any evidence were needed, we need look no further than the
Sahel, where the stability and viability of States are tested daily, with violence and deaths rising with each attack.
But the Sahel, which according to the latest edition of the Global Terrorism Index experienced 35% of terrorism-related deaths in the world, is not the only region where the traditional response of the Council fails to meet the nature of the threat.
9. It is clear that sustainable peace today requires that even as we consider ways to further reform peacekeeping to ensure adequate programmatic funding, we also look at ways to make the successes of kinetic operations against terrorists more durable by addressing the underlying factors that exacerbate the terrorist threat.
In the Sahel and coastal West Africa, the impacts of climate change, including displacement and food insecurity, poverty and exclusion, low levels of education, youth unemployment, among others, create a fertile ground for radicalization and recruitment.
10. Finding a solution to the widening gap between the expectations of citizens and the capacity of the state to deliver public goods and maintain state presence is as much a security question as it is a development resilience challenge. This Council cannot ignore that concern relevant to international peace and security.
11. Allow me to make the following points as a way forward to integrating effective resilience in peace operations for sustainable peace:
12. First, there is an overwhelming and urgent need for UN Peace Operations to be reconfigured to ensure a situationally determined balance between kinetic actions aimed at restoring peace, including through defeating terrorism, and nonkinetic measures to address the underlying causes of conflict.
We hope that this debate will lead to a process that transforms the peace operation model to respond to the conditions of today.
13. Secondly, the Council has to rise up to its mandate and deal with the critical recommendation from the HiPPO Report on the need for new modalities to deal with terrorism and violent extremism, the emerging threats to peace and security in our world today.
The threats to international peace and security continue to multiply everyday, every day that no action is taken.
14. Thirdly, we need to operationalize the Council’s agendas on youth and women, making them essential pillars of the United Nation’s support for
resilience-building towards defeating terrorism and violent extremism.
Women and youth face peculiar challenges in their communities as they are disproportionately impacted by conflict and violence. According to UNICEF, 3 out of 10 young people, many of them girls, are out of school in conflict-affected countries.
15. Finally, while the different organs of the United Nations have separate responsibilities that impact the peace-development nexus, in practice, the sum of our efforts does not add up to conditions in which peace thrive.
It is important for this Council to encourage coherent action across the United Nations System targeted at the resilience-building agenda for sustainable peace.
The collective contribution of the System has to be integral to the way mandates are adopted and executed.
16. To conclude, our capacity to deliver lasting peace and security rests on our ability to understand and address the underlying conditions for conflict, as much as our ability for conflict management.
I thank you.