High-level breakfast discussion: The future of UN Peace & Security architecture

High-level breakfast discussion on the future of the UN Peace & Security architecture: A continuum of response through different stages of conflict

11 May 2016


Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. Thank you Minister Shoukry for convening this breakfast.


In 2015, the UN demonstrated its relevance, leadership and problem-solving capacity in the area of sustainable development with ground-breaking agreements in Addis, New York and Paris.


But, consistent failures – ranging from the sexual exploitation and abuse allegations in the Central African Republic to the slaughter of innocents with impunity in Syria – are leading many to question whether the UN is capable of doing likewise in the area of peace and security.


They are questioning how the UN will respond to new and emerging threats while it struggles to respond to traditional ones.


And they are questioning how the UN can remain relevant for all member states in an ever-changing geopolitical landscape.


Today’s High Level Thematic Debate and meetings like this one are opportunities to address these big-picture questions and to generate momentum to move from the recommendations of the three UN reviews to concrete actions.


Sustaining peace is the new focus, the new continuum.


It was to the fore over the past few months, as thinkers and practitioners, including the Cairo Center, discussed synergies and connectors across the reviews.


But what does it mean in practice? It means we need to do more to: build inclusive and just societies; respect human rights; invest in mediation and prevention; put political frameworks at the heart of all UN missions and get the UN to work together across the three pillars.


GA and Security Council peacebuilding resolutions a good start. They enhance the Peacebuilding Commission’s role as a bridge between the Assembly and the Council. They underline importance of partnerships, including with regional organizations. They stress national ownership and inclusivity as vital, including the strengthening of the participation of women and other stakeholders.


But it is not enough.


Action is needed now to make the ‘sustaining peace’ concept a reality.


For example, how can we overcome differences to achieve greater flexibility and coherence in planning, funding and monitoring peace operations?


How do we secure predictable and sustained financing for peacebuilding? Where will the resources come from and how will this relate to SDG implementation?


How will governments change their own behaviour domestically  to support prevention?


What does the UN need to do to become better at prevention – for example on mediation? Or on inclusive politics?


And what are our key demands for the next SG on these issues?

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