Sustaining peace: Mechanisms, Partnerships and the Future of Peacebuilding in Africa

Closing remarks by H.E. Mr Mogens Lykketoft, President of the 70th session of the General Assembly, at Sustaining peace: Mechanisms, Partnerships and the Future of Peacebuilding in Africa

 12 May 2016


Honourable Ministers, Ambassador Kamau, Assistant Secretary-General Fernandez-Taranco, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, it is a pleasure to join you for this closing segment.

This morning’s event is extremely timely, coming as it does on the back of

the GA High Level Thematic Debate on peace and security and in the context of last month’s ground-breaking resolutions on peacebuilding.

During these last few months, perhaps inspired by multilateral breakthroughs in New York and Paris last year, I believe we have seen a consensus emerge around the need to change our tools and approach to respond to today’s and tomorrow’s threats to global peace and security.

This is extremely welcome.

Because, from our inability to uphold international humanitarian law to our tendency to invest more in managing conflicts than preventing them; from the rise of violent extremism to growing risks associated with the proliferation of nuclear weapons, global pandemics and large scale displacement,  the shortcomings of our current approach are evident right around the world.

The challenge now is to ensure that this emerging consensus leads to specific actions that transform our peace and security architecture.

The recent resolutions taking action on the outcome of the 2015 review of the UN Peacebuilding architecture, are an excellent starting point.

They help advance the concept of sustaining peace; place much greater emphasis on peacebuilding and prevention; call for greater partnerships and stress the need to reduce fragmentation including across the pillars of the UN and the UN system.

In terms of peacebuilding in Africa, however, important challenges remain.

First, is the need to secure predictable and sustained financing for peacebuilding.

As Ms. Leymah Gbowee alluded to on Tuesday, we cannot expect peace with peanuts; we cannot expect peace when the share of global resources going to peacebuilding is miniscule compared to that going to weapons and military expenditure.


Second, on the role of women.


From Resolution 1325 to the 2030 Agenda, from the Global Study to the Peacebuilding Review report, promoting gender equality and reflecting women’s needs in peacebuilding must be a priority as we move forward.

And third, is the issue of ownership and effectiveness.


Peacebuilding efforts will work best if they are owned by the communities in which peace must be build. It is essential therefore that the tools and systems we use engage those communities. Similiary, greater efforts must be made to involve regional and sub-regional organizations across the spectrum of sustaining peace. Furthermore, as we scale-up funding for peacebuilding, then we will have to scale up our capacity to monitor progress and deliver results.

Excellencies, I am very happy that the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa, the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) and the African Union Commission (AUC) took the initiative to convene today’s meeting to raise such issues.

They remain at the heart of any discussion on the role of the United Nations in matters of peace and security today.

Indeed, successful peacebuilding in Africa will be one of the primary indicators that a new approach to maintaining peace and security is genuinely taking hold.

Thank you.

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