Anförande av utrikesminister Margot Wallström vid högnivådialog om synergier mellan fredsbyggande och de globala utvecklingsmålen i Agenda 2030
Förenta Nationerna, New York 24 januari.
Det talade ordet gäller.
Mr President of the General Assembly, Mr Secretary-General, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
"We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war..."
These are the opening words of the Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations.
This has been the mission of the United Nations since its very beginning.
We must therefore ask ourselves every day: what are we doing to prevent the 'scourge of war'? Are we doing enough? Can we do more?
I come straight from the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsö, where I participated yesterday and met scientists and experts that painted a bleak picture of environmental developments in the Arctic, not least developments related to climate change. We know that last year was the warmest one ever recorded on the earth. This has had particular impact on the Arctic – the cap of the world. In one of the panels in Tromsö yesterday, the moderator asked the panelists how they could sleep at night, knowing all which they know. One of the experts replied that he tried to look for hope-spots in the world.
I believe this is what we need to look for: hope-spots. Such as this meeting here today, where we meet to discuss what we can do better.
And this is exactly what we are here to discuss today: preventing conflict and finding synergies between the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustaining Peace.
In these times of nationalism and fear, we can send a message of hope.
I would like to thank Mr Peter Thomson, President of the General Assembly, for convening this high-level dialogue on this most important matter.
I was greatly encouraged by the strong show of support at the open debate in the Security Council earlier this month on conflict prevention and peacebuilding.
Secretary-General Guterres outlined a number of concrete measures aimed at strengthening the capacity of the UN system to detect and respond early to signs of looming crises.
We must continue to discuss how to improve for example reporting in order to detect early signs of conflict. And we must consider how to strengthen our will and capacity to take action when we receive reports. And we must explore how to make better use of the tools that we have, such as mediation and the good offices of the UN.
Opportunism and populism are strong forces in today's world. Peace and sustainable societies can never be taken for granted. The 2030 Agenda is a universal tool, and its universality requires all countries and all people to be involved in peacebuilding and prevention.
I would like to highlight four issues that I believe can make a difference to our efforts for the mutually reinforcing Sustaining Peace and the 2030 Agenda.
Strong institutions and good governance
Goal 16 emphasises that access to justice for all and effective, accountable and inclusive institutions are essential in promoting peaceful and inclusive societies.To achieve this goal, we need political commitment, inclusive and participatory governance, sound policies and legal frameworks, and effective development cooperation.
We can also learn from each other. South-south cooperation and peer learning are important. The g7+ group of fragile states has implemented an initiative called Fragile-to-Fragile (or F2F) cooperation. With their own experience of transitioning out of fragility, and Timor-Leste taking the lead, they successfully supported election registration in Guinea Bissau in 2014 and assisted the Ebola-struck countries of West Africa in 2015. In 2016, two missions were conducted to support democratic and peaceful developments in the Central African Republic. As co-chair of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding with Sierra Leone, the current chair of the g7+, Sweden continues to support these efforts.
2. Risk management, root causes, early warning – early action
Peacebuilding must be nationally owned and inclusive. We must focus on understanding risks (including risks related to climate change), addressing the root causes of conflict, and building peace from the ground up. We must make better use of the tools at our disposal, including dialogue and mediation.
We are only as strong as our partnerships. The UN should strengthen its collaboration with other partners, not least the World Bank. Through better coordination between UN entities in the field, joint analysis, planning and implementation frameworks for political, security, and development interventions based on national development plans, the UN can increase its impact on sustaining peace.
3. The role of women
This is the unfinished business of our time. We have seen how women's experiences and a civil society that includes women contribute to early warnings and alternative conflict resolution methods. When the whole of society is involved and both women and men have a voice, we stand a better chance of building a foundation for legitimate peace accords that create socially and economically sustainable societies.
4. The economy of prevention
Prevention is not only right – it is also the economically smart thing to do.
Imagine the costs if Gambia were to have been thrown into armed conflict. Instead with the use of good offices and the work of regional actors, including ECOWAS, this did not happen.
A society's economic situation is often a risk factor to consider when we look at early warning signs and root causes. More effective conflict prevention means that less of our development budgets will be spent on humanitarian assistance. By preventing conflicts, we can enable economic growth and reduce human suffering. Donors and financial institutions need to invest in peace and prevention.
The trend towards increased earmarking of contributions to UN activities will hinder multilateral flexibility and relevance in fragile contexts. Sweden is a top-five contributor to most of the UN funds and programmes. As a large donor of core support, we provide UN agencies with the kind of flexible and predictable funding needed to enhance capacities and enable a swift response to a sudden crisis.
Finally, the main responsibility lies with us, as UN Member States, to implement the 2030 Agenda in our countries, as well as the peace continuum, as the Secretary-General has put it. We need the UN to support us in this endeavour. The platform and the policy are there already. It is for us to implement.