Statements and Speeches
Statement by Mr. Mahlatse Mminele, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of South Africa to the United Nations, at the High-Level Dialogue on: “Building Sustainable Peace For All: Synergies Between the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustaining Peace”
24 January 2017
Thank you for convening this High-level Dialogue. We believe that this meeting is both relevant and timely. My delegation believes that the key to consolidating sustainable peace lies in strengthening political processes, including greater use of preventive diplomacy, conflict prevention and conflict management. The UN peace and security architecture should be enabled to use all the tools at its disposal, including mediation and peacebuilding. This would ensure that countries not only avert conflict but also address challenges that would prevent countries from sliding back into conflict.
With this in mind South Africa fully supports the call of the UN Secretary-General that prevention should be the policy guiding the actions of the UN peace and security architecture and that we should develop a culture of prevention rather than reaction to conflicts.
My delegation believes Member States, within the UN system, should have a common goal to make prevention a reality and not just rhetoric and that we should focus on developing an implementation plan in this regard. Sustainable peace cannot be achieved just by articulating national positions at the UN. It also needs commitment by Member States and policy-makers to do their part to end violence and conflict. Sustainable peace can only be achieved by building a just world and rules-based international order, which is inclusive and addresses the root causes of conflicts such as poverty, injustice and discrimination. Without genuine commitment, we will not come closer to the realization of peace.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted a comprehensive, far-reaching and people-centred set of universal and transformative Sustainable Development Goals and targets and as Member State we should strive to make this became a reality. There is broad agreement within the UN that security and development are interlinked and mutually reinforcing. The link permeates the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Both the Security Council, through resolution 2282 (2016), and the General Assembly, through resolution 70/262, have agreed that sustaining peace is the responsibility of Member States, supported by the international community. The recent High Level reviews have also emphasised the importance of prioritizing prevention, avoid spending vast amounts on costly peacekeeping and humanitarian responses and to protect developmental gains.
South Africa believes that peace and stability in the world will remain elusive if we do not address the nexus between security and development. The nature of conflicts reveals that such conflicts may be aggravated by dispute-related economic development issues, including access to water and natural resources.
In this context, the interdependence of security and development requires the different principal organs of the United Nations to work, in a complementary manner, within their respective Charter mandates, to ensure a holistic and integrated approach to sustainable and durable peace. This would necessitate a strengthening of all organs of the organisation to ensure that they effectively utilise their respective mandates.
In conclusion, Mr President,
South Africa believes the UN should work closely with regional organisations to address the link between peace and development. In this regard we continue to fully support the African Union’s Agenda 2063 through which African countries and relevant stakeholders will ensure positive socioeconomic transformation within the next 50 years. We believe that together, as the international community we can achieve this and come closer to the realization of peace that will lead to prosperity.
I thank you