Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : The UK is committed to working with all countries to advance peace, security and development – UK Statement at the Security Council [May 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 3 May 2023.

Statement by Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the UN Security Council meeting on peacebuilding and sustaining peace.

Thank you, President and I join others in congratulating Switzerland on assuming the presidency and I can assure you of our full support.

I would also like to thank High Commissioner Türk, Youth Ambassador Chigwenya and Professor Olonisakin for their informative briefings.

It is fitting that the country of Jean-Jacques Rousseau begins its Security Council presidency with an event on the importance of trust and the Social Contract. That Swiss philosopher’s belief that people could only experience true freedom only in a society that ensured the rights and well-being of its citizens still resonates more than two and a half centuries later. And Rousseau’s veneration of government under law finds a natural home in this Chamber and the UN Charter.

Trust in national and international institutions is central to their legitimacy, and to the fabric of society as we have heard today. And yet trust in both has been severely tested. Today, we face complex and interconnected challenges to peace, security and development. To overcome these, we have to rebuild that trust.

Switzerland’s concept note should chime with us all: inclusion is key to building peaceful societies; global normative frameworks provide the guardrails for peaceful order; and facts, truth and transparency are crucial to enabling trust. These elements are the heart of the Sustaining Peace agenda.

How can we build on that? I echo and underline three themes that we have heard already today.

First, the Council and the UN system can do more to anticipate risks and mobilise multilateral assistance earlier. Harnessing new technologies will revolutionise the way we understand conflict dynamics, enabling us to get ahead of crises and mitigate human suffering. We should nurture the trust and cooperation necessary to realise this.

Second, we should use the full breadth of peacebuilding tools for more integrated and coherent responses. The Peacebuilding Fund and the Peacebuilding Commission can support nationally-led prevention strategies and empower countries to build the trust and partnerships needed to turbocharge their peace and development trajectories.

Third, and critical to building trust and sustaining peace, is our collective commitment to the Women, Peace and Security agenda. We need to translate our commitments into action, strengthening women’s full and meaningful inclusion in decision-making and peace and development processes.

President, the United Kingdom is committed to working with all countries to advance nationally-owned peace, security and development objectives. Let us all work – here and at home – to restore the truth and the trust needed to realise these goals.

Thank you.