New York, 31 March 2023 (TDI): Martin Bille Hermann, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Denmark to the United Nations (UN) delivered a joint Nordic statement at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) debate on Silencing Guns.

The statement was made by Denmark on behalf of Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. The Ambassador expressed gratitude to Mozambique for convening the meeting on the development of the African Union’s (AU) pioneering on silencing Guns.

The Ambassador emphasized peace and security as key elements for strong regional engagement in Africa. Women’s equal and meaningful participation in development policies should be the cornerstone of peace-building initiatives.

Peace and security cannot be achieved in isolation. Democratic principles, human rights, the rule of law, and access to basic facilities are essential to ensure the silencing of guns.

The illegally imported small arms and light weapons also exacerbate the conflict and hamper stability and development. Therefore, the development-peace nexus is a pivotal roadmap in this regard.

The Ambassador also commended the role of the African Union and regional and sub-regional organizations. He stressed the approaches of inclusive decision-making and peacebuilding processes.

The Nordic countries emphasized an understanding of conflict dynamics and causes must be the starting point for finding solutions. They reaffirmed their long-standing support for the African Union and its regional economic communities.

Moreover, the Denmark Ambassador supports the implementation of the African Peace and Security Architecture including its capacity for prevention, mediation, and peacebuilding.

The statement encouraged strengthening collaboration between African Peace and Security and the Governance Architectures.

It advocated for a close AU-UN partnership, particularly between AU Peace and Security Council and the UN Security Council in executing all mandates.

The Secretary-General’s New Agenda for Peace will also address the need for predictable funding for African-led Peace Operations.

The Nordic countries will look favorably on the use of UN-assessed contributions on a case-by-case basis to fund such operations.

The statement called for focused and accountable efforts to ensure the safeguarding of human rights and respect for international humanitarian law in all operations.

The operationalization of the humanitarian, development, and peace nexus is crucial to providing a comprehensive approach to silencing guns. It is a need of time that development policies fully incorporate this objective.

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The Ambassador commended the AU member states National Action Plans on Women, Peace, and security. The implementation of plans can help recognize the gendered impacts of the illicit trade in small arms and address barriers to participation.

It also includes discrimination, shrinking civic space, sexual and gender-based violence, and reprisals.

Furthermore, full, and meaningful participation of youth in decisions about silencing guns is pivotal for sustainable peace.

The Ambassador concluded the statement by underlining the need for all stakeholders to fulfill their commitment to a peaceful future for the generations to come.