The month of December was a busy period in the Security Council with a packed agenda. South Africa held the presidency, and most activities were conducted remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our delegation continued to work closely in the “A3+1” configuration with our African brothers and sisters (Niger, South Africa and Tunisia) on many country-specific and thematic issues.
1. Maintenance of International Peace and Security: On 3 December, South Africa convened an open debate on Security Sector Governance and Reform. SVG was represented by Hon. Keisal Peters (Minster of State with responsibility for Foreign Affairs). Our delegation noted that security sector reforms must be linked to wider development efforts while placing people at the center. We stated that mending the social fabric of a country can only be facilitated through effective and transparent institutions that are responsive to the needs of citizens. Additionally, we supported the African Union Policy Framework on Security Sector Reform.
2. Regional and Sub-Regional Organizations: Our delegation was represented by Prime Minster Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves at the high-level meeting on “Cooperation between the UN and Regional and Sub-Regional Organizations: African Union (AU)” on 4 December. We noted that the strategic partnership between the UN and the AU is a critical instrument in our global security architecture. We encouraged a further deepening of the partnership to fashion comprehensive developmental and reparatory solutions that address the root causes of insecurity.
3. UN Peacebuilding Architecture: Following our nomination as one of the two co-facilitators of the intergovernmental phase of the 2020 Review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture, H.E. Ms. Inga Rhonda King, alongside her counterpart from New Zealand, successfully steered the process which involved three months of intense negotiations amongst the full UN membership. The outcome of this process is a set of twin resolutions that were adopted by consensus in the General Assembly and the Security Council on 21 December. These resolutions contain important provisions that reaffirm that development, peace and security, and human rights are interlinked and mutually reinforcing; encourages greater coherence in peacebuilding efforts that support national priorities and calls for a further comprehensive review of UN peacebuilding in 2025.
4. International Court of Justice (ICJ): At the open debate on “Strengthening the cooperation between the Security Council and the ICJ” we noted that the use of force, provocative rhetoric and other escalatory actions, such as unilateral coercive measures, should always be rejected in favour of rational and principled settlements of disputes.
We further noted that the ICJ and the Security Council must seek to continuously revitalize the complementary partnership to build and sustain peace.
5. South Sudan: At the open debate on South Sudan, our delegation delivered a statement on behalf of the A3+1 configuration. We welcomed the positive developments in the peace process, particularly, the parties to the Revitalized Agreement for their resolve to complete the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government. Our delegations reiterated the importance of ensuring that the 35% minimum quota for women in institutions of the Transitional Government is observed. Also, we welcomed the maintenance of the ceasefire the overall decrease in political violence prevailing throughout the country.
6. Burundi: On December 4th, the Security Council adopted a Presidential Statement on the Situation in Burundi which requests the Secretary-General to cease his periodic reporting on Burundi thereby effectively removing this issue from the Council’s agenda. Our delegation worked closely with our A3 colleagues on this issue throughout 2020.
7. International Day of Epidemic Preparedness: Over the past few months, SVG worked closely with the Permanent Missions of Vietnam, Niger, Senegal, Canada and Spain to advance a resolution that designates 27 December as the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness as a means of building awareness and strengthening our collective capacities to respond to future health crises. This resolution was adopted by the consensus of the General Assembly on 7 December and invites all Member States, organisations of the UN system, and other relevant stakeholders including regional and subregional organisations, the private sector and civil society, non-governmental organisations, academic institutions and individuals to observe this occasion annually.
Please visit svg-un.org for the full text of all statements and other updates.