Statement by the Permanet Representative of the Republic of Lithuania Audra Plepytė at the UN Security Council open debate on mediation and settlement of disputes
Thank you, Mr. President,
Allow me to start by commending the United Kingdom as the President of the Security Council for the month of August for convening this exceptionally important open debate. I also thank the briefers for their insightful presentations. Lithuania aligns itself with the statement [to be] delivered on behalf of the European Union as well as a statement on behalf of the Group of Friends of Mediation.
Lithuania fully shares and acknowledges the importance of conceptual shift from the conflict management to conflict prevention, advocated so tirelessly by the Secretary General A. Guterres. We also strongly welcome and support the focus of the Secretary General on mediation. Along with other efforts, mediation is an important tool for defusing conflicts or better still, preventing them from happening. Each mediation success story means less conflict, less human suffering and more funds available for development. In this regard, we believe it is crucially important to ensure continued and stable funding for all mediation related efforts.
Much too often, mediation and peace processes remain male-dominated. While women are disproportionately affected by conflict, their critical role in negotiating, keeping and building peace in their communities is often overlooked. Equal and effective participation and full involvement of women at all levels, all stages and in all aspects of conflict prevention and the peaceful settlement of disputes needs to be ensured. Women should be part of the process, as mediators and as peace negotiators.
We strongly support Secretary General in his efforts to enlarge the pool of high-level envoys and senior mediators with a focus on women mediators. In their turn, countries should offer more women candidates for the UN mediation roster. We also have to acknowledge that both mediation and dialogue facilitation needs to be approached as a professional activity requiring specialized knowledge, expertise, and operational guidance.
Faced with the emergence of new crisis and the persistence of protracted conflicts, international and regional organizations must strengthen their capabilities for effective mediation and dialogue facilitation. The Security Council should play its role of political support to such efforts. Visits by the Council are critical in signaling political support for a mediation effort.
Regional organizations can be particularly helpful in the early identification of potential crises and mediation. The African Union, the European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe, and others — are offering their mediation and good offices to this effect. Regional organizations are well placed to develop preventive capacities. The efforts of sub-regional organizations in Africa and elsewhere aimed at conflict prevention offer a promising alternative for the future. We also encourage regional and sub-regional organizations to continue to appoint women as mediators and members of mediation teams.
Mediation could play its role in all stages of the conflict cycle, including its resolution. Where agreements need to be implemented, formal mediation efforts may need to continue to help resolve possible disputes that may arise from the implementation itself. This is critical so as to avoid a breakdown or a relapse into violent conflict. Therefore, we should not forget to engage the local communities in third-party-supported dialogue processes in order to facilitate the implementation process and to peacefully address any additional issues that may emerge.
Sustained political, financial and administrative support must be ensured to all mediation processes and all state parties to a conflict must be engaged in order to enable a settlement. In the absence of such political will, the possibilities for meaningful mediation and dialogue facilitation are very limited.
New York, 29 August 2018