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Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Statement by Mr Kai Sauer at the UNGA71 Fourth Committee 2016 on Comprehensive review of special political missions (Item 52), 27 October 2016 - Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN : Current Affairs : Statements

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Speeches, 10/31/2016

Mr. Chairman,

Thank you for the comprehensive presentations we have just heard on the subject. Finland fully supports the work of the Political Affairs Department on the Special Political Missions. I wish to use this opportunity to thank for the good and substantive interactive dialogue on SPMs that was organized by the Secretariat in May, discussing the regional missions. We are also looking forward new Secretary-Generals contribution on the matter.

Special Political Missions are a vital and diverse part of United Nation's action, linking to all the UN pillars of international peace and security, development and human rights, and sustaining peace. It is important to use them in a flexible way – from this flexibility we have seen examples lately -, and support them with sufficient planning and analysis.

We welcome the Secretary-General's report on SPMs. It reflects the diversity of the missions, the cooperation with regional actors, and the important aspects of conflict prevention and sustaining peace. We welcome DPA's and Special Political Missions' role in efforts for preventive action.

As the Secretary-General's report well describes, the SPMs play a role in bringing parties to negotiation tables, monitoring elections, facilitating peace agreements, supporting local initiatives or profound transitions, and in preventing conflicts. They can truly be about helping to find a political level solution to a conflict. Good offices, mediation and preventive diplomacy, dialogue and networking play an important role here.

The recent review processes in the UN peace and security, for their part, brought the SPMs to the spotlight: Their role as gender responsive tools, their role in mediation, and their operational needs. We have also discussed their work more concretely in the interfaces of sustaining peace, or in the larger framework of efforts to sustain peace; and SPM's as reflecting coherence of UN action.

The draft resolution on SPMs this year wishes to reflect the recent review processes. It particularly wishes to reflect the framework and the coherence-requirement of sustaining peace. "Sustaining peace" shows the right direction of efforts, and to which larger goal one should be loyal to. The "sustaining peace" -frame helps to understand the planning and other needs for the activities in the situation of transitions.

We wish to thank our colleagues in the Permanent Mission of Mexico, and everybody else for the good negotiations on the draft resolution. We kindly request your support to the final text, and hope to see as many countries as possible joining as co-sponsors, to gather momentum for this important tool for peace.

Two "mantras" remain for me to repeat in my national capacity for the future:

We still wish that we could find a comprehensive and consensual solution to the funding and backstopping of SPMs. This would be in the spirit of coherence and comprehensive approach that we in the UN otherwise underline.

The other one is: we need to see more women in all positions – including senior positions - in SPMs, and more women as mediators. I am convinced that a gender balance and a gender perspective can contribute positively to the quality of the missions. I address this plea to all of us.

Thank you.

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Updated 10/31/2016

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