Remarks by Ambassador Cho Tae-Yul
at the PBC High-level Meeting on Burkina Faso
26 September 2019
Thank you very much indeed, Mr. Chairman, for giving me the floor and for your extremely kind words for me. Allow me first to congratulate you for your excellent leadership in steering the PBC this year. And I very much welcome your initiative to convene this high-level meeting on Burkina Faso. Today’s level of participation is a good illustration of how far the PBC has come in accompanying countries with their peacebuilding efforts.
I would also like to thank President Kaboré for personally coming to the Commission and briefing us on the unprecedented challenges faced by his country and the wider Sahel region. We very much share his strong sense of urgency over the rapidly deteriorating situation in the region.
Today, we heard how the interplay of security and development factors - ranging from violent extremism and terrorism, lack of economic opportunities, climate change and governance – is all coming together to fuel violence and instability in the Sahel. We also heard how local tensions over limited resources are escalating into wider conflicts. This clearly shows the importance of addressing the challenges in an integrated and coherent manner by taking into account the security and development nexus.
Mr. Chairman, for quite some time, the Sahel has been a test case for sustaining peace for the United Nations. I believe now is the time for both Member States and the UN system to collectively rise to the occasion.
And the PBC has an extremely important role to play in this regard. The Commission – which is the only intergovernmental body with the mandate to discuss all three pillars of the UN – should ensure that the UN Integrated Strategy on the Sahel (UNISS) is implemented in a holistic manner, by strengthening its advisory role to the Security Council on the security pillar of UNISS, and to ECOSOC on matters related to development.
Based on the advice provided by the PBC, the Security Council and ECOSOC could further deliberate on ways to implement UNISS more effectively within their respective mandates, and if necessary, adopt resolutions to guide the UN system accordingly.
In this connection, as a follow-up to the joint PBC-ECOSOC meetings on the Sahel held in the last two years, the G5 Sahel and the Republic of Korea will soon be jointly tabling a draft ECOSOC resolution on the Sahel, which directs the UN development system to provide greater support to the region in a coordinated and integrated manner. And I wish to invite all Member States, especially PBC Members, to co-sponsor the resolution as a way of expressing our strong solidarity with the governments and people in the Sahel.
And finally, Mr. Chairman, as you kindly mentioned, this is, in fact, the last PBC meeting for me to attend, as I am due to leave my current post in New York shortly. It has been a great honor and privilege for me to serve as chair and vice chair of the Commission, respectively in 2017 and 2018, and more importantly, to be part of the historic journey in strengthening the United Nations in building and sustaining peace around the world. I wish you all the best in your continued endeavors in this end, at the helm of the Commission.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.