Closer coordination between the Security Council and the General Assembly in post-conflict peace-building efforts were among the issues discussed this afternoon, as the Council concluded a debate on "maintenance of peace and security and post-conflict peace-building" it began last Wednesday, 16 December.
The representative of Pakistan said the key to a better management of peace and security lay in shared responsibility between the two bodies, in balancing expectations from the smaller membership of the Council with the undoubted democratic weight of the Assembly. He also said it was ironic that the debate was taking place at a time when the ability of the Council to maintain international peace and security had been dealt a devastating blow as a result of a unilateral action undertaken without due debate and authorization from the Council.
India's representative said the events leading to the attack on Iraq had also illustrated that the personalities and actions of those involved in post- conflict peace-building were crucial to success. By and large, the international community had been served well by international civil servants responsible for peace-building, but exceptions to that showed how sensitive a charge it was to carry out those responsibilities that had a critical bearing on building peace in regions of conflict.
A post-conflict society was usually weak, with a damaged or destroyed infrastructure, needy people, scarce resources, and lack of protection of human rights, Croatia's representative said. She supported the views of the Secretary-General in his report on "Renewing the United Nations -- a programme for reform", where he indicated that successful peace-building required a mutually reinforcing political strategy and assistance programme, which incorporated human rights considerations and humanitarian and development programmes. The importance of mutual reaffirmation of those two approaches to peace-building could not be overemphasized, she stressed.
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Nigeria's representative also agreed with the Secretary-General that post-conflict peace-building must involve coordinated and integrated activities that addressed the root causes of violence. Noting that that approach, which linked peace, security, good governance, respect for human rights and sustainable development, represented a major paradigm shift in United Nations activities, he said Nigeria supported all United Nations efforts to strengthen its conflict prevention and crisis management capacity and had always welcomed the initiatives of the Secretary-General in that field.
The representative of Egypt recalled that former Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali had underlined the importance of post-conflict peace- building in his reports entitled "An Agenda for Peace" and "Supplement to an Agenda for Peace". Regrettably, the opposition of one delegation -- which focused only on the paragraph stating that the Assembly had a key role in post-conflict peace-building -- had prevented the adoption of a working paper on the subject by the General Assembly.
The deliberations on "An Agenda for Peace" were also recalled by Ukraine's representative, who said they had revealed the existence of differing views concerning the problem of competence and responsibilities of United Nations principal bodies in that field. But those differences were not insurmountable, he said, adding that it would be a welcome development if the present meeting of the Council contributed to the resumption of efforts aimed at elaborating a strategic framework concept for post-conflict peace-building activities.
A number of speakers stressed that the root causes of conflicts should be tackled. Mongolia's representative said that with the increase of interdependence of States and of globalization, the non-traditional sources of threats to peace and security were also increasing. Consequently, the socio- economic root causes to many conflicts should also be properly addressed. Without it, no peace could be stable or durable, he said, adding that mutual suspicion needed to be overcome and social peace allowed to take root and develop, if recurrence of conflict was to be avoided.
Bangladesh's representative said a culture of peace was an effective expedient to minimizing and preventing violence and conflict. Third world conflicts had their roots in poverty, hunger and ignorance, and in the lack of accountability in the use of political power. Those root causes must be addressed. The maintenance of international peace and security depended on favourable conditions for durable peace. The transition from peacekeeping to peace-building would need the close attention of the international community. If not properly managed, such a transition could seriously undermine peace and security.
Recalling an initiative of his Government in 1996 on peace-building, the representative of Canada said that to be effective, it must address the
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security of individuals, including that of women and children. Where appropriate, Security Council mandates should incorporate provisions to address the devastating impact of anti-personnel mines in undermining post- conflict reconstruction; provide for the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of combatants, including children; and address the destabilizing impact of the uncontrolled proliferation of small arms.
Statements were also made by the representatives of Norway, Austria (for the European Union and associated States), Tunisia, Argentina, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Indonesia and Australia.
Council Work Programme
The Security Council this afternoon resumed its consideration of "Maintenance of peace and security and post-conflict peace-building".
MICHEL DUVAL (Canada) said that in 1996 the Canadian Government had launched a peace-building initiative as a means of supporting local efforts to build sustainable peace in areas of conflict. The objective was to support and supplement peacekeeping efforts, through active diplomacy, by building coalitions with State and non-State partners, and by providing carefully targeted funding for innovative peace-building activities. To be effective, peace-building must address the security of individuals, including that of women and children. People needed to be assured of their continuing safety and well-being, particularly as they emerged from conflicts in which civilians were deliberately targeted by combatants, and they needed to have a basis upon which to overcome apathy, to rebuild their lives and to restore hope for the future.
He said that, although the elements of peace-building did not fall exclusively under the purview of the Security Council, the Council had a crucial role to play, not least in ensuring that peacekeeping mandates anticipated requirements relating to post-conflict peace-building and reconstruction. Where appropriate, Council mandates should incorporate provisions to address the devastating impact of anti-personnel mines in undermining post-conflict reconstruction; provide for the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of combatants, including children; and address the destabilizing impact of the uncontrolled proliferation of small arms.
The broader United Nations system must also be engaged, he said, if the underlying long-term and often structural causes of conflict were to be addressed, failing which durable peace would remain elusive. Other United Nations agencies, as well as international financial institutions, regional development organizations, bilateral donors, international non-governmental organizations and the business sector, all had roles to play in rebuilding collapsed economies and social structures and in supporting and nurturing a sustainable and durable peace. Coordination was crucial if all those efforts were to be mutually reinforcing. The alternative was to risk losing whatever gains might have been achieved -- often at great humanitarian and financial cost -- through what had come to be known as "classic" peacekeeping operations.
Sustainable peace must also address the human rights of victims of conflict, he said. The United Nations needed to support local efforts to overcome the cultures of impunity that had been a devastating part of many former conflicts and a fundamental obstacle to the observance of human rights.
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The need to overcome such cultures of impunity had been the major impetus behind Canada's steadfast support of efforts to establish a permanent International Criminal Court. During the period preceding the Court's establishment, the Security Council must continue to give its full support to the ad hoc Tribunals.
OLE PETER KOLBY (Norway) said experience had shown that a ceasefire and the establishment of a peacekeeping operation were not sufficient to ensure peaceful development in a war-torn society. Too often, hopes for a better future had been shattered, and, too often, the vicious cycle of violence had proved to be stronger than aspirations for peace. It was important to plan for post-conflict peace-building from the outset, when armed conflict was ongoing. His country, therefore, supported recent efforts by the Council to adopt more comprehensive peacekeeping mandates that included facilitation of the reintegration of refugees and child soldiers, demobilization of combatants, weapons collection, and the reinstatement of legitimate governments.
He said that successful implementation of post-conflict peace-building efforts required a clear commitment by the parties involved. Measures must be identified and designed in close cooperation with those directly concerned, taking into account the specific needs in each particular situation. It was, therefore, of vital importance to address the need for post-conflict peace- building measures in the very early stages of conflict resolution efforts, and to include such measures in the negotiations on peace accords. The implementation of such comprehensive activities also necessitated close coordination within the United Nations system.
The large number of small arms available in conflict areas posed an important problem, and better controls of the transfer of such weapons were required. There were a number of encouraging regional initiatives, most notably the Moratorium on the Manufacture, Exports and Import of Light Weapons recently declared by West African State leaders. Also welcome were the Secretary-General's proposals for increased transparency with regard to the supply of weapons to conflict areas, including regulation of the role of arms brokers. Anti-personnel landmines also posed a formidable obstacle to post- conflict reconstruction and consolidation of peace. His country was strongly committed to the follow-up to the Ottawa Convention, including demining and rehabilitation activities, for which it had allocated some $120 million for the period covering 1998 to 2002.
He said that the Secretary-General's holistic approach to Africa, by which economic and social issues formed an integral part of international endeavours to secure and strengthen peace, was also applicable to other regions. Coherence must be ensured between the work of the Security Council and other United Nations bodies, in particular, the General Assembly. In many instances, it was also important to improve coordination and information- sharing between the United Nations and regional organizations, such as the
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Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The United Nations should play a leading role in ensuring that all international efforts were coordinated and efficient. Moreover, it was essential to secure a better unity of purpose and to integrate United Nations peace-building efforts with those of other stakeholders.
NABIL ELARABY (Egypt) said that experience had proved that peacekeeping operations did not completely satisfy the requirements of peace-building. That process required the United Nations to play an integrated, multifaceted and more action-oriented role leading to an atmosphere conducive to the political and economic stability of the concerned State. While peacekeeping operations were aimed at creating short-term stability, it was imperative to conceive a series of measures that would end the disorder caused by the conflict, and limit the potential for new ones.
He said that former Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali had underlined the importance of post-conflict peace-building in his reports entitled "An Agenda for Peace" and "Supplement to an Agenda for Peace". His initiative sought to clarify the application of that concept with full respect for the existing balance between the principal organs of the Organization. Thorough consideration of that important issue by the General Assembly proved the need for further elaboration of the concept through a working paper which reflected the agreed definition, principles, framework, and scope of post-conflict peace-building activities, and the role of the United Nations in that process.
After lengthy discussions, it was possible to reach agreement on all aspects of a working paper on 17 January 1997, he said. Regrettably, the opposition of one delegation -- which focused only on the paragraph stating that the Assembly had a key role in post-conflict peace-building -- had prevented the adoption of the paper by the General Assembly. Yet, all other States shared the view that decisions about such activities should be entrusted primarily to the Assembly, which could receive support from other principal United Nations organs and specialized agencies.
He said that there was an integral relationship between maintaining international peace and security, on the one hand, and post-conflict peace- building, on the other. Indeed, post-conflict peace-building was a main responsibility of the General Assembly. The Security Council, and other main organs of the United Nations system, could play a supportive role to the Assembly in that field. The relationship between maintaining international peace and security and post-conflict peace-building stemmed from the fact that the latter, as a peace-building measure, could follow the successful end of a peacekeeping mission. It was, therefore, beneficial to ensure a smooth transition from the peacekeeping operations established by the Security Council to post-conflict peace-building activities supervised by the General Assembly.
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ERNST SUCHARIPA (Austria) spoke for the European Union, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Cyprus, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The multidimensional quality of peacekeeping operations today posed new challenges to the United Nations. Military and civilian personnel required special training for their increasingly complex missions, while their tasks had to be coordinated with activities of United Nations bodies and programmes. At Headquarters, that required an integrated, coordinated approach with regard to actions that most often addressed combinations of political, legal, institutional, military, humanitarian, human-rights related, environmental, economic, social, cultural and demographic factors of conflicts. The Union appreciated the Secretary- General's valuable efforts and, in particular, his proposals and measures taken in the context of United Nations reform, which had significantly increased the United Nations ability to respond to the complexity of post-cold war conflict situations.
Modern-day crises were often intra-State rather than international, and were triggered by a range of factors, including social, ethnic or religious strife, poverty, environmental degradation, migration and organized crime, he said. To address and prevent violent conflicts caused by such crises, the United Nations had developed a comprehensive set of policy measures aimed at conflict prevention, management and resolution. While recognizing that peace- building measures could apply in all phases of conflict and peace, their impact would be greatest in non-violent situations.
Since 1995, the Union had adopted a number of documents concerning peace-building, and conflict prevention and resolution, including the June 1997 Common Position and Council Conclusions on "Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa", he said. On 30 November 1998, the Council of the European Union had adopted conclusions restating that the approach to peace- building, conflict prevention and resolution developed within the Union, largely regarding Africa, should be extended to all developing regions. Also, the Council of the European Union had emphasized that full use should be made of the potential of development cooperation to contribute to peace, democracy and stability. The Union was committed to a pro-active policy on conflict prevention and resolution, focusing on preventing the outbreak of violent conflicts at an early stage, as well as on peace-building.
The peoples concerned must take a lead role in peace-building, conflict prevention and resolution, he said. Viable solutions could only be achieved through enhanced local ownership. Activities must, to the largest extent possible, build on local capacities and institutions. External assistance should aim at promoting a fair balance of political, social, economic and cultural opportunity among different groups and at strengthening mechanisms for peaceful conciliation and the bridging of divisions. The Union fully shared the view of the Secretary-General, expressed in his report on Africa, that protecting human rights, and in particular political rights, economic
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freedoms and the promotion of transparency, were prerequisites for building peace and promoting development.
Guided by those principles, the Union had made considerable contribution to peace-building through various programmes, he said. The Union's action relied on active cooperation with the United Nations and other international organizations, as well as regional and subregional bodies. He drew attention to the concept of "mutually reinforcing institutions" contained in a document recently adopted by the Council of the European Union, which emphasized the necessity to ensure that the involvement of more than one organization and its member States was complementary.
Many of today's peacekeeping operations provided an indispensable basis for wider peace-building efforts, he said. Their presence was a precondition to the successful start or continuation of peace-building programmes. Effective peace-building efforts could provide the conditions of peacekeeping missions to wind down. There was no comprehensive peace-building design. Peace-building measures had to be tailored according to the situation and the causes of conflict. Peace-building did not replace ongoing humanitarian and development activities, in countries emerging from crisis, but rather aimed to build on or reorient activities to reduce the risk of resumed conflict. Peace-building measures also required long-term commitments, pragmatism, creativity and will to provide resources.
AHMAD KAMAL (Pakistan) said it was ironic that the role of the Council in the maintenance of international peace and security was being discussed at a time when the Council's ability to do so had been dealt a devastating blow as a result of a unilateral action undertaken without due debate and authorization from the Council. That perhaps underlined how deep was the need for reform of the working methods of the Council, and of its members, in order to bring them into line with the aspirations and expectations of the general membership of the United Nations. The United Nations needed to adopt an integrated approach in addressing issues concerning the maintenance of international peace and security. It must continue to play its primary role in maintaining international peace and security.
The role of regional organizations must be strictly governed by Chapter VIII of the Charter, he said. The pitfalls of undertaking half- hearted United Nations peacekeeping operations were enormous and stood as a sad commentary on the actual capacity of the Organization to deliver. The Jammu and Kashmir dispute, one of the very oldest on the agenda of the Security Council, was a case in point. The failure of the international community to fulfil its commitment to the people of Jammu and Kashmir had brought India and Pakistan to conflict several times in the past decades. Unfortunately, the United Nations had made no determined and sustained efforts to resolve the root causes of the conflict.
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In view of the heightening tensions in the region, he said that Pakistan had requested the Secretary-General to further strengthen the United Nations presence along the Line of Control for effectively monitoring cross-border violations along the disputed territory of Kashmir. A request had also been made to the Secretary-General to appoint a Special Representative to coordinate United Nations efforts in the volatile region, but no follow-up had been recorded so far. The request was particularly important because of the need to defuse the new and heightened tensions in South Asia, which emanated after the nuclear tests conducted by India and then by Pakistan early this year. Pakistan believed that the prime responsibility of the Security Council should continue to be peace and security, and ensuring respect for its own resolutions.
The key to a better management of peace and security lay in a shared responsibility between the General Assembly and the Security Council, in balancing expectations from the smaller membership of the latter with the undoubted democratic weight of the former, he said. On too many occasions now the Security Council had been unwilling or unable to fulfil its responsibilities, either because of blockages created by the veto or unilateral actions of the one or other of its permanent members, or because it lacked the collective courage and verve to implement its own resolutions.
ALI HACHANI (Tunisia) said peacekeeping and post-conflict peace-building were increasingly linked. The United Nations had amassed rich experience in the area of peacekeeping. That history illustrated how vital it was in ensuring post-conflict peace that all conditions were met to ensure a long-lasting peace. It was necessary to create an environment favourable to national reconciliation and to address the underlying causes of conflict. On the new "international chessboard" that had emerged following the end of the cold war, post-conflict peace-building was a necessary counterpart of peacekeeping. Disarmament, demining, electoral assistance, repatriation, resettlement and economic rebuilding were of particular importance, and required the international community's support.
He said his delegation felt that post-conflict peace-building activities should be guided by certain principles. The boundaries between the United Nations efforts to maintain peace and post-conflict activities were not clear. Repatriation was of great importance, and economic recovery activities should be undertaken without delay. Any post-conflict peace-building efforts must be coordinated and take into account the specific nature of the countries. Further, the financing of economic recovery as part of post-conflict peace- building should enjoy particular attention from the international community. Flexible financial conditions were needed. Finally, any action for peace- building must receive consent from the parties involved, while the principles of national sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs must be observed.
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FERNANDO ENRIQUE PETRELLA (Argentina) said the topic before the Council was of relevance to his country. After the cold war, strict interpretation of concepts relating to peace and security laid down in 1945 was no longer relevant. Argentina traditionally held that humanitarian, institutional, economic and ethnic consequences of conflicts indicated that the initiation of efforts towards lasting peace required much more than a ceasefire. That was even more evident at a point in history where conflicts were basically within States.
Reconstruction efforts in Central America had demonstrated the vital importance of peace-building activities when such work was assumed by the protagonists themselves as their own, he said. In the case of the United Nations Observer Mission in El Salvador (ONUSAL), the United Nations Secretariat had played an innovative role in the negotiations that led to an agreement, and in monitoring peace-building activities. In the case of Haiti, there was need for reconstruction efforts.
The Security Council and international financial institutions must work in tandem in peace-building efforts, he said. Peace-building activities did not necessary begin with the achievement of ceasefire, and must start early. Coordinated efforts on the part of the international community and United Nations agencies were required. The necessary conditions must be created for sustainable development in the framework of democracy, he concluded.
LEE SEE-YOUNG (Republic of Korea) said it had become increasingly difficult to define the boundary between peacekeeping and post-conflict peace-building operations. The international community must take a holistic approach to ensure not only the resolution of peace, but also its consolidation in conflict areas. When the Council authorized peacekeeping operations which would involve post- conflict peace-building activities, it should provide clear and realistic mandates and be backed by sufficient resources. It was equally important to respect the distinct mandates of other United Nations system bodies that covered post-conflict peace-building measures.
He said his Government attached particular importance to certain points. There was need for more effective coordination among all actors, as well as local capacity-building. The multifaceted nature of post-conflict peace- building brought together a number of actors, so there must be close coordination between the General Assembly and the Security Council, which had the main political responsibility for maintaining peace and security. The Republic of Korea supported the coordinating role of the Department of Political Affairs as the focal point at Headquarters, as well as the Secretary-General's representatives in the field. It looked forward to further elaboration of the Secretary-General's suggestion of "the strategic framework approach for response to and recovery from crisis". Such a framework approach should be formulated as soon as possible, based on lessons learned from past experience, and with particular attention to the need to ensure the smooth transition from peacekeeping to peace-building activities.
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Cultivating local capacity was both effective and economical in sustaining peace in the fragile conditions of the post-conflict period, he said. Regional and subregional organizations were useful in that endeavour. Measures for disarmament and demobilization were also of great importance. The establishment of regional and subregional registers of conventional arms should not be limited to Africa. More efforts should be exerted to deal with the supply side of the arms flow.
Demining was an essential component of post-conflict peace-building, both in light of the number of landmines strewn across the globe and the danger they pose to lives and to socio-economic development, he said. Also, there was need to ensure the safety and security of United Nations and other personnel, as well as of innocent civilians. He welcomed the Council's recommendation, in resolution 1208 (1998), to include in the United Nations stand-by arrangements military and police units and personnel trained for humanitarian operations. He supported the early implementation of that recommendation.
JARGALSAIKHANY ENKHSAIKHAN (Mongolia) said the essential elements of post-conflict peace-building should be borne in mind and, to the extent possible, reflected in peace agreements and settlements. With the increase of interdependence of States and of globalization, the non-traditional sources of threats to peace and security were also increasing. Consequently, the socio- economic root causes to many conflicts should also be properly addressed. Without it, he stressed, no peace could be stable or durable. It was important also to address the question of national reconciliation, the psychological or political factors that defined attitudes towards each other of the States in conflict, or of parties in case of internal conflicts. Mutual suspicion needed to be overcome and social peace allowed to take root and develop, if recurrence of conflict was to be avoided.
The root causes of conflicts ought to be seriously addressed and dealt with, he said. The role of the Security Council and all the relevant United Nations bodies, such as the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, development agencies, regional organizations and the donor community, was essential. The reform of the United Nations system should also look at the question of the role of the appropriate United Nations bodies in more effectively dealing with development questions.
The emerging new concept of human security provided the opportunity for doing so, he said, adding that the question of proper coordination of post- conflict peace-building efforts and of financing those actions should also be considered. Short-term peace-building measures should be followed up by long- term programmes and strategies aimed at strengthening national institutions, promoting good governance, eradicating poverty and ensuring sustainable development.
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JELENA BRCIC POLIC (Croatia) said that the current situation in Iraq represented another poignant reminder of the need for thorough discussions on how to maintain peace and security. The many open, even controversial, questions concerning the role of the United Nations and the Security Council with regard to the role of regional organizations had to be resolved. Addressing the root causes of a problem, which could have regional or global repercussions, was the most important factor in securing international peace and security.
She said that just patching up a situation and not resolving the fundamental antagonisms that had provoked it could leave the wound to fester. Indeed, seven years after the dissolution of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the aggression against Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the succession issue of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was yet to be regulated and the new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia still refused to accept existing borders and the equality of all successor States. The next phase of post-conflict peace-building was just as important as ending a conflict or crisis.
A post-conflict society was usually weak, with a damaged or destroyed infrastructure, needy people, scarce resources, and lack of protection of human rights, she said. In addressing those issues, her country supported the views of the Secretary-General in his report on "Renewing the United Nations -- a programme for reform". In it, he indicated that successful peace- building required a mutually reinforcing political strategy and assistance programme, which incorporated human rights considerations and humanitarian and development programmes. The importance of mutual reaffirmation of those two approaches to peace-building could not be overemphasized.
The complete recovery and the creation of a self-sustaining society in Bosnia and Herzegovina would occur only once the root causes of the conflict were adequately resolved, she said. Although the parties themselves must bear the primary responsibility in sustaining the achievements of the international community, continued support, especially from the countries in the region concerned, was an important element in assisting States in fulfilling their obligations. The post-war reconstruction and reconciliation in Croatia necessarily took time, but international support could accelerate the process. The already invested resources of the international community should be coupled with development assistance. Investment in peace followed by investment in development was part of the same continuum.
She said that establishing the truth about a conflict and punishing the perpetrators of grave breaches of humanitarian law was another prerequisite to peace and security. On the global level, the creation of the International Criminal Court should expedite healing and reconciliation, but its credibility depended on avoiding the traps and shortfalls discovered in the practice of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. The Security
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Council should not allow the lack of cooperation by any State or entity -- in this case, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republika Srpska entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina -- to distort the true picture of the conflict and betray the fundamental objectives upon which the Tribunal was founded. Reconciliation hinged on bringing to justice people like Sljivancanin, Mrksic, Radic or Martic, Karadzic and Mladic.
GABRIEL S. AKUNWAFOR (Nigeria) said the conflicts in Africa, mostly local, had greatly impeded the socio-economic development of the continent, reduced the population to abject poverty and deprivation and created swarms of refugees and internally displaced persons. The conflicts had also generated serious apprehensions on the part of the international community on the continent's future. His delegation was pleased that the United Nations system was giving special consideration to the root causes of those conflicts with a view to designing strategies for their resolution.
His delegation agreed with the Secretary-General that post-conflict peace-building must involve coordinated and integrated activities that addressed the root causes of violence. That approach, which linked peace, security, good governance, respect for human rights and sustainable development, represented a major paradigm shift in United Nations activities. Nigeria supported all United Nations efforts to strengthen its conflict prevention and crisis management capacity and had always welcomed the initiatives of the Secretary-General in that field.
As a long-term conflict prevention strategy, he said post-conflict peace-building must be vigorously promoted with the specific circumstances of each case being borne in mind. Economic reconstruction, rehabilitation of basic health and educational facilities, safety of lives and property should help ensure that the cessation of violence was real. The participation of donor governments had been very critical to the success witnessed in many regions, especially in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) subregion. The Security Council should not relent in its efforts to provide the Monitoring Observer Group (ECOMOG) of ECOWAS with the logistics, financial and technical assistance that it badly required to execute its mandate in the sub-region. Referring to the Council's presidential statement on Guinea- Bissau, he said that although the ceasefire was holding, the situation was tense. Rapid deployment of ECOMOG interposition forces was critical to the restoration and consolidation of peace in that country.
JAN VARSO (Slovakia) said his country had been participating in United Nations peacekeeping operations since its establishment as a State in 1993. It had offered its engineering units to support and strengthen the demining capability of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). It had also been involved in peacekeeping missions in Jerusalem, Angola and, recently, in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force
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(UNDOF) in the Golan Heights. He reiterated his country's readiness to increase, in close cooperation with Austria, its participation in that Force.
Slovakia supported increasing cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations, especially in the area of early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management, resolution and post-conflict rehabilitation. Slovakia's Government had recently approved its contribution to the Kosovo Verification Mission, both financial and personnel, and had also endorsed the participation of Slovak troops in the Multinational Stabilization Force (SFOR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He said the international community should provide assistance to those regional arrangements which, for various reasons, lacked sufficient resources and expertise.
He said peace-building efforts should address factors causing conflicts and contribute to the creation of conditions for reconciliation, reconstruction and recovery. Post-conflict peace-building activities must aim at promoting durable peace and sustainable development through, among other things, humanitarian and development activities, confidence-building measures, strengthening of democratic institutions and respect for human rights. Slovakia was ready to provide its skills, techniques and equipment in mine clearance programmes, he added. He stressed the importance of political will in settlement of conflicts and urged parties in conflict to show such will.
ANWARUL KARIM CHOWDHURY (Bangladesh) said the international situation remained fluid, while the climate of uncertainty persisted. Commitments made in some major areas of international cooperation remained unfulfilled, and the gap between developed and developing countries, particularly the least developed countries, continued to widen. Economic underdevelopment, poverty and social injustice constituted a source of frustration and even a possible cause of conflicts. Inter-state wars and foreign occupation had been on the decline since the end of the cold war. That encouraging development was expected to contribute to the lessening of violence in the long run. However, intra-state conflicts, social strife, deprivation, abuses of human rights and xenophobia continued to pose problems that resulted in violence and impinged on international peace and security.
He said international peace and security could best be strengthened through the inculcation of a culture of peace and non-violence. The elements of the culture of peace drew from age-old principles and values respected and held in high esteem by all peoples and societies. Its objective was the empowerment of people, and it contributed effectively in overcoming authoritarian structures and exploitation. It celebrated diversity, advanced understanding and tolerance, and reduced inequality between men and women.
Bangladesh regarded the culture of peace as an effective expedient to minimizing and preventing violence and conflict. Third world conflicts had their roots in poverty, hunger and ignorance, and in the lack of
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accountability in the use of political power, he said. Those root causes must be addressed. The maintenance of international peace and security depended on favourable conditions for durable peace. The transition from peacekeeping to peace-building would need the close attention of the international community. If not properly managed, such a transition could seriously undermine peace and security.
He welcomed the appointment of a Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, and also the idea of creating a zone of peace for children in conflict situations. Bangladesh was committed to international peace and had been a major contributor to peacekeeping and peace-making efforts of the United Nations, he added.
MAKARIM WIBISONO (Indonesia) said the international community had expected that the end of the cold war would lead to a lower level of regional conflicts, but in fact those conflicts -- and intra-State strife in particular -- had substantially increased. The issues involved in maintaining international peace and security and post-conflict peace-building were the very reason for the United Nations existence. Discussion on the inter-linked issues of peace, security, development and prosperity should be carried out within the framework of the Organization's agenda and under the competence of respective organs. There was need for a more viable system of collective security in which all Member States could participate in accordance with their respective capabilities.
He said his delegation agreed with the Secretary-General that efforts to resolve the underlying socio-economic, cultural and humanitarian problems could place peace on a durable foundation. However, any action by the Council in that sphere must be taken in conjunction with the Charter-mandated role and responsibilities of the wider membership reflected in the General Assembly. That position was analogous to the one taken by the Non-Aligned Movement at its Summit Meeting in South Africa last September, which held that the Assembly must have the key role in decision-making.
Maintaining peace and security required coordinated efforts by international and national organizations, and by the disputing parties, he said. In efforts to resolve conflicts and maintain peace, regional organizations -- for geographical, historical and other reasons -- were uniquely placed to propose viable solutions. Close cooperation and coordination between regional organizations and the Security Council could substantially enhance the prospects for political settlement of disputes without intervening in matters that were deemed to be States' internal affairs.
Neither the United Nations nor regional organizations could impose preventive measures on conflicting States or parties, he said. The request for -- or at least acquiescence in -- action by regional or international
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organizations was indispensable from both legal and political perspectives. Peacekeeping operations were more effective if they were launched with the consent of all the parties involved and with precise mandates and specific time-frames. Those operations should be in full conformity with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, including respect for States' sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs.
The transition from peacekeeping to post-conflict peace-building must aim to eliminate the factors that contributed to the strife and to create conditions conducive to reconstruction and rehabilitation, he said. The international community should accord equal attention to all post-conflict regions in providing assistance, and should respect the form of development chosen by the country involved. Maintaining peace and security involved economic development, as well as social and humanitarian issues, and not only the military aspect. Therefore, it should not be the exclusive responsibility of the Security Council, but rather, there should be greater coordination and interaction between the General Assembly and the Security Council.
VOLODYMYR YEL CHENKO (Ukraine) said that the end of the cold war had necessitated an enhanced role of the United Nations in global burden-sharing for peace through adapting its peacekeeping activities to new realities and conflicts. As a result of that evolution, a second generation of United Nations peacekeeping operations with multifunctional mandates -- including assistance to war-torn societies in moving from violence to national reconciliation, economic reconstruction and democratic consolidation -- had come into being and had given birth to post-conflict peace-building. The evolution of the United Nations peace support practice over the last decade, however, highlighted the need for its further development.
In that regard, "An Agenda for Peace", submitted by the United Nations Secretary-General in 1992, and its Supplement of 1995, provided a solid theoretical foundation for strengthening United Nations capacities to maintain international peace and security, including a concept of post-conflict peace- building. Deliberations on the subject revealed the existence of differing views concerning the problem of competence and responsibilities of United Nations principal bodies in that field, but those differences were not insurmountable. It would be a welcome development, therefore, if the present meeting of the Security Council contributed to the resumption of efforts aimed at elaborating a strategic framework concept for post-conflict peace-building activities.
He said that the United Nations, like no other organization in existence, offered the best framework for originating and coordinating guidelines for the post-conflict process. In that context, constant political monitoring by the United Nations over the formation of new States, which often emerged as a result of conflicts, should be an integral part of its post- conflict peace-building strategies. It was also necessary that such
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monitoring be performed by a special organ, such as the Trusteeship Council. In light of the ongoing discussion about the further existence of that body, one solution for its revitalization could be achieved through assigning it a new mandate and changing its title accordingly.
JOHN H. CRIGHTON (Australia) said that primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security had been entrusted to the Security Council, yet, that responsibility was shared by all Members of the United Nations. Maintaining peace and security was conventionally viewed as activities undertaken by the international community when a dispute was emerging or a conflict had erupted. Such activities could range from preventive diplomacy to post-conflict peace-building. Poverty, ethnic differences, human rights abuses, and other elements were as much causes of disputes and conflict as more "traditional" causes, such as territorial claims, ideology or access to natural resources. The maintenance of peace and security necessitated addressing those issues.
The United Nations experience over the last 50 years -- particularly with intra-State conflicts -- demonstrated that a more integrated, holistic approach was critical to efforts to maintain international peace and security, he said. A fragmented approach would not work -- the pieces needed to be pulled together. That would require shared understanding about national goals and priorities, a significant commitment of resources and strong political and practical commitment from the full membership.
In each case, the needs would be different, and in each case the United Nations must be able to respond flexibly and realistically, he said. Australia did not see that as redefining or reinterpreting the role of the Security Council, or giving it responsibilities that were rightly within the competence of other parts of the Organization; rather, it was seen as a challenge to the Organization as a whole, and to the membership. The challenge was to develop what others had appropriately called a strategic framework, to give coherence to all the activities of the United Nations.
He said the United Nations contribution would only be as effective as the support it got from the local parties and populations themselves. Without their full participation and cooperation -- both political and practical -- the United Nations role and effectiveness would be heavily circumscribed. There was an important role to be played by regional organizations, which had the most direct interest in seeing tensions relieved, problems resolved and reconstruction begun. The United Nations Political Office in Bougainville was a good current example of a small mission operating in support of a local and regional peace process.
While realizing that the Council could not always debate issues in this way, Australia believed that there were many issues on which the Council could benefit from exposure to the views of the wider membership, he said. More
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such dialogue would be a valuable -- indeed essential -- part of the process of modernization of the institutions of the United Nations.
KAMALESH SHARMA (India) said it was wrong to argue that the Security Council must fit itself into all the dimensions of security. It was true that tensions often had social and economic roots, but if the Council tried to build peace, its blueprint would either reflect the views of its dominant members, or a "hodge-podge" where conflicting views had be reconciled. In a report analysing post-conflict peace-building, the Carnegie Commission had identified three core needs as essential to peace-building: security, well- being and justice. Of those, the Council could legitimately address the first. The Commission had deemed that the threat of nuclear weapons was destabilizing to international peace and security, and to peace-building, yet the Council's permanent members continued to refine the world's largest nuclear arsenals. The Commission had also noted that the global arms trade in advanced weapons was dominated by the five permanent members. Those countries had much cause for introspection.
If the Council tried to guide post-conflict development activities, problems could be expected, he continued. The imposition of a development paradigm by the United Nations, on instructions from the Council, could exacerbate the tensions that created the conflict in the first place. United Nations peacekeepers had sometimes been perceived as partisan, and once aid was seen in that light, it became a source for conflict rather than for peace. The distinction between the mandates of the United Nations funds and programmes and of the Council must not be blurred.
With the attack on Iraq over the last week, the international community was now faced with a conflict resulting from unilateral action by some Council members, he said. There was danger that the Council would be bypassed on the grounds that its authorization was not needed. The attack on Iraq also raised questions on the validity of the sanctions, which had been used for peace- building in that they were to ensure that Iraq did not have stockpiles of, or the means to produce, weapons of mass destruction. The Council now had two choices: it could assert its authority and take practical decisions on sanctions to truly build peace; or it might find that its ability to lead the international community was impaired.
United Nations agencies and programmes had detailed the horror the sanctions had wrought in Iraq, he continued. According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), 90,000 deaths each year were directly attributable to the effect of the sanctions; one million children under the age of five were chronically malnourished; and education was shattered. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the health system was close to collapse while the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) described deterioration in the agriculture sector that would require investments beyond the "oil-for-food" programme.
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In the interests of peace, if not in the name of humanity, the Security Council must realize that the crisis could not drag on, he said. There must be a policy that respects both the Council's resolutions and the dignity of the Iraqi people. The events leading to the attack on Iraq had also illustrated that the personalities and actions of those involved in post- conflict peace-building were crucial to success. By and large, the international community had been served well by international civil servants responsible for peace-building, but exceptions to that showed how sensitive a charge it was to carry out those responsibilities that had a critical bearing on building peace in regions of conflict.
JASSIM M. BUALLAY (Bahrain), the Council President, said that the number of speakers who had participated in the 16 December meeting and in today's resumed meeting was a reflection of the utmost attention given to the subject. Many good ideas had been put forward, and it was hoped that the Security Council would benefit from such views when considering issues of international peace and security. The Council would take whatever action it deemed necessary to translate such ideas into concrete action.
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