12/07/2001
Press Release
GA/9892



Fifty-fifth General Assembly

Plenary

107th Meeting (PM)


GENERAL ASSEMBLY APPROVES STATUTE OF UN STAFF COLLEGE, ENDORSES

BRUSSELS ACTION PROGRAMME FOR LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES


Also Continues Consideration of Report

Of Secretary-General on Prevention of Armed Conflict


The General Assembly this afternoon approved the Statute of the United Nations System Staff College in Turin, Italy, and endorsed the Brussels Declaration and Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010, adopted by the Third United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries in Brussels on 20 May.


Acting without a vote, it took that action as it first adopted a draft resolution on the Statute of the College, introduced by the representative of Italy.  By that text, it reaffirmed the role of the College as an institution for system-wide knowledge management, training and continuous learning for the Organization's staff, particularly in the areas of socio-economic development, peace and security, and internal management. 


By other terms, the Assembly asked all relevant bodies to expedite those administrative, organizational and logistic arrangements needed to ensure a smooth start of operations of the College from 1 January 2002.


Romania’s representative also spoke on the resolution.


As it again acted without a vote and adopted a resolution on the Programme of Action for Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010, the Assembly decided to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-sixth session an item on the implementation of that Programme.  The representative of Bangladesh introduced the resolution.


The representative of Belgium (on behalf the European Union and associated States) also made a statement in explanation of position on the least developed countries resolution.


As the Assembly also continued its consideration of the report of the Secretary-General on the prevention of armed conflict, which began this morning, Lithuania’s representative said new facets of conflict such as economic ones had to be addressed.  If States believed they could profit from conflicts, then


conflicts were likely to occur.  The Security Council and the business community should continue work to develop more effective measures to reduce war profits and to target illegal exploitation of natural resources.  The elaboration of a new approach to the application of sanctions was also overdue.


Peru’s representative said the report affirmed that the multidimensional effort needed for international peace and security was not a privileged specific function that came under the sole jurisdiction of one entity.  Also, within the Organization, the report established that preventive action implied an interaction of measures among its main bodies, which required precise coordination and an assignment of specific roles that were, at the same time, joint and complementary.


Those assertions, he underscored, offered a clear answer to the demand of many States within the Organization who also found it difficult to accept why a single body such as the Security Council should be the entity solely responsible for the conceptualization, establishment and philosophy of international peace efforts. 


Pakistan’s representative said he did not agree that the root causes of conflict were essentially economic, social or cultural, underlying the political symptoms of conflicts.  The reverse was true.  Many examples could be given to prove that not socio-economic but political factors were behind the ongoing conflicts in Kashmir, Palestine, Afghanistan, the Balkans, Caucasus, and the Great Lakes region.  The United Nations should thus be erring on the side of caution as wrong diagnosis led to wrong prescription. 


He said that inaction by the Organization on its own resolutions, as in the case of Kashmir, and selectivity, as in the case of Afghanistan, suggested a partisan approach that was responsible for the perpetuation of those conflicts.  Selectivity or discrimination between regions and situations was not only inexcusable, but also a negation of the very principles for which the United Nations was created. 


The representatives of Australia, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Guatemala, Democratic Republic of Korea, Poland, Norway, Brazil, Uruguay, Jamaica, Chile, Liechtenstein and Cuba also made statements on the report of the Secretary-General on the prevention of armed conflict.


The Assembly will meet tomorrow at 10 a.m. to conclude its review of the Secretary-General’s report.


Background


The General Assembly met this afternoon to continue its exchange of views on the prevention of armed conflict, including the Secretary-General's report on that topic (documents A/55/985 and Corr.1). [For further information, see Press Release GA/9890 of 12 July.]


Before the Assembly was also a report of the Secretary-General on United Nations System Staff College (document A/55/989).


In its resolution 55/207 of 20 December 2000, the Assembly decided to establish the United Nations System Staff College as an institution for system-wide knowledge, management, training and learning for the staff of the United Nations system, aimed, in particular, at the areas of economic and social development, peace and security, and internal management of the system.  It requested the Secretary-General to submit a final draft of the College’s statute.


The draft statute (attached as an annex to the report) was prepared through an extensive process of inter-agency consultations.  Modalities for institutionalizing the Staff College were examined by the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) at its last session in Nairobi in April.  The Committee focused on the functions, as well as the governance and funding arrangements, for the Staff College.


With regard to functions, the Committee concluded that the Staff College should operate as a system-wide, demand-driven institution dedicated to innovation and reform across the United Nations system, and that it should focus on fostering a common culture, as well as cooperation and knowledge-sharing among the organizations of the system, on managerial and strategic policy issues.


According to the report, the Staff College should aim at enhancing the ability of United Nations system staff to cooperate not only across United Nations organizations, but also with the wider international community and with civil society in optimizing the services provided to Member States.  A key feature of the draft statute is to establish true ownership of the Staff College by the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system.  Under the proposed statute, the Board of Governors of the Staff College is to be composed of the organizations that are members of the ACC.


The report states that the principle of system-wide ownership has likewise guided the financing arrangements.  The statute provides that the core portion of the budget is to be met on a cost-sharing basis by the organizations of the system, with the College’s operations continuing to be supported through fees for courses and voluntary contributions.  The Staff College is to enjoy the status, privileges and immunities pertaining to the Organization.


Introduction of Draft on Staff College


PIER BENEDETTO FRANCESE (Italy) introduced the draft resolution on the statute of the United Nations System Staff College in Turin, Italy (document A/55/L.89).  He hoped the resolution would be adopted today.


By the terms of the text, the Assembly would approve the statute of the United Nations System Staff College in Turin, Italy.  It would reaffirm the role of the College as an institution for system-wide knowledge management, training and continuous learning for the Organization's staff, particularly in the areas of socio-economic development, peace and security and internal management.  The Assembly would also ask all relevant bodies to expedite those administrative, organizational and logistic arrangements needed to ensure a smooth start of operations of the College from 1 January 2002.


Co-sponsoring the text are Italy, Romania and 95 Member States.


ALEXANDRU NICULESCU (Romania) said he appreciated the cooperation of Italy in all effort to produce the text and hoped that the text would be adopted today, as well.


Action on Draft


The Assembly, acting without a vote, then adopted draft resolution A/55/L.89.


Introduction of Draft on Least Developed Countries


ANWARUL KARIM CHOWDHURY (Bangladesh) introduced the draft resolution entitled “Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for 2001-2010” (document A/55/L.88).  By the terms of that draft, the Assembly would endorse the Brussels Declaration and the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010 adopted by the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries.  By other terms, it would decide to include, in the provisional agenda of its fifty-sixth session, an item entitled “Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010.


Mr. Chowdhury said that the documents being endorsed represented the outcome of third United Nations Conference on the least developed countries.  In order to commence their implementation without losing any more time, it was being presented during the fifty-fifth session of the General Assembly.  The present resolution was procedural in nature, intended to endorse the two major documents adopted at the Conference.  More substantive discussion would follow during the fifty-sixth session of the General Assembly.


Co-sponsors of the text are, among least developed countries:  Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Ethiopia, Haiti, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Liberia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sao Tome and Principe, United Republic of Tanzania, Senegal, Togo, Uganda and Bangladesh.


The following countries of the European Union also co-sponsored the draft: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.


Action on Draft


The Assembly then adopted the resolution contained in A/55/L.88 without a vote.


Statement following Vote


MICHIEL MAERTENS (Belgium), on behalf of the European Union, welcomed the endorsement of the General Assembly of the Programme of Action on least developed countries.  He thanked all the actors that contributed to the success of the Conference, and reminded the Assembly that the real success would only come about through the implementation of the Programme.


Statements on Conflict Prevention


The Assembly then continued consideration of the report of the Secretary-General on the prevention of armed conflict.


PENNY WENSLEY (Australia) said her Government recognized that preventive action must address the multiple causes that generate or contribute to conflict.  The recent special session on HIV/AIDS underscored the changing concept of international security to encompass a wide range of threats to humanity, including the environment, health and poverty, and the role played by civil society in addressing those threats.  Effective analysis and identification of root causes, however, must be matched by appropriate remedial action.  An integrated approach to conflict prevention must, therefore, be multifaceted, drawing on the broad expertise of the political, security, development, humanitarian and human rights agencies of the United Nations system.  Such an approach must also include the Bretton Woods institutions and other relevant intergovernmental actors.


She said it was also important that the United Nations continue to enhance its capability to react quickly in response to emerging crises.  The Security Council must also be pro-active in its approach to conflict prevention.  The Council missions to various regions had been constructive and more should be done with that mechanism.  The roles of the Council and the Assembly should be considered complementary in conflict-prevention efforts.  As a supporter of employing a comprehensive, integrated approach to conflict prevention, Australia recognized the importance of good governance programmes in assisting nations to address that issue.  Australia also supported effective coordination between the United Nations and regional organizations.  She agreed with the report that stemming the flow of small arms and guaranteeing protection of women in conflict were among the ways conflict prevention could be addressed in a more comprehensive way, and peace could be promoted more effectively.


She said the Secretary-General's report had drawn an important distinction between regular development assistance, humanitarian assistance programmes and those programmes implemented as preventative or peace-building responses to problems that could lead to the outbreak or recurrence of violent conflict.  While it was essential to address conflicts as they occurred, that should not be at the expense of long-term development programmes aimed at building sustainable peace. She added that there were substantial benefits to bringing together those agencies with skills and expertise that could help bring about peace and development.  By example, she said that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Organization's lead development agency, had a particularly important role to play in addressing the development aspects of conflict prevention.


MADINA B. JARBUSSYNOVA (Kazakhstan) said the prevention of armed conflicts could be comparatively economical and cost-effective, saving lives and the environment for development.  Regrettably, it should be recognized that armed- conflict prevention remained one of the least practised aspects of the United Nations.  She concurred with the view that conflict prevention was a collective obligation of Member States, and that the Security Council had a clear responsibility in the maintenance of peace and stability.  A subsidiary body of the Council for considering preventive measures in specific situations would be an important component of the Council’s conflict-prevention activities.


The Secretary-General’s recommendation to develop regional strategies involving regional actors to promote long-term conflict prevention was of particular importance to her country and the countries of Central Asia, which faced the danger of a further spread of the conflict in Afghanistan.  The recent incursions by Islamic militants confirmed the need for a comprehensive approach to the Afghan crisis.  A special meeting of the Council should launch the process of instituting comprehensive political, economic and humanitarian measures to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan.  The Afghan settlement should contain mechanisms of an international intervention, as well as mobilize financial and material resources, she said.


Her country strongly believed that active involvement of regional security systems in maintaining international peace and security would enhance the peacemaking potential of the United Nations.  Kazakhstan had consistently promoted its initiative on convening the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and will host the CICA summit in November.


DUMISANI S. KUMALO (South Africa) said that there existed an inextricable link between peace, democracy and development.  Therefore, the prevention of conflict within States required the establishment of solid institutions of democratic governance, which protected the rule of law and promoted fundamental human rights, including the right to development.  The responsibility for achieving those goals rested primarily with States and their national governments.


The General Assembly, as the only universal forum, had an important role to play in the prevention of armed conflict, particularly in creating and maintaining global values and norms, as well as the nurturing of greater awareness.  At the practical level, it could play a positive role in providing the necessary political and financial support for efforts aimed at strengthening regional capacities to deal with conflict prevention and resolution. 


Furthermore, as stated by the Secretary-General, peace-building, whether before or after conflicts, formed an integral part of a broader strategy for conflict prevention.  The complexity of peace-building tasks and the vastness of the resources required necessitated the engagement of multiple international actors.  The response to those challenges required unity of effort and long-term engagement.  The Assembly is eminently placed to meet those challenges and bring the range of actors together to ensure unity of the international community’s efforts.

ALLIEU IBRAHIM KANU (Sierra Leone) said he agreed with the Secretary-General that the Security Council had a key role to play in the prevention of armed conflict.  However, in most if not all cases, the Council got involved when armed conflict had already occurred.  In that regard, he supported the measures proposed in recommendation 3 of the report, especially the early warning measure.  When startling inequalities existed in countries with regard to political, economic and social opportunities, that was likely to lead to an armed conflict to resolve the imbalance.  In addition, the establishment of ad hoc tribunals and special courts, as well as the establishment of the International Criminal Court, would act as a deterrent to armed conflict. 


He supported the recommendation for a United Nations Office in West Africa and looked forward to its establishment after careful consideration of all aspects of its role and mandate to avoid duplication of functions with other bodies in the region.  Also, it was imperative to take immediate action to control the manufacturing, transfer and stockpiling of small arms and light weapons, which accounted for the bulk of the casualties and atrocities in conflicts.  The uncontrollable proliferation of those weapons helped to propel armed conflicts.  There should be greater transparency by Member States on the manufacturing and sale of arms.  In that regard, he enthusiastically supported recommendations number 14 and 15 of the report. 


ROBERTO LAVALLE VALDES (Guatemala) said the Secretary-General’s report was an excellent basis for reflection on conflict prevention.  In particular, the distinction between inter- and intra-State conflicts was particularly significant; there were considerable differences in the symptoms of those two kinds of conflict and their treatment.  Also, the United Nations Charter reflected differently on the two types.  Unfortunately, the report did not set out the manner in which the two kinds of conflicts should be dealt with.  That kind of differentiation needed to be done in a comprehensive manner.


In other areas, he said there was an absence of references, in the report, to important United Nations initiatives on the modalities of the resolution of conflicts between States. In addition, he would have expected to see, in section 5 of the report, a reference to the Declaration on the Enhancement of Cooperation between the United Nations and Regional Arrangements or Agencies in the Maintenance of International Peace and Security.  Finally, he cautioned against rushing to conclusions that certain States were not willing to have the International Court of Justice adjudicate particular disputes, merely because they had not availed themselves of the possibility of making declarations.


LI HYONG CHOL (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) said that the ever-increasing number of armed conflicts had dispelled the hope for global peace that was expected to follow the end of the cold war, and now posed a challenge to the common desire of humankind to make the new century peaceful and prosperous.  It would be natural, then, for the United Nations to approach the maintenance of international peace and security from a new, more practical angle –- one that included full consultation among Member States.  With that in mind, it was his delegation's view that the prevention of armed conflict had now become the most effective and practical way to maintain international peace and security.


He went on to say that in order to prevent armed conflict, it was important to, among other things, establish sound international relations based on the principles of respect for sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of others.  Those principles constituted a cornerstone for peaceful and stable international relations.  Encroachment upon sovereignty -- in itself, a cause of some of the worst conflicts -- should never be tolerated.  At the same time, open violations of State sovereignty still persisted, namely, in the form of military attacks, economic blockades and political pressure imposed by so-called "displeased countries".  Moreover, rivalries among nations and different political and ethnic groups are often instigated and the resultant tensions are used as an excuse for intervention.  Overt high-handedness and arbitrary actions have threatened peace and security and underscored the need for adherence to the principles of non-interference and equitable international relations.


He said that the ever-widening gap between the developed and developing worlds, exacerbated by mounting poverty, was a major source of social instability that posed significant threats to international peace and security.  Accordingly, every possible effort should be made to increase official development assistance (ODA), enhance the capacities of the United Nations for economic cooperation, and establish equitable economic relations favourable for the sustainable development of all countries.  He also said the peaceful resolution of disputes through negotiation should be considered a basic principle of conflict prevention.  It was also necessary to improve Organization's role in preventing armed conflict, namely, through enhancing the role of the Assembly and ensuring impartiality in the prevention initiatives proposed by the Security Council.


JANUSZ STANCZYK (Poland) said that since the Organization had a particularly important role in the area of conflict prevention, there was an urgent need for improving cooperation within the United Nations system.  Of great importance was the effective implementation of Security Council resolutions, in particular, concerning observance of arms embargoes. There should be no “blind-eye” turning to any State, organization or interest group not complying with Council resolutions.


The international community should pay more attention to cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations in the prevention of armed conflict. Cooperation between the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the European Union were of the highest importance to his country, he said.  He hoped that such cooperation would bring even more results in resolving such conflicts as those in the Caucasian region or in Moldova.


He said the international community should do its utmost to decrease the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots”, sometimes artificially dividing society into different ethnic groups.  The annual substantive session of the Economic and Social Council should address the question of root causes of conflict, and the role of development in promoting long-term conflict prevention.


Human rights abuses had been the root causes of many conflicts.  Effective preventive action in the future could be launched if the United Nations human rights machinery was seriously and continuously adopted in that area.  Social and economic programmes aimed at reduction of poverty should be integrated with the general imperative of a new culture of prevention.


KRISTIN HELENE JORGENSEN HAFSELD (Norway) said she shared the Secretary-General’s vision of change from a culture of reaction to one of prevention. Presenting Norway’s views on some of the principal issues involved, she stressed national ownership of conflict-prevention programmes, with the UNDP a valuable focal point for capacity building in that regard.  The United Nations development system must tailor its activities to the root causes of conflict.  Overall, successful preventive strategies depended on the cooperation of the many United Nations actors.


Norway had, she said, provided support to the Mechanism of Conflict Prevention of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and endorsed a greater role for regional organizations in prevention of armed conflict.  In addition to the wide range of measures that the United Nations system had at hand –- including diplomacy, mediation and sanctions -- the international community must also work to reduce the profits of war and curb the illicit trade in small arms.  In general, timing is the key word in conflict prevention.  For that reason, Norway supported the Trust for Preventive Action and advocated that the international community should provide more development resources to address the root causes of conflict.


GELSON FONSECA, JR. (Brazil) said the report of the Secretary-General sent a clear-cut message that everything the United Nations did had preventive potential.  His delegation proposed the establishment of an open-ended working group under the auspices of the General Assembly to help that body’s President to identify specific cases that would be priorities for conflict prevention.  The Secretary-General’s proposal that regional groups submit periodic reports on the situations in their areas was a good one.  He stressed, however, that those documents should not be circulated to just the Security Council, but also as documents of the Economic and Social Council and the Assembly. His delegation also enthusiastically supported the proposal in the report on the role to be played by Secretary-General in diplomacy and conflict resolution.


He said conflicts were fuelled, among other factors, by inequity, poverty and marginalization.  Strategies for conflict prevention, poverty eradication and sustainable development were, therefore, all complementary.  Brazil also supported the recommendation to expand international cooperation and to provide more aid.  He noted that, right now, the United Nations was experiencing frustration over proposals that were put forward and the dearth of obstacles that confronted them.  There was need for a change of attitude in the daily life of the Organization.  The most immediate challenge to the Organization and the international community was to turn consensus into visible and tangible responses.


GEDIMINAS ŠERKŠNYS (Lithuania) said most of the Secretary-General’s recommendations deserved support.  Building a meaningful interaction between the Security Council and the Assembly, particularly in the area of peace-building, was a forward-thinking proposal and the framework for such an interaction should be elaborated.  New boundaries of the conflict –- economic –- had to be addressed.  If States believed they could profit from conflicts, then conflicts were likely to occur.  The Council, along with the business community, should, therefore, continue work to develop more effective measures aimed at reducing the profits of war and targeted at the illegal exploitation of natural resources.  The elaboration of a new approach to the application of sanctions, their scope and depth, as well as monitoring, was clearly overdue.

He said a successful conflict-prevention strategy would require cooperation between the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Assembly, the Secretary-General and other United Nations agencies.  The mandate of the Economic and Social Council also entitled that body to play a critical role in conflict prevention.  Thus, a more focused and formalized discussion had to take place between the two Councils.  Although the Secretary-General’s credentials in that area spoke for themselves, his traditional role in that area needed to be strengthened.  “We encourage him to develop and enhance his preventive diplomacy efforts in the ways outlined in his report”, he said.


ALFONSO RIVERO (Peru) said the report of the Secretary-General affirmed a principle that had been repeatedly emphasized:  that the multidimensional effort needed for international peace and security was not a privileged specific function that came under the sole jurisdiction of one entity.  While the United Nations participated as the main actor, it did so with actions that were coordinated with other international and regional organizations, groups of States, countries that were directly involved, and the civil society of the affected States.  Each participant had a responsibility.


Also, within the Organization, he continued, the report established that preventive action implied an interaction of measures among its main bodies, which required precise coordination and an assignment of specific roles that were, at the same time, joint and complementary.  Those assertions offered a clear answer to the demand of many States within the Organization.  Those countries found it very difficult to accept both logically and practically why a single body such as the Security Council should be the entity singularly responsible for the conceptualization, establishment and philosophy of international peace efforts. 


“We are convinced that an extensive exercise of reflection and exploration has yet to be made to define the role that could be played by both the Assembly and the Economic and Social Council in international peacekeeping”, he said.  The Assembly was also the most appropriate body, because of its nature, to generate the consensus that was required to establish dialogue and coordination between the two Councils.  The development of a clear legal framework that would define that role for the Assembly with specific rules and criteria for action would be very important for that purpose.


JULIO BENITEZ SAENZ (Uruguay) said that the issue has been a concern of his country since it first entered the Organization.  He endorsed many views of the Secretary-General’s report, including the priority of national efforts with United Nations assistance as supported by the Charter.  He ascribed to the General Assembly a particularly important role in this effort, as it was the most representative body.  That role could be enhanced by the creation of a consultative mechanism.


In addition, he said, the Secretariat’s capability should also be strengthened, as described in the report, as should the relevant areas of specialty throughout the Organization, whose efforts should be well coordinated with one another.  The credibility of the entire Organization was at issue.


SHAMSHAD AHMAD (Pakistan) asked how the objective of identifying and addressing conflict-prone disputes at an early stage so as to prevent violence and bloodshed could be translated into reality.  Not through hedging or avoiding an issue, but through displaying the political will to address it.  More often, political expediency and the self-serving interests of a few, rather than the collective good, dictated the agenda of the Organization.  Resolution after resolution was passed, while disputes festered, blood spilled and lives were lost. The issues of Kashmir and Palestine were two examples, which were testimony to the apathy and inaction of the United Nations.  Both of those issues, he continued, had their genesis in the denial of people’s right to self-determination.


Both, he continued, had caused wars and were still dangerous flashpoints with serious implications for regional and global peace.  Both were legacies of political injustice and manifestations of ongoing repression.  Decades of indifference and State oppression could not extinguish the penchant for freedom and justice of the Kashmiri and Palestinian people.  Sadly though, their agony continued while the United Nations remained a silent spectator.  He did not agree with the diagnosis that the root causes of conflict were essentially economic, social or cultural, underlying the political symptoms.  In fact, the reverse was true.  Apart from Kashmir and Palestine, many more examples could be given to prove that not socio-economic but political factors were behind the ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan, the Balkans, Caucasus, and the Great Lakes region. 


He said the United Nations should thus be erring on the side of caution, as wrong diagnosis led to wrong prescription.  Inaction by the Organization on its own resolutions, as in the case of Kashmir, and selectivity, as in the case of Afghanistan, suggested a partisan approach responsible for the perpetuation of those conflicts.  Selectivity or discrimination between regions and situations was not only inexcusable, but also a negation of the very principles for which this world body was created.  Pakistan was conscious of its obligations to promote peace and stability in the world and, in its own region, was doing whatever was possible to prevent conflicts.  Even at this moment, his country was taking a bold step in that direction, as its President was embarking on a historic visit to India with the aims of promoting durable peace in South Asia.


M. PATRICIA DURRANT (Jamaica) referred to the recommendations made by Jamaica to the Security Council during the debate in that forum on 21 June.  Her present remarks were related to matters within the purview of the General Assembly, which had not yet fully utilized all the mechanisms at its disposal on this issue, particularly in the areas of peaceful settlement of disputes, human rights and development.  The Assembly must give priority to addressing the deep-rooted socio-economic, cultural, political and structural causes of conflict.  In addition, the Secretary-General had correctly highlighted the need for the entire United Nations system to integrate conflict prevention into all its specialized areas, in a well ordered, cooperative manner. 


She further underlined the Secretary-General’s recommendations to target the needs of children, strengthen media and public information capacity to counter hate messages, and provide increased resources for preventing transnational crime and the illicit trade in small arms and drugs.  She supported innovative approaches, especially those that involved early, short- and long-term responses to the range of factors that gave rise to conflicts.  Financing for development was particularly important.  She also agreed that conflict prevention should have national ownership, and that cooperation with a wide range of actors at the international, regional, subregional and community levels would ensure enhanced preventive strategies that responded to the peculiarities of the situation in each State.


CRISTIAN MAQUIEIRA (Chile) said there was no higher purpose than that of pooling the efforts of the international community to prevent armed conflict.  Pending a more exhaustive analysis of the Secretary-General’s report, he highlighted sections of particular concern.  Those included the importance of regional organizations and the role of the Secretary-General himself.  Periodic regional and subregional reports were also particularly important, if made available to all Member States. 


He said it was also essential to give priority to diplomatic initiatives and early-warning capacity, although such capacity was of little use without rapid reaction capability.  Preventive deployment could be a calming presence, as could peace-building activities.  The report did not seem to mention the important matter of reducing the threat from nuclear weapons.  But he supported many recommendations included in the report, such as those on strengthening the role of the International Court of Justice, and those that concerned the priority of human rights, especially those of children and women.


CHRISTIAN WENAWESER (Liechtenstein) said the pattern of responding to, rather than anticipating, a crisis was obviously deeply rooted, and the change towards a culture of prevention would require time and political will.  Putting prevention in its rightful place in accordance with the United Nations Charter was of crucial importance and should be expressed, among other things, through funding.  Liechtenstein was happy to be among the donors to the Trust Fund for Preventive Actions, but prevention constituted a core activity of the United Nations and should be funded from the regular budget.


The United Nations should focus its preventive efforts on post-conflict peace-building, he said.  It could make important contributions to disarmament, demobilization and reintegration efforts, among other things.  Peace-building was not nation-building, and national ownership was of critical importance for successful post-conflict peace-building.  The Secretariat needed to be better equipped to live up to its tasks.  Liechtenstein had been ready to contribute to the establishment of a peace-building unit within the Department of Political Affairs for quite some time, and hoped that that unit would soon start playing a catalytic role.


Peace-building was also a point in case for the stronger involvement of women, he said.  Not only should the differential impact of armed conflict on women be addressed, but the important role women very often played in times of and immediately following armed conflicts should also be recognized.  Full participation and ownership of women was essential for achieving results in post-conflict situations.  The appointment of women as special representatives and envoys of the Secretary-General could send a very clear message to national constituencies in that respect, and could have a tremendous positive impact.  Unfortunately, such appointments continued to be few and far between.


BRUNO RODRIGUEZ PARRILLA (Cuba) said that conflict prevention would not succeed without measures to promote development and establish a more equitable world economic order.  In that regard, debt and trade issues were particularly relevant.  Also, funds needed to be redirected from military activities towards

development.  The General Assemble must play the pre-eminent role in conflict prevention, adopting timely decisions and making better use of its powers.  The Assembly must also get regional and subregional reports on conflict prevention, possibly sponsoring missions to volatile areas.  A working group of the Assembly might discuss possible measures to be taken in accordance with the information thus gathered.


All preventive activity must be done in accordance with the Charter, respecting principles of non-interference and consistency, he said.  In addition, effective interaction must be instituted between the General Assembly and the Security Council, which so far did not exist.  For that purpose, reforming the Security Council was urgent.  Its hegemonic role thus far hindered more effective conflict prevention.  The Economic and Social Council could also play a supporting role in addressing the root causes of conflict, as long as that role did not conflict with the lead role played by the General Assembly.


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