|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Country ownership of peacebuilding through parliaments, other institutions crucial
to success, says Secretary-General in message to new york parliamentary hearing
Following is UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s message to the 2006 Parliamentary Hearing at the United Nations, delivered by Mark Malloch Brown, Deputy-Secretary-General, in New York, 13 November:
It is a great pleasure to send my greetings to this parliamentary hearing. Your voices offer a crucial perspective on international affairs and the United Nations, and I welcome your steadily growing engagement in our work.
I am especially encouraged that you are focusing your attention at this session on conflict prevention and the needs of countries emerging from conflict.
As you know, one of my consistent objectives as Secretary-General has been to move the United Nations from a culture of reaction to one of prevention. This, after all, is what is implied by the very first words that our founders used to express their purpose in founding the Organization –- “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”. In my most recent progress report on the subject, I was able to say that, a culture of prevention is indeed beginning to take hold at the United Nations, not only through efforts to resolve disputes peacefully, but also through economic and social development.
The necessary complement to this work is the peacebuilding we do should prevention fail. Countries emerging from violence and upheaval face unique and formidable challenges in finding a durable path of reconciliation, development and peace. In establishing the new intergovernmental Peacebuilding Commission, the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council have created a dedicated institutional mechanism to address these special needs; our challenge is to make the most of this new capacity.
We will have to help States deal with the wide range of actors that are involved in peacebuilding, which can overwhelm the already limited capacity of States making the transition from war to peace. We will have to prevent gaps and overlap, placing a premium on coordination. And, we will have to do our utmost to ensure the effectiveness of our technical assistance, which is typically extended in key areas such as constitution-making, transitional justice, democratization and the rule of law.
Country ownership of peacebuilding is essential, meaning that the role of national institutions, such as parliaments, is crucial to success. As already expressed by the recent General Assembly resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, we are committed to strengthening our partnership in each of the core areas that make up peacebuilding.
Finally, on a personal note, let me thank you for the strong support you have given me and the United Nations throughout my tenure as Secretary-General. I trust you will do the same for my successor. In that spirit of shared endeavour, I offer you all my best wishes for a successful parliamentary hearing.
* *** *For information media • not an official record