22 July 2009
General Assembly
PBC/55

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

PEACEBUILDING COMMISSION WELCOMES SECRETARY-GENERAL’S REPORT ON CRUCIAL TWO-YEAR


POST-CONFLICT PERIOD; CHAIRMAN CALLS FOR URGENT ATTENTION TO RECOMMENDATIONS


The United Nations Peacebuilding Commission has welcomed a report by the Secretary-General on peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict, delivered to the Security Council today.


The report follows a request from the Security Council last year and is part of a series of related initiatives aimed at consolidating and strengthening the United Nations response in the area of peace and security.  It focuses on the crucial two-year window when conflict has ended, but insecurity often persists and peace is fragile.


Wide-ranging consultations with a number of United Nations actors formed the basis of the report, which has found that delivering real gains during the first two years after the conflict has ended is essential.


“The people in post conflict countries will benefit if we move from words to action,” the Chairperson of the Peacebuilding Commission, Ambassador Heraldo Muñoz ( Chile) said.


People expect to feel safe, to have access to basic services and to have the chance to provide for their families.  They want to see things around them getting better quickly and to feel that they are included in the political process going forward.


In meeting these challenges, the report has identified five areas in which the international community must be ready to respond, spearheaded with strong United Nations leadership that supports national capacity with technical expertise:


·         building security by making societies safer through things such as clearing mines, disarming rebels, rebuilding peacetime armies, strengthening the police and building a strong rule of law sector for all stages of the judicial process;

·         supporting political processes such as elections and equipping political leaders with the tools to achieve change and leadership through participation, not intimidation;

·         building the civil sector so Governments can provide services such as hospitals, schools, roads, sanitation and access to water, which helps people to leave temporary camps and return home;

·         building systems of governance so that taxes can be collected and public administration can resume; and

·         building stronger economies through creating jobs -- particularly for the young who may be frustrated and dislocated after years of violence.


The report, based on the experience from two decades of international assistance to countries emerging from violence, has found that a wider range of actors must be engaged if support is to be provided in the political, military, humanitarian, development and human rights areas.  The report recommends that the international community, including the United Nations, must work closely together to ensure fast and effective results, which is not always the case.


In delivering his report to the Security Council, Ban Ki-moon said it sets out an approach to peacebuilding that is better resourced, managed and coordinated, and one which he believes will better help countries emerging from conflict to meet the enormous challenges they face.  The components of this approach are:


·         peacebuilding should sit on a foundation of national ownership;

·         the United Nations should be poised to lead the efforts of the international community with strong leadership;

·         coherence between all actors is essential as peacebuilding is a collective effort involving mediation, peacekeeping and humanitarian aid and development;

·         all actors need to align behind a common strategy and allocate resources accordingly; and

·         the strategy should be supported with fast and predictable resources, especially technical expertise and funding.


In finding practical solutions to the challenges, the Secretary-General has asked Member States to play a crucial role by taking consistent positions, aligning bilateral support with the common strategy in each country and making donor funding faster, more flexible and more risk-tolerant.  He has also asked Member States to support efforts by the United Nations to improve its own performance.


The Peacebuilding Commission’s Chairman, Mr. Muñoz, said the preparation of the report had brought together many parts of the United Nations dealing with peacebuilding and helped to develop a common understanding of its challenges and priorities.


“It is now time to direct urgent attention to the report’s recommendations.  The Peacebuilding Commission will support the Secretary-General in his peacebuilding efforts and will encourage Member States to play their part too,” Chairman Muñoz said.


For more information, please contact Allison Cooper in the Peacebuilding Support Office at tel: +1 212 963 2073, e-mail: coopera@un.org.


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For information media • not an official record