|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6299th Meeting (AM & PM)
Security Council Stresses Critical Importance of Peacebuilding in Laying
Foundation for Sustainable Peace, Development in Aftermath of Conflict
Presidential Statement Follows Day-Long Debate of Some 48 Speakers;
Ministers from Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste Offer Lessons Learned
The Security Council today emphasized the critical importance of post-conflict peacebuilding as the “foundation for building sustainable peace and development in the aftermath of conflict”, and highlighted the need for effective peacebuilding strategies to ensure durable peace and development.
In a statement read by Council President Yukio Takasu (Japan), the Council highlighted the importance of the peaceful settlement of political disputes in a post-conflict State and addressing the sources of violent conflict as essential elements for achieving sustainable peace. It reaffirmed that ending impunity was essential in order to come to terms with past abuses and underlined the importance of holding free, fair and transparent elections.
Further to the statement, the Council recognized nationally owned security sector reform as essential to the peacebuilding process, as well as the importance of pursuing political stability and security alongside socio-economic development. It stressed, in that regard, the importance of delivering early peace dividends, including the provision of basic services. The Council also reiterated the importance of launching peacebuilding assistance at the earliest possible stage, recognizing the critical role of the Peacebuilding Commission in addressing peacebuilding priorities, particularly through marshalling support and resources and improving planning and coordination.
While recognizing the need to broaden and deepen the pool of civilian experts to help develop national capacity, the Council emphasized the need for the United Nations system to strengthen strategic partnerships with international, regional and subregional organizations, as well as of financial institutions, in particular by promoting coherence and coordination among their plans and programmes.
At the outset of the day-long meeting in which 48 speakers participated, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “We must seize the crucial opportunity after the end of a major conflict. We must respond early and robustly. And we must then stay engaged over the long term,” adding that the collective efforts of the international community must be tailored to meet the needs of each country.
“First, we build peace in the hearts and minds of people,” he said. That meant delivering concrete peace dividends such as safety, justice, jobs and prospects for a better future. In that regard, the work of the United Nations must always be guided by the principle of national ownership. Timely funding was also essential.
He said peacebuilding was a complex and multifaceted undertaking that required significant amounts of human, financial and institutional resources. But the most important tool at the international community’s disposal was the political commitment of national and international actors. (See Press Release SG/SM/12846)
In opening remarks, Katsuya Okada, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, set the parameters of the discussion by posing two questions: How did conflicts recur even after a ceasefire was successfully concluded? And why did peace not take root in post-conflict countries? Those were critical questions to which the international community had yet to find a definitive answer. “I believe that the key to solving them is for the people in post-conflict situations to have hope for the future.”
He emphasized the importance of political leaders implementing a peace agreement with steadfast determination and the need to share the fruits of democratic elections, including political stability, among all people, including those who did not prevail. That required, as a foundation, the achieving of peaceful coexistence and reconciliation among parties to the conflict. Efforts for peacebuilding should be carried out in an integrated manner and the international community must respect the ownership and capacity-building efforts of the post-conflict country. Also, the best possible use must be made of funds available for the immediate aftermath of a conflict, such as the Peacebuilding Fund.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Managing Director of the World Bank, said that fragile States and those recovering from conflict accounted for 58 per cent of the poverty in the developing world, as well as 67 per cent of infant deaths, and 69 per cent of the deaths of children under age 5. The World Bank’s analysis had also revealed that no fragile State had yet to achieve a single Millennium Development Goal. While violent conflict was one of the most profound development challenges, focusing on peacebuilding alone was insufficient. Just as development could not occur in the absence of peace, peace without development was peace that might not last.
Achieving the best results in peacebuilding required focusing on country context, partnership and accountability, she said, adding: “I know that these three ideas -- the importance of country context, true partnerships and appropriate accountability -- may sit uncomfortably with our limited appetite for risk and our need to demonstrate to our domestic constituencies the quick wins expected in the immediate post-conflict period.” If stakeholders were to deliver real results for people living in fragile or conflict-affected States, however, those areas deserved the full attention of the international community.
Peter Wittig (Germany), Chairman of the Peacebuilding Commission, said the Commission would continue to explore concrete measures to deepen the United Nations collaboration with the main actors at the country level, promote mutual accountability between the host Governments and its partners, and monitor progress towards meeting critical peacebuilding objectives. That work would require visible and sustained support from the Council and the Organization’s general membership and leadership.
Zalmai Rassoul, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, Alfred Palo Conteh, Minister of Defence of Sierra Leone and Lucia Maria Lobato, Minister of Justice of Timor-Leste, gave an overview of peacebuilding efforts in their countries and offered lessons learned.
Speakers in the ensuing debate emphasized that peacekeeping and peacebuilding were not so much sequential but rather parallel processes. They urged the Council therefore to involve the Peacebuilding Commission at the earliest stages of peacekeeping by asking its advice while designing mandates for integrated peacekeeping missions. They also underlined the importance of national ownership of the process, saying that peace must come from within the country and could not be forced by external pressure. Support from donors was often conditional upon the acceptance by receiver countries of the donors’ formula for peacebuilding, the representative of Sri Lanka said, in that regard.
Many delegates underlined the need for early development and early delivery of the peace dividend, including through the provision of basic services. The representative of India said, in that regard, that although security was a key pillar for peacebuilding, it was equally important to focus on building economic opportunity, particularly for the youth, along with political and social stability. They also stressed the need for women to be involved in all peacebuilding activities. Also, the United Nations and the international community could deliver more effectively, among other things, through improving the speed and quality of deployable civilian experts.
While stressing the need for security in post-conflict situations, Sven Alkalaj, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said that a sustainable security sector required police and military reform, as well as impartial and accessible judicial and law enforcement sectors. According to the representative of Lebanon, security sector reform was essential and should be nationally owned from the onset, a process that required disarmament and creation of well-trained -– and politically neutral -- security forces, among other things. A basic level of political will was also needed, he said.
The need for greater cooperation between and involvement of the Security Council, General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, Secretariat, international financial institutions, donors and other actors was also underlined, as was strengthening partnerships with regional and subregional organizations.
The representatives of the Russian Federation, Brazil, Nigeria, France, Uganda, United Kingdom, Turkey, Mexico, Austria, United States, Gabon, China, Costa Rica (on behalf of the Human Security Network), South Africa, Republic of Korea, Egypt, Guatemala, Peru, Pakistan, New Zealand, Kenya, Canada, Croatia, Australia, Finland (on behalf of the Nordic countries), Solomon Islands, El Salvador, Ghana, Rwanda, Thailand, Botswana, Uruguay, Bangladesh (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), Papua New Guinea, Armenia and Nepal spoke as well.
The Council was also addressed by the Acting Head of Delegation of the European Union and the Permanent Observer of the African Union.
The meeting started at 10:05 a.m. and was suspended at 1:25 p.m. It reconvened at 3:05 p.m. and adjourned at 6:35 p.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2010/7 reads as follows:
“The Security Council recalls the statements of its President (S/PRST/2010/2, S/PRST/2009/23, S/PRST/2008/16), and emphasizes the critical importance of post-conflict peacebuilding as the foundation for building sustainable peace and development in the aftermath of conflict. The Council highlights the need for effective peacebuilding strategies to ensure durable peace and development.
“The Security Council recognizes that sustainable peacebuilding requires an integrated approach, which strengthens coherence between political, security, development, human rights and rule of law activities. The Council recognizes the important role that the United Nations can play in supporting national authorities to develop peacebuilding strategies that incrementally and comprehensively address priority needs. The Council encourages international partners to align their support behind these strategies at the international, regional, national and local levels.
“The Security Council reaffirms the importance of national ownership and the development of national capacity, and underscores that peacebuilding strategies should be considered in a country-specific context. In this regard, the Council recognizes the need for national authorities to take responsibility as soon as possible for reconstituting the institutions and functions of Government, with a view to addressing all key peacebuilding needs. The Council emphasizes that support for democratic, transparent and accountable governance is essential in order to achieve durable peace.
“The Security Council highlights the importance of the peaceful settlement of political disputes in a post-conflict State and addressing the sources of violent conflict as essential elements for achieving sustainable peace. The Council recognizes the importance of advancing the peace process and peaceful coexistence through inclusive dialogue, reconciliation and reintegration. The Council reaffirms that ending impunity is essential if a society recovering from conflict is to come to terms with past abuses committed against civilians affected by armed conflict and to prevent such future abuses. The Council underlines the importance of holding free, fair and transparent elections for sustainable peace.
“The Security Council recognizes security sector reform as essential to the peacebuilding process and affirms that security sector reform should be nationally owned. Effective security sector reform requires developing a professional, effective and accountable security sector, in particular national police and military capacities under the civilian oversight of a democratic Government. The Council highlights the importance of a sector-wide approach for security sector reform, which enhances the rule of law, including through the establishment of an independent justice and correction systems. The Council requests the Secretary-General to include, where appropriate and mandated, in his reports on specific missions, an indication of their progress in supporting national authorities towards achieving coordinated and comprehensive international support to nationally owned security sector reform programmes.
“The Security Council recognizes the importance of pursuing political stability and security, alongside socio-economic development for the consolidation of peace. The Council stresses the importance of delivering early peace dividends, including the provision of basic services, in order to help instil confidence and commitment to the peace process. The Council recognizes that the reintegration of refugees, internally displaced persons and former combatants in coordination with security sector reform and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration should not be seen in isolation, but should be carried out in the context of a broader search for peace, stability and development, with special emphasis on the revival of economic activities. The Council notes, in this regard, that high levels of youth unemployment can be a major challenge to sustainable peacebuilding.
“While recognizing the importance of developing State capacity, the Security Council also emphasizes the importance of increased attention and coherent policies to the reconstruction of conflict-affected communities and empowerment of affected people, in particular vulnerable civilians, such as children, the elderly, refugees and internally displaced persons. The Council takes note of the need for assistance for victims. The Council, in accordance with its resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008), underlines the key role women and young persons can play in re-establishing the fabric of society, and stresses the need for their involvement in the development and implementation of post-conflict strategies in order to take account of their perspectives and needs.
“The Security Council notes that drug trafficking, organized crime, terrorism, illegal trafficking in arms and trafficking in people could constitute transnational threats with an impact on the consolidation of peace in countries emerging from conflict, and underlines the importance of increasing international and regional cooperation on the basis of common and shared responsibility to address them effectively.
“The Security Council reiterates the importance of launching peacebuilding assistance at the earliest possible stage. The Security Council recognizes the critical role of the Peacebuilding Commission in addressing peacebuilding priorities, particularly through marshalling support and resources and improving planning and coordination for peacebuilding efforts. The Council further recognizes the need for greater coordination with the Commission and looks forward to the 2010 review of the Peacebuilding Commission and the recommendations on how its role can be enhanced.
“The Security Council recognizes the importance of enhancing coordination among relevant bilateral and multilateral donors to ensure predictable, coherent and timely financial support for post-conflict peacebuilding. The Council underscores that funding mechanisms for addressing immediate post-conflict needs, in particular the Peacebuilding Fund, should play a catalytic role, which should be followed by more substantial, longer-term finance as soon as possible for the recovery and reconstruction efforts. The Council encourages greater synergy between the Peacebuilding Fund and the Peacebuilding Commission.
“The Security Council recognizes the need to broaden and deepen the pool of civilian experts, in particular from developing countries and women, to help develop national capacity, and encourages Member States, the United Nations and other relevant partners to strengthen cooperation and coordination in building such capacities. The Council looks forward to the recommendations of the United Nations civilian capacity review in the Secretary-General’s follow-up report of his report (S/2009/304).
“The Security Council emphasizes the need for the United Nations system to strengthen strategic partnership with other international, regional and subregional organizations, as well as financial institutions, in particular by promoting coherence and coordination among their plans and programmes. In this connection, the Council looks forward to further strengthening of the cooperation between the United Nations and the World Bank at both the headquarters and field levels, and for the Secretary-General to include in the same follow-up report details of what steps have been made in generating more timely, predictable and accountable responses for the key peacebuilding sectors as requested.”
For today’s open debate on “post-conflict peacebuilding”, the Security Council had before it a concept paper from the Permanent Representative of Japan, dated 1 April (document S/2010/167).
The paper states that the challenge to peacebuilding was now one of the major threats to international peace and security. As many countries in post-conflict situations had relapsed into conflict within a decade, a seamless engagement was essential to fill the “peacebuilding gaps” between security and reconstruction, from emergency humanitarian relief, the political process, guarantee of security to reconstruction and development.
The Peacebuilding Commission, established in 2005 and up for review this year, has actively engaged with four post-conflict countries: Sierra-Leone; Burundi; Central African Republic; and Guinea-Bissau. It is of particular, importance that the Council now conduct a comprehensive policy review on an effective peacebuilding strategy, drawing upon the experiences of relevant countries, with special reference to Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and Timor-Leste.
In order to prevent the recurrence of conflict, the main goals of peacebuilding -- political stability and security -- must be achieved in parallel with social stability. Political stability must be ensured through coexistence, reconciliation and reintegration of those affected by conflict, and security through security sector reform and the strengthening of governance and the rule of law. At the same time, social stability must be achieved through humanitarian assistance, the provision of basic services and infrastructure, economic opportunity and early delivery of a peace dividend.
According to the concept paper, the Council should consider what measures are required to achieve political stability, security and social stability from a comprehensive and integrated approach and focus on two questions: how should coherence among policy areas, in particular peace, security, development, human rights and the rule of law, be achieved?; and how should coordination be enhanced among activities at the international, regional, national and local levels to achieve coherence of policies to support people on the ground?
Council President KATSUYA OKADA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, speaking in his national capacity, opened by posing two questions: How did conflicts recur even after a ceasefire was successfully concluded? And why did peace not take root in post-conflict countries? Those were critical questions to which the international community had yet to find definitive answers. “I believe that the key to solving them is for the people in post-conflict situations to have hope for the future.”
Asking how a comprehensive peacebuilding strategy could be created with the assistance of the international community, he emphasized the importance of political leaders implementing a peace agreement with steadfast determination. The fruits of democratic elections, including political stability, must be shared among all people, including those who did not prevail. That required, as a foundation, the achieving of peaceful coexistence and reconciliation among parties to the conflict.
He said that peacekeeping operations had a significant role to play and must lay the groundwork for promoting security sector reform. Capacity-building of the national police was an especially urgent task, for instance in Haiti and Timor-Leste. Conflict-affected people must also be provided with basic services and thereby enjoy the peace dividend. “It is essential to protect and empower individuals, including women and the vulnerable, from the viewpoint of human security,” he said. “Refugees, internally displaced persons and ex-combatants must be reintegrated into society. We need to generate conditions that are conducive to making peace irreversible through promoting coexistence and reconciliation.” As youth unemployment was a common issue in many post-conflict areas, he proposed that high priority be attached to the creation of youth employment.
“Creating a long-lasting peace requires sustained cooperation between a post-conflict country and the international community,” he said. In that respect, he wanted to highlight three points. First, efforts for peacebuilding should be carried out in an integrated manner, such as through the Peacebuilding Cooperation Framework in Sierra Leone. Second, the assistance and involvement on the part of the international community might have a conflicting impact on the ownership efforts of the post-conflict country. “The international community must respect the ownership and capacity-building efforts of the post-conflict country.”
Third, peacebuilding also required long-term engagement and sustainable resources, he continued. The best possible use must be made of funds available for the immediate aftermath of a conflict, such as the Peacebuilding Fund. Those funds, however, must be followed up by medium- and long-term resources from bilateral and multilateral programmes. It was also essential to secure and strengthen the necessary expertise to serve the diverse needs of peacebuilding activities, such as governance and the rule of law. In that regard, he looked forward to the work of the Advisory Group for International Civilian Capacities recently launched by the Secretary-General. The Security Council must continue its strong engagement for peacebuilding, and through the ongoing review process the work by the Peacebuilding Commission should be enhanced.
BAN KI-MOON, United Nations Secretary-General, said that, during the Council’s previous debates on the issue, a consensus had emerged regarding some of the factors in successful post-conflict peacebuilding, and the report he had presented to the 15-nation body last July on “peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict” had laid those points of convergence out in detail. “We must seize the crucial opportunity after the end of a major conflict. We must respond early and robustly. And we must then stay engaged over the long term,” he said, adding that the international community had also agreed that its collective efforts must be tailored to meet the needs of each country.
Telling the Council that he planned to focus on the broader picture today, he said: “First, we build peace in the hearts and minds of people.” That meant delivering concrete peace dividends. Indeed, peace would not last unless people saw real benefits in their daily lives -- safety, justice, jobs and prospects for a better future. In that regard, the work of the United Nations must always be guided by the principle of national ownership.
Continuing, he said peace would not endure unless Governments in post-conflict countries were able to perform the basic functions of the State and ensure sustainable security. Those functions included policing the streets, upholding the rule of law, establishing a functioning justice system and delivering basic services. Thirdly, the international community must take a comprehensive approach. That meant addressing security, political, economic and social dimensions. It also meant engaging national, bilateral, regional and international actors. “And it means coherence, coordination and a common vision,” he added.
He went on to highlight the United Nations work in the area of peacebuilding, noting that the Organization was building synergies across its relevant agencies and programmes, as well as with regional and other international actors, with an emphasis on early engagement. That also included a stronger partnership with the World Bank and other international financial institutions. “We are bolstering our capacity to support viable peace processes that produce durable agreements,” he said, adding that the world body was also improving its tools for deploying and supporting peacekeeping operations, and devoting more attention to the nexus between peacekeeping and peacebuilding.
“Peacekeepers themselves are, in an important sense, early peacebuilders,” he said, underscoring that, since peacekeepers were the first to set priorities in the aftermath of conflict, the international community must take advantage of their unique, yet temporary, presence, while remaining aware that they did not have the resources for long-term development. The Secretariat was working on a strategy to ensure that critical early peacebuilding tasks carried out by peacekeepers and others contributed to longer-term peacebuilding and development.
To that end, the Secretary-General said he had requested the Peacebuilding Support Office to conduct a review of civilian capacities for peacebuilding. He had also appointed a Senior Advisory Group on the issue, chaired by Jean-Marie Guéhenno, former Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations. He added that he understood that the Peacebuilding Commission would provide inputs to that review, ensuring that the broad and unique views of that segment of the membership were captured.
Continuing, he said timely funding was essential and it was vital that adequate and timely resources were available for early peacebuilding tasks, including, if necessary, the rapid deployment of standing police and other civilian capacities. Last year, the Peacebuilding Fund had revised its terms of reference so that it would be better positioned to provide the kind of flexible, rapid and predictable resources envisaged in his 2009 report. Since its inception, that Fund had provided resources to 16 countries, and 88 per cent of that funding had gone to countries with either peacekeeping missions or political missions. The Fund also served as a pillar of support for the Peacebuilding Commission, with approximately $106 million allocated to the four countries on that body’s agenda.
He was pleased to announce that this month the Fund would reach $200 million in allocations. With 48 donors and nearly $350 million in deposits and pledges, the Fund continued to make progress. However, its value was in identifying priority areas and helping to channel resources to them. By itself, it could not meet the financial needs of countries emerging from conflict. “I therefore urge donor countries to increase their support -- as bilateral donors, through direct contributions to countries emerging from conflict, and as multilateral donors, through the international financial institutions or UN agencies on the ground,” he said.
Finally, he said that the ongoing review of the peacebuilding arrangements agreed in 2005 provided an opportunity for the United Nations to strengthen its work in important ways. Peacebuilding was a complex and multifaceted undertaking that required significant amounts of human, financial and institutional resources. But the most important tool at the international community’s disposal was the political commitment of national and international actors.
“The Security Council has a central role to play,” he said. “As peacekeeping mandates increasingly included peacebuilding responsibilities, I urge you to ensure that the resources provided are commensurate with the tasks assigned.” He further urged the Council to use its great influence and experience to help peacebuilding achieve its potential.
Briefing the Council on the situation in his country, ZALMAI RASSOUL, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, said reconstruction and stabilization efforts had begun after the fall of the Taliban in 2001. After three decades of war, the economy was decimated, the State disintegrated and society bereft of infrastructure. Millions had died and millions of others had been forced to flee, many of them educated Afghans. Despite such challenges, “we have achieved remarkable success in nine years, establishing a convincing basis of optimism for the future of the country”, he said. Afghans had renounced the Taliban and established a Government that was growing more effective every day.
The legacy of violence was being addressed through a comprehensive disarmament and reintegration programme, he said, and the Afghan national army and police were starting to take primary responsibility for security. Roads, schools and irrigation systems were being built and the country was experiencing “immense” economic growth, with the Government taking in more than $1 billion in revenues for the first time. “We are proud of our accomplishments to date,” he said.
However, security remained the number one challenge, he said, with terrorists intent on jeopardizing progress. As such, the role of international forces was crucial. It was vital that they worked in strict adherence to cultural sensitivities and in close coordination with Afghan security forces. Success would not be achieved without addressing the sources of insecurity, such as terrorist sanctuaries, and regional cooperation was essential in that regard.
Discussing the way forward, he urged working to ensure progress was sustained economically, politically and socially, in part by building the Afghan Government’s capacities so that “it can stand on its own feet”. Improving governance and fighting corruption must be a focus, and the long-term security of the Afghan people had to be guaranteed. President Hamid Karzai’s strategy, proposed in January in London, focused on Afghan ownership over the next three to five years. Afghans should be involved in their own security and intensified training and recruiting would help the Afghan national security forces start taking primary responsibility.
Moreover, he said, the Government would engage more fully with all Afghans to strengthen national unity and offer former combatants an opportunity to join the peace process, which would help isolate extremists. However, the only way to sustain progress was to anchor society on a foundation of long-term socio-economic development, and the Government must be able to decrease its dependence on international aid. Job creation and agricultural development would cement short-term gains, while a focus on education would help promote social stability.
The Government’s central role in coordinating development assistance was crucial, he said, underscoring that only 20 per cent of such assistance to date had gone through the national budget; 80 per cent had been channelled bilaterally. “We must Afghanize development priorities,” he asserted. The President’s strategy was built on a workable partnership with the international community -- one based on respect and realism was vital for success. Expectations were understandably different and, to avoid confusion, open communication of shared goals was needed. Long-term development supported by such a partnership was vital for a healthy Afghan society.
ALFRED PALO CONTEH, Minister of Defence of Sierra Leone, said that, as a country that had been fully engaged in post-conflict reconstruction, Sierra Leone had gained keen insights into the challenges to formulating a comprehensive and sustainable peacebuilding strategy. There was an urgent need for the international community to assess how best the current architecture, including the Peacebuilding Commission, could be strengthened to ensure a successful transition from peacebuilding to sustainable security and development in countries emerging from conflict. Today, his country neared the fifth anniversary of the Peacebuilding Commission’s engagement and had received catalytic funding through the Peacebuilding Fund to undertake critical peacebuilding efforts.
He said that, given the fragility of post-conflict countries, the challenge of building lasting peace could only be met with a comprehensive and integrated approach that went beyond merely establishing political stability and security. There must be a seamless linkage between those core goals and laying a foundation for long-term development and democracy, particularly with respect to governance issues, social stability, human rights and the rule of law. Contemporary peace operations must focus on tackling the complexities of conflict situations by identifying and supporting structures that consolidate peace, not only during the peacebuilding phase, but also during the traditional peacekeeping period. Building lasting peace also required addressing the root causes of conflicts by strengthening Government institutions and enhancing political participation.
In the aftermath of the cessation of hostilities, his Government, in collaboration with the United Nations and bilateral and multilateral partners, had embarked on a comprehensive sector reform process of the security and justice sectors. The armed forces were “right-sized” and benefited from critical training and logistical support. Similar interventions had also been undertaken with respect to the national police force. Critical reforms had been introduced through the justice sector development programme, resulting in the enhancement and development of the capacity of the judiciary to dispose of the existing backlog of cases. All those initiatives had culminated in a comprehensive institutional reform process encompassing defence, police, intelligence, the judiciary and prisons, aimed at strengthening civilian oversight and democratic accountability of the security apparatus. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Special Court for Sierra Leone had been established in order to promote reconciliation and combat impunity.
“Adopting a strategy that includes comprehensive measures to protect and promote human rights, strengthen governance and rebuild democratic institutions will inevitably address many of the root causes of conflict,” he said. His Government had worked with the United Nations and others to restore State and local government institutions, and had completed two presidential and parliamentary elections, as well as local government elections. “I must say with much pride that, though not perfect, some of the strides being made in the ongoing democratization process in Sierra Leone are unparalleled in post-conflict situations in many parts of the world.”
The adoption by the Peacebuilding Commission of Sierra Leone on its agenda had been a turning point in the peacebuilding efforts, he said. The considerable gains achieved from the engagement with his country had clearly enhanced the importance of the Commission’s role as a medium for securing resources and galvanizing support for peacebuilding initiatives that were comprehensive, coherent, coordinated and reflective of country-specific realities. Despite all efforts, however, Sierra Leone remained close to the bottom of the Human Development Index, which underlined the nexus between security and development and the imperative of addressing the enormous economic and social challenges that beset post-conflict peacebuilding.
He said that, much as peacebuilding was a national imperative, there must be a holistic approach to conceiving and managing peacebuilding and preventive efforts, with local ownership, including regional and subregional actors playing a pivotal role. Mobilizing resources for peacebuilding and preventive efforts, however, still remained grossly inadequate when compared with corresponding commitments to peacekeeping. It was important in that regard to recognize the catalytic role that could be played by a meaningful and sequential allocation of financial resources in the early stages of the transition period.
LUCIA MARIA LOBATO, Minister of Justice of Timor-Leste, presenting her country’s experience in recovering from conflict over the last 10 years, said that five days ago, the Government had assumed co-chairmanship of the Dili International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and State-building, which offered the “G-7” fragile States an opportunity to find common ground and work more closely with the international community. There was strong consensus on the need to “move from fragility to agility” and seek greater engagement with development partners.
Timor-Leste had much to offer in discussions about peacebuilding strategies, she said, pointing out that the country had addressed “burning issues” critical to its recovery. Social security measures had been introduced and the Government’s relationship with Indonesia had been enhanced through initiatives like the Truth and Friendship Commission. Internally displaced persons camps had been demobilized, while the police and defence forces had started to work together, with the success of such efforts seen after the 2008 attacks on the Prime Minister and President.
However, “we are not taking peace for granted”, she said, emphasizing the need to keep an inclusive political dialogue on track with development planning. Timor-Leste was aiming to develop a new maturity in political relations. “We are building our new country on destroyed infrastructure, a limited economic sector and difficult social cohesion” with neighbours, she said. While conflict in 2006 had set back development, political leaders had learned that the way forward was through positive leadership. “We rose stronger as a nation, less afraid of expressing political differences without the need to revert to violent conflict,” she said, adding that parliamentary opposition was regularly included in public debate to forge national consensus on issues of common interest.
Continued stability depended on success in managing crises and forming respected institutions that addressed development needs, she said. Development and stability were the goals, and coordination was the key. National priorities included providing safety and security, supporting political processes, providing basic services, restoring core Government functions and revitalizing the economy. In all those areas, a focus on youth and gender would be mainstreamed.
Regarding justice and the rule of law, she said Timor-Leste had consistently prioritized the building of strong justice institutions to complement security sector reform efforts. A strategic plan for the sector took note of a 2009 independent comprehensive needs assessment facilitated by the United Nations, and was premised on five thematic areas: institutional development; completion of a national legal framework; development of human resources; creation of infrastructure and application of information and communications technology; and access to justice.
Speaking more broadly on peacekeeping, she emphasized the need to focus on quality, rather than expedience, in capacity-building. Sectors like security and justice needed carefully planned capacity-building programmes in a post-conflict period. Aligning foreign development support with national development plans was also needed, and initiatives like the Peacebuilding Fund could help Timor-Leste enormously. The declaration adopted at Dili noted that development partners had a duty to jointly guide international assistance to support peacebuilding. The only way to move forward was to ensure that the development agenda was led by the Timorese.
In addition, the national dialogue had to be taken to all parts of the country, if it was to be a productive element for stability and reconciliation, she said. The adoption of modern technology to make Government services more accessible and accountable to the public was also needed. “We need to jumpstart the future,” she declared. Finally, the Government’s partnership with civil society must evolve, as the progressive effects of civil society organizations showed the Timorese people’s willingness to take the lead. Peacebuilding and development were “as real as a hand to hold”, and as the Council had taken the hand of the Timorese people in pulling the country out of war, she asked for the Council’s hand again as a true partner in development and lasting peace.
NGOZI OKONJO-IWEALA, Managing Director of the World Bank, said that, with the year 2015 rapidly approaching, the world’s attention was turning to progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The analysis the Bank had commissioned during the compilation of its 2011 World Development Report in Conflict and Fragility had confirmed a disheartening fact: fragile countries racked by conflict were not making the progress they needed if the Goals were to become a reality for their people.
“We are all aware of the desperate needs of these countries,” she said, noting that research had revealed that fragile States and those recovering from conflict accounted for 58 per cent of the poverty in the developing world, as well as 67 per cent of infant deaths and 69 per cent of the deaths of children under age 5. The World Bank’s analysis had also revealed that no fragile State had yet to achieve a single Millennium Development Goal, and by the 2015 deadline only 10 per cent of such States were expected to achieve the Goal of halving poverty and hunger.
Against that backdrop, today’s debate was a timely one, she continued, adding that the Bank’s findings were a stark reminder of the enormous and complex challenges that lay ahead. They were also a call for the international community to mobilize its combined resources on behalf of the poor and powerless. While violent conflict was one of the most profound development challenges, focusing on peacebuilding alone was insufficient. Just as development could not occur in the absence of peace, peace without development was peace that might not last. “We increasingly recognize that humanitarian action, peacemaking, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, State-building and development do not occur in a mechanical, linear sequence, but are closely interlinked and overlapping,” she said.
Such a complex landscape called for cooperation and coherence among actors, she said. It challenged the international community to address the short-term demands of a deeply damaged society, while making sure that its actions did not compromise the long-term goal of building an effective State. With that in mind, she suggested that the one overarching principle that must inform all the international community’s efforts was that results matter. “By this, I mean that all we do must contribute directly to results on the ground. Whether we are working in our headquarters offices to shape a new policy or engaging with a partner Government or national development plan […] we must constantly ask a single question: How will these actions provide people with a better life now and in the future?”
She noted that the Government of Burundi clearly understood the importance of results. Since 2006, with support from the World Bank Institute, that country had introduced a rapid-results approach. That approach, which broke down long-term development plans into manageable 100-day chunks, was now being applied in 80 Government projects. For example, in one month during a health-care pilot programme, 482 pregnant women had visited health centres and had received HIV screening, a number that had far exceeded the previous average of 71 per month.
She went on to say that achieving the best results required focusing on country context, partnership and accountability. “I believe that if we pay attention to these three areas, we will be able to contribute something substantial and enduring towards the immense challenges of helping these countries create an environment of peace and security,” she added, noting among other things that the World Bank had adopted a new access of information policy that would help open up its work even further by enhancing public ownership of the development agenda. It would also strengthen partnerships and encourage greater participation in Bank-supported operations.
“I know that these three ideas -- the importance of country context, true partnerships and appropriate accountability -- may sit uncomfortably with our limited appetite for risk and our need to demonstrate to our domestic constituencies the quick wins expected in the immediate post-conflict period,” she said. It was clear to her that addressing the challenges of development through those lenses would require fundamental changes in the way all stakeholders did business. Indeed, if stakeholders were to deliver real results for people living in fragile or conflict-affected States, “these areas deserve our full attention”. While the costs of failure were great, the benefits that could flow from success were even greater.
SVEN ALKALAJ, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said peacebuilding operations should be based on an integrated, coordinated and comprehensive approach, to include the establishment of good governance, the rule of law and the promotion of human rights, institution-building, security sector reform, economic reconstruction and development. Further, the right to return to pre-conflict homes and the full reintegration of refugees and internally displaced persons needed to be an integral part of every peacebuilding strategy. While peacebuilding activities required interaction among all stakeholders and an involvement by all relevant national and international players, the political will and national ownership of the host country was the sine qua non for success. The peacebuilding process was primarily a challenge and a national responsibility of post-conflict countries.
Given that, the promotion of dialogue between parties in conflict was of the utmost importance, particularly among decision-makers and civil society organizations, he continued. Holding accountable all those who committed crimes during the conflict and bringing them to justice was of equal importance to confidence-building and reconciliation. Organizing free, fair and transparent elections could also be an importance part in the process of creating political stability and establishing a democratic system, and the utmost importance should be paid to their preparation.
Building a sustainable security sector required police and military reform, as well as impartial and accessible judicial and law enforcement sectors, he said. Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes, job-creation measures, vocational education and retraining programmes were all essential to eliminating risks of recurring conflict. In addition, he welcomed increased regional and international cooperation in addressing crime and human rights violations. Finally, he said that the road from an initial peace agreement to sustainable peace “is long and bumpy”. Travelling it required an integrated and comprehensive approach. Initiatives that worked in Bosnia and Herzegovina had been marked by synergy among multiple actors and, most important, between civilian and military endeavours. He reiterated his country’s willingness to share its own post-conflict peacebuilding knowledge, experience and lessons learned.
VITALY CHURKIN (Russian Federation) emphasized the need for a linkage between security, development and human rights, and for a comprehensive approach to those issues. He said there was no doubt that peacebuilding activities must be based on national responsibility. Any assistance from the international community should be given in line with the agreement of national Governments, with respect for their sovereignty and keeping in mind the specific nature of the country. Strengthening national capacities was important and needed the involvement of United Nations agencies, regional organizations and the international financial institutions. In order to increase the post-conflict response, the relevant mechanisms of the Secretariat should be strengthened.
He said many tasks of peacebuilding and security sector reform were borne by peacekeeping operations. Peacekeepers provided conditions for comprehensive peacebuilding, but peacebuilding was a long-time endeavour that went beyond peacekeeping. It would be better to limit the task of peacekeepers to peacekeeping. The Peacebuilding Commission should focus on coordinating functions. Its work should be accompanied with mechanisms for cooperation with national Governments. He supported measures for improving the coordination between the United Nations and the World Bank, and urged closer cooperation among the Council, the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council.
MARIA LUIZA RIBEIRO VIOTTI (Brazil) said the peacebuilding architecture of the United Nations aimed at integrating political stability, security and development. Such an integrated approach was a solid foundation for the work of peacebuilding. However, while the premise was well established in discourse, it still needed to be made fully operational in practice. “We are learning by doing,” she said.
She noted that, in the work of the Guinea-Bissau configuration, which she chaired, the need for an integrated approach on those three dimensions was evident. In order to surmount political instability, security sector reform was of the utmost priority, alongside the strengthening of State institutions. At the same time, efforts to revitalize the economy were indispensable. At the end of the day, that would supply much needed jobs to allow for stability to take hold and provide revenue to enable the State to function and provide services. Another sine qua non condition for effective peacebuilding was national ownership. Yet, national ownership, while necessary, could be challenging under certain circumstances. On the one hand, the State should take the lead, but on the other hand, capacity constraints could get in the way. Therefore, she welcomed ongoing efforts to establish pools of civilian capacity to be expeditiously deployed to develop national capacity. Collective experience showed that such efforts must start very early in the post-conflict process. There was an emerging consensus that peacekeeping and peacebuilding were not sequential forms of engagement, but rather a continuum.
Peacebuilding was a collective effort and coordination was challenge, she said. Sharing information on the ground should lead to a labour distribution that ensured coherence in the field and at Headquarters. Persuading donors to align assistance with national priorities would greatly enhance effectiveness. Developing strategic partnerships was also important and more involvement by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in peacebuilding efforts was welcome. Substantial resources must be channelled in a timely manner and the Peacebuilding Fund could benefit from greater synergy with the Commission. Brazil hoped that the review of the Commission would lead to a Commission that was placed at the centre of the peacebuilding architecture, endowed with a strong secretariat and able to foster coordination and deal with the manifold challenges related to peacebuilding. To some extent, peacebuilding was a “new frontier” for the multilateral system. Formative periods could be challenging, but also promising. The single most important factor to determine future success would be the ability to effectively integrate stability, security and development into actions adjusted to the needs of each situation.
U. JOY OGWU (Nigeria) said the theme of today’s meeting provided the Council the opportunity to contribute to the series of events aimed at reviewing the Organization’s peacebuilding architecture, five years after the creation of the Peacebuilding Commission. She said 2010 was a pivotal year for peacebuilding, because, among other things, it had been designated the “Year of Peace and Security in Africa”, as well as the year that the Secretary-General would issue his first progress report on “peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict”. Those activities, combined with the Council’s previous discussions on the subject, would underline the importance of peacebuilding as an integral pillar of peace and security.
She went on to say that national capacity and ownership were vital to ensuring lasting peace. Indeed, ensuring ownership on the basis of capacity was a challenge which all recognized and should strive to meet. Although peacekeepers were often called on to support that effort, their role was, however, essentially a gap-filling measure. It was, therefore, important for national Governments and other actors in the field of peacebuilding to better understand the thin line between peacekeeping and peacebuilding responsibilities. A comprehensive approach required partnership, consistency and coherence among the various actors. For a partnership to be strong and effective, it must be grounded in a shared vision and common objective. “As Member States engaging in peacebuilding, we need to be consistent and coherent in the policies we promote and speak with one voice on the issue, regardless of the setting and place of the discussion,” she said.
Nowhere was that needed more than in the interactions between the World Bank, IMF and the World Trade Organization aimed at enhancing the goals of peace, security and development in the aftermath of conflict. The global community’s shared vision and common objective regarding peacekeeping should guide the various programmatic activities and enable the different actors to adapt and respond to emerging challenges, notwithstanding their operational mandates and reporting lines. She also said the Peacebuilding Commission should have a central role in sustaining and monitoring commitment to peacebuilding activities. Monitoring for its own sake would be of little use if it did not seek to focus attention on the end goal. Therefore, the Commission should aim to keep international focus on such goals and the Member States that made up that body must show in their words and deeds that they truly cherished it. “Its strengths or weaknesses will be measured by the quality of our political commitment to the institutions and its cause,” she said, urging all Member States to seize the opportunity provided by the 2010 review to revive momentum around peacebuilding.
GÉRARD ARAUD (France) said the United Nations regularly devoted all its political, development and humanitarian instruments and mechanisms to ensure that countries that were fragile or were emerging from war did not succumb to fighting. An essential aspect of all initiatives aimed at ensuring lasting peace was national ownership. Indeed, local and national capacities should be taken into account, even as international strategies or engagement was being considered.
He went on to note that the Paris Conference on Afghanistan had reaffirmed the international community’s support for that country, and pledges had been based on a detailed, national socio-economic development plan. The coordination role of all the Organization’s efforts fell to the Peacebuilding Commission. The challenge of the 2010 review process of that important body’s work would be ensuring that all its efforts were better coordinated and that all lines of action on the ground were identified. In addition, the Peacebuilding Fund could play a catalysing role by mobilizing bilateral and multilateral donors. He said that there was a real need to meet long-term post-conflict requirements. To that end, it was important -– and challenging -- for stakeholders to anticipate, act on and develop strategies to ensure that countries did not relapse into conflict.
Stakeholders must also work on coordinating all actors of the United Nations family, especially in places like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where United Nations peacekeeping or political missions were deployed. He noted that peacebuilding considerations should not only hinge on the winding down of a conflict. Indeed, the situation in Timor-Leste had shown how excessively rapid withdrawal of peacekeeping capacities, or failure to master the nuances of a particular situation of tension or conflict, could also result in relapse into conflict. France agreed with calls to incorporate peacebuilding dimensions from the outset of a peacekeeping operation. He said that strengthening the relationship between the Peacebuilding Commission and the Security Council might make it possible to enhance the relationship between peacekeeping and peacebuilding.
RUHAKANA RUGUNDA (Uganda) underscored the importance of developing comprehensive peacebuilding strategies in order to avoid relapse into conflict after peacekeeping operations had ended, and emphasized that peacebuilding strategies must be designed to address a particular conflict situation. Critical elements of a comprehensive strategy should include national ownership; addressing the root causes of conflict; leverage of national, regional and international resources; and provision of peace dividends, including basic services. It was important to identify national priorities based on the country’s unique situation and conditions. One of the lessons his country had learned was the importance of prioritizing and sequencing peacebuilding activities, including security sector reform, reconciliation, economic recovery and reconstruction.
He said peacebuilding was a collective endeavour in which national authorities, regional and subregional organizations, the United Nations and the wider international community had important roles to play. The need for mobilization of adequate, flexible and timely funding for peacebuilding activities could not be overemphasized, he said, and welcomed in that regard the ongoing strengthening of the strategic partnerships between the United Nations, the World Bank and other financial institutions. Peacebuilding activities must be considered at an early stage in conflict situations, so that all actors could work within a well-coordinated and coherent framework.
MARK LYALL GRANT ( United Kingdom) said that peacebuilding was at the heart of the Council’s work. Conflict prevention and peacekeeping were all part of the broader goal of sustainable peacebuilding. The ultimate goal should be to strengthen the capacities of countries emerging from conflict to drive forward their own recovery process and to address the very difficult governance, security and development challenges they faced. The transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding was not linear. Countries at risk of relapsing into conflict needed to be able to provide sufficient security and access to justice, and be able to resolve conflict peaceably to allow the departure of peacekeeping troops. Successful peacebuilding needed real progress on providing basic services and economic recovery.
He said the United Nations and the international community could deliver more effectively, among other things, through improving the speed and quality of deployable civilian experts. Greater clarity was needed on the roles and responsibilities within the United Nations and the partnership with the World Bank. The upcoming Secretary-General’s report on peacebuilding should include a frank assessment of what was, and what was not, working on the ground. The focus of the Peacebuilding Commission should be on helping countries address the barriers to peacebuilding and getting clear commitments from the Government and the international community on what needed to be achieved in a defined period of time. The Commission must have a much more distinctive voice when providing advice and that advice should be heard by the Council.
Although the Council would not be able to visit the Democratic Republic of the Congo as planned, he said that country would be a real test of the international community’s ability to move from a primarily peacekeeping presence to a broader peacebuilding role. That would require the United Nations system, the international financial institutions and the wider international community to play a more significant role. “History is littered with collapsed or faltered peace processes, some of which are due to underlying governance and rule of law issues not being addressed. When such threats emerge, this Council need to be able to react rapidly to prevent further deterioration,” he said.
ERTUĞRUL APAKAN (Turkey) began by pointing out that the challenges of post-conflict peacebuilding “are not new”, as Member States had been grappling with how to bring peacebuilding upstream and mount a more rapid and effective response in the immediate aftermath of a conflict for over a decade now. Although the challenges, aggravated by the global resource constraints, remained formidable, the renewed enthusiasm by Member States and the international community at large, as well as the impetus gained so far through the reform of the United Nations peace operations had brought added optimism for a new peacebuilding agenda.
In his view, that new agenda required, first, the recognition in practice, not just in rhetoric, of the substantive and inherent link between peace, security, stability, development, human rights and the rule of law. That, in turn, entailed the taking of complementary, integrated and rightly sequenced action in all those areas, so as to create a catalytic impact on the outcome of peacekeeping actions. A second important element was the necessity of agreeing on a comprehensive strategy and a political-strategic compass designed to support viable peace processes, as well as political, economic and social stability. The lessons learned from various peacebuilding challenges showed that, where such an integrated strategy was missing, the international peacebuilding agenda was bound to be ad hoc, piecemeal or even contradictory, if not outright counterproductive.
Continuing, he said ownership of the process was the third important element in peacebuilding efforts, pointing out that peacebuilding was ultimately a home-grown project and the realization of its goals called for the active engagement of local stakeholders. Such engagement would not only prevent criticism that it had been imposed on the national Government and population, but would also increase its success. Further, while the components of any peacebuilding strategy had to be tailored to specific situations, he listed four important elements he said were basic pillars for the realizations of sustainable peace in a post-conflict situation: the restoration of a functioning State; the rebuilding the legitimacy of the State by ensuring the democratic accountability of political leaders; the promotion of social reconciliation and strengthening the rule of law; and the revitalization of the economy.
Concluding, he emphasized the United Nations unique role in all those efforts; a role that could merge the State- and human-centred approaches in all those areas of peacebuilding by coordinating the work of various stakeholders to deliver as one on the ground. The Security Council also had an important role to play in signalling strong international attention and support for peace process and for the initiation of peacebuilding.
GUILLERMO PUENTE ORDORICA (Mexico) said his delegation supported strengthening the links between peacekeeping and peacebuilding. It also believed in bolstering development initiatives in the aftermath of conflict, in line with national priorities. At the same time, he stressed that Mexico believed it was as important to initiate peace as it was to maintain it. Further, there could be no peace without justice. The two were inextricably linked, especially to ensure that no crimes committed during times of strife went unpunished. Mexico believed in setting up appropriate mechanisms to ensure punishment of all crimes committed by any parties in the conflict. That was a key way to ensure national reconciliation towards a lasting peace.
He went on to urge the international community to pay more attention to poverty, unemployment and social and economic inequalities, which were obstacles to sustainable development. If those factors were ignored, the international community would overlook important elements that needed to be addressed before peace would hold. It was also essential that all actions be placed in the context of national priorities. The international community had a role to play in the immediate aftermath of conflict, but such interventions must take note of the political, social and cultural circumstances in each country. Coordinated implementation of endeavours was absolutely necessary. That was why the work of the Peacebuilding Commission was so important. The 2010 review of that body’s work must ensure that it became more efficient and effective.
NAWAF SALAM (Lebanon) said peacebuilding remained only a partially successful experiment. Much had to be learned. The creation of an integrated and flexible peacebuilding strategy was essential. Perhaps the most common criticism of peacebuilding was that international agencies were not sensitive to the characteristics of the host countries. Thus, it was not possible to develop a “generic” blueprint for peacebuilding. Engagement must be context-sensitive. Activities that best helped to achieve the goals of fostering security, political processes, national capacity and socio-economic development had to be identified. Further, the peacebuilding framework had to be clearly articulated and coherence ensured among those objectives.
In addition, security sector reform was essential and should be nationally owned from the onset, he said, a process that required disarmament and creation of well-trained -– and politically neutral -- security forces, among other things. A basic level of political will was also needed. Issues that remained unaddressed by peace agreements might call for sustained mediation efforts. Changing the political culture of a society was among the most difficult aspects of any post-conflict transition and required long-term strategies involving large segments of society, areas that were often overlooked in favour of more technical rebuilding. Provision of basic services was important, as was local ownership of peacebuilding efforts. Peace should be built from below, by enhancing citizen-based initiatives and allowing civil society to flourish. Financial resources were essential, as were international and regional cooperation in addressing rapidly evolving situations.
THOMAS MAYR-HARTING (Austria) said that making the best possible use of the window of opportunity in the immediate aftermath of a conflict was crucial for long-term peace and the realization of the peace dividend. Peacebuilding activities must, therefore, go hand in hand with integrated peacekeeping missions. Generating national ownership must be at the centre of all efforts and peacebuilding activities should assist the development of civilian capacities, including the private sector. Involvement of the private sector should also be considered in the context of procurement. Key priorities after conflict included protection of human rights; reestablishment of the rule of law; effective disarmament, demobilization and reintegration; and reintegration of refugees and internally displaced persons. The establishment of justice and reconciliation mechanisms was a prerequisite for sustainable peace.
Peacebuilding could only be successful if all sectors of society were included, he said, keeping in mind the especially vital role women played in re-establishing post-conflict societies. The specific needs of women must be reflected in peace agreements and be accompanied by the allocation of gender-specific funds. Civil society should also play a greater role during the early phases of peacebuilding. All national and international actors must enhance coordination and ensure mutual accountability in order to avoid duplication and inefficiency. The Peacebuilding Commission should be involved from the outset. Peacekeeping and peacebuilding were, after all, not sequential processes. He would welcome increased interaction between the Council and the Peacebuilding Commission, when the Council addressed mandates of United Nations missions.
ALEJANDRO D. WOLFF ( United States) said the success of peacebuilding rested on the shoulders of the national authorities and the people. Those authorities, however, faced the most difficult challenges on earth, as they often had to work with their former enemies in situations where impunity had been the norm and had to provide basic services relying on underpaid staff, to mention some of the difficulties. Peacebuilding should be nationally led and nationally owned, but a more rapid and more effectively response from the international community was needed.
He said it must be ensured that international personnel for peacebuilding had the right qualifications, arrived when needed and stayed as long as needed. National authorities must be able to turn to them for advice, for instance on how to jumpstart their economy. The United Nations had seasoned experts in many areas, but not enough of them. Its recruitment systems were not nimble enough to fill the gaps. Response mechanisms, such as being developed by his country and others, should be harmonized. He hoped the review of the Peacebuilding Commission would be synchronized with the strategy review and reform of the United Nations human resources policies.
When national authorities sought external aid they did so in the context of achieving self-sufficiency, he said. Although United Nations peace operations, its agencies, regional organizations and international financial institutions played an important role, they should make more use of the lessons learned, in order to improve the coherence of their collective response.
EMMANUEL ISSOZE-NGONDET (Gabon) said the Council’s debate was occurring at a time when the risk that fragile countries might relapse into conflict was higher than ever. Indeed, the need to address that issue had been high on the minds of all Member States in 2005 when they had moved to create the Peacebuilding Commission. That body had been charged with overseeing and coordinating the international community’s efforts to keep conflict-affected countries from falling back into war. One of the key conditions for ensuring a successful transition from war to lasting peace was helping concerned countries take control of their own destinies in political, social, economic and judicial spheres.
It was also necessary to help countries create an environment to achieve the objectives of sustained peace, including through drawing on the local-level expertise of regional organizations. Here, he noted the important work such regional organizations had carried out to address conflict in several regions of the African continent. A key to their success had been a focus on dialogue and reconciliation, a principle that Gabon had always supported.
In Africa, ethnic tensions were often one of the main causes of conflict. In such a context, it was necessary to maintain dialogue between and among all ethnic groups as a way to ensure national and territorial unity. Such dialogue also helped with demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants. He went on to say that ensuring long-term peace and development broadly stemmed from a political and security environment that was stable. “As they say, development is another name for peace and stability,” he continued, adding that it was also necessary to deal with poverty and other root causes of conflict. He urged donors to focus more resources on economic and social development in countries that had been weakened by war.
LONG ZHOU (China) said that, for the past decade or so, the United Nations had taken part in post-conflict peacebuilding activities. The Organization had learned that peacebuilding was a complex undertaking and only coordinated and cohesive initiatives would ensure success. It had also learned that it should fully take into consideration the priorities of the respective countries. Indeed, countries that were receiving assistance should be considered equal partners in the overall peacebuilding effort. As such, the human resources and other expertise of the concerned countries must be employed.
He said the Security Council must put more energy into preventive diplomacy to reduce the need for peacekeeping operations. In addition, peacebuilding activities should be considered earlier in the overall process, once the decision to launch a peacekeeping mission had been made. More focus should be devoted to social and economic factors. Indeed, while ensuring the rule of law and promoting security sector reform were important, a solid political base for peace would only come through eradicating poverty and social inequalities.
PETER WITTIG ( Germany), Chairman of the Peacebuilding Commission, said the Council should consider ways to maximize the use of the Commission’s advisory role. A stronger, “organic” and more dynamic linkage between the Council and the Commission was required throughout the various phases of the Council’s consideration of certain situations. The Commission’s advice on early peacebuilding activities carried out by peacekeepers could help the Council to clarify and monitor progress in the implementation of peacekeeping mandates. In doing so, the Council would be able to capitalize on the Commission’s flexible working methods, thus enabling the Council to reach out more broadly to relevant actors at the country-level.
He said a peacebuilding approach was one that should be based on a common vision among the multiple actors usually engaged in a post-conflict situation. The Peacebuilding Commission was increasingly focused on forging partnerships with international financial institutions and major regional actors in order to help build coherence. “We need to promote and sustain broader and longer-term political and financial support which bolsters the nexus between security and socio-economic development, and ensure delivery of concrete peace dividends,” he said, and stressed the need to support national ownership. There was also a need to focus attention on the complex regional challenges to peacebuilding, such as narcotics and small arms trafficking.
The Peacebuilding Commission would continue to explore concrete measures to deepen the United Nations collaboration with the main actors at the country-level, promote mutual accountability between the host Governments and its partners and monitor progress towards meeting critical peacebuilding objectives, he said. That work would require visible and sustained support from the Council and the Organization’s general membership and leadership. The Peacebuilding Commission would continue to improve its working methods, sharpen and diversify its tools of engagement and promote broader and more coherent engagement by its individual members.
“The lack of a common vision and coherence among the multiple actors in post-conflict situations is a real challenge that undermines our collective efforts to support countries on the patch of sustainable peace,” he said. “While the United Nations is only one among these actors, it carries the legitimacy and political weight that confer leadership upon its role in many post-conflict situations. We must live up to this image.”
JAIRO HERNÁNDEZ-MILIAN (Costa Rica), speaking on behalf of the Human Security Network, said that reinforcing the effectiveness of the collective efforts on peacebuilding remained a highly important challenge in which a synchronized and integrated approach to peacekeeping and peacebuilding should be promoted. The Network called for the inclusion of peacebuilding activities starting from the early stages in all peacekeeping operations, including in the design of their mandate. Acknowledging the importance of strengthening the bodies of the peacebuilding architecture, the Network looked forward to the discussion on expanding the pool of experts and civilian volunteers for rapid deployment. Their duties should include security sector reform, strengthening of judicial systems and good civil-military cooperation.
He said that more technical, legal and financial assistance for the strengthening of national democratic institutions and governance needed to be provided. Security sector reform was a key variable in the stabilization and reconstruction process. Backing the consolidation and ownership of national justice institutions was fundamental to building the capacity of States towards the peaceful settlement of disputes. Electoral assistance should be included as an important component of a comprehensive peacebuilding strategy, as elections were a central element for the national ownership of State rebuilding. Development models should promote social stability through the protection of human rights and inclusive participation of all individuals and social groups.
Extreme poverty and inequality were a threat to the consolidation of peace, he said. More investment in short-term projects, as well as medium- and long-term programmes, would contribute to reactivating the economy, reduce the social risk of vulnerable groups and help to gain confidence in the peace process. He welcomed the work the Peacebuilding Commission was doing in its respective country-specific configurations for the inclusion of women in peacebuilding processes, as well as that of youth. In that regard, he highlighted the need for gender mainstreaming and the promotion of equal participation of women in peacebuilding activities. He stressed the great importance of the Commission in enhancing partnerships among the United Nations system, regional and subregional organizations, international financial institutions, donors, the private sector and civil international law society.
DOCTOR MASHABANE (South Africa) said peacekeeping operations had an important role to play in early peacebuilding efforts and, as such, should create a conducive environment for establishing the foundations for sustainable development, rule of law and good governance. An integrated approach that incorporated early peacebuilding activities during the start-up of peacekeeping operations was required in order to create, maintain and sustain peace and deliver early peace dividends. Experiences in African peace missions, such as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi and Côte d’Ivoire, showed that peace agreements alone were not sufficient. Effective communication and inclusive dialogue between national actors and the civilian population were critical in building confidence in the peace process.
He said that, more often than not, countries emerging from conflicts were faced with the challenge of a lack of resources needed for immediate reconstruction and development programmes. Ensuring that sufficient resources were mobilized to assist the fragile States was an important investment in the long-term stability and sustainability of the peace process. The international community should prevent a situation in which countries emerging from conflict had to graduate from a well-resourced peacekeeping operation to an underresourced peacebuilding process. Financial and flexible donor support was, therefore, critical and the role of the international financial institutions in providing flexible financing could not be overemphasized.
PARK IN-KOOK (Republic of Korea) said the Peacebuilding Commission had been experiencing a number of difficulties due to a lack of financial and human resources and also as a result of the shortcomings inherent in having neither a comprehensive mandate, nor an integrated modus operandi. In that regard, the issues concerning securing financial resources and effective budget allocation needed to be closely examined. During a visit to Sierra Leone, he had been impressed with the coordination between the country configuration Chair in New York and the Executive Representative of the Secretary-General in the field, fulfilling the role of a “one-stop service”. He was surprised to learn, however, that apart from Canada’s contribution, there had been no contributions to the multi-donor trust fund for Sierra Leone.
Also, funds available for peacebuilding were small in comparison to those for peacekeeping operations. Since the Peacebuilding Fund was voluntary and the peacekeeping operations budget was an integral part of the United Nations budget, the two could not be combined, he said. Rectifying that budgetary issue could be viewed as part of the United Nations system reform. There was also a misconception that peacekeeping and peacebuilding were sequential processes. The two processes, however, should be pursued in a two-track parallel approach, particularly during the early stages of peacebuilding, until security and the rule of law were restored to an adequate level.
He said that the mandate of the Peacebuilding Commission needed to be further elaborated, so that it might become a more comprehensive and concrete guideline. National ownership in agenda setting should be duly considered in conjunction with the directives that the Organization and the international community wished to pursue, in close consultations and with consideration for regional cooperation. He stressed that coordination and consistency in and among the work of the Council, General Assembly, Organizational Committee of the Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Support Office needed to be enhanced.
MAGED ABDELFATTAH ABDELAZIZ (Egypt) said he fully supported United Nations peacebuilding efforts to prevent countries from relapsing into conflict. Peacebuilding was a multifaceted process, in which peace and security could not be maintained without ensuring security sector reform, with its military and social dimensions, and demilitarization processes could not achieve their objectives unless essential development needs were met. At the same time, peace required creating an enabling environment based on a comprehensive national dialogue, social justice and the launching of a comprehensive development process. In that regard, the boundaries that used to determine the stages of succession and overlap between the three phases of conflict resolution and peacekeeping, post-conflict peacebuilding and sustainable development were fading.
He believed there was merit in the idea that the processes of peacekeeping and peacebuilding should be started simultaneously. Successful peacekeeping depended on establishing a comprehensive peace agreement to which all parties adhered and committed to and which enjoyed wide popular support, he said. Consideration needed to be given to the overlap between the peacebuilding process and the launch of sustainable development efforts in post-conflict countries. Choosing the correct time to launch a peacebuilding process was of extreme importance to the successful establishment of a strong country environment for the implementation of comprehensive development strategies.
For sustainable peace to be achieved in post-conflict countries, he said, there must be a commitment to the principle of national ownership by post-conflict countries of their national peacebuilding strategies; the continued advisement by the Peacebuilding Commission, as well as its early involvement in the peacebuilding process; further collaboration of United Nations system entities on the topic of peacebuilding; the commitment of the international community, including the United Nations, in terms of political, technical and financial support; and consistency in the priorities of international funding mechanisms, including the Peacebuilding Fund. Concluding, he said the building of true peace required “credible, transparent and clear engagements on our part” on the basis of lessons learned and experiences accumulated from the early years of the Commission.
JOSÉ ALBERTO BRIZ GUTIÉRREZ (Guatemala) said it was well known that, following an internal conflict that had lasted nearly four decades, his country had signed peace accords in 1996. Throughout that period, and especially during the peacebuilding process, Guatemala had learned many lessons that could be shared in the context of the Council’s debate. While time constraints imposed at such debates often reduced such concepts to sounding like “warn out recipes”, some suggestions provided important guidelines.
With that in mind, he said that each peacebuilding process was unique, and in that area there were no universally valid formulas. But what had become clear was the cardinal importance of domestic actors, such as ex-combatants and civil society representatives, having a sense of ownership in the process. Ensuring such ownership was not only logical, but without it, it would be nearly impossible to build a productive relationship between those domestic actors and the mechanisms of international cooperation. He added that it was also necessary to address the sources of tension that had led to conflict in the first place.
Continuing, he said some elements of conflict required more work to tackle than others, especially those that were rooted in “particular attitudes or modes of behaviour”. Using his own country as an example, he said Guatemala still suffered from a culture of impunity that had been born in the shadow of internal conflict. The Government had turned to the United Nations to design an innovative arrangement to strengthen the rule of law -- the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala. The main point was, however, that 16 years had passed since the conflict had ended and Guatemala continued to experience its consequences.
GONZALO GUTIÉRREZ (Peru) said the fact that the Council was taking up the issue when the wider membership was immersed in reviewing the work of the Peacebuilding Commission provided an opportunity to consider ways that body could more effectively and efficiently carry out its role in coordinating the work of actors and intervention in the field. Indeed, the necessary resources and funding would ensure that it could carry out its advisory role and undertake activities to consolidate peace in countries emerging from conflict.
He urged Member States to prioritize the relationship between promoting peace and security and ensuring the protection of human rights and promotion of social and economic development. It was undeniable that the principle of national ownership was the cornerstone of successfully implementing any peacebuilding process, he said, emphasizing that national ownership required the involvement of all sectors of a given society. In post-conflict societies, that meant engaging the private sector, business community and others that would enable increased economic growth and attract private investment.
It was, therefore, essential that the Peacebuilding Commission continue to help post-conflict countries attract the necessary resources and create the necessary conditions to ensure the effective channelling of cooperation through efficient accountability mechanisms. The Commission must also be involved, along with United Nations bodies such as the Economic and Social Council, in the design of economic development strategies. He said it was not viable to maintain the work of the Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund on separate tracks. The Commission must play a relevant role in earmarking resources to be deployed in specific situations. It was perhaps time to devise a mechanism that would strengthen coordination and communication between the Commission and the Fund. Today’s debate was an opportunity to strengthen the Commission, so it could faithfully and effectively carry out the role given to it.
ABDULLAH HUSSAIN HAROON (Pakistan) said peacebuilding was a complex undertaking, requiring a closer review of ground realities and expectations, as well as extensive and continuous consultations in order to forge coherent, efficient and predictable responses to the peacebuilding needs of the countries emerging from conflict. The challenges of relapse into conflict could be tackled by a more coordinated assessment and planning for peacebuilding and peacekeeping activities, which were specialized disciplines with cross-cutting themes. Pragmatic partnerships between the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, international financial institutions, troop-contributing countries and the Secretariat should be explored.
He said the people affected by a conflict should be given full ownership of the peacebuilding process. At the same time, the international community rightfully expected the local actors to inculcate the required responsibility and governance. Building peace would require the right priorities in areas of development, while tapping the civilian capacities available locally before resorting to regional or international expertise. Some level of understanding of local sensitivity and a degree of flexibility in imposing conditionalities were also essential. Sustained peacebuilding would also require predictable and sustained funding and allocation of resources, which would require cooperation between donors and the international financial institutions.
The Peacebuilding Commission held a pivotal role in the peacebuilding architecture, he said. For effective responses in the immediate aftermath of conflict, it would make more sense if the Commission was engaged from the outset of the United Nations involvement, particularly where integrated peacekeeping missions were deployed. That would facilitate more cohesion between the objectives of peacebuilding and peacekeeping.
KIRSTY GRAHAM (New Zealand) said that through extensive experience in peacebuilding operations, including missions in Timor-Leste and the mandated operations in Bougainville, Afghanistan and the Solomon Islands, her country had learned the crucial importance of building and sustaining national ownership and engagement. She pointed to the Partnership Framework agreed last year between the Solomon Islands and the Regional Assistance Mission, with its mechanism for establishing benchmarks and monitoring progress toward shared objectives, as an example of how that could be achieved in practice.
National ownership, she said, was extremely important in the development of national institutional capacity, for which national personnel should be utilized as much as possible. Such strategies must be in place before significant investment was made in activities with long-term implications. Robust needs assessments should also be made from the outset of mandate development. In addition, she supported an urgent review of civilian expertise that considered the full range of options in order to expand the pool of suitable personnel available for rapid deployment.
Post-conflict environments were invariably fluid and unpredictable, she said. Thus, a decisive factor in the success of peacebuilding operations was the strength of the leadership. The selection and preparation of appropriately skilled, experienced and balanced leadership teams was clearly crucial, as was ensuring they received sufficient support. She welcomed steps taken to strengthen such capacities, as well as address the insufficient numbers of women in senior peacekeeping positions. Further, a key leadership challenge was achieving coordination and synergies between the broad range of actors on the ground, in order to prevent gaps or duplication of effort. The importance of such coordination could not be overstated. In that regard, she welcomed improvements made in recent years to the coordination of the humanitarian response, through the cluster approach. In closing, she said her country was proud of its contribution to peacebuilding operations to date and of the lessons it had learned, but was equally aware of the complex challenges and how much more the international community had to learn about how best to tackle them in practice.
ZACHARY D. MUBURI MUITA (Kenya), supporting the statement made on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement by Bangladesh, recognized the pivotal role of the Peacebuilding Commission, in particular, in several African countries -– Burundi, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau and the Central African Republic -- but said that the Commission could better fulfil its mandate if it came into the picture at an earlier stage of peacebuilding and worked more closely with national and regional actors. Peacebuilding strategies must also focus more on economic development, institutions of governance, democratic norms and the participation of women. National ownership of all programmes was crucial.
The Commission’s potential as an advisory body for the General Assembly, as well as for the Security Council, should be fully realized, he said, adding that the ongoing review should define how the Commission could create positive synergy with all partners. Kenya, as a member of the Burundi configuration, stressed the importance of economic recovery, socio-economic integration and development. Because of the importance of development and socio-economic integration to peacebuilding, he stressed that peacebuilding gains should be anchored in regional integration initiatives. In that light, Burundi would benefit by joining the East African community.
JOHN MCNEE (Canada) said post-conflict peacebuilding was rightly emerging as one of the United Nations central challenges. Conflict could erode capacity, unravel the fabric of society and hinder economic development. It could also undermine regional stability and create ungoverned spaces, within which armed groups and organized crime could flourish. Far too frequently, countries that emerged from violence returned to it within at short period, at tremendous cost. As the Security Council took up the issue, it would be important to consider the Organization’s record thus far, and in that respect, there was much to be learned from international engagement in Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and Timor-Leste. Canada had supported peace-consolidation in all three of those countries, he added.
Specifically on Afghanistan, he said Canada had developed a whole-of-Government approach that drew on the specific expertise of key departments and agencies by marshalling its civilian and military contributions behind a single comprehensive strategy that aligned support with priorities identified by the Afghan Government. He noted that, while the context in each post-conflict country differed, Canada believed the underlying principles behind the approach to peacebuilding were an important step forward and should be applied more widely.
He went on to say that his Government was honoured to Chair the Peacebuilding Commission’s Sierra Leone configuration. That country was a multilateral peacebuilding success, and as such, its experience highlighted several important factors, including the fact that strong national leadership had enabled political reconciliation and set the stage for several rounds of successful elections, thereby cementing democratic governance and rebuilding trust. Finally, he stressed that, while much work remained in the area of peacebuilding, several overarching principles were emerging. Those included the widely held view that peacebuilding should start as early as possible, that it was complementary to peacekeeping, and that it required considerable resources and sustained commitment. The Council should continue to ensure that the core risks of relapse into conflict in a given context were identified and addressed in a targeted manner, including through closer cooperation with the Peacebuilding Commission.
RANKO VILOVIĆ (Croatia), aligning his country with the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union, said post-conflict peacebuilding was just as important as bringing an end to conflict, and a strong nexus should be established as soon as possible between peacekeeping and peacebuilding, based on a coordinated, coherent and integrated approach, the prompt implementation of a peace agreement and in-depth knowledge of the situation on the ground. Based on its own experience, Croatia supported the Council’s intention to further strengthen coherence between peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding in its work. Transforming some former peacekeeping missions into integrated peacebuilding missions was a step in the right direction and, in that regard, cooperation between the Council and the Commission was of utmost importance. Still, there was room for improvements on that front, including considering the insight the Commission could bring to the Council’s deliberations on those issues that were on both bodies’ agendas.
He said a single national strategy instrument encompassing all relevant peacebuilding activities was a useful innovation deserving further consideration. The United Nations should also unify its own programmes and activities to ensure it delivered as one. Meanwhile, the lessons learned from the country-specific approach that, despite commonalities, each country situation was unique, should not be overlooked. National ownership of the peacebuilding process was paramount, and Croatia strongly supported the idea of developing a pool of civilian expertise drawn primarily from regional resources. It also encouraged deepening cooperation between the Commission and subregional organizations and welcomed the Commission’s efforts to engage non-traditional donors and partners in financing activities. Five years on, the Commission was ready to add more countries to its agenda. It should also develop assessment tools to monitor and measure progress.
GARY QUINLAN (Australia) said that, while the peacebuilding issue was currently being discussed in many forums, it was essential that consideration of the matter continue in the Security Council, since peacebuilding was a necessary and often difficult element of preventing future conflict and consolidating gains achieved through the deployment of peacekeeping missions, both of which should be aims of the Council’s work. He said it was vital for peacebuilding needs to be considered at the inception of a peacekeeping mission. Indeed, the planning of a peacekeeping mission should not focus on military tasks alone, but should be of a multifaceted nature, incorporating political, humanitarian and development considerations.
Calling for a closer and more organic relationship between the Security Council and the Peacebuilding Commission, he also stressed that the transition from post conflict to what might be called “normal”, while unique in each case, typically took a rather long time. “There is an imperative to balance the need for rapid and flexible responses to short-term issues against our steady efforts on longer-term goals,” he continued, adding: “We need to be cognizant of and able to respond to the rapidly changing political and security contexts, and be prepared to see a challenge through to its conclusion.”
He also stressed the importance of state-building, which required all international actors to develop a shared understanding of all the factors which affected a nation’s ability to build a sustainable peace. Those actors needed to align their respective efforts with Government-identified priorities and harmonize their initiatives to get the best results. Using Australia’s efforts in Timor-Leste as a reference point, he noted that, while in the early stages a priority had been placed on stabilizing the security situation, responding to humanitarian needs and helping the new Government build institutions, in hindsight, Australia now realized that an earlier transition to also ensure visible and tangible benefits to the rural poor had also been needed. Australia’s new strategy had corrected that imbalance by placing the most emphasis on the Timorese Government’s efforts to deliver health care and education, improve agricultural productivity and address employment challenges for Timorese youth.
PEDRO SERRANO, Acting Head of Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, said the follow-up to the Secretary-General’s 2009 report “Peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict”, the 2010 Peacebuilding Commission review and the ongoing reflection on United Nations peacekeeping represented three key processes for improving how the Organization and the international community could better support countries emerging from conflict. The Union would closely follow and engage in those processes, particularly the implementation of the Secretary-General’s report. Within that, he placed special emphasis on the United Nations civilian capacity review and the clarification of roles both within the Organization and between it and the international financial institutions.
He called the rate at which countries fell back into conflict within five years of a peace agreement -- which stood at 30 per cent -- “unacceptable” in terms of suffering, missed opportunities and lost investments. Reversing that trend was a shared responsibility, and something that was owed most people affected by conflict. To make peacebuilding more sustainable, additional efforts must be devoted to generating greater national ownership; identifying credible priorities and realistic objectives; designing coherent, tailored strategies that aligned main actors behind them; providing rapid, flexible and predictable financial support; and forging effective national, regional and international partnerships. The Peacebuilding Commission could champion that agenda by becoming the central platform for strengthening the links between security and development.
Outlining the European Union’s contributions, he said it was engaged in 12 civilian and military crisis-management operations worldwide. It shared field experiences with other partners where it had become a significant actor in providing security, as well as support for political, development and humanitarian aspects. It also provided substantive financial support. New structures for managing the Union’s external relations aimed to increase the coherence of its short-, medium- and long-term actions and built on previous work to ensure an integrated approach to peacebuilding. In Timor-Leste, the Union had provided $400 million since 1999 for development and humanitarian assistance, and would provide $100 million from 2009 to 2013 for rural development, health and social sector reform, among other things. Through its action plan, the Union was also providing long-term assistance for institution-building and civilian capacity programmes in Afghanistan.
JARMO VIINANEN (Finland), also speaking on behalf of Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, said that peace was much more than the absence of violence. Sustainable peace required the restoration of the foundations of a peaceful society, as well as a State accountable to its people. It also required the respect of individual fundamental rights, the rebuilding of rule of law and security institutions and an inclusive and transparent reconciliation process. Current peacebuilding strategies fell short of the vision due to a focus on the difficult task of establishing short-term security and political stability.
As post-conflict situations could vary widely, peacebuilding policy needed to be built upon a thorough understanding of the particular country, so as to allow for more flexibility and adaptability, he said. He emphasized that long-term vision and resilience, rather than unrealistic expectations and timelines for sweeping reform, were required of the international community for achieving sustainable peace.
The basis of effective peacebuilding strategies, he noted, was an emphasis on both national ownership and national accountability to the local population, he said. The international community must support and consult civil society, while also aiding the emergence of inclusive political processes in all ways, including financially. He added that women needed to be included early on in all processes. In terms of mutual accountability, he said a coordinated and supportive approach from the international community was expected by post-conflict countries, and he urged the promotion of a whole-of-government approach and consistent, active engagement by Member States.
HARDEEP SINGH PURI (India) said that, although security was a key pillar for peacebuilding, it was equally important to focus on building economic opportunity, particularly for the youth, along with political and social stability. That would require a holistic approach sensitive to the economic, social and political milieu of the post-conflict situation, as well as to ensure a real stake for the country in peacebuilding efforts. It also meant that, even in cases where it was difficult to locate national ownership, international peacebuilding efforts must be geared towards strengthening the capacity of a post-conflict State to govern effectively. The international community, through the Peacebuilding Commission, must always ensure that there was an effective two-way dialogue between the countries and the Commission throughout all stages.
He said that, given the sensitive nature of peacebuilding tasks such as security sector reform and development administration, there must be a high degree of coordination within the United Nations system. The establishment of “country-specific configurations” of the Commission had been a positive development. Also, the Council would do well to really consult major troop- and police-contributing countries, both individually and through the Commission, while formulating and revising mandates of United Nations missions. India had actively participated in the Peacebuilding Commission since its inception and had contributed to the Peacebuilding Fund. In that regard, he believed the Peacebuilding Fund should act as a catalyst for good governance and he welcomed the creation of the Senior Advisory Group for the Review of International Civilian Capacities.
COLLIN D. BECK (Solomon Islands) said that, for many countries ravaged by war, peacebuilding largely meant ensuring security, promoting development and undertaking nation-building activities. Security was a priority in the first year, and during that time, sufficient investment must be made in the development sector to ensure that peace took root. In that regard, he said the Peacebuilding Commission must understand the environment it would be operating in. That body must also be flexible and, importantly, it must anticipate changes that might exacerbate the challenges that generally occurred during a transition from war to sustainable peace, including natural disasters, spikes in energy and commodity prices or financial contagion.
Turning to security sector reform, he said that in order for any peacebuilding mechanism to succeed, society’s confidence in State institutions must be restored. The United Nations could help build confidence in State security institutions, for instance, by providing space for locally trained police forces to participate in one of its peacekeeping missions. Such a move would announce to the community that its institutions were working in harmony with international structures. Finally, he said that an international effort must be made to generate home-grown capital. That could be done by boosting investment in such areas as energy and agriculture.
CARMEN MARÍA GALLARDO HERNÁNDEZ (El Salvador) said her delegation affirmed its support of the objective and goals of the Peacebuilding Commission, especially as it was seeking to promote long-term development in the countries on its agenda. Each country had its own specific characteristics and the Commission must take those into account, while also prioritizing nationally identified priorities. She urged the Council to remember that the Commission’s cooperation with other United Nations bodies should be enhanced. It was important for the Commission to give thought to the conditions under which it might wrap up its work in a particular country. Indeed, the Commission had not been created to remain in the countries on its agenda forever. As that was the case, targeted exit strategies must be mapped out early on.
She said it was important to strengthen synergies between the Security Council and the Commission. In addition, when the countries on the Commission’s agenda began implementing their national peacebuilding strategies, all efforts must be made to coordinate the Commission’s activities with other United Nations bodies working in the area of social and economic development, as well as with relevant regional organizations. Finally, she said the Organization’s new peacebuilding architecture was a very valuable tool, in as much as it allowed the United Nations to help countries emerging from conflict consolidate long-tem peace. Every effort must be made to ensure that the Commission was able to effectively and efficiently carry out its work.
PALITHA T. B. KOHONA (Sri Lanka) said that although the Peacebuilding Commission had been established, the lessons from home-grown peacebuilding strategies should not be ignored. All peacebuilding efforts were unique and the nature of individual conflicts were different. Any tendency to impose predetermined solutions must be resisted. Peacebuilding must be a nationally owned process and peace must come from within, and not from the outside. His national experience had shown that benchmarks, artificial timelines and external pressure often led to rejection of external interference and confusion in domestic processes, thereby weakening the influence of the international community. Time could heal many wounds, provided it was augmented with the necessary confidence-building measures. Economic empowerment of the people needed to be given equal priority to political reconciliation.
He said the immediate needs of people in post-conflict societies included rehabilitation, resettlement, basic services, safety and security, rebuilding basic infrastructure and employment opportunities. Economic recovery must take place in parallel with the strengthening of democratic processes, the rule of law and human rights. As for reconciliation, he said that “those who shout from the rooftops for justice or revenge on the alleged perpetrators of crimes come from a certain socio-cultural milieu where ‘revenge’ was seen as a healer”. His culture, however, dictated that mercy be shown by the victor. Support from donors was often conditional upon the acceptance by receiver countries of the donors’ formula for peacebuilding. The Peacebuilding Fund could be a channel through which national processes could be supported on their own merits.
LESLIE KOJO CHRISTIAN (Ghana), aligning himself with the statement delivered by Bangladesh on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that sustainable peace was not an event, but a process that required sustained attention from the international community. In that regard, attention to strengthening the Peacebuilding Commission as an early warning mechanism in both pre- and post-conflict countries was also required. The Commission should be able to advise the Security Council on situations on its agenda.
In keeping with its own commitment to peacebuilding, Ghana had implemented a peacebuilding framework called the National Architecture for Peace in Ghana, the broad objective of which was the development of coordination mechanisms for peacebuilding in the country. The framework was created to work towards religious reconciliation and transformative dialogues, and was also meant foster local and national capacity building. Given that, on the topic of the development of peacebuilding strategies in post-conflict countries, emphasis on national ownership was also welcomed, he said. Ghana agreed that almost all the national dimensions identified in the concept paper, such as security sector reform, reintegration of soldiers, the alleviation of poverty, the institution of gender balance and education, were vital to the process of peace and should play a key role, and it welcomed efforts by the Commission and the Secretary-General aimed towards involving women in peacebuilding.
Ghana urged the development of strategies to enhance coordination and cooperation through an integrated approach. Effective coordination of efforts of all stakeholders was needed in order for all parties involved to deliver as one towards the goal of peace. In the area of capacity-building, needs should be investigated and mechanisms should be put in place to monitor or evaluate peacebuilding activities. He noted that peacebuilding and peacekeeping were not mutually exclusive, and that a focus on how to prevent conflict relapses, as well as on achieving sustainable peace through addressing the root causes of such conflict, was crucial.
ALFRED NDABARASA (Rwanda) said all peacebuilding situations had communalities, even if each situation also had its particular problems. In general, national ownership and adequate resources were crucial, as was a mechanism to monitor the accountability of all actors. There also must be cooperation between the General Assembly and the Security Council on policies that would ensure achievements towards an exit strategy. From his country’s experience, in addition, he said, it was important to address the root causes of conflicts, as well.
TÉTE ANTÓNIO, Permanent Observer of the African Union, pointed out that his organization had created a political framework for peacebuilding, incorporating development into its approach. In that light, he affirmed the importance of incorporating development and the addressing of the root causes of conflict into the approach of the United Nations.
He proposed that there be an institutionalized partnership between actors involved in the African Union framework and the Peacebuilding Commission. There had already been meetings towards that end, he said, and he called for those efforts to lead to real achievements. Cooperation was particularly important in Guinea-Bissau, where expected achievements would take time and it was important to encourage regional actors to participate. Cooperation was also crucial in tackling cross-cutting issues, such as youth unemployment. He looked forward to upcoming events that were planned for the purposes of strengthening cooperation between the African Union and the Peacebuilding Commission.
JAKKRIT SRIVALI (Thailand) said that, for peacebuilding to be successful, there was a need to foster national ownership, accompanied by the strengthening of national capacity. Building a sense of national ownership went beyond the simple transfer of administrative power to local authorities. It required constant dialogue between the national Government and local constituents, including civil society and minorities, as well as consultation and coordination with the international community. Participation of women and youth was also crucial. Since it was mostly men who participated in conflict, it was important to involve women in helping stabilize post-conflict environments. Unemployed and undereducated youth was a potential risk factor. The economic empowerment of women and youth could help dampen potential root causes of conflict.
He emphasized that the transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding and sustainable development should be seamless. A period of overlap where coordination among all parties involved was essential to ensure the coherence of the process was inevitable. He, therefore, encouraged close cooperation and consultation between the Peacebuilding Commission and other United Nations bodies, in particular the Economic and Social Council, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Close cooperation with international financial institutions and private foundations could help address financing gaps and urgent needs.
CHARLES THEMBANI NTWAAGAE (Botswana) said it was important to ensure collaboration and synergy in the programme and activities of the various United Nations entities like the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council in peacekeeping and conflict management. It was universally agreed that peace, safety and stability were prerequisites for sustainable development. The causes of conflict, particularly in Africa, included the absence of political tolerance, democracy, good governance and the rule of law, as well as the inequitable distribution of revenue earned from natural resources. He, thus, emphasized the significance of supporting democratization and institutional development as crucial measures in preventing conflict and laying a foundation for sustainable socio-economic development.
For peacebuilding interventions to leave a positive mark, he said, effective coordination between the United Nations, the host Government, bilateral donors and civil society must be ensured. The delivery of all international assistance must encourage national ownership, while also observing strict procedures to minimize unintended sponsorship of conflict. Investments should be made in reconstructing and rehabilitating infrastructure, as well as in social and economic programmes. Other integral parts of effective peacebuilding included addressing the needs of vulnerable groups, and providing relief efforts and building infrastructure like schools and primary health services. Post-conflict peacebuilding could only succeed if a high premium was placed on national ownership, not only of actual reconstruction, but of the work to determine development priorities.
JOSÉ LUIS CANCELA (Uruguay) said peacebuilding was a complex and long-term process that required input from a wide spectrum of actors often operating on separate tracks towards the same end -- providing comprehensive support for countries emerging from conflict. While the United Nations was undoubtedly one of the key actors in this area, much more needed to be done to fully utilize the comparative advantage of the Peacebuilding Commission. As part of the ongoing review of the Organization’s peacebuilding architecture, Member States must ensure that the Commission was allowed to operate at its full potential.
He said it was also essential to bear in mind medium- and long-term strategies when outlining peacebuilding efforts. While it was difficult to get warring parties to work towards the same purpose in the aftermath of conflict, it was essential to ensure national ownership -- through the involvement of all parties and stakeholders -- in the peacebuilding process. While many would say such a task was impossible, it was the best way to move forward. Not only was it the most politically correct way to move forward, it would also prevent planting the seeds of renewed conflict in the future. Finally, he stressed that as Member States continued the review process, the goal should be transparency and mutual accountability of all parties involved.
ABULKALAM ABDUL MOMEN (Bangladesh), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said the General Assembly was the Organization’s main deliberative body. It was composed of all Member States and entrusted with the responsibility of considering important questions related to peace and security, among others. His delegation would, therefore, reiterate the crucial relevance of the Assembly, while having regard for powers and responsibilities of other organs. The Council’s debate was taking place against the backdrop of a major review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture under the auspices of the General Assembly. The Non-Aligned Movement hoped that today’s discussion sought to add value to the Assembly’s activities, and aimed at ensuring a successful completion of the review process.
Continuing, he said the Non-Aligned Movement believed that the Peacebuilding Commission’s potential as an advisory body was underutilized. The Member States must define how that body could capitalize on its current composition and draw on the competitive advantages of the diverse representation of its Organizational Committee. The Non-Aligned Movement valued the Commission’s work, especially its role in bolstering national ownership of post-conflict priority planning in the area of peacebuilding. He was also pleased to note that there appeared to be broad consensus on the Commission that economic reconstruction and rehabilitation should be at the forefront of all efforts to sustain peace, initiate development and promote post-conflict recovery.
Like any fledgling apparatus, the Commission had experienced some difficulties in accomplishing its mandate. But despite many challenges, the Commission had made good progress in addressing the issues facing the four countries on its agenda. Turning to issues his delegation believed to be of utmost importance, he said the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council must use the 2010 review process to realize the Peacebuilding Commission’s inherent potential as an advisory body. There was also a need to clearly define how the Commission could ensure better coordination among all actors in the peacebuilding sphere, including the international financial institutions and United Nations agencies, as well as the private sector and civil society organizations. He also stressed the importance of ensuring a gender perspective in the Commission’s work.
ROBERT G. AISI ( Papua New Guinea) addressed the tragic experiences in the Bougainville conflict and its resolution under the auspices of the United Nations, the Council and regional partners. In June 2005, the Council had ended its seven-year old mandate to oversee the resolution of the 10-year-long civil conflict that had cost the lives of some 15,000 people. In May and June 2005, the first general elections for the President and House of Representative had been successfully completed, resulting in the establishment of the Autonomous Bougainville Government. That historic election had been made possible under the agreed constitutional arrangements between the Government of Papua New Guinea and the leaders of Bougainville. The national Constitution had also been amended. “That a nation saw fit to amend its supreme law to facilitate a peace process remains a key factor in how the Bougainville peace process had been sustained,” he said.
He said that the United Nations, through the Council and several agencies, had played pivotal roles in ensuring the continuing success of the peacebuilding process, as had neighbouring countries and regional agencies. That strongly underlined that any successful peace process must always have a strong element of partnership. The provisions of Article 52 of the United Nations Charter, which provided for regional arrangements, should get stronger application. There could be no peace unless there was peace among the population. The need to reinforce civilian capacities was therefore critical, as was the need to empower women and youth. The peace dividend could only be realized if there were concerted efforts on the part of all parties concerned.
GAREN NAZARIAN (Armenia), joining the call for more systematic attention to post-conflict peacebuilding that had been expressed by previous speakers, said the issue should be addressed with more frequency by the Security Council and through better cooperation between the United Nations and other actors. The Council should further strengthen initiatives for the rule of law and development. It was important, in addition, that the Peacebuilding Commission further develop a country-specific, needs-based and target-oriented approach.
He said that, in resolving devastating conflicts in the Caucasus, the benefits of initiatives to bring about sustainable economic development had not yet been fully utilized. Regional trade and investment could lead to confidence-building, engagement and solutions on the political front. The South Caucasus, in particular, needed regional programmes sponsored by donor countries and organizations, with international financial institutions and the private sector playing a large role. Successful implementation of that agenda, of course, required political will.
GYAN CHANDRA ACHARYA (Nepal) said it was important to keep in mind that peacebuilding encompassed diplomatic, security and economic efforts and that security and development were interlinked. In that light, effective development projects were an effective “positive multiplier” even in environments of minimum security.
In regard to the Peacebuilding Commission, he said it had become an important instrument, but it had yet to make a strong mark on the ground. Better coordination in the field among all actors and the incorporation of peacebuilding activities earlier in peacekeeping would greatly enhance its effectiveness. In addition, he affirmed that the timely availability of more resources, the further strengthening of the Peacebuilding Support Office and the accumulation of key components of effective peacebuilding would help consolidate peacebuilding efforts in a more effective manner. His delegation was confident that the 2010 review process would come up with concrete suggestions towards that end.
* *** *For information media • not an official record