Security Council reaffirms peacebuilding as key element of UN post-conflict assistance

Wide view of the Security Council. UN Photo/Loey Felipe (file)

14 January 2015 – Peacebuilding is of “critical importance” as the foundation for sustainable peace and development in countries emerging from conflict, the United Nations Security Council declared today, unanimously adopting its latest measure reaffirming commitment to the practice.

In a statement presented by Heraldo Muñoz, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Chile, which holds the body’s January presidency, the Council recognized peacebuilding’s role as an “important element” of the UN’s efforts in post-conflict nations and reaffirmed that sustainable peace and security requires “an integrated sustained approach based on coherence among political, security and developmental approaches.”

“The Security Council underscores that peacebuilding, in particular, institution building, the extension of State authority and the re-establishment of core public administration functions, requires sustained international and national attention, and financial and technical support in order to effectively build and sustain peace in countries emerging from conflict,” the statement declared.

“When we look at the life of a conflict, we need to think of extending that attention to the pre-stage and the post-stage”, said Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, as he introduced the Secretary-General’s latest report on peacebuilding in the aftermath of conflict. The upcoming review of the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) will take place at a time of complex threats to peace, security and development, including the relapse into conflict in the Central African Republic and South Sudan, as well as the Ebola outbreak.

He said he looked forward to the reviews of the Security Council and the Secretary-General, alongside the global study to assess progress in implementing resolution 1325 (2000) on women’s inclusion in post-conflict processes. Those reviews should be mutually reinforcing he stressed, adding that a solid commitment was needed from all sides for countries emerging from conflict.

“This could make the difference between peace or continuing conflict for millions of people around the world,” he stated. “This is an opportunity the United Natons and Member States should not miss.”

The PBC, an intergovernmental advisory body created in 2005 with a mandate to support peace efforts in countries emerging from conflict, plays a “unique role” in UN peacebuilding efforts, according to its website.

Principally, it is tasked with bringing together all of the relevant actors, including international donors and financial institutions, national governments, troop contributing countries; marshalling resources and advising on and proposing integrated strategies for post-conflict peacebuilding and recovery and where appropriate, highlighting any gaps that threaten to undermine peace.

Addressing the Council members, Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations and Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, pointed to the vast swathe of crises afflicting nations around the globe as indicative of the need for “further sharpening the tools at the disposal of the United Nations with a view to preventing relapse into violent conflict.”

“The crises in the Central African Republic, South Sudan and Libya, as well as the risks posed by the Ebola crisis, remind us that our response must be multifaceted, carefully sequenced and sustained over the long term,” Mr. de Aguiar Patriota told the Council Members.

“Attention and support to nationally-owned and inclusive political, socio-economic development and institution-building processes should be prioritized,” he added.

Nonetheless, he warned, peacebuilding is still being not granted “the sustained attention and commitment that is required by the international community to meet the complex and long-term challenges to sustainable peace.” In particular, he added, the implementation of peacebuilding was still being deprived of the critical financing mechanisms necessary for the fulfilment of its ambitions.

“Early investment in peacebuilding activities, including security sector and justice reform as well as socio-economic development, is a necessary complement to political and security focused mandates,” Mr. de Aguiar Patriota continued.

“The Commission will continue to support regional and national efforts aimed at catalysing greater international commitment to address this challenge.”

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