UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS
28 AUGUST 2007
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have the pleasure to deliver on behalf of Her Excellency Shaikha Haya Rashed al Khalifa, the President of the General Assembly the following statement.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Security Council meets today to convene a thematic debate on its role in conflict prevention and resolution, in particular in Africa. I am pleased to participate in today’s debate in my capacity as President of the 61st Session of the General Assembly; which is the chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations. I would like to thank H.E. Mr.Pascal Gayama the President of the Council for the Month of August for his invitation to address the Council today.
At the 2005 World Summit, when Heads of State and Government gathered in New York, they stressed the importance of the prevention of armed conflicts and solemnly renewed their commitment to strengthen the capacity of the United Nations in this regard.
They also stressed the need for the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Secretary-General to coordinate their activities within their respective Charter mandates. I am convinced that there is still room for progress to enhance this coordination and cooperation.
The Prevention of Armed Conflict is one of the principal purposes of the United Nations and lies at the centre of many of the Organization’s efforts.
The issue has been included as a specific item on the agenda of the General Assembly in 2002 and every session since: an indication of the increasing perception of the concept’s importance.
By establishing the Peacebuilding Commission in 2005, the General Assembly took an important step forward in the field of conflict prevention. The efforts of the PBC constitute an essential component in solidifying peace and preventing relapse into conflicts.
But this is not enough. We need to reinforce the mediation and good offices' capabilities of the United Nations System in its entirety. We should strive to provide the necessary tools for the United Nations to play this crucial role, while fully respecting the sovereignty of all Member States.
Just as conflict prevention is a multidimensional task involving a set of political, humanitarian, development and other measures tailored to each specific context, a successful preventive strategy is dependent upon the cooperation of many different actors, including Member States, international, regional and sub-regional organizations, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and other civil society actors.
However, ultimate responsibility for conflict prevention always rests with each and every Member State.
In his 2006 report on conflict prevention, the Secretary-General notes that “while a culture of prevention is beginning to take hold at the United Nations, an unacceptable gap remains between rhetoric and reality”. The overriding priority, therefore, has to be to operationalize conflict prevention.
In conclusion, I would like to express the hope that cooperation and coordination among the principal organs of the United Nations will intensify in this vital area, which remains at the heart of the purposes of our Organization.