SECURITY COUNCIL, IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, CITES CRITICAL IMPORTANCE OF PEACEBUILDING, NEED TO PREVENT COUNTRIES’ ‘RELAPSING INTO CONFLICT’

26 May 2005
SC/8395

SECURITY COUNCIL, IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, CITES CRITICAL IMPORTANCE OF PEACEBUILDING, NEED TO PREVENT COUNTRIES’ ‘RELAPSING INTO CONFLICT’

26/05/2005
Press ReleaseSC/8395

Security Council

5187th Meeting (AM & PM)*

SECURITY COUNCIL, IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, CITES CRITICAL IMPORTANCE

OF PEACEBUILDING, NEED TO PREVENT COUNTRIES’ ‘RELAPSING INTO CONFLICT’

Also Stresses Need to Ensure ‘Adequate

And Timely Financing’ for Peacebuilding Priorities

The Security Council today acknowledged that serious attention to the longer-term process of peacebuilding was critically important, and that adequate support for peacebuilding activities could help prevent countries from relapsing into conflict. 

In a statement read out by its President, Ellen Margrethe Løj (Denmark), the Council also recognized that intra-State conflicts and States emerging from conflict were among the most complex challenges facing the international community.  Responding to those challenges in most instances required a coherent and integrated mix of peacebuilding and peacekeeping activities, including political, military, civilian, humanitarian and development activities.

Setting the stage for the discussion, Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Møller said the aim of peacebuilding was, first and foremost, to ensure the transition from conflict to peace, development and reconstruction, and to prevent the recurrence of conflict.  Efforts in the post-conflict phase had often been too slow, and insufficient international efforts could result in relapse into conflict.  That was particularly true in Africa.

If the international community was unable to act swiftly, he added, the fragile peace was at risk with loss of more lives as a consequence.  Although the United Nations had made progress lately in strengthening its coherence in post-conflict situations, significant challenges remained in the policy, institutional and financial fields.

Noting that roughly half of all wars that came to an end relapsed into violence, Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette said, “an Organization such as ours, set up to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, must improve this record”.  Strategies for ending war must also tackle the question of relapse, and peace agreements must be implemented in a sustainable manner.  Peacebuilding was one of the most direct and vital contributions that the United Nations made to freeing people from fear and want, and enabling them to live lives in larger freedom, she stated. 

Addressing the meeting via video link, World Bank President James Wolfensohn said too much time and too many resources were spent on the military side and too

little on development assistance.  Whether a country was poor and peaceful, or poor and emerging from conflict, exactly the same considerations prevailed as to whether hope and development could be brought about.  Sadly, he noted, the international community’s attention span disappeared as soon as the bombs stopped falling and people stopped getting killed.  Peacebuilding could not be photographed and did not make headlines.  The world must pay longer-term attention to the turgid process of building States.

In the ensuing discussion, speakers stressed the need to ensure local ownership of post-conflict peacebuilding strategies in order to make them sustainable, as well as to ensure adequate financing and implementation of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes –- an essential element to avoid a resurgence of conflict.  The role of regional organizations in different parts of the world, which were taking on increasingly greater peacebuilding responsibilities, was welcomed and encouraged, and the need to ensure adequate and timely financing for peacebuilding priorities was emphasized.

In addition, the Secretary-General’s proposed Peacebuilding Commission elicited wide support among delegations.  Echoing the views of many of his colleagues, India’s representative said there was little doubt that the Secretary-General’s proposal had sought to fill what had been described as “a gaping hole in the UN’s institutional machinery”, and about the imperative need and utility of such a body.

The representative of the United Kingdom, highlighting the challenges the international community must address to build more lasting peace in the future, cited the need for better strategic priority setting and planning at the end of conflict.  At the moment, he noted, the United Nations often lacked a single strategic plan for operations in a country just emerging from conflict.  Also, that integrated plan must be delivered by one responsible individual.  The advantage of a special representative of the Secretary-General was that such an individual should have the authority and resources to deliver all aspects of a peace support operation, including welding together the work of the specialized agencies and giving strategic direction to a peacebuilding operation.

However, he added, special representatives of the Secretary-General lacked the necessary training and experience to fulfil those roles and were not recruited in a manner that ensured the best available talent for the job.  In addition, they did not have clear objectives or desired outcomes set by Headquarters.  There was also a need to develop mechanisms to get the right civilian expertise into post-conflict situations more quickly.

One challenge of peacebuilding, stated Japan’s representative, was the lack of a general template for handling all conflicts, which could also be said of the United Nations role.  In its “light footprint approach” to Afghanistan, the United Nations had encouraged local leaders to take charge, while respecting the initiatives of other international participants.  In Africa, the Organization’s approach to disarmament, demobilization and reintegration had differed considerably from one case to another, taking into account the nature of each particular conflict, as well as local situations.  The Organization’s role should be flexibly defined by the specific conflict situation and the roles played by other participants.

Also making statements today were the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand and the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, as well as the representatives of the United Republic of Tanzania, Argentina, France, Brazil, Algeria, Romania, United States, Benin, Philippines, Greece, China and the Russian Federation. 

Statements were also made by the representatives of Luxembourg (on behalf of the European Union), Australia, Morocco, Iceland, South Africa, Egypt, Ukraine, Malaysia, Norway, Ghana, Chile, Slovakia, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Indonesia, Peru and Papua New Guinea.

The meeting began at 10:20 a.m., suspended at 1:10 p.m., resumed at 3:15 p.m. and adjourned at 5:45 p.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of the presidential statement, to be issued as S/PRST/2005/20, reads, as follows:

“The Security Council reaffirms its commitment to the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and recalls its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.  The Security Council considers post-conflict peacebuilding closely linked to its primary responsibilities

“The Security Council recognizes that intra-State conflicts and States emerging from conflict are among the most complex challenges facing the international community, and that responding to these challenges in most instances requires a coherent and integrated mix of peacebuilding and peacekeeping activities, including political, military, civilian, humanitarian and development activities.

“The Security Council acknowledges that serious attention to the longer-term process of peacebuilding in all its multiple dimensions is critically important, and that adequate support for peacebuilding activities can help to prevent countries from relapsing into conflict.

“The Security Council underlines that priorities in the post-conflict environment should include, where appropriate:  protection of civilians; disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, reintegration and rehabilitation of former combatants; security sector and economic and social reform; the end of impunity; establishment and re-establishment of the institutions of Government, the rule of law and transitional justice, respect for human rights; and economic revitalisation.

“TheSecurity Council recognizes the key role played by the United Nations, including the United Nations funds, programmes and specialized agencies, in peacebuilding alongside the international financial institutions, in particular the World Bank, bilateral donors and troop contributors.  It also acknowledges the role the private sector can play in countries emerging from conflict. The Security Council underlines that a successful outcome of post-conflict peacebuilding activities depends on the sustained commitment of all relevant actors to the process, through the involvement of these actors and the coordination of their activities in all phases from planning through implementation.  In this regard, the Security Council also stresses the importance of pursuing coherent policies and resource allocation between these United Nations entities taking into account their respective mandates.  The Security Council recalls the report of 21 August 2000 by the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations (A/55/305) and the recommendations therein, and welcomes the progress made since the publication of the report, not least as regards planning of peacekeeping operations.

“The Security Council underlines that for countries emerging from conflict significant international assistance for economic and social rehabilitation and reconstruction is indispensable.  In this regard, the Security Council acknowledges the role ECOSOC plays, including in sustainable development, and reiterates its willingness to improve cooperation with United Nations bodies and organs directly concerned with peacebuilding.

“The Security Council underlines the importance of national ownership of the transition process from the end of a conflict to the attainment of lasting peace and sustainable development and the need for the international community to support nationally owned peacebuilding priorities.  The Security Council recognizes the positive role played by local stakeholders and encourages dialogue between the United Nations and relevant national actors.  The Security Council encourages capacity-building in order to respond to the country specific circumstances of each conflict situation.  One goal of this capacity-building -- and of peacebuilding generally -- should be to promote the establishment of self-supporting national authorities and thus the evolution of international assistance from peace support to longer-term development.

“The Security Council recognizes the crucial role of regional and subregional organizations in post-conflict peacebuilding and their involvement at the earliest possible stage.  The Security Council realizes that a clear regional perspective is necessary as most conflicts have interlocking political, security, humanitarian and economic dynamics across borders.  The Security Council underscores in this respectthe need for enhanced cooperation and, where appropriate, coordination between United Nations and regional and subregional organizations in peacebuilding, based on a more integrated approach and with the aim of maximizing use of available resources and capabilities.

“The Security Council stresses the importance of a comprehensive international and regional approach to disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of former combatants that is not limited to the political and security aspects, but also addresses its social and economic aspects, including special needs of child soldiers and women.

The Security Council stresses the special needs of Africa in post-conflict situations and encourages the international community to pay particular attention to those needs.  It welcomes the ever-closer partnership between the African Union, the African subregional organizations and the United Nations in the area of peacemaking and peacekeeping, and stresses the importance of extending this partnership to peacebuilding efforts.

“The Security Council underscores the importance of cooperation between United Nations peacekeeping operations and the United Nations funds, programmes and specialized agencies.  The Security Council stresses the importance of ensuring that planning and implementation of United Nations humanitarian, peacekeeping, political and developmental activities at country level are well coordinated system-wide, including through the development of shared strategic objectives.  The Security Council stresses that the United Nations should function as one integrated entity at country levelunder effective overall leadership in post-conflict peacebuilding.

“The Security Council stresses the need to ensure adequate and timely financing for peacebuilding priorities at all stages of the peace process, and stresses the need for sustained financial investment in peacebuilding over the medium- to longer-term period of recovery.  It recognizes the importance of rapid initiation of peacebuilding activities to meet immediate needs, and encourages the building of capabilities that can be incorporated rapidly.

“The Security Council welcomes the submission of the report of 21 March 2005 by the Secretary-General, In larger freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all (A/59/2005), and of the report by the High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change, A more secure world:  Our shared responsibility.  The Security Council acknowledges institutional gaps, identified in the reports, in the United Nations institutional machinery with respect to effectively, coherently, and comprehensively helping countries with transition from conflict to lasting peace and sustainable development.

“The Security Council takes note with interest of the important proposal by the Secretary-General to establish a Peacebuilding Commission and shares the objective of improving United Nations capacity to coordinate with donors and troop contributors and to performpeacebuilding activities, in particular from the start of peacekeeping operations through stabilization, reconstruction and development.  The Security Council recognizes the important role that this body could play to bridge the gap between maintenance of international peace and security and the work of humanitarian and economic development assistance.”

Background

When the Security Council met today to hold an open debate on post-conflict peacebuilding, it had before it a letter dated 16 May 2005 from the Permanent Representative of Denmark to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General (document S/2005/316).  According to a discussion paper annexed to the letter, the objective of the meeting is to discuss the current policy, institutional, and financial challenges in post-conflict peacebuilding with a view to strengthening coherence and consistency of Security Council action, while keeping in mind that the Council is but one of several players in this field.

The open debate is not intended to duplicate the current deliberations in the General Assembly on possible modalities of a Peacebuilding Commission and other reform proposals in the Secretary-General’s report “In Larger Freedom”, but rather to address some of the underlying problems and issues in peacebuilding.

Statements

PER STIG MØLLER, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark, speaking in his national capacity, said that the aim of peacebuilding was, first and foremost, to ensure the transition from conflict to peace, development and reconstruction, and to prevent the recurrence of conflict.  Efforts in the post-conflict phase had often been too slow, and insufficient international efforts could result in relapse into conflict.  That was particularly true in Africa.  If the international community was unable to act swiftly, the fragile peace was at risk with loss of more lives as a consequence.  Although the United Nations had made progress lately in strengthening its coherence in post-conflict situations, significant challenges remained in the policy, institutional and financial fields.

Stressing the need to ensure local ownership of post-conflict peacebuilding strategies in order to make them sustainable, he said that truly participatory dialogues between the United Nations and local stakeholders must reflect the fact that it was the country in question and its people that carried the main responsibility for their future.  That would impose responsibility on the local authorities to cooperate with and facilitate access for the international community.  The regional perspective was often underestimated in the attempt to address a particular conflict, he said.  The solution was comprehensive strategies that, at the same time, addressed the specifics of the conflict and dealt with the regional dimensions.  Such strategies must also include cross-cutting issues such as small arms, demobilization, disarmament and reintegration of former combatants, protection of women and children, and repatriation of refugees and internally displaced persons.

He said that in West Africa, where soldiers of fortune, mercenaries and sanctions-busters were taking their deadly business from one theatre of conflict to another, the focus should be tackling cross-border issues by aiming a comprehensive subregional strategy on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.  Otherwise, there was the risk that the new disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process in Côte d’Ivoire, which involved large cash handouts, would draw opportunistic ex-combatants from neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone.  Regional organizations in different parts of the world were taking on increasingly greater peacebuilding responsibilities, a development that should be welcomed and encouraged.

Regarding the institutional set-up, he said that all actors must be brought in.  It was hugely important to ensure systematic contributions from United Nations development and humanitarian agencies in the United Nations Integrated Mission Planning Process for post-conflict situations under the auspices of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.  Better use must be made of the knowledge and experience already residing in the United Nations country teams.  To that end, a system of recording and disseminating best practices should be devised.  The objective at Headquarters level and in the field was to ensure the best possible outcome by efficient use of available donor resources and no duplication of effort.

Turning to funding, he said that all efforts to keep and build the peace would come to naught without a sound financial basis.  Failure to reintegrate demobilized combatants and to provide them with alternative livelihoods was one of the most frequent causes of resumed conflict.  Training, job creation and other measures aimed at general growth in post-conflict situations must be subject to much closer cooperation with international financial institutions and United Nations funds and programmes.  At least the initial costs of planning repatriation and reintegration should also be funded through assessed contributions.

He said that the mandate of the recently approved United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) was a perfect example of a well integrated operation, where peacebuilding activities, such as security-sector reform, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, rule of law and governance, were given equal weight with military aspects, such as ceasefire monitoring and separation of forces.  However, the international community must be ready to provide the funding pledged at the 11 April donor conference in Oslo to initiate the implementation of those activities, particularly in southern Sudan.  Otherwise, the North-South peace agreement in that country might start to unravel.

LOUISE FRÉCHETTE, Deputy Secretary-General, noted that it was nearly a year since United Nations troops had arrived in Haiti.  The Council had sent them there to ensure a secure environment after civil violence had erupted in the country.  The tragedy that unfolded last year in Haiti was bad enough.  But it had been made worse by the fact that history was repeating itself there.  It had been the second time in 10 years that United Nations troops had been sent to Haiti to establish security in the country.  The unfortunate truth was that Haiti was not an anomaly.  On the contrary, roughly half of all wars that came to an end relapsed into violence.  “An Organization such as ours, set up to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, must improve this record.” 

Strategies for ending war must also tackle the question of relapse, she continued, and peace agreements must be implemented in a sustainable manner.  Also, critical stabilization activities, such as the reintegration and rehabilitation of demobilized combatants, must be adequately financed and carefully implemented.  “We must help societies and markets recover their vitality.  And we must strengthen the capacity of State and social institutions to provide security and justice based on the rule of law -- an area where the UN can make a real difference, and on which the Secretary-General is taking steps to strengthen the capacity of the UN system to provide rule of law assistance.”

She said four things were vital to improve the Organization’s peacebuilding success rate.  First, it was necessary to build on existing national institutions and capacities, both of the State and civil society.  National ownership was a vital foundation for sustainable peace and development.  Second, especially in operations on the ground, the United Nations system must function in a coherent fashion.  So too must its principal organs.  In recent years, the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council had each extended the scope of their activities in post-conflict situations.  Both had critical roles to play.

Third, the international financial institutions, bilateral donors and regional actors must all be involved in United Nations peacebuilding efforts.  Their contributions were vital if post-conflict recovery was to be resilient, and if the right foundation was to be laid for sustained economic recovery and political stability.  Fourth, both immediate needs and medium-term recovery required more resources.  In the early post-conflict phase, funding for national institution building, including rule of law programmes, was often inadequate.  Such funding gaps were “penny-wise and pound-foolish”.  “When we do not invest adequately in peacebuilding, we find ourselves paying much more for renewed peacekeeping efforts down the line.”

In his report, “In Larger Freedom”, the Secretary-General had proposed the establishment of a Peacebuilding Commission, together with a Peacebuilding Support Office, to help meet those needs.  The Commission would fill a gap within the United Nations machinery, and focus attention on the vital task of peacebuilding.  By bringing together the international financial institutions, bilateral donors and regional actors, it would harmonize peacebuilding activity across the multilateral system.

Peacebuilding was one of the most direct and vital contributions that the United Nations made to freeing people from fear and want, and enabling them to live lives in larger freedom, she stated.  “We have had important peacebuilding successes, but we have also seen too many failures.  We must implement the lessons of the past, and equip ourselves to create the conditions for long-term peace in societies emerging from conflict.  And, of course, we must also pay more attention to prevention –- so that societies can address their tensions and problems in ways that will avoid the descent into armed conflict in the first place.”

PHIL GOFF, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand, said that, to be successful, peacebuilding had to be a long-term commitment.  Peacebuilding was about creating sustainable social, developmental and governmental structures.  Capacity-building and restoration of civil society took time.  In Afghanistan, the New Zealand-led Provincial Reconstruction Team had proven to be an effective mechanism combining security, development and capacity-building in the community.  Over 50 per cent of conflicts reverted to violence within five years of peace agreements.  Issues behind the conflict needed to be dealt with, or the conflict would return.  If that did not occur, peace would only be sustained for the period of time external forces remained deployed. 

Secondly, he said, peacebuilding required flexibility.  Different kinds of resources needed to be committed, ranging from the deployment of military, police, justice and civilian advisers, to provision of aid and support for non-governmental institutions, including human rights.  Thirdly, sustainable peace depended on economic progress.  Successful reintegration of ex-combatants required sustained development assistance.  Opportunities for work and a better life were necessary to draw combatants away from the cycle of conflict.

Fourthly, he continued, peacebuilding required cultural sensitivity.  Greater ownership and capacity among local actors were needed for solutions to be acceptable, implementable and sustainable.  Getting alongside the community in conflict situations, working with them within their own structures, and acknowledging and acting on the validity of their own views were essential.  Finally, the role of civil society in peacebuilding needed to be given greater emphasis in policy development.  Experience in the Solomon Islands and Bougainville showed that community involvement provided an important avenue for the development of local ownership of solutions.

He believed the developing practice in the Security Council of mandating “complex” missions, including policing, legal, human rights, governance and development components, was very positive and encouraged the Council to continue doing so.  He also encouraged the Council, and the United Nations Secretariat, to continue engaging to the fullest extent possible with national and regional neighbours on building context-appropriate peacebuilding mechanisms.  The Council should also consider the earliest possible coordination with other actors in the United Nations system so that planning for sustained and long-term peacebuilding could take place.  In that context, he supported the proposal for a Peacebuilding Commission.

JAMES WOLFENSOHN, President of the World Bank, addressing the Council via link, said that too much time and too many resources were spent on the military side and too little on development assistance.  Whether a country was poor and peaceful, or poor and emerging from conflict, exactly the same considerations prevailed as to whether hope and development could be brought about.  Capacity must be strengthened, a problem that was exacerbated in post-conflict situations, either because the people were not there, had been killed or were involved in persisting antagonisms.

There could not be a viable State without a judicial and legal system that could protect rights, which were tremendously weakened in a post-conflict era, he said.  It was also important to establish a financial framework and to deal with corruption, issues that pervaded the Secretary-General’s reports, including his latest one -- In Larger Freedom.  In post-conflict situations the difficulty of addressing those issues was much greater.  It was also essential to deal with the causes of conflict, whether they involved inequity or the desire for diamonds or other natural resources.  Thereafter, the issues of country ownership, comprehensive approach and others were exactly the same in all post-conflict situations.  Sadly, the international community’s attention span disappeared as soon as the bombs stopped falling and people stopped getting killed.  Peacebuilding could not be photographed and did not make headlines.  The world must pay longer-term attention to the turgid process of building States.

MICHAEL AMBÜHL, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, said the Secretary-General’s proposal of a new peacebuilding architecture for the United Nations was an opportunity to bring about three fundamental changes.  First, the new architecture needed to facilitate the convergence of the security, humanitarian and development perspectives, which currently coexisted with little mutual understanding and limited interaction.  Secondly, it needed to enable the United Nations to mobilize the experience accumulated by the full range of its operations at the local, regional and international levels.  Thirdly, the new architecture must improve the predictability, transparency and accountability of United Nations peacebuilding activities.

He highlighted four strategic and substantial aspects that were important to his delegation.  First, the necessity for a coordinated multidimensional approach.  The process towards a sustainable recovery of war-torn societies was long and complex.  Several policy areas needed to be tackled simultaneously, including security, humanitarian action, justice and reconciliation, social and economic well-being, and governance and participation.  Against that background, it was essential that all actors involved shared a coordinated strategy.  Improved coordination, both at Headquarters and in the field, was required.  While the role of the Security Council in preserving peace and security was uncontested, the Council should not seek unique oversight over all peacebuilding and reconstruction activities.

The second point was regarding the empowerment and involvement of national and local actors, which was crucial in peacebuilding, he said.  However, it often depended on the good will of the international actors.  It was important to strengthen United Nations capacity to promote national dialogue and to further encourage the involvement of national and local actors.  The third point was the need for partnerships with specialized institutions, such as academic institutions, civil society and the private sector.  Fourthly, he stressed the importance of an approach based on law.  The respect for law was important to ensure a sustainable peace process.  In that context, he supported the Secretary-General’s proposal to create a Rule of Law Assistance Unit in the Peacebuilding Support Office.

TUVAKO N. MANONGI (United Republic of Tanzania) said that enduring prevention meant altering the conditions that gave rise to conflicts.  That was the centrepiece of peacebuilding:  building peace by building good governance, meeting basic human needs, and fostering social harmony.  While the United Nations had a commendable record in peacemaking and peacekeeping, it was weak in the area of peacebuilding -- the problem being that it lacked an institutional framework to effectively address the challenge of helping countries move from war to lasting peace.  In that regard, he supported the Secretary-General’s proposal to create a Peacebuilding Commission, including a Peacebuilding Support Office within the Secretariat.

He shared the view that the Peacebuilding Commission should, among other things, improve planning for sustained recovery in the immediate aftermath of war, focusing on early efforts to establish the necessary institutions.  It should also improve coordination of the many post-conflict activities of the United Nations funds, programmes and agencies.  In addition, the advisory and coordinating functions of the Commission should necessarily involve three integrated components:  policy formulation, institutional partnership, and resource mobilization.  Coordination of policy was important because elements of peacebuilding must be incorporated well in advance in peace agreements and peacekeeping operations.

Policy planning coordination must be horizontal, as well as vertical, he said -- horizontally, by involving stakeholders at the national level in planning and implementation, and vertically, by involving the regional and international actors, including all the relevant United Nations agencies, as well as the donor community.  Outside the United Nations system, the Organization must work in unison with regional and international actors.  Coordinating resource mobilization was crucial because without adequate resources the reconstruction of political, economic, social, security, judicial and administrative sectors would not be possible.

It was important that a discussion on the divide between assessed contributions on peace operations and voluntary contributions for critical humanitarian and development activities during a period of transition be initiated, he added.  That would help to determine the best way of mobilizing adequate resources for peacebuilding activities.  In that context, he welcomed the proposal to establish a standing fund for peacebuilding, which should play a central role in resource mobilization, and to link up with regional and international financial institutions.

CÉSAR MAYORAL (Argentina), linking peacebuilding with conflict prevention, described the former as an internal effort to improve the chances of preventing the latter by improving social conditions.  The components of an adequate peacebuilding strategy should include disarmament, demobilization, the return of refugees and internally displaced persons, as well as strengthening the rule of laws and democratic institutions, all of which were indispensable.  However, it was necessary to keep in mind the peculiarities of each particular case as no situation was the same as another.

Peacebuilding required sustained attention by the international community, he said.  There was a need for coordinated political will in all phases, and the Security Council had an important role to play in coordinating the work of multiple actors and avoiding duplication action, especially that of regional organizations.  Coordination with the Economic and Social Council played a fundamental role in promoting sustainable development, and it was also extremely important to underline coordination among the United Nations funds, programmes and specialized agencies.  However, that cooperation must be guided by respect for the decisions of sovereign governments.  The challenges of peacebuilding were great, and the ability of the United Nations to respond to them must be reinforced.

JEAN-MARC DE LA SABLIERE (France) said that, for many years, Members of the United Nations had been concerned about the fate of war-torn countries after peace was restored with the support of peacekeeping operations.  In the 1990s, peacekeeping missions were working to rebuild the peace. Since then, peacebuilding had become prominent in the Council’s debates; reports had been drafted; and real progress had been made.  To make further progress, the Secretary-General had proposed the creation of a Peacebuilding Commission.  France supported that proposal and hoped it would become a reality during the September summit.

The theme of peacebuilding brought together many subjects, he said.  In that connection, he stressed two points.  The first was financing.  Money was not merely what drove war, but also what drove peace.  Peacebuilding came with a high cost, spread out over many years.  The question of financing from assessed and voluntary contributions was central to the discussion.  A clear distinction must be drawn between activities supported by assessed contributions and those supported by voluntary contributions from Member States.  The funds pledged or assessed must be disbursed expeditiously.

The second point concerned disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes, he said.  In several cases, such programmes had not produced the desired results.  Saying “we could all do better”, he emphasized the need to improve coordination among the various agencies involved all stakeholders.  Among its many tasks, the future Peacebuilding Commission should facilitate such coordination.  The international community must reaffirm its duty to assist, he added.  While the main responsibility for peacebuilding lay primarily with the people and leaders emerging from conflict, those efforts required international assistance.

HENRIQUE VALLE (Brazil) said not only wars and terrorism represented a threat to peace and security; poverty, hunger, infectious diseases, under-education and underdevelopment were equally threatening.  No set of sound policies could be adopted in the absence of concrete advances in peacebuilding.  Due consideration should be given to transitional processes.  Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals would undoubtedly contribute to prevent conflict and its resurgence in many countries.  Those issues, together with the need to reshape the Council, would converge at the September summit.  Official assistance to countries fighting poverty and resurfacing from conflict must be stepped up.

He said that, although the concept of building ownership in areas such as security and rule of law had been in vogue, the Organization should be equally devoted to building ownership regarding exploitation of natural resources, which should become a major part of peacebuilding efforts.  There was also a need for a development-oriented international trade system, free of barriers, so that countries emerging from conflict were given fair opportunity to compete.  Peacekeeping operations must also include certain aspects of reconstruction and reintegration of ex-combatants.

Quick-impact projects were necessary that could provide “economic occupancy”, which, apart from job creation in labour-intensive enterprises, should also include capacity-building for self-employment.  Special attention should be given to women, not only because of the horrifying crimes committed against them in conflict situations, but also because they were a powerful instrument of change.  The proposed Peacebuilding Commission, with adequate balance between the involvement of the Council and that of the Economic and Social Council, could achieve meaningful results in a short time, he said.

ABDALLAH BAALI (Algeria) said peacebuilding should seek to eliminate any factors that could promote a recurrence of conflict.  The collection of illegal weapons was as important as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.  That task would be easier when the parties, as in the Sudan, had previously negotiated and accepted a comprehensive peace agreement.  The conflicts that the United Nations must confront were often the result of extreme poverty, usurpation of power by force and lack of democracy, as well as external factors.  Any peacebuilding strategy should, in addition to traditional peacekeeping, be part of United Nations programmes to rebuild a country and to ensure the support of the widest segment of society.  For such a strategy to succeed, the United Nations should try to create genuinely participatory dialogue and power-sharing, and to confront the unique characteristics of each case.

While the Security Council had the primary responsibility for operational activities, it could not handle that responsibility exclusively, he said.  The General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council also had crucial roles to play.  Collaboration of that type would be consistent with the Charter and enable a greater number of States to make a contribution.  However, no matter how close the collaboration, it could not meet all the multiple, simultaneous and diverse challenges.  The General Assembly should create an intermediary mechanism between the United Nations organs to contend with the multidimensional challenges of peacebuilding and deal with them in a better manner than had been the case previously.  The sooner such a mechanism could be agreed upon the better.

MIHNEA MOTOC (Romania) said that post-conflict peacebuilding was an immense task, to be shared by actors at the national level, as well as the international community.  He wished to emphasize three points.  First, he advocated strong and integrated peacebuilding efforts from the early post-conflict stages.  Integrated efforts referred in that context to the need for coordinated responses from the full spectrum of players involved.  The Council needed comprehensive and strategic advice on the measures to take to ensure the effective transition from peacekeeping and peace support to sustainable peace and development.  In that regard, he welcomed the Secretary-General’s proposal for the establishment of a Peacebuilding Commission.

Secondly, the key role played by regional and subregional organizations in peacebuilding could not be emphasized enough, he said.  The mix of assets such organizations possessed made them partners of choice for the United Nations.  Enhanced cooperation and coordination between the United Nations and regional organizations should be accomplished based on a more integrated approach and with the aim of maximizing the use of available resources and capabilities.  Thirdly, he said that a number of key aspects to a successful peacebuilding approach could be identified.  They included the development of reliable democratic institutions; ensuring respect for the rule of law, justice and human rights; and promoting economic and social rehabilitation.

ANNE W. PATTERSON (United States) said the United Nations had long endeavoured to reduce the risk of nations emerging from conflict falling back into a state of conflict, but, like all governments and international organizations, had enjoyed limited success.  “There has been a distinct and counterproductive lack of coordination among UN peacekeeping operations, development initiatives, financing initiatives and other key elements of long-term peace and prosperity”, she said, welcoming the Secretary-General’s proposal to create a Peacebuilding Commission to improve the coordination of UN systems, policies and country-specific operations from the start of peacekeeping efforts through the completion of reconstruction and development activities.

She saw the Commission as an advisory body that would operate on a consensus basis to provide expertise and coordination capacity to the principal UN bodies.  Its membership should include both those with the most at stake and with the most to contribute, she said.  The Council should be the UN body that invoked the Commission’s structure, wisdom and capacity, but the Commission must extend beyond the Council.  As for funding peacebuilding efforts, her country did not accept the “overly simplistic solution” of merely increasing assessed contributions, as that was at odds with the budgeting process in the United States and elsewhere.  Funding requirements for the various aspects of peacebuilding must be analysed on a case-by-case basis, and donor countries should make their funding mechanisms more flexible and responsive to the needs of post-conflict countries.

Recognizing the critical role that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) had had in the peacebuilding process, her country -- the largest contributor to the assessed budget of the United Nations and the largest donor of development assistance -- would continue to establish strong partnerships with NGOs, including those that advocated the rights of women, as well as with think tanks, private foundations, academics and operational experts, she said.  Moreover, as peaceful transition could not succeed without local stakeholders, the United Nations should never view its role as paternalistic or didactic.  Key local groups should not be sidelined in post-conflict regions.  The impetus for development must come from within the country at issue.  “Peace comes from within the spirit of a people seeking to put a dark past behind them”, she said.

EMYR JONES PARRY (United Kingdom), aligning himself with the European Union, noted the international community’s mixed results in peacebuilding efforts.  Mozambique, which until less than 10 years ago recently had been torn apart by war, was now one of Africa’s fastest growing and most stable economies.  But Haiti, despite successive peacekeeping and peacebuilding missions and more than $1.5 billion in international aid, was firmly on the agenda of the Security Council, not yet out of the crisis phase.

Highlighting the challenges that the international community must seriously address in order to do better at building more lasting peace in the future, he said there was a need for better strategic priority setting and planning at the end of conflict.  That was customarily set out in a comprehensive Security Council resolution.  Increasingly, those resolutions tackled the range of issues relevant to a peace-support operation.  That should be encouraged and reflect the indissoluble nature of security, development and human rights.  At the moment, the United Nations often lacked a single strategic plan for operations in a country just emerging from conflict.  All those involved, be it the United Nations Development Group, the Executive Committee on Humanitarian Affairs or the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, must be working on the same set of comprehensive elements.  Integrated missions, where all elements of the United Nations worked coherently together, were still not a sufficient reality.

That integrated plan must be delivered by one responsible individual, he said.  The advantage of a special representative of the Secretary-General was that such an individual should have the authority and resources to deliver all aspects of a peace-support operation, including welding together the work of the specialized agencies and giving strategic direction to a peacebuilding operation.  However, special representatives of the Secretary-General lacked the necessary training and experience to fulfil those roles and were not recruited in a manner that ensured the best available talent for the job.  In addition, they did not have clear objectives or desired outcomes set by Headquarters.

Stressing the need to strengthen expertise and human resources, he said that while it was much more difficult to mobilize civilian experts, their contribution was key, especially in the critical rule of law area, which could be the key to stability in the early phases of peacebuilding.  There was, therefore, a need to develop mechanisms to get the right civilian expertise into post-conflict situations more quickly.  The emphasis on rule of law and human rights could also be directly relevant to pre-conflict situations.  Sustained efforts throughout the spectrum from potential conflict, into conflict, to peacebuilding were necessary if there were to be less conflict to resolve.

JEAN-FRANCIS REGIS ZINSOU (Benin) said the involvement of the international community in post-conflict peacebuilding showed three levels of intervention:  peacekeeping operations that focused on establishing security and facilitating humanitarian access; peacekeeping operations that sought to establish sound national institutions; and multidimensional interventions based on the need to address the underlying causes of conflict.  Those three types of interventions had been seen as sequential -- a series of phases ranging from stabilization to the promotion of sustainable development.  It was important to seek to prevent relapses into conflict.  There had been relapses, as well as processes, in which normalization had stagnated due to lack of support.  He saw a lack of harmonious streamlining between peacekeeping, peacebuilding, humanitarian assistance and development assistance.  The added value in today’s debate lay in arriving at appropriate conclusions regarding the limitations of a sequential approach.

He also emphasized the need for increased coordination of external actors.  The coordination function could be discharged by the United Nations in view of its universality.  The challenge was with the United Nations capacity to mobilize other actors, including the international financial institutions, who had to be brought to support an integrated strategy.  The participation of different external actors in defining strategies would ensure their support.  The logical consequence of that approach would be for peacekeeping operations to be based on such an integrated strategy.

Adequately financing and implementing disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes was an essential component of peacebuilding, he added.  They should be carried out in such a way that they served as a catalyst for progress and advancement in the countries concerned, as well as regions as a whole.  Former combatants should be offered genuine alternatives to war and provided with other ways to earn an income.  Those activities should be funded from the regular budget of the United Nations.  When the complexity of a conflict was such that cross-border issues were involved, those must be factored in.  It was imperative to take a regional approach and cooperate more intensively with regional and subregional organizations.  He supported the Secretary-General’s proposal for the creation of a Peacebuilding Commission, which would fill the structural gap in the Organization in terms of coordinating action for international peace and security.

LAURO BAJA (Philippines), noting that rebuilding and reconstruction was a challenging and daunting task, said that a country emerging from conflict needed the efforts of its citizens, as well as the active participation of the international community, including international financial institutions and civil society.  The complex nature of peacebuilding required a comprehensive mechanism to address the multiple challenges involved.  A clear policy from the Security Council was essential as was a clear mandate, which gave the stamp of legitimacy for action on the ground.

A clear strategy was also essential for the entire period of an operation until the exit point, he said.  The more extended period of reconstruction, including the crucial aspect of cooperation and coordination among United Nations organs and specialized agencies, must be undertaken when the people had been equipped with the financial and technical support and human expertise to enable them to proceed on their own.  Otherwise, there would be a disastrous slide back into conflict.  The Philippines called for a revolving international fund for peacebuilding activities.  Peacekeeping had evolved from the traditional activities of ceasefires and separation of forces, as exemplified by Timor-Leste.  Given the right policy and appropriate mandate, the proposed Peacebuilding Commission under debate in the General Assembly would provide the appropriate mechanism.

ADAMANTIOS TH. VASSILAKIS (Greece) said he was convinced that a successful sustainable post-conflict peacebuilding outcome required local ownership in the reconstruction process.  The involvement of local actors in the political process and in setting the peacebuilding agenda was crucial for long-term and effective results.  The capacities of local actors should be strengthened so as to cope with future violent conflicts, enhance the commitment of local governments to that process, and increase the presence of well organized civil society.

At the same time, the process needed to be strongly supported by international actors, he continued.  There was also a pressing need for better coordination among the international actors.  They had to develop more effective strategies in assessing local needs, allocating resources and defining priorities.  Those strategies had to be well designed and correspond to local realities.  Most importantly, they had to be long term since reconstruction itself was a long-term process.

Another key factor for successful post-conflict reconstruction was the provision of financial support at an early stage, he said.  Both available financial resources and existing funding mechanisms were not adequate to cover the reconstruction needs at their starting point.  There was a lack of sustainable and adequate funding, as well as a need for improved coordination.  That required a better targeted, timely and coordinated financial support and predictability of assistance.  He supported the proposal to create a Peacebuilding Commission, which would enrich the peacebuilding agenda of the United Nations and would promote world peace, security and development.

ZHANG YISHAN (China) said that even when peace agreements were signed and ceasefires were in place, there was still a chance for a relapse into conflict.  The international community must establish a targeted, comprehensive strategy based on the particular needs of the country concerned.  The strategy should be designed in such a way as to avoid being lopsided in its approach.

Underlining the need to bring the role of the United Nations into full play, he said that the role of other players was a reflection of the evolution of peacekeeping.  However, considering the Organization’s institutional advantages, it should have the key role in order to bring about the optimal effect of international assistance.  Moreover, there was a need for greater coordination between Headquarters, field missions and international financial institutions in order to avoid duplication of efforts.  China supported the Secretary-General’s proposal for a Peacebuilding Commission, which would contribute significantly to lasting peace and stability in the conflict areas of Africa and coordinate international efforts.  China also favoured the creation of a compact and effective Peacebuilding Support Office in the Secretariat.

KONSTANTIN K. DOLGOV (Russian Federation) said that experience had shown that the achievement of lasting peace and stability was only possible on the basis of a comprehensive approach, including post-conflict peacebuilding.  That was the only way to ensure the non-resurgence of conflict.  United Nations peacekeeping operations were becoming increasingly complex and multidimensional.  The many dimensions of conflict required keeping the focus on overall planning and the deploying of multidimensional peacekeeping operations.

He noted that the experience of United Nations peacekeeping in Haiti, Timor-Leste and Africa showed an intrinsic link between the restoration of peace and full-fledged socio-economic rehabilitation.  Wherever the United Nations had been successful, it had been so due to close coordination between the military, political, humanitarian and rebuilding components.  That showed the growing importance of cooperation between the Security Council and the principal organs of the United Nations dealing with peacebuilding.

Also, he added, cooperation in the areas of peacekeeping and peacebuilding should be deepened between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations.  Comprehensive approaches to dealing with the aftermath of conflicts required continuity when moving from one phase of peacekeeping to another.  He supported the establishment of a Peacebuilding Commission to enhance coordination and to enhance assistance to countries arising from post-conflict situations.

KENZO OSHIMA (Japan) said that one challenge of peacebuilding was the lack of a general template for handling all conflicts, which could also be said of the United Nations role.  The Organization had had administrative control of Timor-Leste during the brief transitional period before independence with responsibility for all peacebuilding activities.  In its “light footprint approach” to Afghanistan, the United Nations had encouraged local leaders to take charge, while respecting the initiatives of other international participants.  In Africa, the Organization’s approach to disarmament, demobilization and reintegration had differed considerably from one case to another, taking into account the nature of each particular conflict, as well as local situations.  The Organization’s role should be flexibly defined by the specific conflict situation and the roles played by other participants.

Regarding the importance of local ownership, he said that self-help efforts were essential for the success of any peace agreement and should be respected.  Similarly, the success of post-conflict peacebuilding depended in having the locals on the driver’s seat, with the international community providing support as necessary.  However, situations often arose whereby the national government was either in a state of collapse or not functioning at all.  In such a case, it was imperative for the international community to take the lead until a new government started to perform effectively.  Traditional entities, communities and civil groups could sometimes play critical roles and were important partners in peacebuilding, especially when a national government was not functioning.  Communication and dialogue with local people at all levels was essential, as was the need to listen to the victims of conflict, including women, minorities and others.

Addressing the relationship between peacebuilding and human security, he said the objective of human security was to protect people from critical and pervasive threats to human life, livelihood and dignity, thus enhancing human fulfilment.  The success of peacebuilding and the transition from conflict to peace and development hinged on whether the concept of human security could be translated into reality so that people were protected and empowered to stand on their own feet.  Japan also supported strongly the idea of a Peacebuilding Commission proposed by the Secretary-General.  Japan, having made a number of proposals on the establishment of such a body and what its functions should be, would spare no effort in its work with other interested countries to ensure that a Peacebuilding Commission was set up and could soon begin its work.

JEAN-MARC HOSCHEIT (Luxembourg), speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated countries, said the challenge in peacebuilding was to bring together the various actors, instruments and capabilities based on comparative advantages without duplication of activities between States, the United Nations system and international financial institutions.  Also important was to ensure that funding was sustained, assured and predictable.

He said the Union’s development policy provided a basis for post-conflict reconstruction activities.  It provided a powerful instrument in addressing the root causes of conflicts and preventing their re-emergence.  Since the Union was responsible for some 55 per cent of overseas development assistance, 66 per cent of grant assistance, and 55 per cent of humanitarian assistance globally, it warranted a pivotal role in addressing post-conflict challenges.

In the field of civilian crisis management, he said the Union was particularly active in police training, promoting the rule of law, strengthening civilian administration, civil protection and security sector reform.  The Union would further develop its capacity to deploy multifunctional civilian crisis- management resources in an integrated format on short notice, a mechanism that would be made available for use in Union-led autonomous missions or in operations led by the United Nations or regional organizations.

NIRUPAM SEN (India) said that the main functions of the proposed Peacebuilding Commission should be to ensure greater coordination between the international community and donor countries, on the one hand, and the national authorities, on the other; to promote a sense of ownership among national authorities for the policies and programmes that were supported by the international community and donor countries; and to provide assured funding for the activities that were agreed on as priorities by the national authorities and the international community.  The proposal relating to “core membership” in the Commission was not clear in terms of the proportion of representatives from the various interest groups.

The institutional structure of the Commission needed to be defined clearly, he continued, and it was essential that it be made accountable to the General Assembly.  Also the criteria on the basis of which a particular country under the Commission would move from the Security Council to the Economic and Social Council would need to be formulated.  Ideally, the Assembly could decide the transition through a review.

He said he was awaiting the outcome of the Secretary-General’s consultations on the participation of international financial institutions.  Time and again, the best intentions and programmes for peacebuilding had been undermined by lack of funds.  The Standing Fund for Peacebuilding potentially offered a solution.  However, it was not clear whether the Standing Fund was solely meant to cover the gaps in funding or would become the regular source for financing for peacebuilding projects.  There was little doubt that the Secretary-General’s proposal had sought to fill what had been described as “a gaping hole in the UN’s institutional machinery”, and about the imperative need and utility of such a body.

JOHN DAUTH (Australia) said peacebuilding must be a multifaceted and comprehensive exercise across the full scope of development, security and human rights, and must place a strong emphasis on developing local capacity and encouraging ownership of peacebuilding activities.  While security sector reform was an important element of peacebuilding, and could often be the key prerequisite for rebuilding shattered economies and restoring social services, the exercise must also address longer-term economic and social development issues in order to be effective.  Moreover, peacebuilding must be able to determine and address the sources of conflict, be they poor access to government services, a breakdown in traditional authority structures or uneven economic opportunities.

He welcomed the proposal for a Peacebuilding Commission.  Such a commission would offer the opportunity to coordinate and foster a far more effective international response capability and would enhance the integrated mission planning process, he said.  In addition to post-conflict peacebuilding, prevention of conflict remained an important objective. The utmost must be done to strengthen the United Nations’ conflict prevention and mediation capacities, including through the Council and the good offices of the Secretary-General.

Upon resumption of the meeting in the afternoon, MOHAMED BENNOUNA (Morocco) said peacebuilding continued to be central to the concerns of the United Nations system.  The question was given special attention this year during the discussion of the Secretary-General’s report, which contained a proposal to establish a Peacebuilding Commission.  That proposal could become a consensus-based proposal.  Once a conflict situation was stabilized, the daunting job of peacebuilding had to be tackled, where former combatants had to learn to behave as partners.  To achieve that, the support of the international community in the short and medium terms was essential to ensure that that delicate transitional period became a success.  Rebuilding took time and must take into account several interdependent factors such as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration; security sector reform; the establishment of the rule of law; and proper management of natural resources.

When a country emerged from conflict, he said, the first challenge was the establishment of the rule of law and a proper judiciary.  The international community must lend its assistance for due process to take place, particularly when human rights violations had occurred.  The right mix of the right elements to combat impunity would mean that crimes committed on a massive scale would be dealt with.  Democratization and good governance were among the other challenges to be addressed.  Unfortunately, many conflicts involved control over natural resources.  Dismantling war economies and managing natural resources in the best interest of all people were other priorities.

He said the United Nations had acquired, in recent years, a wealth of experience in peacebuilding.  The majority of peacekeeping operations increasingly included a peacebuilding component.  The multitude and diversity of stakeholders, however, made it difficult to elaborate a real strategy in that regard, and often activities lacked coherence.  None of the bodies in the United Nations system had an exclusive peacebuilding mandate.  Peacekeeping operations were given the necessary funding from assessed contributions, but that was not the case when it came to peacebuilding activities.  Furthermore, the pace of fundraising for such programmes was slow and not in step with the urgency on the ground.  Better strategies were needed so all stakeholders could participate right at the beginning of the peacebuilding process.  The mandates of peacekeeping operations should be more ambitious and contain more peacebuilding activities.  The proposed peacebuilding fund would, if established, provide an appropriate response to the unpredictability of resources.

HJALMAR HANNESSON (Iceland) said his country’s programme for rapid deployment of civilian personnel to peacekeeping and peacebuilding missions had been in operation for a number of years.  The experience showed that many well qualified civilian experts were willing to be deployed on short notice to areas where conditions were extremely challenging and where military missions had seemed the only option.  The United Nations mechanism for a similar approach should make use of State Members’ comparative advantages.

He said five basic principles should be applied to such operations.  First, a mission should be well defined with a clear strategy and objectives.  Second, the local population must be involved in both the planning and implementation phases.  Third, the prospects of sustainability must be emphasized, with civilian experts willing to transfer their expertise to counterparts.  Fourth, partners must coordinate and cooperate together at all levels.  And finally, the long-term perspective must include an exit strategy from the very beginning of a peacebuilding operation.

DUMISANI S. KUMALO (South Africa) said that for the United Nations to be successful, there needed to be a focal point that dealt with peacebuilding in a comprehensive manner. In his report “In larger freedom:  towards development, security and human rights for all”, the Secretary-General had also acknowledged that significant deficits remained in planning, financing and implementation capacities of the United Nations system.  As a result, he had proposed the establishment of a Peacebuilding Commission.

The challenge African countries faced in their own peace initiatives was the political, moral and material support from the international community necessary to secure an effective transition from immediate needs to long-term development that was a prerequisite for sustainable peace, he said.  In recent years, both the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council had come to recognize the importance of comprehensive and long-term strategies for peacebuilding.  The establishment of the ECOSOC Working Groups on Countries Emerging from Conflict in Burundi, Guinea-Bissau, and lately Haiti, bore testimony to that awareness.  The Secretariat had also tried to ensure a common approach to the work of various agencies, particularly those operating in conflict countries.

The experience of Burundi and Guinea-Bissau had also shown that, for conflict resolution to be effective, it was necessary to engage other players, including international donors and financial institutions, which already had their own programmes in support of peacebuilding, he continued.  The challenge was to engage all players early enough to ensure coordination from the start.  As it often took donors a long time to give critical support to countries that had just emerged from conflict, particularly in the context of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, it would be important for the United Nations to take responsibility for financing that important step through assessed contributions, until other resources were secured.

The establishment of a Peacebuilding Commission would go a long way in bridging the gaps, he said.  For that reason, his delegation supported the Secretary-General’s proposal for the creation of such a mechanism.  Countries in post-conflict situations faced significant challenges to the establishment of lasting peace.  If not well addressed, those challenges could precipitate further conflict or result in a sharp decline in social and economic progress.  Strategies to deal with those challenges had to be comprehensive in nature, addressing the root causes and negative consequences of conflict.  The United Nations had a vital and fundamental role in post-conflict situations.  It was the only organization that had the unique experience of helping people rebuild their countries.  The proposed Commission could provide the much-needed coordination.

MAGED ABDELFATTAH ABDELAZIZ (Egypt), noting that the United Nations had scored notable conflict-resolution successes in Angola, Guatemala, Kosovo and Timor-Leste, said that the peacebuilding concept was based on addressing the social and economic roots of a conflict.  The limitations of the Security Council’s role in that regard had become apparent in situations of renewed conflict, such as Sierra Leone and Haiti.  The Council had neither the time nor the ability to coordinate the roles of United Nations bodies and specialized agencies or to undertake the mandates of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council.

There was a blurred line between peacekeeping and peacebuilding, as well as between the roles of the Security Council and the other two major organs, not to mention those of the international financial institutions, he said.  The work of the proposed Peacebuilding Commission should be at the request of the State authorities.  The nature, timing and scope of assistance should be in accordance with the particular needs of a particular State.  It should coordinate efforts to avoid duplication, distribute resources in an equitable manner and determine when a particular operation should end.  To that end, the Secretariat, as well as heads of specialized agencies, should be invited to its meetings to coordinate their roles.

VALERIY KUCHINSKY (Ukraine) said it was well known that roughly half of all countries that emerged from war relapsed into violence within five years.  Rebuilding the State and its institutions, establishing effective and democratic governance and the rule of law, as well as ensuring an environment of security to help countries in the transition from war to lasting peace, required that the international community develop a comprehensive approach to peacebuilding.  Such an approach should take into account the existing link between conflict prevention, peacekeeping, peacemaking and peacebuilding, and aim at preserving the results achieved and preventing the recurrence of armed conflict.  It should also be based on the understanding of the interdependence between sustainable peace, security and development.

The Security Council, he said, had an important role to play in peacebuilding efforts, especially in the immediate aftermath of the conflict.  The Council had already undertaken to include peacebuilding elements into the mandates of peacekeeping operations, with a view to ensuring a smooth transition to a successful post-conflict phase.  At the same time, he believed that when the country approached the phase of moving from transitional recovery towards long-term development, the Economic and Social Council should take over the lead role in coordinating the relevant activities of the international community.

Given the complexity of peacebuilding activities, there could be no “one-size-fits-all” recipes, he said.  Fostering local ownership and the early involvement of regional and subregional organizations were also important.  He supported the proposed Peacebuilding Commission in order to fill the institutional gap in the United Nations and to help overcome existing challenges in the United Nations peacebuilding machinery.

RASTAM MOHD ISA (Malaysia) said that each post-conflict situation generated its own unique set of circumstances, and there was no single peacebuilding model that could fit all situations.  The United Nations had to tailor its activities to specific situations on a case-by-case basis.  Ways must be found to ensure greater ownership and capacity among local actors to ensure a more acceptable, implementable and sustainable post-conflict peacebuilding programme.  In that regard, due attention must be given to local norms and values, cultural and religious traditions and a capacity to respond.  By now, the United Nations and the international community should have sufficient experience to put together best practices from past situations to deal with future challenges.

Malaysia was fully cognizant of the need for comprehensive peacebuilding efforts, he said.  The ongoing deliberations in the General Assembly on possible modalities of a peacebuilding commission and other reform proposals could help clarify and redress the institutional balance.  While welcoming and supporting the establishment of a peacebuilding commission, Malaysia reiterated that without prejudice to the competence and roles of the other principal United Nations organs in peacebuilding activities, the General Assembly must also have the key role in formulating post-conflict peacebuilding.  The implementation of post-conflict peacebuilding activities required full consultation with and consent of the parties concerned and should be based on the principles of international law and the United Nations Charter.

JOHAN L. LØVALD (Norway) said there were four gaps in current peacebuilding doctrine:  a lack of coherent planning of broad peacebuilding operations; a lack of sufficient clarity of activities and cooperation between actors in the field; a lack of coherence between actors involved in peacekeeping, humanitarian and long-term development efforts; and a lack of adequate coordination within the United Nations system.  The proposed Peacebuilding Commission and corresponding Peacebuilding Support Office would address those shortcomings and could also serve as useful tools for enhanced donor coordination.  Key leadership and management issues needed to be addressed to foster stronger cooperation between United Nations actors.  The mandates of the special representatives of the Secretary-General needed to be clarified, and the modalities for cooperation between the different United Nations actors in the field needed to be more clearly specified. 

The United Nations had a comparative advantage and clear role to play in peacebuilding, he said.  Present before, during and after conflict, the United Nations was well placed to provide assessments of strategic planning for peacebuilding efforts.  A sound division of labour between Secretariat units, funds and programmes and agencies was the only viable approach.  A clear division of labour, however, could not replace the need for close cooperation between the different United Nations actors.  It was neither realistic nor desirable for the United Nations to be the only provider of technical expertise to broad peacebuilding operations.  Regional organizations should be given important roles.  Donors should revisit their funding formats to facilitate long-term cooperation at the regional level.

Assistance was often negligible during the most crucial period after a settlement, he added.  The persistent funding gap needed to be addressed as an integral part of the overall response to post-conflict peacebuilding.  All activities included in mandates should be financed by assessed contributions.  The funding rules and regulations of agencies did not support the flexibility that complex peacebuilding efforts demanded.  A Standing Fund for Peacebuilding, if properly designed and funded, would help address the problem.  There was little chance of institutionalizing democracy if peacebuilding itself was not democratically organized and accountable to local partners.  The involvement of local actors in peacebuilding policy-making was crucial to ensuring a better match between assistance and local absorptive capacity.  Efforts to build peace were less likely to succeed if women did not play their rightful role.

ROBERT TACHIE-MENSON (Ghana) said establishing a Peacebuilding Commission was fundamental for an integrated approach to Africa’s problems using all available resources, including the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union.  The experience in West Africa showed that sister states such as Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau would have benefited from an institutionalized peacebuilding mechanism.  Ghana and Denmark had jointly hosted a recent meeting in Ghana to consider such a Commission and to underscore the need for concerted international action in strengthening enfeebled governments and bringing about security sector reforms to improve civil-military relations in countries emerging from conflict situations.  The proposed Peacebuilding Commission should contain an element for granting immediate reconstruction assistance since experience showed that a lack of early access to development aid hampered operations and adversely affected long-term reconstruction and development.

Further, he said the Commission should report sequentially and not jointly to the Security Council and to the Economic and Social Council so as to avoid duplication and confusion.  The Commission should reflect an equal regional representation from the Council and ECOSOC.  Agencies and financial institutions should participate in meetings and activities so as to bridge the still serious gaps between relief and development, particularly in areas such as reintegration of ex-combatants and displaced persons, integration of indigenous police forces and judicial reform.  Finally, the gender perspective must be mainstreamed to reflect the essential inclusion of women in peacebuilding.

HERALDO MUÑOZ (Chile) said that once peace was established, the United Nations set in motion a process as difficult, if not more so, namely, peacebuilding.  Peacebuilding demanded, first and foremost, the examination of the causes of conflict in order to tackle them in a multidimensional approach.  It was indispensable that peacekeeping operations had comprehensive, multidimensional mandates that gave them the tools to assist governments in their reconstruction.  In that regard, it was fundamental to have inclusive political processes that attracted all sectors in society, in order to generate a climate of sustainable peace.  It was also indispensable to generate broad national dialogues that brought together all forces.

Many times, he noted the underlying causes of conflict included poverty and underdevelopment.  Once conflict was over, while generating political stability, it was important for the international community to provide the required level of resources to tackle the most urgent needs of the population.  The Economic and Social Council, through its ad hoc advisory groups, could make a substantial long-term contribution.  The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), whose mandate was not limited to suppressing violence, was an example of that.

He expressed the desirability of creating a peacebuilding commission and to set up a Rule of Law Assistance Unit.  Also, involving the local population in post-conflict strategies would be decisive in making them more sustainable and effective.  It would also optimize implementation by tailoring policies to local needs.  In addition, it was important to rely on sufficient financial and human resources, particularly in the first phases of the mission.  That initial encounter would determine the level of trust between members of the mission and the people at large.

PETER BURIAN (Slovakia), associating himself with the European Union, noted that not too much time had passed since Eastern Europe had undergone major political changes connected, in some cases, with difficult security challenges.  Although not all of those problematic issues had been entirely overcome, the final outcomes had been mostly positive, thanks largely to the positive role being played by regional formations and organizations.  In addition to the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), those organizations included the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which had played an active role in such areas as free elections, the building of democratic institutions, and public administration reform.

Underscoring the role of civil society and non-governmental organizations, he said they could ensure greater ownership and capacity-building on the local level and contribute to strategies being implemented and tasks being properly delivered.  Non-governmental organizations were key players in fostering ownership and ensuring that all projects and efforts were sustainable and, thus, preventing the repeated occurrence of conflicts and possible repeated military presence of the international community.

He said that in the 1990s, Slovakia had been particularly active in the western Balkans, and just this past weekend Bratislava had hosted an international conference on development in that subregion.  The greatest dangers to the building of democracy in the western Balkans lay in the underdeveloped state of civil society, lack of development in the rule of law, and the difficult economic situation.  The latter provided fertile ground for corruption, extremism and organized crime.

JOE R. PEMAGBI (Sierra Leone) said that post-conflict was a phase in a peace process that was supposed to address the issues that had generated the conflict and to lay the foundation for lasting peace and development.  It was a period for reconciliation, confidence-building and the rebuilding of institutions, especially those for the administration of justice, democracy, human rights and accountable governance.  It was a period for a country in war-to-peace transition to reflect on the past and cultivate attitudes that would facilitate the avoidance of mistakes that had culminated in the conflict.  But post-conflict was also a phase characterized by expectations for a better standard of living, justice, human rights, freedom, rapid development, social services and participatory governance, he said.  After all, it was the lack of access o those that generated most conflicts in the world.

The fear and anxiety of post-conflict countries stemmed from non-delivery of those expectations, and, often, many post-conflict countries had neither the resources nor the capacity to deliver those expectations, he said.  And, unfortunately, post-conflict peace management or consolidation had never been a priority of the international community.  Making sure the guns were silent forever had never been erroneously interpreted as peace, hence, the bitter experience of frequent reverses in peace efforts.  The abandonment of post-conflict countries to struggle with their own fate -- aptly described by the Secretary-General as “a gaping hole in the United Nations institutional machinery” -- was why Sierra Leone welcomed with great expectations the Secretary-General’s recommendation for the creation of a peacebuilding commission charged with promoting assistance for post-conflict countries to make the transition from war to lasting peace.

PHILIPPE DJANGONÉ-BI (Côte d’Ivoire) said that all the peacebuilding steps taken by the Council in countries emerging from conflict had proven effective, whether in re-establishing the rule of law and confidence in the impartiality of the judicial, security and penal systems; in arms control; and in certifying the origins of natural resources in subregional measures to control the movement of ex-combatants or trafficking in women and children.  Those measures had been useful to the maintenance of peace wherever they had been implemented.

He said that any peacebuilding programme must have a priority component of controlling arms supplies.  The proliferation of light weapons and their uncontrolled circulation was an important factor that complicated and prolonged conflicts, particularly in Africa.  The resurgence of rebel movements and the growth of banditry in African countries were made possible by the proliferation of, and illicit trafficking in, small arms and light weapons, the eradication of which deserved the support of the international community.  Given the multiplicity of conflicts and their complexity, therefore, it was more necessary than ever that all States pooled their efforts to end the phenomenon.  Success would not be certain or lasting without the implementation of an embargo on arms imports, reinforced by the tracing, on the one hand, of licit and illicit flows of arms and natural resources that fuelled conflicts and, on the other hand, of all national and external interests in the conflicts in question.

He said that Côte d’Ivoire, exhausted and shaken by conflict, was clearly making resolute steps towards the restoration of peace.  That process, which owed much to the African Union mediation conducted by President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, would benefit from the assistance and support under discussion in the Council’s present debate.  To that end, Côte d’Ivoire counted on the international community for support in the difficult period of post-conflict reconstruction.  There was an obvious risk of a recurrence of conflict in the absence of investment in the reintegration that would follow demobilization and disarmament.  Investment was the price of consolidating lasting peace.  Clearly, peacekeeping operations, while very useful, could not on their own guarantee peace or prevent a relapse of conflict.  They must go hand in hand with development efforts led by the specialized agencies and programmes of the United Nations.

SIMEON A. ADEKANYE (Nigeria) said post-conflict peacebuilding constituted an integral, if not fully addressed, phase of the international community’s peace management efforts.  In Africa, which had the largest share of conflict situations, the challenges of post-conflict peacebuilding were particularly daunting.  It was now evident that the reintegration and rehabilitation components of conflict resolution had to be given more attention.  The international community’s efforts in that area perhaps held the key to lasting peace.  Current steps to reintegrate ex-combatants, such as creating job opportunities, should be consolidated.  For post-conflict peacebuilding to be effective, it had to focus on key groups in conflict environments, including rebel or mercenary groups, vulnerable groups, such as women and children, and child soldiers.  Key areas should include the provision of employment opportunities, training of ex-combatants, the strengthening of the judicial systems and protection and promotion of human rights.

He added that it was essential to resist the temptation to implement a solution designed to fit all situations.  Efforts should take full account of specific local situations.  Close collaboration with local national entities, including civil society groups, would also be invaluable.  Regional and subregional organizations should have complementary roles to play in post-conflict peacebuilding.  Some of those organizations, such as ECOWAS and the African Union, had already proven effective partners in both conflict resolution and the peacebuilding process.  Enhancing their capacity would enable them to perform better.  The need to mobilize the support of international financial institutions to make worthwhile investments in peace could not be overemphasized.

SHIN KAK-SOO (Republic of Korea) said it was his firm conviction that conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding were so closely interlinked that they would be more effective when pursued simultaneously rather than sequentially.  Concerted efforts to build durable peace in countries and regions in post-conflict were critical to establishing the conditions for sustainable long-term development and preventing a resurgence of conflict.  The Secretary-General’s innovative proposal to create a peacebuilding commission would fill an institutional gap, allowing the Organization to provide coordinated assistance to post-conflict societies, which would enable them to traverse the difficult, often treacherous, path, from violent conflict to sustainable peace and development.

Focusing on two outstanding issues in the creation of such a commission, he said that post-conflict peacebuilding required close collaboration between the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council.  The mixed nature of peacebuilding functions made it difficult to make clear their delineation between the mandates of both organs.  Furthermore, peacebuilding efforts did not always unfold in a linear, step-by-step fashion, thereby calling for the simultaneous involvement of both the Security Council and ECOSOC.  Hence, it was imperative to set in motion close coordination between those two principal organs throughout the whole peacebuilding process.  At the same time, ECOSOC’s expertise in social and economic areas should be deployed at the early stage of the process, in order to optimize the outcomes of peacebuilding in the long term.

In its reporting, the proposed peacebuilding commission should make recommendations, taking account of the medium- and long-term development needs of countries in transition.  Regarding the commission’s composition, he had proposed a possible model, which would include two permanent and three non-permanent members of the Security Council and six ECOSOC members, ensuring adequate balance between the two bodies.  It was also crucial that the commission secure close links with two important stakeholders, namely, the United Nations programmes and funds and the Bretton Woods institutions and regional development banks.  His delegation attached great importance to peacebuilding as a vital instrument of the United Nations in the maintenance of international peace and security.  He noted with satisfaction that that process had not become an ongoing mainstream activity in the Secretariat’s daily operations, with 10 peacebuilding missions in the field.

AIZAZ AHMAD CHAUDHRY (Pakistan) said that the increased focus on peacebuilding during the last couple of years had its roots in the now well recognized inter-linkage between peace and development.  Indeed, sustainable peace could only be built on a foundation of sustainable development.  Secondly, peacebuilding was complex, embracing many facets.  Successful peacebuilding strategies had to be based on a comprehensive and integrated approach, greater system-wide coherence, increased inter-organ coordination and engagement of all relevant actors.  Thirdly, though peacebuilding was associated mainly with post-conflict situations, it was equally important to prevent conflicts in the first place.  Apart from preventive diplomacy and pacific settlement of disputes, development should be promoted as the best means to prevent conflict.

Fourthly, at the policy level, a primary challenge was to recognize the respective competencies of the General Assembly, the Security Council and ECOSOC with regard to peacebuilding, he said.  Complementarity in the work of the three principal organs should be used to promote synergy in peacebuilding efforts.  Fifthly, the need for an institutional mechanism dedicated to peacebuilding was widely acknowledged.  Rather than merely being a gap-filling mechanism, it should promote and coordinate a comprehensive approach.  Also, experience from various specific situations showed that a major challenge remained the provision of adequate, timely and sustained assistance for peacebuilding activities.  In that connection, the proposal of a Standing Fund for peacebuilding had merit.

He recalled that in 2003, Pakistan first proposed the idea of an ad hoc composite committee comprising members drawn from the three principal organs of the United Nations to effectively address complex crises in all their phases, including post-conflict peacebuilding.  He had a special interest and sense of ownership in the proposed peacebuilding commission, which basically followed the same concept of a composite approach Pakistan had proposed earlier.

ADIYATWIDI ADIWOSO ASMADY (Indonesia) said that discussions such as today’s not only underlined the importance of peacebuilding, but would strengthen the international effort to mobilize the ideas and structures that would be needed to implement it.  As difficult as peacekeeping was, it did not hold the subtleties and challenges that peacebuilding entailed.  Just as the practice of peacekeeping emerged with complex multidimensional mandates, peacebuilding could only succeed if it proceeded from a multidimensional and comprehensive perspective.  The first and most important factor for such success was serious institutional planning.

While there would always be variations in local cultures and environment that must be taken into consideration in particular mandates, peacebuilding had one luxury that peacekeeping did not –- time.  Since peacebuilding would usually follow a period of peacekeeping, it should benefit from the time-lag that the cessation of hostilities, or a peacekeeping mission, provided.  That meant that peacebuilding preparation ought to commence once peacekeeping was under way.

For peacebuilding to succeed, there must be a deep sense of ownership and capacity among local actors, he said.  Also, peacebuilding should be structured as part of a broader development agenda, and a significant component of that broader agenda was the rule of law.  A scenario such as that involved timely, sustained and well targeted resources.  While high levels of aid did not guarantee success, the absence or inadequacy of aid would make the post-conflict peacebuilding effort a time-wasting charade.  He added that he would like to see a pool of trained personnel made available, and a comprehensive database of peacebuilding experts maintained by the Secretariat.

OSWALDO DE RIVERO (Peru) said it was very important that the resources of the international community be mobilized to help States undergoing stress that risked imploding into civil war and turning into chaotic and ungovernable entities, showcases of human rights violations and even genocide.  In the post-cold war era the world had seen more than 30 civil conflicts, which had resulted in 5 million deaths and 17 million refugees.  Many of the peacebuilding tools used today could have been used to prevent the conflicts.  The difference was the cost in human lives and the destruction of property.  It was for that reason peacebuilding strategies must also include conflict-prevention.

One of the main goals of peacebuilding was to build a viable economy, he said.  Reconstruction should not replicate the dysfunctional economy that had brought down the State in the first place.  A primary economy based on a single crop or on the export of low-tech products should not be replicated.  The building of a viable new economy implied the provision of financial intensive care for the collapsed country.  That meant emergency measures to meet the most urgent social needs, particularly urgent access to food, water and energy.  Once that had been provided, structural measures should be applied to release those countries from the trap of single-commodity economies.  Instead of economists from the financial bureaucracy, the practised financial entrepreneurs of the Global Compact were needed to build viable and competitive economies that would fit in a globalized world economy.

Many social, ethnic and religious conflicts had been exacerbated by the effects of those old economies, he said.  And while modernizing the unviable economies of collapsed States, there was also a need to initiate a process of political reconstruction.  The first task was to promote social contracts that would work within the collapsed country.  Reconstruction should also bring about a re-engineered national civil society that would fortify the rule of law.  It must start at the grass-roots local level, which would grow to the regional and finally the national State.  The greatest constraints on peacebuilding had been a lack of strategies to prevent conflict and, in the post-conflict period, a lack of viable economic and social strategies.

ROBERT G. AISI (Papua New Guinea) said his county had been among those that had experienced post-conflict peacebuilding in Bougainville.  He was pleased to report on progress in the peace process in Bougainville, which had been wrecked by a bloody civil conflict.  In 2004, the Papua New Guinea Government approved a Bougainville constitution, laying the ground for elections.  Like the National Constitution, the Bougainville Constitution was also “homegrown” -- made and adopted by leaders, following close consultations with people in all parts of Bougainville.  The first general election for the Autonomous Bougainville Government, currently under way, was the next critical step in giving substance to the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

Now that the conflict was over, he said, the Peace Agreement had been completed and given the force of law, and arrangements for holding the first general election were in place.  Bougainvilleans were keen to participate in choosing the leaders who would be responsible for ensuring that normalcy returned and setting priorities for future development in Bougainville.  The Bougainville election should be seen as a model for others who had been experiencing similar conflicts.  It took real commitment by the leaders and people of Bougainville to achieve peace and to choose the type of government that they believed would bring about development and prosperity.  The elections would not be running smoothly without the necessary and generous funding donated by friendly nations.

He expressed his appreciation for the contribution of the United Nations in ensuring that the peace process was maintained and the weapons disposal process completed before the election commenced on 20 May 2005. 

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*     The 5186th meeting was closed.

For information media. Not an official record.