SECURITY COUNCIL HEARS 60 SPEAKERS, ASKS SECRETARY-GENERAL TO ADVISE ORGANIZATION WITHIN ONE YEAR ON BEST WAYS TO SUPPORT NATIONAL PEACEBUILDING EFFORTS

20 May 2008
SC/9333

SECURITY COUNCIL HEARS 60 SPEAKERS, ASKS SECRETARY-GENERAL TO ADVISE ORGANIZATION WITHIN ONE YEAR ON BEST WAYS TO SUPPORT NATIONAL PEACEBUILDING EFFORTS

20 May 2008
Security Council
SC/9333
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

5895th Meeting (AM & PM)

SECURITY COUNCIL HEARS 60 SPEAKERS, ASKS SECRETARY-GENERAL TO ADVISE ORGANIZATION

WITHIN ONE YEAR ON BEST WAYS TO SUPPORT NATIONAL PEACEBUILDING EFFORTS

At Peacemaking, Peacekeeping, Peacebuilding Crossroads, Road Taken

Must Lead Rapidly to Nationally Owned, Sustainable Peace, Says Secretary-General

Emphasizing the critical importance of post-conflict peacebuilding in laying the foundation for sustainable peace and development after the scourge of war, the Security Council today invited Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to provide advice within 12 months to the relevant United Nations organs on how to best support national efforts to secure lasting peace more rapidly and effectively, including by scaling up coordination, civilian deployment and financing.

In a presidential statement that capped a daylong open debate on post-conflict peacebuilding, Karen Pierce of the United Kingdom, which had convened the session, said that the Council recognized that helping States to recover from conflict and build sustainable peace was a major challenge for the international community, and stressed the need to ensure that finances were available from the outset for recovery and peacebuilding activities to meet immediate needs and to lay a solid foundation for longer-term reconstruction and development.

Further, the Council stressed that an effective response required political, security, humanitarian and development activities to be integrated and coherent, including in the first phase of integrated mission planning.  It encouraged the Secretary-General to advise the relevant United Nations organs on how best to take forward those issues, taking into consideration the views of the new Peacebuilding Commission, how to coordinate peacebuilding activities and encourage the mobilization and most effective use of resources for urgent peacebuilding needs.

Emphasizing the importance of national ownership and the primary responsibility of national authorities emerging from conflict for peacebuilding and sustainable development, the Council also expressed its intention to support those efforts and encouraged other actors to do the same.  The Council encouraged efforts to address the urgent need for rapidly deployable civilian expertise and stressed that the critical role for such expertise was working in cooperation with national authorities to strengthen national capacities.

Council members also highlighted the need for the United Nations to play a leading role in the field in coordinating international efforts in post-conflict situations.  They also stressed that coordination between national authorities and others involved in longer-term reconstruction and development, including organs of the United Nations system, international financial institutions, as well as with civil society and the business sector, was vital for the success of United Nations and international engagement in post-conflict situations.

In his opening remarks, the Secretary-General foreshadowed the Council’s appeal, saying that strengthening the United Nations collective post-conflict response and delivering on critical priorities required:  clarity of leadership; sufficient on-the-ground capacity; and scaled-up civilian expertise.  Towards that goal, the small but agile United Nations standing police capacity and Standby Team of Mediation Experts were important steps in the right direction.  “But we remain desperately short of judges, prison wardens, state administrators and managers,” he said, adding:  “Ultimately, all this requires early and flexible funding”.

He said the immediate aftermath of conflict was the crossroads at which peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding met.  “We need to ensure that the road taken is the one that leads us most rapidly and effectively to our goal of a nationally owned, sustainable peace, with strengthened national capacities,” he said, underscoring that many of those issues had been identified by the Peacebuilding Commission, which had a key role to play in supporting national actors to achieve their long-term objectives for lasting peace and development.

Reiterating the Secretary-General’s call for adequate, timely funding and better integration of international leadership, Zainab Hawa Bangura, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Sierra Leone, among the nearly 60 speakers participating in the debate, drew on her country’s painful experience during a bloody, decade-long civil war in the 1990s.  She said that questions had been raised about the tardiness of the involvement of the critical mass of the international community in responding to crises or addressing early warning signs to contain a looming explosive situation in hot spots.

“Consequently, observers have tended to interpret such delays in response as a function of the strategic significance those spots attract within the international community,” she said.  For instance, notwithstanding the destruction, carnage and mass displacement of hapless civilians throughout the Mano River basin, it had taken the United Nations as long as it did to endorse the timely and crucial intervention of the Economic Community of West African States’ Monitoring Observer Group (ECOMOG) in Sierra Leone’s crisis, which had by then dragged in neighbouring Liberia.

“This, for us, is a wake-up call for the international community to step up the efforts in promoting post-conflict stabilization,” she said, adding that there was not always the need to wait for a situation to deteriorate to the point of flying in tens of thousands of blue helmets and green berets to extinguish “fratricidal volcanoes”.  Investing in peace and stability made the international community’s work easier; it saved lives and billions of dollars.  In light of the capacity gap occasioned by massive flights of badly needed skilled human resources after a crisis situation, the civilian component of peace operations was as significantly essential as their military counterparts.

Touching on the topics highlighted for discussion in his delegation’s background paper, British Foreign Minister David Miliband said the international community needed to bring its political, security and development efforts into a common strategy, under a single leader, in support of a newly formed national government.  Indeed, no one benefited from a fragmented response on the ground.

On making available more civilian expertise, he said that that effort required a ready pool of expertise to be primed to hit the ground within weeks after a conflict ended.  The United Kingdom, for its part, had recently moved to establish a pool of some 1,000 civilians, including judges, customs offices and police, among others, for that purpose.  Quoting South Africa’s representative, he said the goal was to ensure that the response was in real time, and not in “bureaucratic time”.

Turning next to funding, he said that one possible option was a “UN Recovery Fund”, to which donors would commit funds in advance so that those critical resources would be available to kick-start recovery efforts.  While some countries had similar mechanisms for funding stabilization and recovery, there was no global source to cover a range of immediate needs.  One lesson of the past 20 years had been that peace efforts required a ready pool of civilian experts to be available to deploy rapidly to support Governments in the aftermath of conflict.  “We need the people, the funding and the leadership,” he said.

Chairman of the Peacebuilding Commission, Yukio Takasu of Japan, said he had made conscious efforts to guide the Commission’s attention to peacebuilding gaps in achieving a smooth shift from peacekeeping activities to development.  The Commission’s experiences confirmed the centrality of national ownership.  That, in turn, must be complemented by partnership with local stakeholders and the international partners.  Stressing the important role of the United Nations leadership on the ground, he said that, in both Burundi and Sierra Leone, the Executive Representatives of the Secretary-General had facilitated the promotion of dialogue among all stakeholders, and an integrated Peacebuilding Strategy had been developed through that process.

He said that national leadership required functioning institutional and human capacities at the State and local levels.  Those capacities were usually limited in most countries and international partners must, therefore, ensure the timely deployment of civilian expertise to assist in rebuilding national capacities.  The deployment of such expertise should be based on a clear prioritization of peacebuilding needs in each particular phase.  An appropriate mechanism should be examined to mobilize those experienced specialists needed in a speedy manner to support post-conflict capacity-building.

At the outset of the meeting, the President conveyed the Council’s heartfelt sympathy to the Government and the people of China, as well as to the Government and people of Myanmar in connection with the devastation caused by the natural disasters.  A minute of silence was observed in a tribute to the memory of the victims of those disasters.  China’s representative thanked the President and said he would convey those sympathies and condolences.

Also making opening statements in today’s debate were Lakhdar Brahimi, and Marwan Muasher, Senior Vice-President of the World Bank.

Foreign Affairs Ministers from the following countries also participated:  Croatia; Belgium; Netherlands; Indonesia; and Spain.  South Africa’s Minister of Defence also spoke today, as did the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Human Rights of France, and the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Also speaking were the representatives of:  Burkina Faso; Russian Federation; Costa Rica; Viet Nam; Panama; China; Italy; Libya; United States; Egypt; Bangladesh; Slovenia (on behalf of the European Union); Germany; Chile; New Zealand; Ghana; Mexico; Switzerland; Brazil; Jamaica (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement); Pakistan; Peru; Afghanistan; Turkey; Slovakia; Guatemala; Thailand; Nigeria; India; Honduras; Argentina; Papua New Guinea; Georgia; Republic of Korea; Serbia; El Salvador; Qatar; Norway; Australia; Liechtenstein; and Benin.

The meeting began at 10:05 a.m. and suspended at 1:05 p.m.  It resumed at 3:12 p.m. and ended at 7:10 p.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2008/16 reads as follows:

“The Security Council recalls its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security and emphasizes the critical importance of post-conflict peacebuilding in laying the foundation for sustainable peace and development after the scourge of war.

“The Security Council recognizes that supporting States to recover from conflict and build sustainable peace is a major challenge facing the international community, and that an effective response requires political, security, humanitarian and development activities to be integrated and coherent, including in the first phase of integrated mission planning.

“The Security Council emphasizes the importance of national ownership and the primary responsibility of national authorities emerging from conflict for peacebuilding and sustainable development, expresses its intention to support those efforts and encourages other actors to do the same.

“The Security Council recalls its resolution 1645 (2005) and welcomes the work of the Peacebuilding Commission in advising on the coordination of international peacebuilding activities and resources, and expresses its support for enhancing the role of the Peacebuilding Commission, Peacebuilding Support Office and the Peacebuilding Fund.

“The Security Council recognizes that, in particular in the immediate aftermath of conflict, affected countries have urgent needs including, but not limited to, the re-establishment of the institutions of Government, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of armed forces, security sector reform, transitional justice, reconciliation, re-establishing the rule of law and respect for human rights and economic revitalization.  The Security Council underlines that civilian expertise in post-conflict peacebuilding is essential in helping to meet these needs.

“The Security Council encourages efforts to address the urgent need for rapidly deployable civilian expertise and stresses that the critical role for such expertise is working in cooperation with national authorities to strengthen national capacities.

“The Security Council highlights the need for the United Nations to play a leading role in the field in coordinating international efforts in post-conflict situations.  The Security Council stresses that coordination between national authorities and others involved in longer-term reconstruction and development, including organs of the UN system in accordance with their respective mandates, the international financial institutions, as well as with civil society and the business sector, is vital for the success of UN and international engagement in post-conflict situations.

“The Security Council stresses the need to ensure that finance is available from the outset for recovery and peacebuilding activities to meet immediate needs, and to lay a solid foundation for longer-term reconstruction and development.

“The Security Council reaffirms the role of regional organizations in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts in accordance with Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, and the need to strengthen the capacity of regional organizations in helping countries recover from conflict.

“The Security Council encourages the Secretary-General, the Peacebuilding Commission, international and regional organizations and Member States to consider how to support national efforts in affected countries to secure a sustainable peace more rapidly and effectively, including in the areas of coordination, civilian deployment capabilities and financing.  The Security Council invites the Secretary-General to provide advice within 12 months to the relevant UN organs on how best to take forward these issues within the United Nations system and, taking into consideration the views of the Peacebuilding Commission, how to coordinate peacebuilding activities and encourage the mobilization and most effective use of resources for urgent peacebuilding needs.”

Background

For today’s thematic debate on post-conflict stabilization, the United Kingdom, current President of the Security Council, has submitted a concept paper entitled “Post-conflict stabilization:  peace after war” (document S/2008/291), which states that nearly 30 per cent of conflicts that end through negotiated settlements restart within five years, often because the international community has not got its act together in the critical period immediately following a ceasefire and peace agreement.  Crucial needs, such as rapid implementation of the peace agreement, re-establishment of the rule of law, and a demonstrable improvement in the lives of local people, have not been met.   The United Nations and the international community should better address those challenges.

The paper identifies three critical gaps that hamper international efforts to help countries stabilize and build sustainable peace as they emerge from conflict:  leadership on the ground; rapidly deployable and skilled civilian capacity; and more rapid and flexible funding.  As for leadership on the ground, the successful implementation of Security Council mandates relied on United Nations actors beyond the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and on the support and cooperation of national Governments and affected populations, neighbouring countries, the international financial institutions, regional organizations, non-governmental organizations and local civil society.  One question to be asked is how to better empower Special Representatives of the Secretary-General to lead and coordinate all United Nations efforts in a country.

The paper notes that the international community often fails to ensure that the right kinds of expertise are rapidly deployed, particularly in hostile or insecure environments.  The United Nations, other international organizations and national Governments have different, and at times incompatible, arrangements for deploying civilians to the field, and the growth in peace operations is putting pressure on supply.  Questions to be asked are how Member States can best develop cadres of civilian experts to complement military peacekeeping efforts, and how the United Nations can be enhanced to deploy police advisers and expand the skills pool to areas such as justice, corrections, security-sector reform, governance and economic recovery.

According to the paper, the current funding instruments and appeal mechanisms do not provide rapid up-front support for the range of recovery and peacebuilding needs in the immediate aftermath of conflict.  It takes too long for stabilization and recovery efforts to begin taking effect.  In Lebanon, for instance, the Recovery Fund was first disbursed in June 2007, 10 months after the Pledging Conference and the ceasefire.  The question is what to do when everything is urgent.

Introductory Remarks

The President of the Security Council, DAVID MILIBAND, Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, said the debate’s intention was to put the international spotlight on what could be done to ensure that stabilization and recovery efforts were more effective, particularly in the period immediately following a ceasefire or peace agreement.  There had been some admirable examples of the United Nations and the international community tackling conflict and saving lives, but those examples were still the exception, and not the rule.  “Frankly, we aren’t doing enough,” he said.

BAN KI-MOON, United Nations Secretary-General, said that, over the past two decades, the United Nations had deepened its understanding of what it took to prevent a relapse into conflict.  Referring to experiences in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, Haiti, Burundi and Liberia, he said there were three common and immediate priorities:  establishing viable political processes to buttress peace agreements and to put in place legitimate national authorities; restoring security and the rule of law; and delivering immediate and tangible benefits to the affected population.

He said that, in order to strengthen the collective response in the immediate aftermath of conflict, there must be coherence.  The Special Representatives were responsible for coordinating the response of all United Nations actors in the field.  Structures, planning and monitoring processes had been put in place.  The United Nations, however, was only one of several actors in the field.  Regional organizations, Member States and international financial institutions also contributed critical elements of a collective international response, and when working together with them, a vastly more effective response was delivered.

Sufficient capacity was also required, he said.  His Special Representatives needed the means to identify strategic priorities, elaborate plans and mobilize funds.  There was also a need to build up civilian expertise.  The small but agile United Nations standing police capacity was an important step in the right direction, as was the recent launch of the Standby Team of Mediation Experts and the creation of the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.  There was a desperate shortage, however, of judges, prison wardens, state administrators and managers.  Not only should those be well-equipped when they were deployed, they also needed start-up funding.

He said the need for civilian expertise also extended to recovery and development.  “We need to do much better in delivering early peace dividends,” he said.  It might be time to draw on the experience of the humanitarian community in launching urgent recovery in a rapid and predictable way, including through greater use of local resources and capacities.  Ultimately, all of that required early and flexible funding.  Although early investment entailed risk, the cost of failure and the potential of reward were much higher.  “To facilitate rapid delivery in the earliest phase, let us explore approaches such as a common start-up fund.”

The immediate aftermath of conflict was the crossroads at which peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding met, he said, adding, “We need to ensure that the road taken is the one that leads us most rapidly and effectively to our goal of a nationally-owned, sustainable peace, with strengthened national capacities.”  Many of those issues had been identified by the Peacebuilding Commission, which had a key role to play in supporting national actors to achieve their long-term objectives for sustainable peace and development.

ZAINAB HAWA BANGURA, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Sierra Leone, said that her country was of the view that better funding and better integration of international leadership were crucial to post-conflict stabilization and national recovery.  Towards that goal, the role of the United Nations, particularly its Security Council, could not be overemphasized.  At the same time, questions had been raised about the tardiness of the involvement of the critical mass of the international community in responding to crises or addressing early warning signs to contain a looming explosive situation in hot spots.

“Consequently, observers have tended to interpret such delays in response as a function of the strategic significance those spots attract within the international community,” she said.  For instance, notwithstanding the destruction, carnage and mass displacement of hapless civilians throughout the Mano River basin, it had taken the United Nations as long as it did to endorse the timely and crucial intervention of the Economic Community of West African States’ Monitoring Observer Group (ECOMOG), in the crisis that engulfed the neighbouring States of Sierra Leone and Liberia.

She said that, without prejudice, the rapidity with which the international community had responded to crises in such places as Kuwait, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, as opposed to many African crises, had left analysts with “suggestions of a rethink of the international community’s approach to resolving conflicts around the globe”.  She was hopeful that the Peacebuilding Commission would not lend itself to such “inadvertence or anomaly” in supporting countries engaged in post-conflict peacebuilding.

“Delivering sustainable peace is not only an act of enlightened self-interest, but also a public good for all mankind and humanity,” she continued, adding that experience had proved that conflict and social instability bred poverty, flagrant violations of human rights and dignity, socio-economic disparity, as well as political and social disintegration.  The causes of conflicts were like their effects, including poverty, low economic growth, and ethnic and cultural intolerance, among others.  Wrestling with that cycle of instability and underdevelopment in the present global reality, therefore, was not an act of charity.

Turning to her own country’s experience, she said that Sierra Leone had been afflicted with a protracted, violent and devastating conflict, and the road to peace had not been altogether smooth.  But with tolerance, understanding and the overriding need to reconcile and move forward for the general good, “even the pain, mud and thorns we have travelled through for peace have been our greatest healers”.  Today, Sierra Leoneans could reflect with pride on the recent presidential and parliamentary elections that witnessed a seamless transition from the former ruling party to the opposition.  However, the country still faced the hurdles inherent in constructing effective and legitimate governmental institutions to consolidate peace and foster human development.

She went on to say that the learning curve of Sierra Leone’s post-conflict stabilization had, no doubt, contributed immeasurably to the knowledge base on United Nations peace operations.  It was no gainsaying then that, without the requisite level of funding, leadership and human capital, examples abounded that no post-conflict society could easily escape form a relapse of renewed violence.  She also noted that, while the United Kingdom’s initiative in the area was not entirely new, it did put into context the value that now defunct programmes such as the Peace Corps had added to the capacity-building and development of those beneficiary host countries.

“This, for us, is a wake-up call for the international community to step up the efforts in promoting post-conflict stabilization,” she said, adding that there was not always the need to wait for a situation to deteriorate to the point of flying in tens of thousands of blue helmets and green berets to extinguish “fratricidal volcanoes”.  Investing in peace and stability made the international community’s work easier; it saved lives and billions of dollars.  In light of the capacity gap occasioned by massive flights of badly needed skilled human resources after a crisis situation, the civilian component of peace operations was as significantly essential as their military counterparts.

It was, therefore, necessary to call on the Peacebuilding Commission, of which Sierra Leone had been among the inaugural cases, and other bilateral and multilateral partners to assist in providing the requisite financial, logistic and technical support for the creation and empowerment of a pool of civilian “peace corps” at both the international and local levels, as readily deployable as military components and under effective leadership and coordination.

MARWAN MUASHER, Senior Vice-President of the World Bank, said that over the past 15 years, his organization had considerably expanded its work on fragile, post-conflict States, focusing on peacebuilding, State-building, institutional reform and partnerships.  In those areas, it aimed to promote a better global understanding of the dynamics of fragile situations and to strengthen consensus on international frameworks, including diplomatic, development and security linkages.  It also aimed to promote improved country-level collaboration and to deliver visible results through a coherent World Bank Group that was able to intervene quickly and effectively, with increased resources from a greater variety of sources, including South-South exchanges.

In regard to the concept note, he concurred with the need for strong leadership on the ground, with clear vision, and he supported efforts to strengthen standing civilian capacity.  On more rapid and flexible funding, he said that, when properly designed, large-scale post-conflict multi-donor trust funds could play a critical role during reconstruction.  However, when competing demands resulted, for example from the trade-off between fiduciary standards and quick results, implementation could be hampered.  A proper balance was needed, and that could be aided by the Fiduciary Principles Accord currently being prepared by the United Nations Development Group.  In order to be strategic, multi-donor trust funds should be built upon needs assessments, results matrices and sector analysis, and should not necessarily fund the start-up phase, which could be covered by other funding mechanisms.

United Nations Special Adviser, LAKHDAR BRAHIMI, said that the issue of gaps in the international community’s response in post-conflict situations had been much debated and analysed since the mid-1990s, including in his landmark report of the panel, which he chaired on United Nations peace operations eight years ago.  Sadako Ogata, who was very acutely aware of those problems, had spoken of them very eloquently when she appeared before the Council at the end of her tour of duty as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

He said that when a peace agreement had been signed and a United Nations peacekeeping operation moved in, there were certain critical needs that should be swiftly addressed if there was to be a real chance of building sustainable peace.  However, the Organization and the wider international community still faced many of the same challenges that existed a decade ago, and more.  Looking back on his time in Afghanistan in 2001, he said that the political challenges had been great, but that his team had had one factor working in its favour:  there was enormous international focus on that country and a strong commitment to making the peace process succeed.

Emphasizing that that focus and goodwill had also promised to provide the effort with a lot of cash, he added:  “As I told the many observers with us […] we needed to arrive with money in a bag, because we had to begin providing some peace dividends soon after our arrival”.  At the same time, while there were a lot of ideas, there had been very little money to pay for them, and even that had not been used very wisely.

He said that in Afghanistan and elsewhere, United Nations officials were often asked how much of the funds donated to them were actually spent by the Organization and international non-governmental organizations on themselves, and why.  They did not understand why funds pledged to them actually went into two pots:  one that was intended for the host country; and another one that would pay for United Nations buildings, the purchase of fleets of big, white vehicles, and the hiring of lots of highly-paid international staff.  As if to add insult to injury, the United Nations “pot” seemed to fill up much more quickly than what was devoted to rebuilding the host country.

“So we had to resort to creative measures to establish mechanisms within the government, with donor and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) support, to ensure that the very modest salaries of all civil servants were paid,” he said, noting that that was a real expense that needed to be covered every month.  Rebuilding roads and hospitals, therefore, had to wait.

Peacebuilding was more than sending United Nations staff to a country and putting flags on the ground, he said.  Funds were needed, as the most complex peace operations -- from Haiti to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Afghanistan -- had peacebuilding at the core of their mandates, ranging from police reform and strengthening of judicial institutions, to elections and refurbishment of prisons.  Yet, they had no allocations in their budgets for those activities, creating a huge gap at a time when the greatest risk existed of a relapse into conflict.

Here, he noted that, while United Nations-backed trust funds had been established in a few missions, drawing on voluntary contributions, some 13 per cent of those funds went to the Organization, itself, as “programme support costs”, which no one had ever been able to explain to him.  While it was possible to negotiate a substantial reduction of that tax, it took months to bring it down to 5 or 6 per cent, and that was still outrageously high.  “No wonder many donors balk at contributing to [them], and missions complained about the cumbersome procedures for accessing the funds,” he said.

Turning to civilian capacity, he said that international workers should not suddenly realize at the close of a peacebuilding mandate that they had overlooked the need to build national capacity.  Among the myriad problems here was the assumption that countries had very little capacity of their own.  Indeed, experience in Afghanistan had taught him that, if the United Nations had made the effort to visit local communities there, it might have found what turned out later to be countless Afghans capable of working for their own Government, as well as for the United Nations.  Another issue was the shortfall in size of United Nations missions, and the fact that it was never able to recruit authorized staff in a timely manner.

While noting such suggestions as having national Governments assist with developing civilian rosters of rapidly deployable personnel, he believed that there was a real need for the rule of law.  His favourite option was for the Department of Peacekeeping Operations to be enabled to establish its own roster of policemen and judges, among others.  “I know for a fact that in many countries, large and small […] such capacity exists and waits to be mobilized,” he said.  At the same time, the Council should give the United Nations achievable mandates and ensure that its Missions were provided with all the resources -- staff, funds and equipment -- necessary to do the job.

He said it was also important to avoid putting together “templated” missions that set out complex and ambitious tasks for “imagined armies of expert civilians” who were to carry out laundry lists of tasks in dramatically different post-conflict settings.  The Organization would be rewarded handsomely if it took the time to look at a country’s existing capacity to see how the United Nations might partner with domestic institutions, rather than setting up its own heavy and costly structures.  Mandates must be based on the actual, and not the perceived, needs.

Statements

GORDAN JANDORKOVIĆ, Minister for Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Croatia, noting that too many conflicts that ended through negotiated settlements restarted within five years, said rapid implementation of a peace agreement was very important, but that should not happen in a vacuum.  The whole of a society had to feel the “peace dividend”, which took the form of stability, security and improved daily life.  It was also important to involve domestic resources, without exacerbating existing political tensions.  That would also enable development of autonomous capacity, which was necessary for the consolidation of national structures.

He said that, in Croatia’s experience in the 1990s, United Nations peacekeepers, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Health Organization (WHO) and others might have come with the best of intentions, but in many cases, they had not understood the real needs of the population or cooperated effectively with each other or the people involved. Moreover, much of the spending went into maintaining the agencies’ own programmes and did not end up with the people that required assistance.  However, some significant results had been produced, including one of the most successful United Nations missions overall -- the United Nations Transitional Administration in Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium (UNTAES).

Establishment of the Peacebuilding Commission was one of the most important results of United Nations reform, he said.  Its integrated peacebuilding strategies must be implemented on the ground in the most efficient manner.  The peacebuilding concept enacted through the Peacebuilding Commission offered the best way in which the three main pillars of the United Nations -- security, development and the protection of human rights -- could be consolidated.  Chances of substantive peace were enhanced with the speedy and coordinated engagement of the United Nations system, following the establishment of a ceasefire on the ground or the signing of a peace agreement.  Efforts must be coordinated and integrated, so that the capabilities of all United Nations agencies could be utilized optimally while reducing overlap.

He fully supported the concept of an empowered Resident Coordinator as the leader of integrated United Nations efforts.  Plans and organization of the core structure of integrated post-conflict stabilization efforts should be put on permanent standby, so that preparations for a specific operation took the minimum amount of time.  The formation of rosters of the different types of civilian experts required for post-conflict peacebuilding was another good way forward.  His Government stood ready to contribute civilian experts who had gained experience during the post-conflict stabilization period in his country.  All those activities, however, were not possible without sufficient, sustainable and transparent financing.

MOSIUOA LEKOTA, Minister of Defence of South Africa, said priorities in the post-conflict environment should centre on the four basic pillars of security; social and economic well-being; justice and reconciliation; and good governance and participation.  National ownership of the peacebuilding process was even more important since imposed solutions had been shown to fail dismally.  The issue of deploying civilian experts to address capacity gaps should be considered.  His country’s experience in Burundi had shown that to be a valuable tool.  The concept of integrated peace missions within the confines of various mandates should also be further considered, along with the deployment of post-conflict reconstruction practitioners and resources alongside peacekeepers, regardless of the challenges associated with deploying civilians, including security issues.

Continuing, he said that the Peacebuilding Fund was a critical pillar of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture.  The material conditions of a society must change and hopes for a better life for people must be sustained if peace was to endure.  Quick-impact projects to demonstrate “peace dividends” must be implemented, and coordination between relevant actors should be strengthened, both within the United Nations system and between the United Nations peacebuilding architecture and other organizations, both regional and subregional.  His country continued to play a role in peacebuilding through a post-conflict reconstruction and development policy.  It had also been selected to chair the first African Union Ministerial Committee focusing on post-conflict reconstruction and development in the Sudan.

OLIVIER CHASTEL, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, said that, while many stakeholders acknowledged that building sustainable post-conflict peace was vital to overall social and economic development and stability, it was clear that the international community had thus far been struggling.  It was also clear that the duty did not fall solely on the Security Council, as the General Assembly and the Peacebuilding Commission also had a role to play.

He noted that the transformation of peace operations in the past few years -- now doing more than maintaining peace and security, and undertaking duties in other areas such as human rights, governance and development -- provided a lesson for all.  There were still daunting challenges to rapidly deploy civilian assistance in the wake of conflict.  While it was true that many States were simply not able to send qualified civilian experts in the immediate aftermath of conflict, the international community could nevertheless consider establishing a pool of rapidly deployable civilian experts.  That effort could be ably assisted by regional structures and organizations.

Turning to the absence of financial mechanisms that were able to respond quickly in the aftermath of conflict, he said that such mechanisms were vital to ensuring that populations were able to take advantage of the immediate benefits of peace.  The international community must consider the establishment of such mechanisms and identify ways to manage them in a coherent and sustainable way.  Such a mechanism was currently under discussion, including in the purview of the Peacebuilding Commission.  Also crucial was better coherence and coordination among international actors.  The challenges were significant, but it was clear that the Security Council must begin to seriously consider new post-conflict peacebuilding options.

IMRON COTAN, Secretary-General of the Department of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, said the important work of post-conflict peacebuilding must not be a perpetual process.  There must be an exit strategy, and efforts must strengthen the independence and self-reliance of countries where Missions were deployed.  National leadership and ownership must be given the greatest importance, with national actors involved in every step, including in the setting of the agenda and in establishing priorities.

Further, he said the effectiveness of the process could be improved.  A rapid deployment mechanism should be incorporated and international collaboration should be strengthened, including by such measures as promoting cooperative projects that linked countries in a mutually beneficial undertaking.  All funding avenues should be explored and utilized, with an emphasis on the triangle of official development assistance (ODA), trade and investment.  Multi-donor trust funds could not serve as the foundation for normal socio-economic activity, which required self-sustaining avenues.  Also, the trap of indebtedness or overly tight fiscal policies imposed by international institutions should be avoided.  More effort should be devoted to engaging non-governmental resources and the private sector to fill funding gaps.

Finally, he said the Peacebuilding Commission was beginning to find its niche and demonstrate its value in creating linkages between political/security and financial/development actors.  It was imperative that the United Nations system be prepared to act quickly once a peace agreement was signed.  The Security Council could ensure the operational relevance of the Commission’s advice on countries that were on the agendas of both bodies, and the Council could resolve security-related aspects of peacebuilding.  The synergy between the two organs should serve to clarify and define a seamless transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding.  The efforts of the United Nations system, including the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Secretary-General’s Special Representatives, should be devoted to bridging peacebuilding with political stability, socio-economic recovery and humanitarian concerns, so as to lay the foundations for longer-term development activities.

RAMA YADE, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Human Rights of France, said today’s topic lay at the heart of the international community’s concerns.  During the crucial post-conflict stage, national institutions must be supported.  Holding elections was often a crucial stage towards peace and stability, but they were not sufficient.  United Nations potential must be strengthened to act through every stage of a crisis.  There was a need, therefore, to strengthen the coherence of the international community’s actions by integrating the issues of politics, security, humanitarian actions and development.  Improving the working methods of the Peacebuilding Commission was also desirable.

She said that establishment of the rule of law and of an independent justice system was an essential stage of peacebuilding.  Security-sector reform was also important, as was combating impunity.  Another priority was the promotion and protection of human rights in post-conflict situations.  If civilian and human rights were trampled upon, peace was impossible, and a stable and democratic society could not be built if the right to education for all was not upheld.  France was fighting the scourge of child soldiers.  It was also necessary to strengthen implementation of Council resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security.  Women’s role in peace actions should be guaranteed, and regional organizations should also be involved.  Development of the partnership between the United Nations and the European Union on security issues was a priority of the French presidency of the European Union.

PAUL ROBERT TIENDRÉBÉOGO ( Burkina Faso) said that countries emerging from conflict faced numerous challenges, including dysfunctional public administrations and judicial systems.  Despite the edifying results in countries such as Sierra Leone and Rwanda, it was clear that much remained to be done.  More time and resources should be devoted to supporting the activities of the Peacebuilding Commission, which needed assistance and cooperation to fully implement its important mandate.  As for actual peace missions, he called for better integration of all aspects of such operations, as well as the consideration of mechanisms to boost civilian capacity and police training.

He also called on the international financial institutions, as well as the wider United Nations, to work closely with regional structures, like the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which were better acquainted with local needs.  At the same time, the whole international community’s integrated activities should aim to imbue a sense of national ownership and target specific post-conflict challenges, such as national capacity-building.

VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said the high-level representation today attested to the importance of the topic.  Assistance for post-conflict rehabilitation during the early stages was fraught with difficulties in coordination, financing and institution-building, he said, while stressing that peacebuilding must be based on national ownership.  United Nations post-conflict assistance must be determined with the agreement of host Governments, bearing in mind a rational division of labour with, among others, regional organizations.

He said an important role should be played by the Peacebuilding Commission, but pointed out that the concept of combining all interested players within one structure met with difficulties.  The Commission should not take on an executive, detailed role, but should focus on coordinating the actions of the international community.  One area of the Commission’s work should be mobilization of additional donor resources.  The Peacebuilding Fund was of great importance as a mechanism for emergency financing.  Civilian potential should be strengthened in, among other things, security-sector reform and social and economic reconstruction.

SAÚL WEISLEDER ( Costa Rica) said that security and development were inseparable elements of attaining and maintaining peace.  The hope for a better future was based on peace agreements, but those agreements were only sustainable if social and economic development took hold.  Towards that goal every peacekeeping operations should, from the outset, be conceived as an integrated mission, drawing on the competencies of all relevant United Nations agencies.  When considering new missions, the Security Council should consult on ways to integrate a peacebuilding mechanism into such operations, including by drawing on the burgeoning expertise of the Peacebuilding Commission.  The Peacebuilding Fund should be put to better use, and a new mechanism should be created, as some had suggested.  Better use should also be made of the Peacebuilding Support Office.

He said that success in post-conflict peacebuilding hinged on striking the right balance between authority and responsibility, and he called for special care when choosing the Secretary-General’s Special Representatives.  At the same time, the Security Council must provide the requisite communication with and follow-up on the work of those Representatives, especially since there was no more difficult challenge than managing post-conflict situations.  Costa Rica also supported the call of others for the establishment of a rapidly deployable civilian force.  Finally, he called on the Council to design a better mechanism to collect and put to use the suggestions and recommendations made by the United Nations wider membership in debates like the one being held today.

HOANG CHI TRUNG (Viet Nam), associating himself with the statement to be delivered by Jamaica on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that, in view of the specific character of each post-conflict environment, international strategies should be tailored to complement nationally-owned efforts.  The United Nations should play the leading role in coordinating the efforts of local Governments, specialized agencies, international financial institutions, troop contributors and the international donor community, in order to ensure optimum impact of assistance and maximize resources.

He said it was also essential to enhance cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations in the areas of conflict prevention, management and resolution, as well as peacekeeping and peacebuilding.  While the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security fell within the purview of the Security Council, the targeted expertise, local knowledge and geographical proximity of regional organizations should be utilized to a much greater extent.

RICARDO ALBERTO ARIAS ( Panama) said that the Council, as the guardian of international peace and security, was a key protagonist in safeguarding peace.  Measures to promote and build peace, however, were not sufficient to guarantee that countries would not relapse into violence.  Although world leaders in 2005 had established the Peacebuilding Commission, the underlying resolution had not stipulated when the Council’s involvement should end and the Peacebuilding Commission should start its work.  In his country’s vision, the transition should be a gradual process.

He said it was crucial for the Council to establish clear and viable mandates for the future establishment of integrated missions that would include early-on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes; conflict resolution techniques; promotion and protection of human rights; and assistance to victims of sexual abuse.  The aim should be to support communities with coordinated, coherent and integrated actions.  Root causes should also be addressed from the outset.  Peacebuilding efforts should be led by the country concerned and be able to draw on the necessary financial resources.  The role of the Special Representative should be strengthened.  Stressing that the individual should be placed at the heart of peacebuilding, he said it was the duty of the United Nations and the Council to protect the human rights of post-conflict populations.

WANG GUANGYA ( China) said that the country concerned bore the primary responsibility for peacebuilding, the ultimate purpose of which was building a modern State that was stable, developing economically and had a respect for human rights and the rule of law.  The local people and Government should be encouraged to use their talents to lay down a sound reconstruction plan for those purposes.  In cooperation with the country, Member States, regional organizations and civil society must make concerted efforts to address the full menu of tasks involved, contributing such assets in such areas like finance and technology, he said.

In regard to the ideas presented in the concept paper, he stressed that the civilian expert force it envisioned should have expertise in a wide range of necessary subjects and, if local conditions permitted, it should help the countries concerned build capacity in those areas.  In all spheres of peacebuilding, Africa should receive priority attention, and the Security Council should play a crucial role, working together with other United Nations organs, the full membership of the Organization and regional organizations.

MARCELLO SPATAFORA (Italy) said that after listening to the discussions thus far, it was clear that, at the end of the day, what was at stake was how to make the Security Council, the wider United Nations and other stakeholders working on the ground after a conflict, more relevant to making a difference and offering a “complete horizon of hope” for long-suffering people.  The debate had indeed been a “wake up call” to the Council to include peacebuilding elements in mission mandates, thus ensuring that those operations were not heading for failure, or that the Council itself was heading towards irrelevance.

He said his country was also a firm supporter of greater efforts to ensure rapid deployment of civilian capacity, especially of experts that could help with targeted stabilization assistance, including via judges, jurists and other administrators.  The model could resemble that of the rapidly deployable military forces.  A social and economic reconstruction strategy should be developed in conjunction with that effort, and training to build capacities of peacebuilding professionals should also be considered.

Another priority goal was fostering greater coordination among United Nations bodies and traditional partners, as well as other stakeholders, including regional bodies, he offered.  One suggestion would be to set up, from the very first day of operations, a database detailing all organizations working on the ground in a situation and their areas of responsibility.  Another priority was funding.  Experience had shown that, more often than not, one year went by between the end of hostilities and the receipt of appropriations, apart from immediate humanitarian needs.

“That’s just too much time considering the urgency of the needs,” he said, calling for the creation of more flexible mechanisms.  The obvious choice was to strengthen and give greater centrality to an existing mechanism -- the Peacebuilding Fund -- rather than creating a new one, which might just further complicate the process.  In the months to come, the Council should take another look at that Fund to ensure that its resources were disbursed in a consistent and timely manner.

GIADALLA A. ETTALHI ( Libya) said the 2005 World Summit principle that development, peace and security and human rights were interdependent must be taken into account with every consideration of peacebuilding.  In general, peacekeeping forces should not pull out before it was appropriate.  Peacebuilding required a comprehensive approach that gave priority to rebuilding state institutions, police and military forces, protecting human rights, and eradicating poverty and marginalization.  Later, attention could be given to establishing sustainable development and developing social services such as health care.  Everything should be done with full respect for the sovereignty of the country concerned and the principle of national ownership.

He stressed that all local parties should be part of peacebuilding efforts and maintain that commitment, and emphasized the important role of neighbouring States in bringing about national reconciliation.  The most efficient way of providing financial support was contributing to the Peacebuilding Fund.  Mechanisms must be established for full coordination between the Peacebuilding Commission and the Economic and Social Council.  The Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund should take into account the relationship between security, human rights and the rule of law.   He urged the international community to provide the necessary funding for the Peacebuilding Fund.

ZALMAY KHALILZAD (United States), calling the immediate post-conflict period the “golden hour”, when chances of recovery were much better, said that, if better ways could be found to improve people’s lives during that “golden hour”, the efficiency and success of stabilization and reconstruction assistance could dramatically improve.  The Peacebuilding Commission could play an important role in peacebuilding by helping to marshal the necessary resources during that “golden hour”, but its working methods needed to be improved.

Successful implementation of Council mandates must involve a huge number of United Nations, regional and other international community actors, he said, stressing that the role of the Special Representative who was well trained and got the necessary support was also critical.  United Nations leadership should take advantage of the Peacebuilding Commission’s ability to convene all stakeholders.  Skilled civilians, such as police officers, judges and administrators, were as important as troops during the “golden hour”, and he urged Member States to build capacity for civilian deployment for sustainable peacebuilding.  Ways must be explored to streamline and improve the Peacebuilding Fund.

Highlighting additional issues that needed to be taken into account, he said those included the need for a compact between local leaders and the international community, with clear articulation of goals and benchmarks for both sides.  The international community must do better in building security institutions that could be trusted by all local communities, and in carrying out disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes.  Additional focus should be placed on energizing the private sector.  The regional dimension of conflicts should also be taken into account.  That often required engagement to preclude local parties from receiving support from neighbouring countries or creating sanctuaries in their territory.

Foreign Minister MILIBAND, speaking in his national capacity for the United Kingdom, said that it was important to remember that the founding purpose of the United Nations had been to secure peace after the ravages of the Second World War.  While there had been a subsequent decline in wars over the past 40 years, it was troubling that some 30 per cent of the conflicts that did occur broke out again some five years after the signing of a peace agreement.  That was a challenge for the countries and the parties concerned, as well as for the entire international community.  The response required a collective international effort:  the entire United Nations system working with other international and regional organizations.

Touching on the topics highlighted for discussion in his delegation’s background paper, he said that the international community needed to bring its political, security and development efforts into a common strategy, under a single leader, in support of a newly formed national government.  Indeed, no one benefited from a fragmented response on the ground.  On making available more civilian expertise, he said that that effort required a ready pool of expertise to be primed to hit the ground within weeks after a conflict ended.  The United Kingdom, for its part, had recently moved to establish a pool of some 1,000 civilians, including judges, customs offices and police, among others, for that purpose.  Quoting South Africa’s representative, he said the goal was to ensure that the response was in real time, and not in “bureaucratic time”.

Turning next to funding, he said that one possible option was a “UN Recovery Fund”, to which donors would commit funds in advance so that those critical resources would be available to kick-start recovery efforts.  The United Kingdom and other countries had similar mechanisms for funding stabilization and recovery, but there was no central, international source to cover a range of immediate needs.  One lesson of the past 20 years had been that peace efforts required a ready pool of civilian experts to be available to deploy rapidly to support Governments in the aftermath of conflict.  “We need the people, the funding and the leadership,” he said, noting that those requirements were also important in responding to natural disasters, such as those presently facing China and Burma.

While his Government had been heartened to see the Chinese authorities working alongside international actors, sadly, it had not seen the same level of cooperation with Burmese authorities, whose people desperately needed humanitarian assistance, he said.  Hopefully, the Secretary-General’s visit to that country would lead to the setting up of a humanitarian framework on the scale of that which had been put in place to respond to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

NIKOLA ŠPIRIĆ, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said his country, having survived a “tragic conflict” in recent years, had overcome many obstacles, faced many challenges and conducted many reforms since then.  Among its successes had been the completion of its defence reform, the creation of a unified intelligence sector, the advancement of its tax system reform, and the recent implementation of the justice system reform.  Significant economic progress had also been achieved, though it was not yet at a satisfactory level.  Gross domestic product (GDP) in 2007 had been at 6.1 per cent, with further future growth expected.  Foreign direct investment had also reached record heights in 2007.  Relations with neighbouring countries had improved, as had the overall foreign policy situation.

He said that, since the bloody war 13 years ago, his country had encountered extremely demanding processes -- reconstruction, re-establishment of trust between the three former warring actions, transition and the process of Euro-Atlantic integration.  It could now say that, with the help of the international community, it had successfully concluded that phase of the Dayton Peace Agreement.

That progress had been due, in large part, to the international community’s involvement in his country’s post-conflict recovery, he said.  “Many great things have been done, from the active role in stopping the war as the most important thing, to active participation in and support of the reforms,” he added.   The implementation of a special model of indirect rule of Bosnia and Herzegovina was also of great significance.  Currently, Bosnia and Herzegovina needed to move to a “sobering-up phase” and to take ownership of the rebuilding process, with the support of the international community.  The key lesson learned from his country’s experiences had been that “the international community’s engagement in post-conflict countries is not just needed, but necessary”.  However, that must be “precisely defined, limited and with a clear exit strategy” and should take into account the fact that every crisis was unique and should be approached as such.

MIGUEL ANGEL MORATINOS, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, said a peace process must lead to rapid implementation of agreements in order for the affected population to immediately benefit from the peace dividend.  Priority attention must, therefore, be paid to rapid mechanisms that alleviated the suffering of local people and met their most urgent needs.  Post-conflict management must also tackle the roots of confrontation.  Harmony and inclusion were the bases upon which a State and the rule of law must be established.  A peace mission was a “living” entity that was always evolving.  Terms such as “hybrid” and “multidimensional” were applied ever more frequently, but the international community was not able to adequately respond to the challenges posed by the complex situations.

He said that one of the areas in which the international community had not been able to keep pace was in the incorporation of civilians.  It was not only necessary to count on a greater number of civilian experts in missions, it was also necessary to legitimize their function and provide them with the means to carry out their tasks.  Thus, a body of experienced and specialized civilian experts should be established.  They should be provided with promotion and career opportunities within the Organization so that they could contribute to the strengthening of institutions and the establishment of the rule of law and of a true separation of powers, as well as to security-sector reform.

It would be advisable to depend on stable civilian teams, along the lines of the recently established Standing Police Capacity, he said.  Success would depend on the availability of economic resources and on management optimization.  There should also be a focus on the formulation, mandate implementation and follow-up of peace missions, as well as on all efforts geared towards post-conflict reconstruction, bearing in mind that national ownership of any such process was paramount.

MAXIME VERHAGEN, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, associating himself with the statement to be made by Slovenia on behalf of the European Union, aligned a nation’s responsibility for peacebuilding with its responsibility to protect its populations, under the so-called “R2P” principle.  That principle was not aimed at eroding or undermining the principle of national sovereignty, but at promoting responsible sovereignty.  When a Government could not or did not effectively live up to its responsibilities, the international community must act.  In that light, he supported the leadership role taken by the Secretary-General and countries of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to come to the rescue of the suffering Burmese people.

He agreed that crucial elements in peacebuilding were timing, coordination and ready capacity to assist.  He expected the Peacebuilding Commission to mobilize early support and to ensure that countries that were “donor orphans” were not left behind.  There was also a pivotal role for UNDP in leading the recovery phase, and it urgently needed to develop greater surge capacity, working with United Nations agencies, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union and others.  Hence, coordination was a necessity, both by and within the United Nations.  On expert capacity, he suggested that inter-organizational pooling could help alleviate shortages, and he offered his country’s Stability Fund as an example of flexible funding mechanisms.  Also, specific funding should to be dedicated to the phase between humanitarian assistance and development.

Statement by Peacebuilding Commission Chairman

This afternoon, the Chairman of the Peacebuilding Commission, YUKIO TAKASU ( Japan), said he had made conscious efforts to guide the Commission’s attention to peacebuilding gaps in achieving a smooth shift from peacekeeping activities to development.  The Commission’s experiences confirmed the centrality of national ownership.  That, in turn, must be complemented by partnership with local stakeholders and the international partners.  Stressing the important role of the United Nations leadership on the ground, he said that in both Burundi and Sierra Leone, the Executive Representatives of the Secretary-General had facilitated the promotion of dialogue among all stakeholders, and an integrated Peacebuilding Strategy had been developed through that process.  United Nations leadership was also crucial to monitor progress and issue early warnings on shortfalls in implementation.  The United Nations representative needed to be equipped with the appropriate mandates and resources.

He said that national leadership required functioning institutional and human capacities at the State and local levels.  Those capacities were usually limited in most countries and international partners must, therefore, ensure the timely deployment of civilian expertise to assist in rebuilding national capacities.  The deployment of such expertise should be based on a clear prioritization of peacebuilding needs in each particular phase.  An appropriate mechanism should be examined to mobilize those experienced specialists needed in a speedy manner to support post-conflict capacity-building.

The speedy and flexible funding needed to meet the urgent requirements of post-conflict activities had been a major concern, he said.  The Peacebuilding Fund had been established to provide catalytic funding.  While its volume had surpassed the original target of $250 million, it was desirable to see a higher level of resources in light of increasing demands.  The Fund had been successfully assisting several post-conflict countries, but it was not expected to meet all peacebuilding needs.  Coordination of multilateral and bilateral donors in the country, therefore, should be improved.  There were still many conceptual and operational questions that needed to be addressed.  The Commission was ready to further consider some of the issues discussed today.

In his national capacity, he said his country was determined to play a further active role in the international community as a “Peace Fostering Nation”.  It had extended substantial support to strengthen the peacekeeping and peacebuilding capacities of many African countries.  Last year, it had launched a pilot programme for human resource development.  That initiative would be expanded into a full-scale programme next year.  Peacekeeping and peacebuilding would be one of the priority issues at TICAD (Tokyo International Conference on African Development) IV in Yokohama and at the Group of Eight (G-8) Hokkaido Toyako Summit.

Statements

MAGED ABDELAZIZ ( Egypt) said there were three significant issues to discuss when addressing United Nations involvement in post-conflict situations, namely:  leadership on the ground; rapid deployment of civilians as a complement to military peacekeeping; and attempts to provide rapid and flexible funding.  The Peacebuilding Commission was established to bring together all relevant actors in order to set integrated strategies for post-conflict peacebuilding.  “Therefore, we consider today’s debate in the Security Council an opportunity to give a stronger momentum to peacebuilding activities through the PBC, not through the race between the Security Council and the General Assembly to dominate the activities of the PBC, which might undermine the credibility of the Commission,” he said.

He said that each peacebuilding case required unique experiences to correspond to a diversity of cultural, ethnic, religious and other backgrounds.  It would be difficult, therefore, to identify the required expertise before the Peacebuilding Commission identified the requested priorities.  Building a framework now might risk spending substantial financial resources to appoint experts who would not be needed for a long time and burden the Organization’s regular budget.  The best way to provide rapid and flexible financing was to quickly overcome the defects that hindered the work of the existing funding mechanisms and ensure reform of the Peacebuilding Fund.  The General Assembly should undertake an urgent review of the Commission’s working methods and its terms of reference.  An annual Assembly meeting to marshal funding resources was also desirable.

ISMAT JAHAN ( Bangladesh) said that, long after the guns had fallen silent, the scars of war remained deep, both in the minds of the people affected by it and on the respective country’s economy.  Therefore, the first task of a post-conflict peacebuilding effort was to expedite the national healing process.  That required a sincere commitment to reconciliation, along with the international community’s determination to remain engaged in the effort in the long term.  The development of an integrated approach with clear-cut commitments by both the Government of the war-affected country and the international community to wide-ranging interventions meant to restore peace and security and usher in economic growth and development.  “Needless to say, the concerned country should always play a leadership role in the process for it to sustain,” she added.

Among other priority areas for action, she noted empowerment of youth through education and employment, and integration of a gender perspective in all aspects of peace operations.  The notion of rapidly deployable “civilian observers” was currently being floated in various forums.  Bangladesh believed that certain fields, such as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, security-sector reform, and the rule of law, warranted experts, but it was not in favour of creating any type of cadre or pool of United Nations staff for rapid civilian deployment.  It believed that the relevant purposes of such a pool could be served by filling vacant posts in field missions and country offices by personnel recruited from Member States and host countries in military and civilian categories.  Everyone should remember that the overall goal of a peace operation was to ensure national ownership in the peacebuilding process.

SANJA ŠLIGLIC ( Slovenia), speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated countries, said she agreed that there were critical gaps in post-conflict peacebuilding in terms of leadership, civilian capability and funding, both in terms of speed and flexibility.  The gaps were being addressed through the Union’s tools and through cooperation with others to improve the response to the challenges of peacebuilding in a post-conflict country.  That largely depended on the international community’s capacity to come together behind a nationally owned common strategy in a coordinated and integrated way across the political, security and development spectrum, including in the immediate post-conflict phase.

She said that the impact of climate change could significantly increase instability in fragile States by over-stretching the already limited capacity of Governments to respond effectively to challenges.  Frustrations could lead to ethnic and religious tensions, which, in turn, could lead to political radicalization and to destabilization of countries and even regions.  Further, the vital role of women’s participation at all levels in post-conflict reconstruction must be recognized and the rule of law must be upheld.  Special Representatives must work together on the ground to provide leadership, and the international community must come together behind a common strategy, whenever possible.  The Union wanted to intensify cooperation with the United Nations and with international partners in carrying out common conflict analyses and assessments.

The Union had also rapidly developed its civilian ambitions and had prioritized civilian capability development, she noted.  The Union’s funding tools had also been upgraded to allow for more rapid and flexible funding of crisis response programmes.  Cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations was essential, and the United Nations played the key role in integrating the political, security and development approaches in stabilization and recovery contexts.  In fact, Union post-conflict stabilization assistance was often implemented in support of United Nations operations or was channelled through United Nations mechanisms.  “This cooperation must be pursued”, she emphasized, adding that the Organization’s crisis management capacities must be strengthened, including on the basis of the Joint Statement on European Union-United Nations Cooperation in Crisis Management.  The Union would also actively support United Nations peacebuilding efforts.

THOMAS MATUSSEK ( Germany) said that the United Nations, as well as regional organizations and Member States had to address the immediate challenges of post-conflict situations.  In order to achieve lasting peace, the approach to immediate interventions had to be rebalanced.  Military operations alone were not enough.  The root causes of the conflict needed to be addressed in the earliest stage with pragmatic measures.  Priority goals should be disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, security-sector reform, rule of law, justice and quick-impact projects, in order to achieve a quick peace dividend.  The international community had to build up expertise in a wide range of areas, in order to respond to the various challenges.

He said one should strive to improve the exchange of information and define common criteria and norms in recruitment and deployment.  The United Nations was the major actor in the peace architecture and, therefore, should play a leading role.  Through the creation of integrated missions, the United Nations peacekeeping missions had started to address key peacebuilding issues.  He underscored Germany’s continued support for the Peacebuilding Commission, which had started to build up unique experience in post-conflict stabilization.  He also underlined the need for early ownership of the peacebuilding process by the host country, which was indispensable for lasting results.  Partnerships with regional organizations, such as with the European Union, were also important, and one should join forces in cooperation, rather than in competition.

The United Nations system must increase coherence in its approach, both at the political and operational levels, he said, before describing Germany’s actions in providing training for and making available police and civilian personnel for peacekeeping missions.

HERALDO MUÑOZ ( Chile) said that generally once a ceasefire or peace agreement had been signed, the international community reacted with enthusiasm by providing various types of cooperation and aid, without waiting for an organ or institution to adequately channel that early eagerness.  The United Nations system must step in at that stage to provide the foundations for sustainable peace.  However, such response was often hindered by lack of coordination and insufficient aid.  That lack of coordination also led to duplication of efforts or other complications on the ground.

He said that an integrated approach could provide the required coordination, and that was where the Peacebuilding Commission played a central role.  In almost two years of operation, the Commission had demonstrated the advantages of collectively examining those aspects of security linked to the development of rule of law in societies emerging from conflict.  He urged the Council to consider the Peacebuilding Commission as the organ that could respond to the majority of the challenges in post-conflict societies.  That body had the appropriate tools and mandate, and the Council and the wider international community should feel confident about its integrated approach.

ROSEMARY BANKS ( New Zealand) said that post-conflict peacebuilding as a critical area of focus for the international community was not a theoretical question, but an immediate practical issue.  Her country was “learning by doing” in several missions such as State-building in the Solomon Islands and in Timor-Leste, and engagement in the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.  New Zealand sought to take an integrated approach to help address the underlying causes of conflicts.  For the international community, there was a need to improve its approach to peacebuilding in general, and to post-conflict stabilization, in particular.  Apart from military intervention, there was a need to deal sustainably with the causes of State failure, with coherent, coordinated interventions that had local ownership.

She said that United Nations integrated missions had made considerable progress, but overall, international efforts remained too fragmented and often too fleeting.  The United Nations could make a significant contribution to the developing body of international theory and practical learning on post-conflict peacebuilding.  The Peacebuilding Commission and Peacebuilding Fund were central to that discussion.  Coherence with non-United Nations actors was vital.  Within the broader context of building deployable civilian capacity, the identification of police advisers was a critical dimension of the international efforts.  Developing the capacity for credible, effective policing was essential to underpinning post-conflict transition.

LESLIE K. CHRISTIAN ( Ghana) said critical gaps in peacebuilding included gaps in leadership on the ground, as defined by the lack of effective coordination among the various stakeholders in post-conflict countries.  The need for skilled and rapidly deployable civilian capacity, coupled with rapidly deployable military contingents, could not be overemphasized.  The absence of adequate funding and the mechanisms for swift disbursement remained a formidable challenge to post-conflict stabilization and peacebuilding.   The gaps were often inherent in the terms of the peace agreements.  A hastily negotiated peace accord that had been imposed on the parties to a conflict often lacked the desired long-term commitments necessary to make it durable.

He said that when it came to regional organizations, the Peacebuilding Commission could learn from the Security Council, which had of late given priority to forging closer partnerships with regional organizations, in particular, the African Union.  Regional engagement should be reflected at the working level in the field, by ensuring a more active involvement of regional and subregional organizations.  Peacebuilding efforts in post-conflict countries in Africa should pay due attention to the African Union Framework for Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development, which emphasized tackling the root causes of the conflict.

The shortage of national human resources to help rebuild post-conflict countries might be addressed through the promotion of the return of the critical mass of skilled and unskilled citizens who had fled the conflict zone, he continued.  More attention should be paid to integrating the diaspora as indispensable stakeholders in post-conflict peacebuilding processes.  There should also be a commitment to mechanisms for transitional and criminal justice, as well as national reconciliation.

CLAUDE HELLER ( Mexico) said it was crucial for the international community to take advantage of the momentum created by the signing of peace agreements by taking coordinated, urgent and effective measures immediately after a ceasefire.  The United Nations should play the pivotal role in the coordination of those efforts, through its new peacebuilding architecture.  Determining the priorities to be addressed in post-conflict peacebuilding was a complex exercise and, as such, national authorities should take ownership of that process early on.  Priorities defined by national Governments and supported by the United Nations should emphasize the stabilization of the country and should create the necessary conditions for the rebuilding of the nation.  Special consideration should also be given to the role of women in peacebuilding as a whole.

He said that international cooperation to create solid foundations for sustainable development in post-conflict countries was also a top priority.  Security-sector reform was a vital component of an integrated post-conflict strategy and should be given special attention in the early phases of the post-conflict peacebuilding process.  Aspects of security-sector reform had already been incorporated into some peacekeeping missions and further actions towards that goal should be encouraged.  Member States should focus their efforts on supporting the new United Nations peacebuilding structure.  Mexico would participate in the Guinea-Bissau configuration and would continue to support the Peacebuilding Fund and Commission, as it had thus far.

PETER MAURER ( Switzerland) said that funding early recovery activities would benefit from strategic reflection at the highest level.  Experience had shown considerable discrepancies between promises and actual disbursement; that allocation criteria were inadequate; and that there were multiple funds whose governance remained fragmented.  The aim should be funds that would be able to respond to humanitarian allocation criteria, and those should also have the predictability and the critical mass of development funds.  Also essential was to examine which existing mandates and mechanisms could be strengthened before new instruments were created.  The roles of the United Nations country team and of the United Nations mission leadership on the ground were crucial.  Perhaps a quartet of excellence could head a complex mission, consisting of a Special Representative of the Secretary-General, a Deputy Special Representative, Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator, a Deputy Representative for Civil Affairs, and a Deputy Representative for military operations.

He said that civilian personnel played a critical and increasingly important role in early recovery.  At the national level, there were numerous pools of civilian peacebuilding experts in a variety of areas, but there was a lack of such instruments within the Secretariat, thus preventing a systematic and coherent deployment of such experts.  The Secretary-General must strengthen the capacities of the system and optimize collaboration between the United Nations, the World Bank and existing national structures.  The rosters within the United Nations system in various areas of competence were important resources that could be exploited more systematically.

MARIA LUIZA RIBEIRO VIOTTI ( Brazil) said that it was important to work simultaneously on the three pillars that sustained the building of peace, namely the strengthening of political institutions, the provision of security and the promotion of economic reconstruction.  Breaches in any of those pillars would impair the foundations for long-lasting peace.  Brazil had long advocated the need to integrate a development component in peacekeeping operations.  The road from peacekeeping to peacebuilding should be seen as a continuum along which the seeds of lasting peace were spread in tandem with the provision of prompt and concrete peace dividends for the population.  Brazil’s experience in peacekeeping operations in Haiti and Timor-Leste, and more recently, in coordinating peacebuilding efforts in Guinea-Bissau, had reinforced its conviction of the correctness of such an integrated approach.

She said that in Haiti, the usefulness of quick-impact projects for the operation of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and for changing the mindset of the population had been evident.  Brazil supported a significant increase in budgetary resources for such projects.  It was also imperative to step up efforts to support the Government in implementing programmes that could generate employment and income.  That was the surest path to reactivating the economy which, in turn, would provide the State with the necessary capacity to address the population’s basic needs.

Brazil endorsed the proposals aimed at devising an emergency budgetary window to deal with unforeseen developments in post-conflict countries, she said.  The international community should not allow unexpected events -- such as the recent increase in food prices and fuel prices -- to undermine peace and stability.  A common trait of post-conflict countries was the institutional fragility of the State, which constrained its capacity to effectively manage public policies.  There seemed to be a vicious cycle, in which the absence of response to the most elementary needs of the population set the conditions for political instability, which further enhanced the vulnerability of the already fragile State.  The Peacebuilding Commission, standing at the very heart of the international peacebuilding architecture, was particularly well suited to help turn such a vicious cycle into a virtual one of political stability and economic prosperity.

RAYMOND WOLFE (Jamaica), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the Peacebuilding Commission was the institutional mechanism for addressing the special needs of countries emerging from conflict towards recovery, security and sustainable development through a coordinated and integrated approach to post-conflict peacebuilding and reconciliation.  The concept paper under consideration raised several questions about civilian capacities and the relationship between civilian and national capacities.  Further consideration must be given to detailed, inclusive and wide-ranging discussions on how civilian capacities would be organized, financed and deployed.  The nature and extent of the United Nations role must also be considered.  He sought clarification between the concept paper before the Council and a paper before the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations entitled “Enhanced Rapidly Deployable Capacity”.

He said that the leadership and coordinating role of the Peacebuilding Commission was a critical component of the Organization’s peacebuilding architecture.  It was the spearhead for a coordinated, coherent and integrated approach to post-conflict peacebuilding and reconciliation.  Its lead in post-conflict situations was even more crucial in light of the dire situation faced by countries emerging from conflict in terms of humanitarian and socio-economic challenges, including debt burdens and the severe fiscal constraints requiring medium- to long-term resources.

The Peacebuilding Commission was already addressing some of the issues raised by the concept paper, especially in its country-specific configurations, he said.  It should hold discussions with the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council so as to unearth practical workable results and pragmatic recommendations in an integrated and holistic manner.  Given its role as an intergovernmental advisory body, the Commission needed to be consulted for consideration of the issues raised in the paper.

MUNIR AKRAM ( Pakistan) said that peacebuilding must be part of a comprehensive response to complex crises.  The challenge was ensuring coherence and synergy between peacekeeping and peacebuilding activities from the very outset of the United Nations engagement.  Such coherence would lead to a smooth transition from peacekeeping to self-sustaining peace and development.  The Peacebuilding Commission, along with the Peacebuilding Support Office and Peacebuilding Fund, were the central instruments of the Organization’s peacebuilding activities.

He said that coherence and integration of peacebuilding activities and the provision of timely, adequate and sustained funding were objectives best promoted by the Commission, since all major stakeholders and partners were represented there.  However, in order to ensure that the task was conducted effectively, the international community should evolve a common strategic vision of peacebuilding.  That required, among other things, a greater convergence of the perspectives of partners and host countries; national ownership and leadership; and involvement of the Peacebuilding Commission from the initial phase.  While it was desirable to empower the respective Special Representatives of the Secretary-General to lead and coordinate peacekeeping and peacebuilding, that should not supplant the authority and role of host Governments.

The goal should be to make effective use of national capacities, and not to take steps to replace them, he said.  One of the most ominous gaps in the field was the failure to address the root causes of conflict, including poverty and unemployment, which along with the imperative of ensuring socio-economic development, remained largely sidelined in plans and strategies.  With that in mind, he called for peacebuilding challenges to be considered in a broader context so that adequate and comprehensive responses could be crafted and fully implemented.

LUIS ENRIQUE CHÁVEZ ( Peru) said that his country believed that every conflict had internal, as well as international, dynamics.  Indeed, there were cultural, ethnic or tribal concerns that demanded a targeted approach.  In addition, there was also a need to examine local institutional and administrative procedures and requirements when designing a long-term peacebuilding strategy.  At the same time, quick-impact projects were also necessary, especially to address immediate or emergency post-conflict needs.

He stressed that it must be clear that international assistance was aimed at building national capacities and was being provided in the spirit of international solidarity and in line with the Charter.  It must also be made extremely clear that international assistance was time-bound and that national actors would be expected to take on duties to shepherd longer-term peace efforts.  He reiterated his support of the Peacebuilding Commission and his hope that all Member States would work to ensure that it fulfilled its mandate and continued its work in Sierra Leone, Burundi and Guinea-Bissau.  The Commission should also consider ways to expand its work beyond those three countries.

ZAHIR TANIN (Afghanistan) said that his country seven years ago was a geography without a State, a stage for factional ward imposed by invaders and outsiders, a safe haven for international terrorism and extremism, a land where people lived in constant fear of bandits and thugs, a country where citizens were deprived of all rights and where more than half the population, the female half, were unable to go to school or work, or even to get simple medical care.  The collapse of the State had led to nation-wide insecurity.  Millions had been displaced and social trust had eroded.  Illicit drugs had become the main source of income and the land had been used to fuel war rather than to feed the people.

However, he said, with the aid of the international community since the 2001 signing of the Bonn Agreement, Afghanistan had come a long way in overcoming the enormous challenges of building the foundation of a new political system aimed at promoting long-term stability.  A new Constitution had been adopted and democratic elections had been held.  A programme for security-sector reform served as a lynchpin for the State-building process throughout the country, with international partners assisting the security forces to become stronger and more effective.  In 2006, a new road map to solidify achievements and further empower the nation had been adopted in London.  Still, persistent challenges of terrorism, narcotics, weaknesses in governance and poverty threatened long-term stability.

Those challenges, interlinked and an integral part of the same threat, required a comprehensive and multifaceted strategy encompassing development, good governance, human rights, the rule of law and national reconciliation, he said.  The approach demanded the international community’s proactive and sustained engagement.  Since the Bonn agreement, the United Nations had played a central role in helping Afghanistan make the transition from conflict to peace, stability and democracy.  A new momentum had reinvigorated the process in the past year.  The consensus now was that the lead role of the United Nations was essential for reenergizing stabilization efforts and uniting the endeavours of all international actors, from regional groups to financial institutions.  The enemies of peace and stability continued their attempts to disrupt efforts to build a prosperous and democratic Afghanistan, but they would not succeed if the international community remained committed to assisting with time and resources.

BAKI İLKIN ( Turkey) said he had welcomed the establishment of the Peacebuilding Commission, which effectively filled the institutional gap within the Organization in terms of post-conflict recovery management.  The Commission’s achievements to date on Burundi, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau had been encouraging.  Its capacity and long-term efforts should be fostered, so that it could put more countries on its agenda, bearing in mind that the Commission’s involvement did not absolve States from their responsibility to build peace in their own countries.  “The ownership of peacebuilding belongs first and foremost to the relevant country itself,” he said.

He said that experience had shown that it was perhaps easier to win a war than it was to “win” peace, and that there was a fine line between peacebuilding and a possible relapse into war.  Tangible results could only be achieved if security considerations and needs were addressed at the earliest stages of post-conflict intervention.  Failure to build national security institutions could lead to failed peacebuilding, as had happened in a number of countries.  Security alone was not the answer, as simultaneous progress must be achieved in areas such as good governance, human rights and capacity-building.  It was vitally important, therefore, that the vast network of actors operated effectively and coherently, for every country, as often as possible, to try and contribute to the process, drawing on its own resources and expertise.

PETER BURIAN ( Slovakia) said the United Nations had accumulated immense experience in peacebuilding over the past six decades, but the Organization had not always been successful in applying lessons learned.  The goals of a United Nations engagement would be unsustainable if exit strategies were not found and defined, for example.  The 2005 Summit had defined the axis between security, development and human rights.  Only a balanced and coherent approach in all three areas could secure sustainable peace, and there were no quick fixes.  Time was a precious commodity in post-conflict situations.  After the signing of a peace agreement, there was a narrow window of opportunity.  That was why there was a need for rapid reaction and immediate deployment of civilian experts to help strengthen capacities in all critical areas.

He said it was urgent to develop sufficient capacity and strategy from the very beginning of engagement, including by creating synergies between all peacebuilding activities and reform processes.  He underlined the importance of national ownership and the need for the United Nations system to work in harmony.  United Nations agencies should be better incorporated in the functions of integrated missions, which would also allow for an easier transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding.  While the Peacebuilding Commission had clearly demonstrated its value, its capacities and tools must be further expanded and adjusted in order to respond to diversified needs and requests of a larger number of Member States.  Security sector reform was an important element of post-conflict stabilization, as Haiti and Timor-Leste had shown.

JORGE SKINNER-KLÉE ( Guatemala) said that, since the signing of the Guatemalan Peace Accords 11 years ago, notable progress had been achieved, but some effects of the conflict persisted.  The peace process of Guatemala offered some lessons that could enrich today’s debate.  The domestic actors had led the peace process.  The United Nations had been invited by both parties to accompany negotiations and implementation.  Before the Organization became involved, however, it was indispensable for domestic actors to assume the prime responsibility for peacebuilding.  The United Nations had been perceived as an objective facilitator, without its own agenda.  In 2004, the United Nations Mission had left Guatemala, as a testimony to progress achieved, but a United Nations presence had remained through the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

He said that, during the existence of the United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA), the United Nations had two presences, namely the director of the Verification Mission and the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations system.  That situation had sometimes led to overlapping, but in general, it had not impeded an acceptable level of coherence.  The Government had offered overall priorities and guidance, and the two heads of Missions had made a deliberate effort to act in a coordinated manner.  Peacebuilding required a protracted time period; it took a very long time for the rule of law and democratic institutions to take root.  The creation of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala, established last year in association with the United Nations, was meant to combat the important islands of impunity that still persisted in his country.

CHIRACHAI PUNKRASIN ( Thailand) said that peacebuilding required sincerity and the genuine commitment of all parties concerned, and must be present at all levels.  In order to secure lasting negotiated peace, there was an urgent need to implement the peace agreement and maintain the parties’ commitments.  When relapse occurred, one should critically examine what had gone wrong.  The United Nations could play a vital supporting role in building and sustaining peace in areas emerging from conflicts, provided that efforts were undertaken in a coherent and coordinated manner.  International leadership on the ground was important, but it was even more important that the international community promote local and national capacity on the ground and, thereby, reinforce national ownership.

He said the peacebuilding process must lay the foundations for both security and sustainable development.  Security-sector reform could help improve the institutional infrastructures of a war-torn country, but it might not yield direct improvement in people’s lives.  The scope of peacebuilding might be more suitable for discussion in the frameworks of the Peacebuilding Commission and the General Assembly.  As for the issue of rapidly deployable civilian capacity and funding, peacebuilding activities might in some cases have to begin before the completion of peacekeeping operations.  A smooth transition must be ensured.  For Thailand, as a troop-contributing country, the concept that peace equalled security plus development was not new.  Thailand’s interest had never been limited to peacekeeping.  It could perform even better in peacebuilding activities.  That was why Thailand had decided to be a candidate for the Organizational Committee of the Peacebuilding Commission for 2008-2010.

JOY OGWU ( Nigeria) said that peacebuilding required sustained political attention, as well as flexible financial and material resources.  Only when those were combined with speedy delivery could tangible results become manifest.  The international community was witness to situations where slow delivery of approved funds compounded recovery efforts and, in fact, impeded the deployment of international personnel and materiel.  Nigeria, therefore, cautioned against political and financial apathy, especially when time was of the essence.  A fund monitoring and tracking mechanism should be established to follow up on the commitments made at donor conferences.  Nigeria endorsed the call for the establishment of a United Nations Fund to provide support for reconstruction.  To ensure its efficacy and solvency, that fund should, in addition to seeking contributions from national Governments, explore voluntary funding sources, such as multilateral banks, international foundations and global corporations.

With regard to the enhancement of civilian capacity in critical functional areas, such as justice and security-sector reform, health services, civil service administration and transitional justice, Ms. Ogwu said that Nigeria’s Technical Aid Corps programme constituted a model that the Peacebuilding Commission should seek to adopt to fill capacity gaps in post-conflict situations.  Since its inception in 1987, more than 3,000 volunteers had been deployed across African, Caribbean and Pacific countries on a bilateral basis.  Under that programme, specialized personnel -- medical doctors, nurses, lawyers, educationists and engineers -- had been deployed from Nigeria to provide support and capacity-building for the receiving countries.  In post-conflict situations, the Peacebuilding Commission could build on that model to solve capacity limitation problems, especially in addressing the need for judicial and penal experts, human rights specialists and civilian police.  That was a crucial way of ensuring that appropriate experts were rapidly deployed.

She underlined the importance of the regional dimension of peacebuilding processes in Africa, saying that threats posed by illicit arms trafficking, human and drug trafficking, energy and debt crises, internal militancy and other transboundary challenges could not be neglected.  The nexus between those threats and incessant relapse to conflict should never be discounted.  Those issues, in particular small arms and light weapons proliferation, were the greatest threat to peacebuilding in Africa.  In recognition of that reality, her country had been unrelenting in providing financial and material support for the implementation of several peacebuilding projects in the subregion, within the rubric of the Economic Community of West African States, and it would continue to do so.

NURIPAM SEN ( India) said that national ownership was essential in peacebuilding.  That was a functional matter, and not just a question of sovereignty.  In some cases, when schools and clinics had been built or refurbished, those efforts were later discovered to have been inadequate, duplicated or completely unnecessary.  National ownership mitigated such mishaps.  Strengthening the role of the respective Special Representatives must be carefully considered to ensure that such concentration of authority was not achieved at the expense of nascent national leadership.  National authorities had to assess critical requirements and gaps and share their assessments with those possessing the ability to address the challenges most effectively.

He said that drawing on national capacities would also help the United Nations to respond to the problem posed by the inadequacy of international resources to help stabilize post-conflict countries “when everything is urgent”.  He went on to say that the idea of “rapidly deployable civilian capacities” should be considered in inclusive and transparent negotiations, which would lead to greater legitimacy.  India hoped to participate fully in those discussions, as the concept potentially held the promise of a new frontier for cooperation between developed and developing countries.  Once the concept had been fully mapped out, recruitment of those who could deploy the appropriate skills, talents and technologies would greatly help in peacebuilding.

JORGE ARTURO REINA IDIAQUEZ ( Honduras) said holding open meetings on a regular basis was a step forward in ensuring openness in the work of an important body of the United Nations.  The open debate was also an opportunity to let the Security Council know that the mandates it created for its peace missions must include socio-economic and human development components, in order to ensure long-term peace.  Central American countries had extensive experience in the area of peacebuilding, as the United Nations had established several important missions and political offices in the region, including the United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala.

He said that military peacekeeping operations were not as complex as those designed to address problems beyond maintaining peace and security.  The issue of peacebuilding must be examined in a holistic manner, including with an eye to the recommendations in the landmark Brahimi Report, as well as to the Council’s own resolutions.  That comprehensive view included the roots of conflict, such as poverty and chronic underdevelopment.  Those aspects were currently being made worse by the current food and commodity pricing crisis, which was further crippling struggling societies in the developing world.  The international community could no longer ignore the cries of “the wretched of the Earth”; it must craft coherent and integrated strategies to alleviate poverty and to respond quickly to crises.

JORGE ARGÜELLO ( Argentina) welcomed the Peacebuilding Commission’s work in advising on the coordination of international peacebuilding activities and resources.  It played a crucial role in coordinating national authorities and all actors involved in reconstruction and development, including United Nations bodies and agencies, international financial institutions and civil society, along with private sector.  The roles of the Peacebuilding Commission, Support Office and Fund should all be enhanced.  Regional and subregional organizations should also play their part in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts.  In accordance with Chapter VIII of the Charter, the capacities of regional systems should be strengthened so as to enhance their ability to help countries recover and rebuild after conflict.

He said that the Organization had a responsibility to support countries recovering from conflict.  Working together with national authorities and in collaboration with regional arrangements and securing the participation of all actors, it must help States emerging from conflict to achieve institutional reconstruction and to gain the necessary strength to move steadily away from the reinstallation of a conflict scenario.

ROBERT G. AISI ( Papua New Guinea) said that in June 2005, the Council had wound up the seven-year-old mandate that had overseen the resolution of the 10-year-long bloody civil conflict on the island of Bougainville.  The three points raised by the United Kingdom had been met when the United Nations mandate was wound up:  a rapid implementation of the peace agreement; stability and re-establishment of the rule of law; and a demonstrable improvement in the lives of the local people.  The United Nations’ overall involvement during the mandate, although small in both manpower and budget, had been very effective.  A very strong regional dimension had also contributed strongly to the success of the peace process.

He said the peace process continued, as did the political commitments at the highest levels of the Government.  The civil service and senior officials on both sides maintained the process of steady devolution of powers.  Regional partners continued to assist in areas such as police training, and the United Nations, through its agencies, continued to deliver in various areas, such as the education of girls.  The third gap, namely a demonstrable improvement in the lives of the local people, could, however, hamper national, regional and international efforts.  The situation on the ground still required constant vigilance and attention.

IRAKLI ALASANIA (Georgia), contributing his country’s experience gained during 15 years of hosting the peacekeeping operation in Abkhazia, Georgia, said that a strong peacekeeping operation had to be supported by solid law enforcement and security elements in order to create the secure environment necessary for ensuring a normal life.  In that regard, he was referring to impartial, international civilian law enforcement elements that could really restore law and order and ensure the dignified and safe return of refugees and internally displaced persons.

He said that those objectives had not been achieved by the current peacekeeping forces in Abkhazia, Georgia, seriously questioning the rationale behind involving a neighbouring country as the dominant peacekeeper in the conflict.  A gradual shift from military peacekeeping to an international police operation, with the subsequent capabilities to address the threats to security and stability, was inevitable.  Effective international police forces must include anti-crime patrols, investigation of crimes and human rights violations, and training of local police forces.  An effective conflict resolution in Abkhazia, Georgia, required a proper enlargement and enforcement of the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission there, especially in the field of law enforcement.

KIM BONH-HYUN ( Republic of Korea) said that, in order to ensure the comprehensive approach and maximize the synergistic effects of the Peacebuilding Commission, it was important that there was communication among the United Nations, its field missions and Member States.  The United Nations should play a central role in maintaining such triangular communications, so that Member States were fully informed and remained connected to the field.  There was no doubt that strong and effective leadership in the field missions was necessary to meet the need for more coordinated peacebuilding efforts.  In that regard, he commended the Council for its creation of an integrated field office with peacebuilding mandates in Sierra Leone.

He said the peacebuilding strategies recommended by the Peacebuilding Commission could not be accomplished without sufficient funds.  The Peacebuilding Fund had been designed to cover initial financial needs of post-conflict countries.  The international community should consider how to effectively help post-conflict countries in financing their longer-term peacebuilding needs.  Non-financial contributions, such as technical assistance for capacity-building, should also be considered a necessary resource for peacebuilding.  In that regard, the United Nations should develop its partnerships with regional organizations and civil society.  National ownership should be highlighted to avoid moral hazard and solidify the post-conflict peacebuilding efforts on the ground.

PAVLE JEVREMOVIĆ ( Serbia) said today’s conflicts arose largely over ethnicity and religion, and they were often exacerbated by social and economic antagonisms.  Solutions to violent conflicts always necessitated a complex process with uncertain outcomes, but reconciliation was a critical aspect of post-conflict peacebuilding.  The United Nations played a vital role in that process, especially in creating conditions necessary for reconciliation.  Further, the essential framework for the rehabilitation of post-conflict societies was respect for human rights, particularly those of minorities and other disfavoured communities.  The indispensable dimension for respect of human rights was the rule of law, which was of paramount importance for peace and stability; its absence presented the great threat of conflict resurging.

Continuing, he said that the rule of law in the present world of globalization had an international dimension in that it meant full respect for the United Nations Charter and other legal standards that guaranteed the equality of States and mutual respect for their sovereignty and integrity.  The arbitrary redrawing of national borders and re-composition of territories had generated unprecedented violence and tragedies in the past.  The unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo and Metohija was said to be the final act of Yugoslavia’s dismemberment.  While that notion diverted from the real issue and swept it under the rug, the countries of the region had leaned that they should spare no effort to be admitted under the secure European roof.

He said regional organizations should play an ever more important role in peacebuilding, but their role should never run counter to the role and primary responsibility of the United Nations for safeguarding international peace and security.  Furthermore, a Security Council decision must underpin every activity of regional organizations, including that of the European Union EULEX [European Union Rule of Law] mission to Kosovo and Metohija.  That extremely important undertaking called for a very careful elaboration firmly embedded in the United Nations monitoring and decision-making process.  It must also be kept in mind that post-conflict societies were unstable.  First positive results should not justify an early reduction or withdrawal of international presences.  Change in scope of engagement must be carried out only on the basis of an objective, consensual and realistic assessment of local capacity.  The role of the United Nations in those processes remained indispensable.

CARMEN MARÍA GALLARDO HERNÁNDEZ ( El Salvador) said that the new peacebuilding architecture had led to a sense of anticipation in the wider international community that solutions were forthcoming, which were based on the three pillars of security, development and human rights.  For El Salvador, it was essential for the Peacebuilding Commission to deepen its experiences and continue to play a lead role in the field.

She said that the complex goals of peacebuilding required adequate and timely funding.  There, the Peacebuilding Commission, by its very make up, could provide added value to the efforts of the United Nations system.  At the same time, the Organization must make use of the Commission’s expertise beyond its convening power, taking advantage of its experience in laying the groundwork for sustained peace, stability and development in its inaugural cases, Sierra Leone and Burundi.  El Salvador, which served as a Vice-President on the Commission’s Organizational Committee, had made the successful transition from conflict to peace and was prepared to share its experiences to the benefit of all.

NASSIR BIN ABDULAZIZ AL-NASSER ( Qatar) said his delegation agreed with the Non-Aligned Movement that the Council should coordinate with the General Assembly and other relevant organs associated with peacebuilding and development.  Indeed, since both the Council and the Assembly had created the Peacebuilding Commission, when the Council took up the issue of peacebuilding and development or the role of the Commission, it was essential that it coordinate with the Assembly.  The Council was not in a position to assume the lone responsibility for peacebuilding over the long haul, especially given the widening scope and complexities of the process, which went far beyond “threats to international peace and security”.

He said that post-conflict peacebuilding required the concerted efforts of all United Nations bodies, in partnerships with the wider international community and based on respect for the principles of the Charter and international law, while ensuring national ownership.  He commended the early work of the Peacebuilding Commission and called for more efforts to build on that body’s achievements.  More States must benefit from it programmes, even as priority was being given to considering the respective conditions and strategies that should be crafted to ensure sustainable peace in the States currently on its agenda.  He regretted that the Council was still unable to use Chapter VIII of the Charter with regard to the cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations, especially in the adoption of its resolutions of a collaborative nature.  The Council should not ignore the role the regional arrangements could play.

JOHAN LØVALD (Norway) said that one of the interesting findings from a project on multidimensional and integrated peace operations that his country had initiated in 2006 had been a global call to “bring politics” back.  That call had been echoed in all circles, including humanitarian ones.  Getting a clearer view of what needed to be achieved politically could assist in making the necessary distinction between humanitarian assistance in emergencies and the need for long-term recovery efforts.  It also required the Secretary-General to take on a stronger role in guiding efforts inside the United Nations system, forging incentives for better coherence and integration to promote better effectiveness, efficiency and impact on the ground, drawing on the full range of United Nations tools and resources.  It was important to move forward with ongoing processes to adopt a common planning and assessment framework based on the assumption that peacebuilding was not a sequential process.  It was a highly interlinked series of simultaneous activities.  It was also important to speed up efforts in that regard, bringing on board all stakeholders, including the international financial institutions, donors and national counterparts to the countries concerned to make sure that all were aware of what was to be expected, delivered, how and by whom.

He said it was critical that the senior United Nations representative in the field have a clear and robust mandate, leverage and resources to direct the United Nations effort in a way that informed, generated and underpinned political solutions to the problems and conflicts of the country concerned.  That representative also needed to be backed by a strong and integrated leadership team.  There was currently no methodical attempt to build such senior leadership groups as cohesive units.  The focus was on selecting particular individuals rather than crafting a team, meaning that individuals chosen for senior management jobs were not considered according to how they fit into the overall leadership structure.  Moreover, to sufficiently equip the leadership team to meet the demands set out by the Security Council mandate and the complex situations on the ground, Member States needed to adapt and change the current frameworks that guided both the administrative and budgeting processes.  Today, success often depended on the personal capabilities of the senior United Nations mission leaders to find ways of manoeuvring around the system, rather than as a result of it.

ROBERT HILL ( Australia) said the speed and strength of an initial response was of the essence.  Quick military intervention was at times the best way to save lives, as had been shown in May 2006 in Timor-Leste.  That principle applied to police deployments, and the same flexibility and preparedness was needed for other civilian elements.  Police assistance required support from other areas of the justice system, including courts, prosecutions and prison services.  Demonstrating to the population that security had been restored was the first step and a “peace dividend”.  Establishing confidence in institutions, both local and external, was fundamental during the early recovery phase.

He said Australia was establishing the Asia Pacific Centre for Civil-Military Cooperation.  The Centre would focus on supporting a coherent national capability to assess, plan for and implement integrated peacebuilding, stabilization, reconstruction and international disaster relief operations.  No matter how good the international assistance, if it was not in service to the national needs of the country concerned, it was of little value.  The importance of diplomatic efforts, alongside security and development engagement, must be recognized.  The United Nations clearly had an important role in promoting post-conflict stabilization, complementing bilateral and regional efforts.

CHRISTIAN WENAWESER ( Liechtenstein) said the fact that some elements of the Brahimi Report had still not been implemented after all these years was a sign of slow progress in the area.  Still, the Organization’s peacekeeping activities had gotten a boost with the establishment two years ago of the Peacebuilding Commission.  The Commission’s work thus far had yielded positive results.  One feature of that new body deserving particular attention was its practice of considering situations in different configurations to ensure the optimal inclusion of all stakeholders.  That was a very interesting formula and, in certain cases, could be considered by the Security Council as well.

He said that increased attention must be given to transitional justice needs, if and where they existed.  The international community had accumulated extensive experience and expertise in that area over the past few years.  The International Criminal Court could play a particular role in that regard, and Liechtenstein hoped that body would be given the political support it required, including by the Security Council.  Towards that goal, the Council must recognize that the principles of peace and justice were complementary, mutually reinforcing and, together, indispensable to post-conflict peacebuilding.

JEAN-FRANCIS R. ZINSOU ( Benin) said the Peacebuilding Commission was a forum for coordinating activities and thinking about how coherence could be established.  It could help the Council determine the parameters and integrated mandates of missions in order to promote synergies.  The Commission could work with bilateral and multilateral partners and civil society in order to establish programmes that would prevent relapse into conflict.  The Special Representatives should make full use of the military and civilian resources entrusted to them.  The United Nations should draw up rosters of experts available for deployment in the area of security-sector reform and develop partnerships with countries that had regional training centres for the police.

He said that special attention should be given to re-establishment of law enforcement operations, in order to re-establish the rule of law.  One lesson learned in countries emerging from conflict was that the lack of resources and the consequent inability to function were one reason for the failure of peace agreements.  Another prerequisite to peacebuilding was the transition from a war economy to a peace economy.  One had to combat all forms of trafficking and ensure that the country moved towards human development.  Prolonged embargoes on the exploitation of natural resources in countries emerging from conflict were not helpful.  A culture of peace must also be established, so that one could identify and handle problems that could undermine the national consensus.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.