‘Building Peace Can Take a Generation, but Together We Can Get It Right’, Says Secretary-General in Security Council Debate on Mending War-torn States

20 December 2012
SC/10868

‘Building Peace Can Take a Generation, but Together We Can Get It Right’, Says Secretary-General in Security Council Debate on Mending War-torn States

20 December 2012
Security Council
SC/10868
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

6897th Meeting (AM & PM)

‘Building Peace Can Take a Generation, but Together We Can Get It Right,’ Says

Secretary-General in Security Council Debate on Mending War-torn States

 

Presidential Statement Stresses Inclusivity of National Processes

In an open debate on post-conflict peacebuilding today, the Security Council emphasized the importance of inclusivity in advancing nationally owned and led processes and ensuring that the needs of all segments of society were taken into account and best served by an integrated approach based on coherence among political, security, development, human rights, rule of law and justice activities. 

Stressing the need for more coordinated, coherent and integrated efforts, in a statement read out by Mohammed Loulichki of Morocco, Council President for December, the 15-member body said that coordination between United Nations missions, country teams and other regional and development actors was paramount in ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in delivery of critical peacebuilding tasks. 

The Council, through the statement, also emphasized the importance of focused, well-defined, balanced and sustained support to partnerships with post-conflict countries, urging Member States and other partners to increase efforts towards achieving the objective of sustained and predictable financing for peacebuilding.  Effective collaboration with international financial institutions, regional development banks and the private sector was underlined in ensuring support to job creation and long-term socio-economic development needs.

Opening the debate, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that “building institutions and other peacebuilding tasks can take a generation”, highlighting the need for sustained international political and financial support and underscoring the importance of long-term mutual accountability.  Post-conflict countries, development partners and the United Nations all had their part to play in translating the insights into practice, he said, pledging his readiness to report further on that pursuit so that “together, we can get peacebuilding right”.

He said his 2009 report noted that the first two years after the end of conflict was the key window of opportunity to begin building sustainable peace and it had laid out an action plan.  Despite strides made, however, major challenges remained, including the need to bolster women’s participation and to address the instability many countries still experienced years after armed conflict ended.

Highlighting that 90 per cent of conflicts occurring between 2000 and 2009 were in countries that had previously experienced civil war, he said reasons for relapses into violence varied, but a common thread was a “trust deficit” in the wake of conflict.  With that in mind, he said inclusivity, institution-building and sustained international support were critical to preventing those relapses.

Peacebuilding Commission Chair Abulkalam Abdul Momen agreed, saying that getting peacebuilding right meant that efforts must have an impact on the ground.  He acknowledged that the United Nations peacebuilding agenda was “in the normative phase”, and, “while not perfect, our efforts are making a difference and are worthy of our collective commitment and investment.”

Looking ahead, he stressed the need to draw on lessons learned from country-specific experiences.  He also invited the Secretary-General to place particular emphasis in future reports on the practicality of recommendations in terms of impacts on the ground and the operational effectiveness of the United Nations in post-conflict countries, which could permit setting clear peacebuilding targets. 

When the floor was opened, the emphasis on inclusivity resonated among the delegations, with broad agreement on the need to engage women in particular in the effort to build and sustain a once-shattered peace.  Liberia’s representative, for one, said her country knew well that marginalization, alienation and the culture of exclusive politics were conflict’s root causes.  She applauded growing trends, which she said had given peacebuilding a new dimension and dynamism. 

Along those lines, Luxembourg’s representative, as Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission’s Guinea Configuration, said inclusion of the most vulnerable groups was “the best way to prevent, both in the short- and in the long-term, the emergence of frustrations which can lead to a relapse into conflict and violence”.  Full participation of women and girls, in particular, in peacebuilding and State-building processes was a necessity. 

Others speakers cautioned that funding shortfalls were obstacles on the road towards achieving lasting peace, while some emphasized that the affected country’s economic growth was the best way to pave that path.  China’s representative, for example, said while security sector reform, justice and rule of law were important, only economic recovery could lead to sustainable development and peace. 

Delegations throughout the debate called for consistent and predictable financial support for funding peacebuilding.  India’s representative encouraged the Peacebuilding Commission to work with regional and international financial institutions on funding for necessary development elements that bolstered stability in post-conflict countries. 

“There is no short cut to sustainable peacebuilding,” said South Africa’s speaker, agreeing that sustainable financing was critical to consolidate peace dividends and avoid a relapse into conflict.  Like many speakers, he also spotlighted the importance of the relationship between the Peacebuilding Commission and Security Council, urging the latter to exercise flexible working methods and to seek the Commission’s advice in all relevant matters. 

Many delegates acknowledged the challenges ahead, including the United Kingdom’s representative, who summed up a common theme heard throughout the day:  “peacebuilding is a long-term project and requires patience and perseverance, but we know peacebuilding is absolutely critical to maintaining international peace and security and, in this, the United Nations has a unique role to play.”

As this was the Council’s last planned public meeting of 2012, representatives of outgoing Council members from Germany, Portugal, South Africa, India and Colombia expressed their appreciation for the body’s cooperation over the course of their terms.

Also delivering statements were the representatives of Germany, Portugal, United States, Togo, Russian Federation, Colombia, France, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Guatemala, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Japan, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Iran (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), Malaysia, Sweden, Denmark, Indonesia, Nigeria, Armenia, Croatia, Thailand, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Senegal, Botswana, Turkey, Norway and Netherlands.

Representatives of the European Union and African Union delegations also participated.

The meeting began at 10:15 a.m., was suspended at 3:12, resumed at 3:45 p.m. and ended at 4:14 p.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of the statement contained in document S/PRST/2012/29 reads as follows:

“The Security Council recalls its resolutions and the statements of its President on post-conflict peacebuilding, in particular S/PRST/2009/23, S/PRST/2010/20, S/PRST/2011/2, and S/PRST/2011/4, and reaffirms the critical importance of peacebuilding as the foundation for sustainable peace and development in the aftermath of conflict.

“The Security Council takes note with appreciation of the Secretary-General’s report on Peacebuilding in the immediate Aftermath of Conflict (S/2012/746).

“The Security Council reaffirms that national ownership and national responsibility are key to establishing sustainable peace and reaffirms also the primary responsibility of national authorities in identifying their priorities and strategies for post-conflict peacebuilding.

“The Security Council emphasises the importance of inclusivity in advancing national peacebuilding processes and objectives in order to ensure that the needs of all segments of society are taken into account.  The Council calls on the United Nations to support national efforts to include relevant national actors in peacebuilding activities and processes.

“The Security Council welcomes initiatives by post-conflict countries to reduce poverty, deter conflict, and provide better conditions to their populations and underlines that the primary responsibility for successful peacebuilding lies with Governments and relevant national actors, including civil society, in countries emerging from conflict and that the United Nations can play a critical role in support of national reconciliation, security sector reform, demobilization, disarmament and reintegration, restoring the rule of law and national institutions, revitalizing the economy, and providing basic services and other key peacebuilding efforts in post conflict countries.

“The Security Council reaffirms that sustainable peace requires an integrated approach based on coherence among political, security, development, human rights, including gender equality, rule of law and justice activities.  In this regard, the Council stresses the importance of the rule of law as one of the key elements of peacebuilding, emphasizing that courts must provide justice and equal protection under the law for all citizens and recognizing the need for enhanced efforts aimed at capacity-building in justice and security institutions, especially in the police, prosecutorial, judicial and corrections sectors.

“The Security Council stresses the need for more coordinated, coherent and integrated peacebuilding efforts and emphasises that better coordination between United Nations missions, United Nations country teams and other regional and development actors, including regional organisations, is of paramount importance in ensuring greater efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of critical peacebuilding tasks.  The Council further emphasizes the need for greater clarity on the respective roles and responsibilities of these actors in the delivery of critical peacebuilding tasks, based on their comparative advantages.

“The Security Council recalls its resolution 1645 (2005) and recognizes the important role of the Peacebuilding Commission in advancing and supporting an integrated and coherent approach to peacebuilding, including promoting improved coherence and alignment of partners policies around national peacebuilding strategies and priorities.  The Council reiterates its support for the work of the Commission and expresses its continued willingness to make use of its advisory, advocacy and resource mobilization role, including through targeted advice on international and national commitment to long-term peacebuilding objectives in countries on the Commission’s agenda.  The Council further emphasizes the role of the Peacebuilding Commission in support of seamless transition of mandated missions in countries on its agenda, in particular through the mobilization of sustained international support to critical national capacity needs.

“The Security Council notes with appreciation the contribution that peacekeepers and peacekeeping missions make to early peacebuilding, and emphasizes that mandated peacebuilding tasks must also contribute to long term peacebuilding objectives in order to ensure sustainable progress towards achieving peacebuilding objectives and facilitating drawdown and transition of peacekeeping missions. The Council recognizes the need to integrate mission expertise and experience into the development of peacebuilding strategies. 

“The Security Council further emphasizes the importance of focused, well-defined, balanced and sustained support to partnerships with post-conflict countries, on the basis of mutual commitments, to implement national strategies aimed at effective peacebuilding including reconstruction and building of institutions necessary for recovery from conflict, which are based on the achievement of results and mutual accountability.  The Council urges Member States and other partners to increase efforts towards achieving the objective of ensuring sustained and predictable financing for peacebuilding, including through the Peacebuilding Fund and multi-donor trust funds.

“The Security Council underlines the importance of effective collaboration with international financial institutions, regional development banks and the private sector in ensuring support to job creation and long term socioeconomic development needs of post conflict countries.

“The Security Council encourages national Governments, the United Nations, regional and subregional organizations to broaden and deepen the pool of civilian expertise for peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict, including from countries with relevant experience in post-conflict peacebuilding or democratic transition, giving particular attention to mobilizing capacities from developing countries and from women, as vital for successful United Nations peacebuilding endeavours.  The Council also encourages national Governments, the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations to use existing civilian expertise and further develop them, bearing in mind the necessity to minimize possible duplication of efforts and to ensure their consistency and complementarity.  The Council further underlines the importance that intergovernmental deliberations take forward the process in accordance with General Assembly resolution A/RES/66/255 and the imperative of mandating and deploying civilian expertise in compliance with relevant United Nations rules and procedures.

“The Security Council underlines the usefulness of sharing the experience of countries which have gone through conflict and post-conflict situations and comparable transitions, and emphasizes the importance of effective regional, south-south and triangular cooperation.

“The Security Council recognizes the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peacebuilding, and underlines the primary role of national Governments affected by armed conflict, to enhance participation of women in prevention and resolution of conflict and in peacebuilding within the framework of the Women, Peace and Security agenda, including by consulting relevant women’s organizations from the earliest stages of planning and priority-setting.  The Council welcomes the call of the Secretary-General for enhanced participation, representation and involvement of women in prevention and resolution of armed conflict and in peacebuilding, as well as for a stronger commitment to address challenges to such engagement of women at all levels.

“The Security Council reiterates the importance of addressing crimes committed against women in armed conflict, including killing and maiming and sexual violence issues from the outset of peace processes, mediation efforts, ceasefires and peace agreements, particularly in provisions for security arrangements, transitional justice and reparations as well as in the context of security sector reform.

“The Security Council emphasizes the importance of investing in the economic capacities of women and youth for stable post-conflict recovery and encourages Member States to support such investment.

“The Security Council reaffirms its decision in paragraph 14 of its resolution 1998(2011) to continue to include specific provisions for the protection of children in the mandate of relevant United Nations missions.

“The Security Council recognizes that transnational organized crime, including illegal activities such as drug trafficking and illicit trade in arms, negatively impact the consolidation of peace in countries emerging from conflict, and underlines the importance of increasing international and regional cooperation on the basis of common and shared responsibility to address them effectively and build national capacities on crime prevention and criminal justice.  The Council underlines, in this regard, the importance of enhancing cooperation among peacebuilding actors within the same region, to address these challenges in a coordinated manner and in close collaboration and consent of relevant national authorities, regional and subregional organizations as well as United Nations regional offices.

“The Security Council requests the Secretary-General to brief the Council and the General Assembly by December 2013 and submit a report no later than December 2014 on further progress in the United Nations peacebuilding efforts in the aftermath of conflict, including the issue of women’s participation in peacebuilding, and placing particular emphasis on the impact on the ground, including lessons learned from United Nations peacebuilding activities in country specific context, and on progress in taking forward the elements included in this statement, taking into consideration the views of the Peacebuilding Commission.”

Statements

Opening the Security Council’s post-conflict peacebuilding debate, Secretary-General BAN KI-MOON said that his 2009 report noted that the first two years after the end of conflict was the key window of opportunity to begin building sustainable peace and laid out an action agenda for the United Nations improved response.

With that in mind, he said the United Nations had made significant progress in advancing that agenda, with missions and country teams working more closely together and becoming more agile in deploying senior leaders, specialized experts and staff to the field.  In addition, the United Nations had strengthened and expanded partnerships and broadened the pool of institution-building expertise in key capacity gaps, he said.

Progress in women’s participation in peacebuilding had been more mixed, he said.  While there had been achievements in the areas of conflict resolution, gender-responsive planning, financing and rule of law, less progress had been seen in governance and economic recovery.  “Much more remains to be done to implement the seven-point action plan in my 2010 report on women’s participation,” he added.

Despite the strides, major challenges remained and many countries continued to experience instability years after the end of armed conflict, he said, noting that 90 per cent of conflicts occurring between 2000 and 2009 had been in countries that had previously experienced civil war.  Reasons for a relapse into violence varied, but a common thread was a trust deficit in the wake of conflict.

Inclusivity, institution-building and sustained international support were critical to preventing those relapses, he said.  Inclusive processes, as seen in Yemen’s transition, paved the way for national dialogue and laying the foundations for subsequent stages of transition.

Also vital, he said, was strengthening institutions, particularly with regard to restoring core administrative and financial management systems and delivering social services.  Doing so would strengthen the rule of law, which promoted trust, social cohesion and economic prosperity.  Those efforts should ensure full and equal access to informal institutions.  Good governance and rule of law alongside effective, transparent, accountable and democratic institutions were also critical for sustainable development.

“Building institutions and other peacebuilding tasks can take a generation,” he said, highlighting the need for sustained international political and financial support and underscoring the importance of long-term mutual accountability.  He encouraged Member States to support the development and use of transition compacts.  “Post-conflict countries, development partners and the United Nations all have their part to play in translating these insights into practice,” he said, pledging his readiness to report further on that pursuit so that, “together, we can get peacebuilding right”.

Providing an update on the Peacebuilding Commission’s work, its Chair, ABULKALAM ABDUL MOMEN, said the Secretary-General’s reports to the Council and General Assembly offered an opportunity to take stock of how the United Nations operational entities played their role in supporting post-conflict countries in addressing the root causes and tools used to prevent relapses.  Delivering results on the ground, focusing on national capacity development and on building institutions necessary for recovery from conflict were all key elements.

Pointing to the report’s main themes, the Commission also noted the analysis and recommendations made concerning women’s participation, he said.  Ahead of the report’s release, the Commission had emphasized the need for programmes to be designed with a view to enhancing the inclusion of women and youth as agents for post-conflict recovery and reconstruction.  Progress was seen in mainstreaming a gender dimension in peacebuilding; however, there was a need for additional efforts, as well as a focus on investment in socio-economic and political empowerment of women in post-conflict societies.

Following the Secretary-General’s three specific recommendations, he said the Commission had addressed those in an annual road map for action.  Regarding its approach to promoting and improving collaboration, coherence and alignment of partners behind national strategies in countries on its agenda, the Commission’s focus had been on strengthening partnerships with national Governments, the World Bank and the African Development Bank, and it had resumed consultations with the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

“We believe that such alignment in support of newly developed national poverty reduction strategies will help channel much-needed resources to otherwise underfunded peacebuilding priorities and bring attention to country-specific challenges,” he said.  Progress was also being made to identify options for flexible forms of engagement with countries on the Commission’s agenda with a view to enhancing the impact on the ground.  He was identifying areas of complementarity, collaboration and coherence with country-level actors and mechanisms and was “committed to continue to sharpen our tools in this area.

He noted the encouragement by the Secretary-General for the Council and the Commission to build on the debate that had taken place in July, and he thanked the Council for responding to his letter by requesting specific advice from the Liberia and Sierra Leone configurations, ahead of its September deliberations on the renewal of the United Nations Mission there, as well as of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone.  The Commission was proceeding with the development and formulation of its advice in collaboration with key United Nations and non-United Nations actors in both countries.

“The United Nations peacebuilding agenda is in the normative phase,” he said.  “While not perfect, our efforts are making a difference and are worthy of our collective commitment and investment.”

Looking ahead, he stressed the need to draw on lessons learned from country-specific experiences, and he invited the Secretary-General to place particular emphasis in future reports on the practicality of recommendations in terms of impacts on the ground and the operational effectiveness of the United Nations in post-conflict countries.  “This would allow us to set clear peacebuilding targets and should also stimulate serious evaluation of the Organization’s policies and tools in support of these targets,” he said.

PETER WITTIG (Germany) said that despite progress, much more needed to be done to increase host countries’ capacities to reach their post-conflict goals.  Institution-building involved the whole social fabric of a society and the State’s interaction with it.  Civil society, inclusiveness and other factors, therefore, should all be seen as part of institution-building.  Long-term support for that process should be balanced with more immediate goals for service provision.  Civilian capacity was needed for those purposes; he welcomed the common agricultural policy modelling and accounting tool initiative in that regard. 

Also needed was a stronger role for women in all areas, he said, stressing the responsibility of national actors in that regard.  International organizations also must take more systematic action.  The Peacebuilding Commission must make better use of the political leverage of its members as well as its intergovernmental nature.  Post-conflict efforts must also be integrated with any post-2015 development agenda; the Commission could facilitate constructive dialogue in that regard.  His country had increased its contributions to the Peacebuilding Fund and stood ready to work together with all relevant stakeholders to improve United Nations peacebuilding efforts.

JOÃO MARIA CABRAL (Portugal) stressed that there was no one-size-fits-all formula for recovery from conflict and the countries involved must devise their own strategies.  Lessons, however, could be drawn from experiences so far in preventing societies from relapsing into conflict.  The importance of building strong national institutions had been learned, with that effort requiring the coordination of all stakeholders.  Inclusivity was another essential element, with the participation of women critical in decision-making, management, education and access to resources.  Youth employment was another priority, as was taking a regional perspective to peacebuilding.  Better interactions between United Nations organs would also help, as the endeavour cut across all areas of the Organization’s concern.

ROSEMARY DICARLO (United States) noted extensive discussion and agreement on peacebuilding goals and strategies.  While every situation was unique, all peacebuilding required the development of institutions, which, in turn required a vibrant civil society and civilian capacity.  For assistance in that area, a balance of short- and long-term perspectives was needed.  Women’s participation in peace-building and economic recovery still deserved more focus; the United Nations had generated many valuable programmes in that area but they should be scaled up.  On coordination, she called for partnerships that clearly delineated responsibilities according to the comparative advantages of all parts of the United Nations system.  Peacebuilding was one of the Organization’s most complex undertakings, but there was too much at stake not to make every effort to ensure the process was more effective.

KODJO MENAN ( Togo) welcomed the Council’s growing attention to processes that strengthened the prospects of lasting peace and security for the countries on its agenda.  More effective strategies were still needed, however, as peacebuilding efforts had had varied outcomes, and the expectations of the international community had often been disappointed, as in Guinea-Bissau.  For better results, the Peacebuilding Commission’s actions must be owned by the host countries themselves and cooperation between actors must be improved.  A programme of good governance must be prioritized, including well-organized, transparent elections.  All segments of societies must be included in peacebuilding, particularly women, and civil society sectors must be strengthened for that purpose.  Mutual commitments by the country involved and its partners must be agreed early on, and the international community should to do more to prevent countries from relapsing into violence.

VITALY CHURKIN (Russian Federation) said that in order to be effective, peacebuilding support must be timely and respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and ownership of the countries involved.  Assistance and reform for the security sector was crucial, along with restoration of the rule of law.  Support for national judicial mechanisms was also a priority.  Consolidating the needed outcomes, it must be realized, could take many years, and development aspects must be addressed, with a critical role played by the United Nations funds and programmes.  Trans-boundary problems and root causes of conflict must also be addressed.  Much assistance had been provided in all those areas in the past several years, but it was often fragmented, rather than systematic.  Ongoing analysis was therefore valuable, towards derivation of best practices and better coordination.  The Peacebuilding Commission should be involved in a wider perspective in all such areas, including in strengthening appropriate civilian expertise with Member States’ input.

LI BAODONG ( China) said post-conflict peacebuilding should address the root causes of conflict and the United Nations had been an active partner in that area.  However, challenges remained.  For example, it was imperative to respect the ownership of post-conflict peacebuilding strategies since the countries concerned bore the responsibility for those activities, including shaping the approach.  It was also important to tackle the root causes, especially those related to economic and social development.  Economic reconstruction should be the overarching theme; while security sector reform, justice and rule of law were important, development deserved full attention because only economic recovery could lead to sustainable development and peace.  Adequate and guaranteed resources for peacebuilding were critical.  The United Nations should pay close attention to needs and Member States should aim to broaden the channels for financing, he said, commending the Peacebuilding Fund for its efforts.  It was also important to strengthen coordination, including by developing partnerships with regional organizations.

ZAHEER LAHER ( South Africa) said the Commission remained a critical tool in peace consolidation.  However, the reversal of a peace process, including in Guinea-Bissau, demonstrated the remaining challenges.  While the Commission had adapted itself to the needs of the countries on its agenda, moving forward to increase effectiveness could be achieved through inclusivity, institution-building and sustained international support.  Welcoming the Development Programme’s approach for capacity development, he said efforts should branch out.  In strengthening capacities, national ownership should be emphasized at all steps along the way.  In addition, increased coordination was needed, including in the field.  The relationship between the Security Council and Commission had developed during the reporting period, he said, calling on the Council to exercise flexible working methods.  In that connection, the Council could seek the Commission’s advice in all relevant instances.  Sustainable financing was also critical to consolidate peace dividends and to avoid a relapse into conflict.  “There is no short cut to sustainable peacebuilding,” he concluded. 

NÉSTOR OSORIO (Colombia) said the priority areas identified in 2009 were fundamental to achieving success in peacebuilding.  It was also essential to strengthen United Nations activities, by providing it with the funding to do so.  Construction and strengthening of institutions should be the pillar of the smooth functioning of public services, and national activities must ensure a transition to stability and a reduction of dependence on the international community.  Re-establishing the rule of law and revitalizing the economy were also among key activities.  Further association with regional development banks and the private sector should promote strategies that yielded long-term socio-economic development, he said.  Women’s participation was also key.  He highlighted the Commission’s dedicated work, making possible the gains made.  Also fundamental was to address issues raised in the Secretary-General’s report and in the debate between the Commission and the Council in July.  The United Nations must ensure that countries in peacebuilding processes overcome conflict and avoid relapses.

MARK LYALL GRANT (United Kingdom) said the Council’s visits to Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone and Liberia allowed members to see how the United Nations was, among other things, establishing the rule of law and helping communities to recover from war.  The Secretary-General’s report demonstrated further progress and outlined areas for improvement.  The Commission should continue to adapt and improve its support, including ensuring predictability of funding.  Success could be seen in Sierra Leone, with a drawdown of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office there and a move towards development.  Women’s engagement must also be encouraged.  Sexual violence was a grave concern, and peace could not be built alongside that terrible “tool of war”.  Peacebuilding was a long-term project requiring patience and perseverance, but it was absolutely critical to maintaining international peace and security and, in that, the United Nations had a unique role to play.

MARTIN BRIENS ( France) said peacebuilding was a true challenge to the United Nations, and the international community should provide the necessary resources to prevent recurrence of conflict.  Priority aspects in the Secretary-General’s report included inclusivity, he said, pointing to the Council’s discussions yesterday on Central Africa to emphasize that national ownership of strategies was critical.  Women’s contributions were also essential in peacebuilding activities.  Efforts to set up institutions should be enhanced and an enabling environment for peacebuilding should be broadened, including by reforming the security sector.  Coordination was necessary at all levels, and the Commission could be a focal point, including for financial institutions.  Transitions must have long-term strategies with eventual drawdown plans.  The mission in Timor-Leste was an example of the manner in which institutional reform was implemented with a view to a drawdown plan.  States that received assistance should not always be on the receiving end, but should move towards economic growth.  The many available tools should ensure coherence of international actions.

TOFIG MUSAYEV (Azerbaijan) emphasised national ownership, with Governments of post-conflict countries bearing primary responsibility for identifying their needs and development agendas.  Efforts to build institutional capacities were integral to international assistance efforts.  National capacities underpinned the effectiveness of peacebuilding and “consistent and predictable financial support, commensurate with expectations placed on the United Nations and recipient Governments” were essential.  Such mutual accountability could, however, prove inapplicable in some cases based on the particular challenges posed by particular post-conflict situations, and he agreed with the Secretary-General’s recognition of the need to elaborate assessments and analyses of risks in post-conflict environments and to employ “risk-tolerant” approaches.  Given the complexity of peacebuilding, there was a need for coherence and coordination, which the Peacebuilding Commission was best placed to provide, both within and outside the United Nations system.  Noting the link between post-conflict peacebuilding and their preceding peace processes, he said the legality and ethics of actions to achieve peace determined the success of peacebuilding agendas.  Peacebuilding should not sustain or legitimize a status quo resulting from violation of international law and, if it did so, it would fail to provide for the necessary foundations of enduring peace and long-term stability.

RAZA BASHIR TARAR (Pakistan) welcomed the latest report on peacebuilding, particularly its assessment of progress made in improving efforts throughout the United Nations system, while commenting that it would have been useful to focus more on further elements of strategies to prevent countries from relapsing into conflict, particularly related to tasks that could be performed by peacekeeping operations.  The Peacebuilding Commission was the appropriate place to address all such questions.  He emphasized the need to intensify efforts to ensure women’s participation in all areas and access to the resources they needed for that purpose.  Resource mobilization overall was another important area, as well as the mobilization of appropriate human resources.  He hoped that collective peacebuilding efforts would continue to be improved to benefit all conflict-affected people of the world. 

GERT ROSENTHAL (Guatemala) said that seven years after its establishment, the Peacebuilding Commission had not yet reached its full potential, but it was clearly making increasing contributions to the countries under its care.  To more fully achieve its goals, the Commission should better ensure that donor support was in line with national priorities that addressed root causes of conflict.  In addition, it should better ensure coordinated and coherent action in the field by all stakeholders, and build bridges between various intergovernmental bodies for that purpose.  Endorsing efforts undertaken to ensure the participation of women in all peacebuilding processes, he stressed the critical need, from the earliest stages, to include a wide range of national actors.  Civilian experts, national ownership, participatory process and focused international cooperation, favouring South-South cooperation, should all be elements in building national capacity and democratic institutions.  In all those areas, he supported the vast majority of the Secretary-General’s recommendations, he indicated.

HARDEEP SINGH PURI (India) said that the Commission had done commendable work on mainstreaming peacebuilding into the Organization’s work.  The priorities identified by the Secretary-General were useful guides to future improvement in that work.  The international community must provide adequate resources through an integrated, coordinated approach.  The Commission’s configurations, in that regard, must compile lessons to act with agility and greater effectiveness.  He encouraged the Commission to work with regional and international financial institutions on funding for necessary development elements that bolstered stability in post-conflict countries.  Coherent and sustained assistance must be aligned with national priorities, implemented under national ownership and prioritize national capacity building.  In addition to extensive participation in peacekeeping, his country had contributed to the Peacebuilding Fund and would continue to partner with post-conflict countries in a range of efforts that supported their sustainable recovery.

MOHAMMED LOULICHKI (Morocco) said that his country was keen to hold this session because the topic addressed important questions of development and human rights.  National ownership and involvement of all sectors of a population were key elements to success in peacebuilding, as were clear and sustained partnerships.  All actors must work together in a coherent way that avoided redundancy and best used available resources.  The Commission could play a valuable role and it had proved its effectiveness after seven years; its experience and advice could provide further benefits to the Security Council’s work.  The availability of needed resources on a timely basis was important, as was coordination across international organizations and South-South cooperation.  In the critical stage that followed the end of conflicts, the rule of law, security sector reform and other reforms required civilian expertise, importantly utilizing expertise of developing countries and women.  In that regard, his country was co-organizing a workshop on promoting such expertise from Arab countries.

MARIA LUIZA RIBEIRO VIOTTI (Brazil), noting her country’s early and active support to the Peacebuilding Commission, including as chair of the Guinea-Bissau configuration and member of the Organizational Committee, stressed the need for a comprehensive approach that took into account the linkages between security and development to achieve sustainable peace.  Agreeing that national ownership must be a cornerstone of peacebuilding, she said that activities must be designed in accordance with national strategies and must strengthen local institutions, which required the nurturing of national capacities and the restoration of core government functions, including the provision of basic social services. 

Missions and country teams, she said, must establish effective partnerships in those areas, and the contributions of women must be continuously emphasized and facilitated.  Structurally, the interactions between the Commission and other United Nations organs, particularly the Security Council, must be enhanced, and the support of all partners must be coordinated, coherent and aligned with national priorities.  She welcomed the growing interaction of the international financial institutions with the Commission in that regard.  Mutual accountability in all such areas should be seen as a matter of joint agreement and not become a pretext for bureaucratic preconditions.

SYLVIE LUCAS (Luxembourg) emphasized the priorities in the report, including inclusion, institution building and improving partnerships.  As Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission Guinea Configuration, she had experienced the importance of those aspects in post-conflict countries.  Regarding inclusion, it was “indispensable” that all peacebuilding stakeholders in a society have the means to be heard, for which efforts should be enhanced to ensure full participation of women and girls.  Inclusion of the most vulnerable groups was “the best way to prevent, both in the short- and in the long-term, the emergence of frustrations which can lead to a relapse into conflict and violence”.  Fair and sustainable State institutions not only were not just a matter of building capacities, but of matchmaking between a State’s responsibilities and the means to exercise them responsibly and inclusively.  State reform should be approached comprehensively and respect the separation of powers, and a parliament should hold a Government accountable.  The Peacebuilding Commission reinforced the intrinsic links between sustainable socio-economic development, international peace and security and respect for human rights and the rule of law.  The New Deal was a perfect example of ownership and leadership from the South, and she commended Guinea as well as five other Member States on the Commission’s agenda for the courage to address difficult questions of State-building, which implied a revision of the social contract and placed the State at the service of its citizens.

JIM MCLAY (New Zealand) said United Nations peacebuilding remained too focused on post-conflict environments.  While recognizing that peacebuilding was vital in preventing conflict relapses, also vital was for the process to begin at the earliest stages of peacekeeping operations to prevent and contain conflict.  Inclusivity in political settlements, institution-building and sustained international support were three elements of the United Nations peacebuilding methodology that worked particularly well.  Events in Syria could have been different if the United Nations and the Security Council had applied those concepts better and much earlier, especially that of inclusivity.  Greater inclusivity and institution-building also would have mitigated the situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

Regarding Timor-Leste, he said the principle of sustained international support had been missing in 2006, which had been a warning that premature cost-cutting was a “false economy”, which transferred costs to local civilian populations and increased the likelihood of the return of expensive United Nations peacekeepers.  He welcomed the initiative of the “G7+”, a country-owned and country-led global mechanism to monitor, report and draw attention to the unique challenges faced by fragile States, praising the efforts of countries that had emerged from conflict and expressing support for their five peacebuilding goals.  He called on the United Nations to improve its ability to deploy civilian capacity, saying the Organisation would struggle until it became better at deploying the right people with the right expertise in a timelier manner.  He also hoped for improved cooperation between the Peacebuilding Commission and the Security Council, urging the latter to carry forward that idea into 2013 in the context of reforming its working methods.

WILL NANKERVIS (Australia) hoped to draw upon experiences from peacebuilding partnerships in his region to advance the agenda in the Council.  In that regard, he welcomed work to improve mission integration, clarify roles and responsibilities and improve deployment of personnel with the right skill sets, including those from the global South.  He also welcomed work under way by the Secretariat to develop a transitions policy, for which the Timor-Leste Joint Transition Plan with the United Nations Integrated Mission there (UNMIT) and the joint work of regional partners to draw down the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) provided useful models. 

Key lessons from those experiences, he said, included the importance of beginning transition planning early and emphasizing national ownership and capacity development, as well as flexibility and strong coordination with all partners.  Transitions should be conditioned-based, and not driven by artificial timelines.  Participation of women was vital, not only in transitions, but throughout all processes.  Finally, he stressed that international partners must make long-term commitments with measurable targets, as provided for in his country’s partnership agreement with Timor-Leste.  The Commission’s work in all such areas should prioritize impact in the field.

MARÍA CRISTINA PERCEVAL (Argentina) said that the Security Council had a substantial role to play in promoting the conditions for sustainable peace.  Post-conflict strategies should be based on respect for human rights and should promote inclusive dialogue that resulted in collective national strategies for advancement.  Building capacity in regional organizations was needed to support countries emerging from conflict, and all segments of societies must be mobilized for participation in the effort.  However, any true strategy of national reconciliation must include truth and accountability for those who committed serious crimes.  She supported greater cooperation between the Peacebuilding Commission and the Security Council so that the Commission could truly play the advisory role that had been given it, and to enable the Council to better play its role in maintaining international peace and security.

TSUNEO NISHIDA ( Japan) welcomed the significant progress since the 2009 report and strongly supported the priority directions it set forth.  The global community must devise stronger mechanisms for strengthening peacebuilding institutions and, consequently, for supporting development.  He called for expediting women’s integration in all peacebuilding processes, particularly governance and economic recovery.  Mutual accountability allowed for equal partnerships between recipient Governments and global partners.  That was evident in the New Deal and the declaration issued at last summer’s Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan.  A stronger partnership with the Council was also crucial for the Commission to realize its full potential, particularly when Council decisions directly affected peacebuilding processes on the Commission’s agenda.  The 21 November meeting of the Commission’s Working Group on Lessons Learned, currently chaired by Japan, focused on that point. 

He noted that the Tokyo International Conference on African Development process had taken a multifaceted, holistic approach to peacebuilding.  Its next meeting would take place in June.  The Secretary-General had called for including the peacebuilding aspects of inclusive politics, security, justice, economic foundation and revenue and services in the post-2015 development agenda.  That issue had been introduced in the Post-Millennium Development Goals Contact Group, which Japan chaired, and the report submitted by the United Nations task team.  Human security played a significant role in that context.

SHIN DONG IK (Republic of Korea) cited noticeable achievements in peacebuilding thanks to more effective leadership of United Nations teams in the field, enhanced United Nations support for national capacity-building and ownership of peacebuilding processes, as well as an improved funding mechanism.  But most, if not all, post-conflict regions still were fragile.  The use of force by rebel groups in the Central African Republic two days ago illustrated the need for peacebuilding efforts to focus on preventing relapse into conflict.  The Council must be ready to swiftly respond to recurring violence.  Strengthening civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict was vital for achieving and maintaining peace and security.  Inclusivity was important for addressing the root causes of conflict, as was the role of non-State actors and civil society.  The situation in Yemen illustrated that point.  Thanks to the inclusion of the opposition and other key constituents in the political process, Yemen’s National Dialogue Conference was on track.  His Government had constructively contributed to peacebuilding.  With a recent $500,000 donation, his Government had contributed $4.5 million to the Commission since that body’s inception in 2008.

THOMAS GUERBER (Switzerland), also speaking as the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission’s Burundi Configuration, welcomed the Secretary-General’s focus on inclusivity, institution-building and sustained international support with mutual accountability as key priorities for peacebuilding activities.  Those issues were “critical” he said, recalling that at the recent conference in Geneva on peacebuilding in Burundi, donors had aligned around a common agenda prepared by the West African country, through an inclusive process.  The result was a milestone in Burundi’s peacebuilding process and his delegation was optimistic about the positive impact such an inclusive approach would have going forward.  He stressed that the Secretary-General’s three identified priorities were now also seen as part of the “New Deal” for engagement in fragile States.

He expressed the view that “a clear and long-term vision for peacebuilding would help us streamline our efforts better”.  At the same time, he stressed the value of a strategic outlook for the Organization’s overall peacebuilding architecture, suggested that discussions begin about United Nations peacebuilding in the next five to 10 years.  Even if such an exercise proved difficult, Member States should try to set relevant targets and develop a vision that addressed the role of the Organization and that of other actors in the field.  Such discussions would also help clarify the links between peacebuilding and the other core aims of the United Nations, including carrying forward the post-2015 development process.  It should also lead to more systematic consideration and inclusion of gender-specific issues in peacebuilding.

MOHAMMAD KHAZAEE (Iran), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that peacebuilding was an evolving process; while much had been achieved, there remained a lot to learn in order to come up with the right policies and implement them in the right sequence to adequately address local specificities.  The complex and evolving nature of conflict must also be examined closely, with an “eagle-eye” focus on root causes.  He also urged more coordinated and coherent efforts, with the United Nations remaining the lead voice in identifying a common vision and in forging relevant partnerships among diverse stakeholders.  Throughout all such activities, the Non-Aligned Movement stressed the principles of national ownership and predictable financing, as well as the need to bolster socio-economic and sustainable development in post-conflict countries.

He reiterated the role of the Peacebuilding Commission in providing the wider Organization with policy guidance and strategies.  As such, its work should be given special attention in the effort to develop national strategies.  While calling on the Commission to further develop its forms of engagement with other actors inside and outside the United Nations system, he said that the Movement had hoped that the Secretary-General’s report would have elaborated on how the roles of such actors could be clarified, particularly so the Commission could more effectively carry out its mandate.  He stressed the need to alleviate the challenges facing women and girls in post-conflict societies, as well as to ensure that their contributions to peacebuilding were taken into consideration.  “Women are crucial partners in shoring up the three pillars of lasting peace; economic recovery, social cohesion and political legitimacy,” he said.

SAIFUL AZAM MARTINUS ABDULLAH ( Malaysia) said that nation-building could not be imposed by external entities.  Sensitive political reform and nation-building must be inclusive and have strong national ownership, and guidelines were needed to develop national capacity programmes.  Adequate financing was also needed to help countries emerging from conflict.  He welcomed the pledges made during the recent Annual Stakeholders Meeting of the Peacebuilding Fund.  Recent peacebuilding experience showed that continued financial support was just as important as political will.  Peacebuilding strategies must include civilian experts as the central pillar in nation-building and institutional and economic development.  Malaysia had actively helped facilitate peace talks between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Philippine Government, and he welcomed the 15 October 2012 signing of a framework agreement between them. 

He said that development of human capital was essential in peacebuilding.  As a member of the Guinea Configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, Malaysia had hosted more than 300 Guinean students at various Malaysian Universities.  The country had also helped to create jobs in Guinea’s financial sector and construction industry, and offered training and technical aid for development programmes in various economic sectors in Guinea.  The Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme assisted developing countries in 10 economic sectors.  Malaysia had set up trilateral training programmes in cooperation with Japan, Australia and the European Union.  Such programmes helped facilitate conflict resolution in strife-torn areas.   

IOANNIS VRAILAS, delegation of the European Union, said the United Nations had improved its capabilities in tackling the challenges of peacebuilding.  Its leaders were more accountable, and were deployed within integrated strategic frameworks alongside field staff and experts, while its international partnerships were better and its expertise in institution-building had expanded.  Support was needed in aiding post-conflict countries in their recoveries, however, and he urged all actors to collaborate to ensure progress under the principle of national ownership.  The Lisbon Treaty enshrined the European Union’s responsibility to do that, he said, pointing to examples of that peacebuilding cooperation between the European Union and the United Nations.

Expressing support for the civilian capacity (“CivCap”) initiative, he said he was also working to ensure that the Peacebuilding Commission realized its full potential.  The Commission could improve Security Council decision-making if it explored lighter and more flexible engagement and improved coordination with national actors in the field.  He praised the Peacebuilding Fund’s nimbleness and expressed support for the New Deal and the G7+ initiative.  He saw opportunity for synergies between the New Deal and the Peacebuilding Commission, but warned against duplication.  The Union would continue to advance women’s role in building peace and security, as their participation in conflict resolution remained too low, with only two of the nine peace agreements signed since 2011 including provisions ensuring women’s rights.  Concrete targets should be set for women’s equal participation in the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, and gender perspectives should be mainstreamed into conflict prevention, peace negotiations, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction.

MÅRTEN GRUNDITZ ( Sweden) emphasized the need to ensure a well-coordinated international response.  Successful mission drawdown and withdrawal required early planning between United Nations actors and host nation counterparts.  “Delivering as One” was crucial, but it was not enough.  Other aspects were needed to ensure predictable and sustainable funding, such as the Development Assistance Framework and coordinated working methods among the United Nations and international finance institutions and bilateral partners.  Another challenge was strengthening dialogue with the host country, which would be best served through sustained and common messages on key issues.  The Peacebuilding Commission country configurations, as well as the New Deal, were excellent opportunities for the host country to elaborate a basis for joint efforts with bilateral partners, international financing institutions and the United Nations system.  Inclusivity was critical to reconciliation after violent conflict, as well as to addressing its root causes.  He urged that a “harder look” be taken at the way natural resources and land issues were handled, the role of extractive industries, adherence to the rule of law and how revenues were collected and used for the common good.  Sweden’s heavy engagement in Liberia, through bilateral activities and as chair of the country’s configuration, aimed at ensuring early identification of marginalization factors, and addressing them in peacebuilding strategies.  Further, he supported efforts to enhance women’s role in peacebuilding, in particular, as mediators.

ERIK LAURSEN (Denmark) said that it was vital the United Nations deliver timely, coherent and integrated support to nationally owned and led peacebuilding processes.  The key to success was in delivering actual concrete results on the ground that were inclusive and demand-driven, as demonstrated by the G7+ group of countries.  He commended progress made in promoting and increasing women’s active participation in peacebuilding, as well as governance and economic recovery, and expressed support for resolution 1325 (2000).  No post-conflict or fragile country had achieved the Millennium Development Goals, he said, calling for a more ambitious and effective peacebuilding architecture, which his country was prepared to help build.  Towards that end, his delegation hoped to become a member of the Peacebuilding Commission’s Organizational Committee.  As well, the Peacebuilding Fund was crucial during critical transition moments and, consequently, Denmark had renewed its financial support through a new contribution of $8.6 million.  As Co-Chair of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and State-building, he encouraged a greater focus on the “New Deal” in working with conflict-affected and fragile countries.  However, the real challenge was to create strong and lasting partnerships at the country-level, with the United Nations playing a key role. 

YUSRA KHAN (Indonesia), commending the Secretary-General’s report on peacebuilding and the progress made on what he described as a “dynamic and difficult global agenda”, focused on additional points of observation, among them, placing an emphasis on advancing national ownership.  When supporting countries’ peacebuilding efforts, it was necessary to know better the needs and aspirations of all stakeholders.  “Nationally identified priorities must be the blueprint of international support,” he said.  Effective peacebuilding also unlocked the possibility of economic progress and development.  A multi-source international support framework should collaborate closely, in a process that was transparent and accountable.  His country could testify to the importance of that owing to its own experience in bringing peace to Aceh after decades of conflict there.  Also important was building interactive dialogue between the Commission and the Council, as timely advice from the Commission had enriched Council action.  He also expressed support for the United Nations focus on enhancing women’s participation in peacebuilding, noting the seven-point plan.  His country was determined to further women’s participation in post-conflict peacebuilding at “home”, in the region and at the international level.  However, women’s inclusion must go beyond fulfilling quotas and instead focus on bolstering capacity-building support for their participation, especially in the developing countries.

MARTIN SENKOM ADAMU (Nigeria) said that long-before the establishment of the Peacebuilding Commission, his country had undertaken efforts to promote peace consolidation throughout Africa and identify strategies to ensure such actions were sustainable.  Nigeria’s experience had revealed that a comprehensive approach to peacebuilding required coherence among relevant actors, as well as a balanced focus on gender empowerment, socio-economic improvement and sustainable development, among others.  Nigeria also recognized the need to ensure that peacebuilding programmes were closely monitored and that the relevant implementing agencies carried out such efforts in a transparent manner and were held accountable for their actions.  He also called for greater participation by women in peacebuilding activities.  Experience in West Africa had highlighted the cross-boarder dimensions of conflict, and he urged the Security Council and relevant peacebuilding stakeholders to consider that issue when designing peacebuilding strategies.  He hoped that today’s debate would add new impetus to the Organization’s efforts to enhance its peacebuilding architecture, he said in conclusion.

GAREN NAZARIAN (Armenia) said the frequency with which the Council addressed peacebuilding matters reflected the great importance the international community attached to such actions as tools for ensuring security and stability in post-conflict countries.  He said that peacebuilding strategies must be based on local and regional specificities in order to effectively address relevant challenges and concerns.  Programmes adopted must be needs-based, results-oriented and implemented with the assistance of a diverse array of partners, including civil society groups and women’s organizations.  He also stressed the importance of bolstering local education systems in the wake of conflict.  The international financial institutions, as well as regional banks and private sector donors could play a vital role in ensuring coherence of peacebuilding efforts. Successful peacebuilding required political will and national ownership, he said.

TÉTE ANTÓNIO, Permanent Observer of the African Union, said that Africa’s vested interests in peacebuilding was substantiated by the scale and complexity of its conflicts, which stemmed from illicit trafficking and flow of drugs and weapons to transnational organized crime with wider regional implications.  Experiences of the African Union in its efforts to address conflicts had shown a direct correlation between sustainable peace and the scaling up of post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding, as well as development.  In June 2006, the African Union had adopted a policy on post-conflict reconstruction and development in Gambia aimed at improving the timeliness, effectiveness and coordination of peacebuilding activities in post-conflict countries, and at laying the foundation for social justice and sustainable peace and development.  That policy was underpinned by five core principles, namely:  African leadership, national and local ownership, inclusiveness, equity and non-discrimination, cooperation and cohesion and capacity-building for sustainability.

He said that as a renewed effort towards post-conflict reconstruction and development was a means of consolidating peace, the African Solidarity Initiative had been launched this year and an African Union-led process for mobilizing enhanced support from within the continent had begun.  One overall intention of the initiative was to promote a “paradigm shift” spotlighting African self-reliance, driven by the motto “Africa helping Africa”.  It also aimed at institutionalizing an expanded and coordinated platform for mobilizing a higher level of support for post-conflict reconstruction and development, particularly from Africa.  Such support, while including financial contributions, would also target in-kind sharing of expertise, approaches, best practices, training facilities, capacity-building commitments and other essential non-monetary forms of assistance.

NEVEN MIKEC (Croatia) welcomed the progress made in implementing the “agenda for action” and improving the integrated strategic frameworks.  The development of a new policy on mission drawdowns and withdrawals was also of interest.  Further, inclusive, country-owned and country-led initiatives supported by coherent, coordinated and sustainable international engagement were vital for States emerging from conflict.  Turning to the seven-point action plan for gender-responsive peacebuilding, he expressed strong support for dedicating at least 15 per cent of United Nations-managed funds to peacebuilding projects addressing women’s needs and empowerment.  He also encouraged a more dynamic relationship between the Council and the Peacebuilding Commission.  Peacekeeping and peacebuilding were “two sides of the same coin that should be mutually reinforcing”.  The New Deal principles offered good guidance for the Commission’s engagement with countries on its agenda.  Rebuilding civilian capacities was of utmost importance to countries emerging from conflict, and his was prepared to contribute through the sharing platform, CAPMATCH.  Only through increased collaboration and appropriate engagement could peacebuilding be effective.

JAKKRIT SRIVALI (Thailand) said that, among other things, the report of the Secretary-General underlined the need for the United Nations and the international community to continue to engage sustainably.  It also stressed the need to be in tune with what countries emerging from conflict required for building lasting peace and for avoiding relapses into violence.  First and foremost was the importance of the principle of national ownership and of hastening and prioritizing economic recovery and inclusive development into peacebuilding efforts.  Secondly, predictable and sustainable financing and international support were needed.  Thirdly, the international community must continue to focus its efforts on helping to build strong and responsive institutions and capacities in countries emerging from conflict.  The Global South had an important comparative advantage — and therefore a potentially valuable role — in that respect.  Finally, he said, Thailand looked forward to further gains by the international community and the United Nations system in the context of women’s participation in peacebuilding in general, and in conflict resolution processes in particular.

MIRSADA ČOLAKOVIĆ (Bosnia and Herzegovina) agreed with others that inclusivity and institution-building were critical to preventing relapse into conflict.  They were also vital for domestic accountability systems and establishing the basis of engagement between concerned countries and the international community.  “Only a strong State will contribute to peace and stability and mitigate the return to conflict,” she said, stressing also that participatory dialogue among national actors, at the very earliest stages, underpinned the success of peacebuilding efforts.  Such processes needed to be open, creative and transformative and must include all actors able to contribute to post-conflict peace and recovery efforts.

She went on to say that early and significant results could be achieved through the restoration of core Government functions and delivery services.  In addition, maintaining and developing partnerships for rebuilding institutions required constant and stable international political and financial support.  Balanced partnerships between donors and recipient Governments were a prerequisite for ensuring long-term results and securing the investments needed for peacekeeping and peacebuilding processes.  At the same time, donors needed to develop flexible, risk-tolerant approaches, and the interactions between the Security Council and the Peacebuilding Commission should continue in a more practical manner.  While her delegation supported the Organization’s Civilian Capacity Initiative, including the CAPMATCH online system, Bosnia and Herzegovina would nevertheless caution against implementing reforms too quickly or without requisite national ownership.

VALENTIN RYBAKOV (Belarus) said peacebuilding was an important factor in reducing conflict and instability.  The process of emerging from conflict and establishing controls over State procedures, including making changes to the internal security situation of States, was an incredibly complex, multifaceted one.  Since the Commission’s establishment in 2005, it had made substantive progress; however, it still had more to do.  Belarus hoped that it would continue to improve its work, including by strengthening the institutional links with the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council.  It was also necessary to establish closer partnerships with other stakeholders such as global financial institutions.  Establishing clearer coordination, cooperation and coherence among United Nations offices, both in New York and in the countries concerned, was also critical.

The delegate said that post-conflict peacebuilding could have the greatest impact and only be achieved in full respect for the sovereignty of the States concerned.  All approaches should take into account the different domestic conditions of the States concerned.  As the representative of a State that was actively involved in combating human trafficking, he reminded the Council that the United Nations global action plan called for that matter to be incorporated into other United Nations plans and programmes, and he urged that serious attention be paid to human trafficking during post-conflict peacebuilding processes.

ABDOU SALAM DIALLO (Senegal), affirming the importance of keeping countries from relapsing into conflict, said that the impact of transborder factors and criminal groups, inequality and poverty often exacerbated tensions.  Multiple factors had to be considered, therefore, and an order of priorities had to be created for transitional periods.  Reform of security sectors was often critical, as well as inclusive national dialogue to shape a political progress.  National capacities must be strengthened to meet social needs and livelihood opportunities must be created.  Real participation of women was important in all such areas, as they had already contributed significantly to peacebuilding throughout the world.  Affirming that the Peacebuilding Commission had a major role to play in the mobilization of funds and in the coordination of partnerships, he added that the cooperation of the African Union was particularly valuable as most countries on the Commission’s agenda were African.  He stressed his country’s commitment to improving the effectiveness of peacebuilding efforts.   

MARJON KAMARA (Liberia) said the emphasis placed on inclusivity resonated well because her country knew that marginalization, alienation and the culture of exclusive politics were conflict’s root causes.  Current trends, reflecting growing collaboration and cooperation between conflict-affected countries and the wider international community, had given peacebuilding a new dimension and dynamism.  As a country on the Commission’s agenda, the peacebuilding architecture had been critical to the progress achieved in implementing strategies for reform of the security sector and judiciary, and played a role in engendering the support of bilateral partners.  National reconciliation was ultimately the most secure foundation upon which durable peace could be built, and for her country, that was paramount for national recovery.  As peacebuilding was best approached by using a long-term perspective, it was important to manage expectations for immediate results.  Challenges remained in the area of predictable and sustained funding.

NKOLOI NKOLOI (Botswana) said that the experience of his country, which once was seen as having little chance for economic stability, gave hope that countries emerging from conflict could regain their dignity by investing in instruments of peace, capacity-building, inclusive governance and strong institutions.  He underlined the importance, in that context, of supporting the democratization process and institutional development, as well as addressing the needs of vulnerable groups, including women and youth.  There should also be resource commitments for reintegration of former combatants, and support for the full participation of women in decision-making processes.  The participation of civil society and the media should be promoted as well.  As the roots of conflict in Africa were obstacles to development, his country desired to collaborate with the international community at all levels on peacebuilding.  With its traditions rooted in accountable governance and judicious investment in resources, the country had pledged, through CAPMATCH, to share its experiences in a range of areas.  He expressed, finally, support for the presidential statement.

HÜSEYIN MÜFTÜOĞLU (Turkey) said that the fact that 90 per cent of conflicts between 2000 and 2009 had occurred in countries that had previously experienced civil war highlighted the “importance of succeeding in peacebuilding endeavours and the cost of failure”.  Because each country had unique local conditions, peace- and capacity-building activities should be country-specific and flexible.  Peacebuilding was primarily a national responsibility and, thus, national ownership was also critically important.  Implementing the seven-point action plan was crucial for gender-responsive peacebuilding, and the Security Council should give greater attention to those considerations when discussing mandates of operations aimed at assisting political processes and peace efforts.  He also welcomed further engagement of foundations and the private sector, urging support for such initiatives, including the United Nations Development Programme’s Istanbul Center for Private Sector in Development.  The success of peacebuilding efforts required coherence among political, security, development, human rights, humanitarian and rule of law objectives.

TINE MØRCH SMITH (Norway), focusing on the need for inclusive political settlement and international support for peacebuilding, stated that violent conflicts were not settled in a just and sustainable manner if women were not part of the process.  There was a growing awareness of the role they played in peacebuilding, as reflected in Security Council resolution 1325 (2000).  Uneven progress in the implementation of the seven-point action plan demonstrated that there was an urgent need to see genuine and concrete results at the field level.  “Studies, reports and workshops are fine, but that cannot buy political will to make a real difference for women in peacebuilding.”  Ways to foster inclusive political settlements and conflict resolution that would lead to sustained peace should be explored.  Peacebuilding was a difficult process which required time and involved risks.  It needed patience, which should not be confused with inaction. 

She urged donors to move from risk aversion to risk management.  The Fund’s focus on countries “low on the radar”, its swiftness and willingness to take risks, as well as its large donor base, were its main strengths.  However, it was, most of all, catalytic, and could not be the main funding source for peacebuilding.  Sustained and predicable financing was important and in that regard, Norway would continue to contribute.  Echoing Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Nobel lecture last year when she called for the inclusion of all voices in building policies and programmes grounded in the rule of law, the speaker stressed that the real test of peacebuilding was to ensure that wise words were followed up in countries undergoing such transformation.

HERMAN SCHAPER (Netherlands) pointed to the prioritization of peacebuilding by post-conflict countries as a sign of major progress and a clear expression of national ownership and commitment by fragile States.  He was pleased at United Nations support for that endeavour, as well as the increasing integration of peacebuilding in security and development.  The rule of law contribution to conflict prevention, peacekeeping, conflict resolution and peacebuilding was recognized at the recent high-level meeting on peacebuilding, which had also stressed the importance of justice, including transitional justice, to building sustainable peace.  He welcomed the substantial increase in the resources of the Peacebuilding Fund and improved multilateral, bilateral and regional cooperation.

However, a key question remained over the actual impact of changes on the ground, he said, adding that reports from his embassies were mixed.  He thus called for substantial improvements at the country level and in non-mission settings.  Speeding up “Delivering as One” was vital in that regard, as was greater Security Council support for implementation of peacebuilding mandates.  He welcomed the Secretary-General’s focus on inclusivity, institution-building and sustained international support, but recommended that employment, especially for women and youth, should also be prioritized through closer ties to the private sector.  While the high-level event had recognized peacebuilding’s critical importance, its relationship to development had been “dismissed as irrelevant” from discussions on the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review.  Progress on enhancing civilian capabilities through the “CivCap” review was also slow, with the initiative of the G7+ meeting resistance.

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