Security Council Speakers Note Much Progress, Some Setbacks in Six Countries on Peacebuilding Commission’s Agenda, Urge Better Cooperation between Two Bodies
Security Council Speakers Note Much Progress, Some Setbacks in Six Countries on Peacebuilding Commission’s Agenda, Urge Better Cooperation between Two Bodies
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6954th Meeting (AM)
Security Council Speakers Note Much Progress, Some Setbacks in Six Countries on
Peacebuilding Commission’s Agenda, Urge Better Cooperation between Two Bodies
Council Briefed by Former and Current Chair of Commission
Of the view that post-conflict peacebuilding must meet the expectation of ensuring the durability of the peace efforts that preceded it, speakers in the Security Council today reaffirmed the Peacebuilding Commission’s role to prevent a relapse of conflict and support the initiatives of recovering Governments and societies to own and lead the process of rebuilding and leaving the trauma behind.
In two briefings, the Council heard a review of the Peacebuilding Commission’s performance over the past year from its former Chairperson, Abdulkalam Abdul Momen of Bangladesh, and glimpsed the course of its future work from current Commission Chair, Ranko Vilović of Croatia.
Mr. Momen reported that 2012 had been a year when the question of collective responsibility and commitment of the membership had taken centre stage in the Commission’s deliberations, as it strove to facilitate the work of the country-specific configurations in the countries on its agenda — Burundi, Central African Republic, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The peacebuilding process in each of those six countries was at a different stage, thus presenting different opportunities and challenges, he explained. For example, the Commission had provided support for the launching of a national reconciliation strategy and for the first regional hub for security and justice in Liberia and to the successful conduct of elections in Sierra Leone. It had mobilized resources for the peacebuilding pillar of a new poverty reduction strategy in Burundi, and initiated a resource mapping exercise in Guinea.
However, he said, the disruption of the presidential electoral process through an unconstitutional change of government in Guinea-Bissau on 12 April 2012 had undermined progress. That and the violence in Central African Republic towards the end of last year had underlined the need for the Commission to be more comprehensive, targeted, and well coordinated in the absence of broader, vigorous, and continuing national commitment.
He said that the pace with which the global peacebuilding agenda was evolving testified to the urgent need to address sources of protracted instability and drivers of relapse into conflict. “We can no longer afford to remain in the custody of traditional and business-as-usual approach to the link between security and socioeconomic development,” he said, adding that systemic challenges would remain, but so too must a commitment to face them with resolve and determination.
Current Chair Vilović said that the Commission recognized that a crucial element of its advisory role was to ensure that timely and appropriate analysis of risk factors and drivers of conflict were brought to the Council’s attention. And, by sustaining broader international attention to situations that might not be on the Council’s “radar screen”, it worked to ensure that the energy and resources invested in stabilizing conflict situations were protected for the long term.
With the “inherently dynamic” situations before them, he said there should be equally dynamic information-sharing with the Council on country-specific developments, opportunities and risks. Thus, more regular and substantive exchanges might be of value. He was aware that the Commission needed to sharpen its tools, but he was also convinced that the Council, as a parent organ providing nearly 25 per cent of the Commission’s membership and having referred five of six countries on the Commission’s agenda, should contribute to those efforts.
Following the briefings, speakers generally agreed that the Commission and Council “can find room” for mutual cooperation, concerned that both bodies tended to function as separate “compartments”. Some speakers described the Commission as a vital institutional link among the Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Bretton Woods institutions. Several suggested that the Council invite the Chairs of the country-specific configurations to relevant consultations, especially when mandate renewals were considered.
It was also felt that the Commission’s architecture, though still a work in progress, enabled a flexible response to each situation on its agenda with its platform of country-specific configurations, but that it could be more receptive to country’s requests. Many acknowledged both the progress and setbacks in 2012, agreeing that a one-size-fits-all solution was not the right approach. With peacebuilding a constant process informed by trial and error, it was important to learn from the successes and failures. To be effective, speakers suggested, early peacebuilding tasks could be carefully woven into peacekeeping mandates.
The representatives of the United Kingdom, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Togo, China, Guatemala, France, United States, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Australia, Morocco, Luxembourg, Argentina and Rwanda spoke.
The meeting began at 11:04 a.m. was adjourned at 1:19 p.m.
The Security Council met today to take up “post-conflict peacebuilding”.
ABULKALAM ABDUL MOMEN ( Bangladesh), former Chairperson of the Peacebuilding Commission, presenting the report of its sixth session (document A/67/715-S/2013/63), said that during the reporting period the focus had been on institutional consolidation. The Commission had launched an ambitious exercise to improve and clarify its working methods. It continued to focus on facilitating the work of the country-specific configurations, embarking on a work programme designed to support its engagement with the countries on its agenda, namely Burundi, Central African Republic, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The peacebuilding process in each of those six countries was at a different stage, thus presenting different opportunities and challenges.
The Commission’s country-specific engagement during the reporting period had included provision of support for the launching of a national reconciliation strategy and for the first regional hub for security and justice in Liberia; support to the successful conduct of elections in Sierra Leone; resource mobilization for the peacebuilding pillar of a new poverty reduction strategy in Burundi; and the initiation of a resource mapping exercise in Guinea.
Conversely, he reported, the disruption of the presidential electoral process through an unconstitutional change of government in Guinea-Bissau on 12 April 2012 had undermined progress. That and the violence in Central African Republic towards the end of last year had underlined that the Commission’s engagement needed to be more comprehensive, targeted, and well coordinated in the absence of broader, vigorous, and continuing national commitment. The absence of coordinated efforts to address the instability’s root causes in certain situations “seriously challenged” the Commission’s role.
Continuing, he said that the work of the Commission on policy development had prioritized partnerships, in an effort to forge coherence and resource mobilization for the six countries on its agenda. Thus, its work had focused on, among others, strengthening the partnership with the World Bank and African Development Bank. Given the nexus between peace and development, the Commission was also pursuing a thematic focus on job creation and rule-of-law assistance. It had also continued its regular dialogue with the Peacebuilding Fund’s Advisory Group and the Peacebuilding Support Office towards strengthening synergy.
He said the Commission had also sought to deepen its working relationship with key actors in the field, especially with senior United Nations leadership, towards clarifying areas of mutual complementarity. Suggestions to energize the relationship between the Commission and Security Council had been taken on board and followed up. Through interaction, it had emerged, for example, that the Commission could potentially provide value added by supported mission drawdowns and withdrawals that was grounded, not only in sound analysis and country-specific realities and national needs, but also which ensured the international community’s ongoing commitment “beyond the lifetime” of peacekeeping and political missions.
In short, he said, 2012 had been a year when the question of collective responsibility and commitment of the membership had taken centre stage in the Commission’s deliberations. While that infused the matter with some sense of urgency, the task of translating that commitment into concrete actions and contributions remained unfulfilled. To that end, the high-level event on peacebuilding, presided over by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh in September 2012, had brought together world leaders and resulted in a consensus political declaration, which reaffirmed and reinvigorated the political commitment to key principles, objectives and priorities of the Commission.
He said he could not emphasize enough the need to envisage a new paradigm for South-South and triangular cooperation. The Commission was uniquely positioned to become a platform for its development by piloting concrete projects of cooperation in countries on its agenda. It could certainly facilitate the matching of needs identified by those countries with the most relevant experience and expertise, especially from the Global South. He stressed the importance of the relationship between the Commission and the Peacebuilding Support Office.
In closing, he said that the pace with which the United Nations and the global peacebuilding agenda was evolving testified to the urgency of the need to address sources of protracted instability and drivers of relapse into conflict. “We can no longer afford to remain in the custody of traditional and business-as-usual approach to the link between security and socioeconomic development,” he said, adding that systemic challenges would remain, but so too must a commitment to face those with the requisite resolve and determination. “We have to take bolder and more courageous steps in support of sustainable peace and security,” he urged.
Current Chair of the Commission, RANKO VILOVIĆ ( Croatia), said the body approached its advisory function from the conviction that it could play a useful role in helping the Council manage an increasing workload. By focusing on and sustaining broader international attention to situations that might not be on the Council’s immediate “radar screen”, the Commission worked to ensure that the energy and resources invested in stabilizing conflict situations were preserved and protected for the long term.
Noting that three of the missions in countries on the Commission’s agenda were in the process of drawdown and transition, he said the body’s advice should focus on: assessing progress and challenges facing national peacebuilding efforts; the international community’s level of support beyond that of the United Nations system; and the specific capacities required for the United Nations’ continued support of long-term peacebuilding efforts. The Council, he suggested, could be more explicit about the tasks to be taken up by the Commission in support of the United Nations leadership and actors in the field.
Where the Commission remained engaged following a transition and exit of a mission, he felt the Council could benefit from periodic updates, including peacebuilding-related developments that might require attention. In situations where the Commission’s agenda faced serious challenges, the Council could draw on that body’s perspectives as it considered its response and formulated a strategy. The Commission recognized that a crucial element of its advisory role was to ensure that timely and appropriate analysis of risk factors and drivers of conflict were brought to the Council’s attention.
He said that, as the situations presented were “inherently dynamic”, there should be dynamic information-sharing with the Council on country-specific developments, opportunities and risks. Thus, more regular and substantive exchanges might be of value. He reaffirmed the Commission’s commitment to enhancing its impact in the field by empowering national actors “to own and to lead” the process and by ensuring that the United Nations and other key actors were positioned to help them achieve that goal. He was cognizant of the fact that the Commission needed to sharpen its tools and learn lessons from its engagement. He was also convinced that the Council, as a parent organ providing nearly 25 per cent of the Commission’s membership and having referred five of six countries on the Commission’s agenda, should contribute to those efforts.
THOMAS MEEK ( United Kingdom) said that the transition to peacebuilding in Sierra Leone was a real success story, and the Council paid tribute to the work of the United Nations system and its international partners. Indeed, that work had been instrumental in helping to build security and peace in that country, following the ravages of war. As the United Nations played its vital role in helping national Governments and communities recover from war, the United Kingdom had provided almost $20 million to the Peacebuilding Fund and was increasing its official development assistance, in line with its commitment to spending one third of that rising aid on bolstering fragile States. The Commission’s report had shown that the United Nations was moving forward on key peacebuilding issues and that the Commission was adding value in several areas.
As examples, he noted the Commission’s visits to Monrovia and Freetown, as well as its support of missions as they drew down. Additionally, the Fund had been provided with much-needed finances. Still, considerable work remained. “Let’s be honest,” he said. The Commission had not fully realized the potential envisaged for it in 2006. Everyone must share responsibility for that and work together to develop it into the effective Commission it should be. He highlighted key areas for action, including greater focus on activities with a real impact on the ground; significantly reducing the “level of process and procedures here in New York”, which took time away from country-specific work; and strengthening its relationship with the main United Nations organs. The drive to reform the peacebuilding architecture should be ambitious to ensure it reached its full potential and had the full impact for the countries on the Commission’s agenda.
KIM SOOK ( Republic of Korea) said there had been both progress and setbacks in 2012 in United Nations peacebuilding efforts. A one-size-fits-all solution could not work in every conflict. Peacebuilding was a constant process informed by trial and error and it was important, therefore, to draw relevant lessons from both successes and failures. To be effective, early peacebuilding tasks should be carefully mandated into all peacekeeping activities. The Commission and Council “can find room” for mutual cooperation. The Commission’s architecture enabled a flexible response to each situation, with its platform of country-specific configurations, but it could be more receptive to those nations’ requests.
He said that, while the Council focused on its primary responsibility for international peace and security, the Commission was a fundraiser, promoter, counsellor and adviser, and the essence of their cooperation lay in their division of labour. The transition from a political mission to a country team required that cooperation. All successful peacebuilding had the common factors of: substantial progress in disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and security sector reform; strong national ownership; active regional engagement; and the strong support of the international community. Without engagement at the grass-roots level, resilient peacebuilding would be elusive. Democratic and inclusive leadership was also indispensible for national reconciliation. The United Nations should work together with legitimate Governments towards integrating peacebuilding efforts into their national development strategies.
VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said the main objective of peacebuilding was to eliminate the root causes of conflict; its main role was to be supportive of national Governments as they tried to rely on their own strength. That assistance could be multifaceted; for example, implementation of peace accords, stabilizing security, and strengthening State management, human rights and rule of law. The international community must ensure that it complemented national efforts. Despite the work undertaken by missions and peacebuilding offices, including by the country-specific configurations, assistance to countries remained “fragmented”. A division of labour was required to assist peacebuilding processes, whose articulation was “far from exhausted”.
He said that United Nations structures must provide assistance on the basis of their mandates. Also imperative was compliance with post-conflict State sovereignty and recognition of national ownership and priorities. The Commission added high-quality value in its provision of advisory assistance to the Council within the framework of its mandate and in lending support across interrelated areas relevant to the United Nations system. Russia was “wedded” to strengthening it, of the view that its full potential must be utilized.
The Commission’s success lay in the acceptance and support of all its members, he said. It had achieved serious results in several areas, but there were also examples where peacebuilding had been insufficient and where there had been a radical deterioration of a situation, such as in Guinea-Bissau and the Central African Republic. While the Commission was effective in certain contexts, it did not always succeed in others. Peacebuilding assistance must be very finely calibrated, he said, stressing that it was counter-productive to “push the latest fashions, especially those sewn on the same template”.
KODJO MENAN ( Togo) said the Commission’s importance should be measured by its contribution to reconstruction and the rule of law, the results of which were not always quantifiable in the short term. A group that was as broad as possible should be involved in the identification of priorities. Welcoming that the Commission’s collaboration with the main beneficiaries had allowed for making progress in peacebuilding, he said such work was the main responsibility of the country concerned. It was obliged to establish a framework for cooperation with national and regional actors. In defining priorities, there was a problem of non-inclusiveness in identifying the needs of the most vulnerable. It was fitting that they should be involved in all phases of peacebuilding.
He went on to stress the need for international financial institutions — and the entire international community — to establish cooperation frameworks, which would allow for success in peacebuilding. The African Union’s “African Solidarity Initiative” of July 2012 had motivated African States to participate in post-conflict reconstruction efforts, which deserved support. Indeed, such a framework was needed so that energy and resources were not wasted. Creating mechanisms to transition a country from a peacebuilding stage to one in which a Government “took the reigns” was time-consuming. Nonetheless, those transitional mechanisms must be established. The various missions assigned to the Commission by the Council, the Assembly and the Economic and Social Council must be complementary.
WANG MIN ( China) said the Commission continued to play an important role, noting that peacebuilding was a complex, comprehensive long-term task that, today, faced many new obstacles. He urged respecting the principle of country ownership in such work, stressing that the international community should respect a country’s sovereignty and provide constructive assistance. China supported equal work, “less arrogance” and fewer attempts to force “recipes” on countries.
Indeed, there was no single model for peacebuilding, and the international community should respect the cultural traditions of the countries concerned, he continued. Socioeconomic development should be the main way that peace was built and real investment in that area was often lacking. As such, he called for more attention to socioeconomic development, expressing hope that the Commission would coordinate global efforts in that regard. While the Commission’s working methods and effectiveness should be improved, he noted China’s support for the body.
GERT ROSENTHAL ( Guatemala) said the Commission was an important institutional link among the Security Council, the Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Bretton Woods institutions. While Assembly resolution 60/180 (2005) allowed the Security Council to appoint seven members of the Commission, nothing prevented other Council members from being elected. Currently, there was a Council member presiding over one of the Commission’s country-specific configurations. Members of both forums should be sensitive to the potential for closer cooperation and seek mutual support.
He went on to press the Council to broaden the practice of inviting the Chairs of the country-specific configurations to its discussions, when referring to those countries on its agenda. When drafting the mandate renewal for peacekeeping operations, it would be useful to include linkages with the Commission’s agenda. The Council should also consider having the Commission participate in the technical assessment missions carried out prior to the drawdown of peacekeeping operations. Both bodies tended to function as separate “compartments”, with minimum communication. As a member of both the Council and the Commission, he believed “it is within our reach to change the situation”.
MARTIN BRIENS ( France) said that several recent crisis, such as in Guinea-Bissau and Central African Republic, showed “so clearly” the difficulty of peacebuilding. The United Nations and the Peacebuilding Commission faced several problems, and the Commission’s latest report showed the limitations of that body. The Commission required strong national commitment and ownership and the lasting support of international partners. It had achieved several encouraging results, such as implementation of a reconciliation strategy in Liberia and mobilization and development of a poverty reduction strategy in Burundi. Strengthened cohesion between the Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund in Guinea had allowed for the retirement of more than 4,000 troops, thereby furthering the country’s security sector reform.
Still, he said, efforts must be made to ensure that the Commission played its full role. A long-term approach was required, as peacebuilding was a complicated process that included setting up a solid foundation in its countries of engagement, such as rule of law, police force, and justice systems, the absence of which stymied momentum for lasting peace. The current crisis in the Central African Republic showed the extent to which peacebuilding was extremely valuable, on the one hand, but which could be reversed, on the other. Thus, the Commission’s work should take a long-term perspective, while ensuring that its peacebuilding processes were inclusive and brought together all tiers of the population. The Commission must also continue to improve its working methods, in particular strengthening its coordinating role, and interface with the international financial institutions, the private sector and donors. It should also ensure regular interaction between New York and its field operations.
ROSEMARY DICARLO ( United States) recognized peacebuilding as a common platform in support of sustainable peace and development, from mobilizing resources to building bridges. The process continued to evolve towards its full potential. Strong national ownership of the process was crucial, as were closer relations between Headquarters and the actors in the field. Resources must also be prioritized to ensure success. To be effective, the Commission required resilient and inclusive governance institutions, which were also essential to ending conflict and enabling broad-based economic growth and development. Good governance, as President Barack Obama had said, was the ingredient that could unlock Africa’s enormous potential.
She said that the Commission’s role in development of coherent short- and long-term objectives was of increasing importance. The international community, however, could not substitute for national Governments or overcome the absence of a durable political settlement. The Commission had had to suspend its work in Guinea-Bissau, and the Central African Republic had started down a similarly troubling path. Constitutional order must be restored and peace accords implemented. The Commission must be prepared to step in and facilitate international support for Government institutions once conditions allowed. Unlocking women’s vast potential in post-conflict peacebuilding and reconciliation was essential. Economic governance was equally important, and the international financial institutions were critical in that regard. She pointed to Burundi as an example of such successful engagement, but noted the role donor confidence played in a country’s ability to manage its finances.
Overall security conditions must be ripe for peacebuilding to succeed; that in turn required trust in rule of law and national security forces, which, in a conflict’s aftermath, usually needed to be built, she said. The Commission could and should help sustain the political momentum for such efforts. In Liberia, not only had it facilitated the participation of key stakeholders in establishing “justice hubs” for citizens outside the capital, but it had helped to establish a road map to keep the project on track. Counselling for victims of sexual and gender-based violence was also imperative. Too often, attention was focused on ending a conflict and stopping the bloodshed, but when the guns went silent, the wounds were far from healed and the conflict far from resolved. So, the Commission must catalyse momentum and mobilize the resources necessary to help those countries make the transition to peace.
AGSHIN MEHDIYEV ( Azerbaijan) said that due to the heavy dependence of peacebuilding on conditions on the ground and the changing global realities, the Commission could not entirely meet all expectations and secure its central role in rebuilding war-torn societies. The Commission’s added value lay in its more practical approaches to marshalling potential donors and mobilizing resources for the countries on its agenda. National ownership was at the core of peacebuilding, he said, citing positive developments, such as the launch of Liberia’s national reconciliation strategy, the successful conduct of elections in Sierra Leone, and resource mobilization for Burundi’s new poverty reduction strategy. The crises in Guinea-Bissau and the Central African Republic, on the other hand, highlighted the urgent need for cardinal solutions to the root causes of recurring instability.
He said that peacebuilding would yield true results if institutional capacities of post-conflict countries were developed. The establishment of viable State institutions with solid capacities was a key prerequisite underpinning peacebuilding’s effectiveness and fostered national ownership. International assistance to those countries should aim to develop national systems able to attract sustainable financial and technical support. Efforts to strengthen partnership with the World Bank and African Development Bank should be continued and proper mechanisms and procedures should be established to ensure alignment of the activities of key actors in the field. Improved interaction between the Commission and United Nations senior representative in the countries concerned was also important to increase the shared understanding of their respective comparative advances and responsibilities.
MASOOD KHAN ( Pakistan) said peacebuilding had become integral to the United Nations architecture for the maintenance of peace and security. Last year, the Council’s thematic meetings on the Commission’s work had led to more predictable responses to countries emerging from conflict. Three priorities had been defined in that regard, including a focus on security sector reform, the rule of law, capacity-building and economic revitalization. Second, the response had defined the nexus between peacekeeping and peacebuilding. Finally, there was a sharpened emphasis on the development aspects, in order to move from peacebuilding towards recovery. The Commission was well placed to advise the Council on policy developments and country-specific engagements vis-à-vis peacebuilding, he said, work that was pertinent in both specific situations and thematic issues.
He went on to recall that Council resolution 2086 (2013) underscored the Commission as an advisory body and clarified the relationship between peacekeeping and peacebuilding, helping to build stronger partnerships for a collective response. All peacebuilding efforts should be under national ownership and tailored to local requirements. Further, peace would remain elusive without improving the condition of women. Women’s access to health, education and entrepreneurship was essential. He supported regular interaction among respective configurations, and with the Security Council, to share lessons learned. Engagement of international financial institutions with peacebuilding did not diminish the importance of the Peacebuilding Fund, to which Pakistan had contributed.
PHILIPPA KING ( Australia) said the Commission, the Fund and the Peacebuilding Support Office were established to fill gaps in the United Nations’ capacity to assist post-conflict States to avoid relapse. At that time, there was little in the way of the peacebuilding architecture in other forums. Today, the field was relatively crowded. As regards the Commission’s impact, she said the challenge hinged on how a New York-based body could impact the lives of people on the ground. It worked well when it used its comparative advantage as a States-based entity to play a strong “political accompaniment” role, as in the lead-up to Sierra Leone’s elections last November.
Turning to partnerships, she said the Commission had made serious efforts to build synergies with financial bodies, especially the World Bank and the African Development Bank. It could play a strong political role to complement their work. It was often criticized for its failure to mobilize resources and it must look to non-traditional donors, including the private sector. As for women’s role in peacebuilding, the evidence was clear that engaging women in the negotiation of peacebuilding settlements and decision-making was essential to ensuring recovery and long-term peace. In sum, the Council should draw on the Commission’s expertise more readily, with the Commission given the opportunity to draw its attention to emerging threats.
LOTFI BOUCHAARA ( Morocco) hailed the Commission for having played an essential role. Country-specific configurations made it possible to build on progress and make up for shortcomings. In 2012, it had built upon the recommendations put forth in 2010. Each configuration must address the specificities of each country, including by strengthening partnerships with regional organizations and financial institutions. He highlighted achievements, including support for regional security in Liberia and assistance in designing a new poverty reduction strategy for Burundi. Those examples illustrated the Commission’s ability to provide “political help” to the countries on its agenda. At the same time, he agreed with previous speakers that the crises in Guinea-Bissau had highlighted the Commission’s shortcomings in that regard. The situations in those countries underlined the need to address deep-seated causes of instability.
At the same time, he continued, it was precisely in the face of political instability that countries needed the international community’s help. Everyone expressed support for national ownership, which was linked to stronger civilian capacity, and he was also interested in strengthening South-South and triangular cooperation, which was part of Morocco’s diplomatic efforts. In fact, countries were supporting a new paradigm for such cooperation through the peacebuilding process, which should be able to pursue the priorities identified by the countries themselves. Also important was the relationship between the Commission and other United Nations bodies, particularly the Security Council. The withdrawal of the mission in Sierra Leone had highlighted the role of the Commission in that delicate process. The country-specific configurations had much to contribute to the Council’s examination of the countries on its agenda.
SYLVIE LUCAS ( Luxembourg) said the focus was correctly placed on strengthening the links between the Commission and the Council. After all, the former body’s mandate was based on two Council resolutions from 2005 and fine-tuned thereafter, with a particular emphasis on preventing countries from relapsing into conflict. Assisting those countries required the international community’s support and resource mobilization.
He said that the Commission had achieved significant successes in 2012, but it was also true that a great deal remained to be done. He called on Council members to back the Commission in their common objective, and for countries on their agenda to show the necessary political will to transcend the deeply rooted causes of their conflicts and ethnic rivalries, mismanagement and inability to withstand internal and external shocks. States themselves were mainly responsible for peacebuilding, and that was where the Commission must create “relationships of trust”. There must be cooperation between a national Government that wished to fulfil its obligations and its international partners. The Commission had blazed the trail, but it needed to make additional efforts to align peacebuilding commitments with a country’s vision.
Especially important, he said, was to “transcend uncertainties” remaining in the relationship between the Commission and the Council. Clearly, the success or failure of a peacebuilding effort had an impact on the Council; their work was intrinsically linked. Thus, the five permanent members and the chairs of the country-specific configurations should be allowed to participate in the Council’s private consultations. The latter could shed light on the deep-rooted causes of a conflict. Their participation was especially important when it came to discussions of mandate renewals.
MARÍA CRISTINA PERCEVAL ( Argentina) said the Organization’s effective response was required if it was to produce a broad and coordinated strategy based on the priorities identified by local authorities. That would enable the establishment of realistic goals and deadlines. The task required humanitarian assistance, restoration of the rule of law, reform of the security sector and justice system, promotion of sustainable development, and a vigorous and democratic policy to protect and promote human rights. A peacebuilding strategy should be based on a three elements: national responsibility; coordination with the United Nations system; and complementarity of regional organizations. A priority must be respect for human rights and ensuring the involvement in peacebuilding of all society’s members on an equal footing. In 2012, the Commission had reaffirmed the central role of strong national involvement in peacebuilding; Liberia and Sierra Leone were examples of its effective use.
The Commission’s potential, she said, also lay in its ability to promote constructive dialogue with the relevant national actors. Unfortunately, there had been a “break in constitutional order” in Guinea-Bissau, which had interrupted the electoral process there. Most recently, such a breakdown had led to a resumption of hostilities in the Central African Republic, which showed the limits of the Commission in helping countries, which, themselves, were not committed nationally or which lacked credible, solid and firm foundations on which to build and ensure that “conflict would win over peace”. The legitimacy of the Commission’s political assistance must be sustained by the country’s commitment, and international aid must be in harmony with the country’s priorities. In Latin America, the lesson had been learned that there was no single model or recipe for cooperation, nor was it effective when it was imposed.
OLIVIER NDUHUNGIREHE ( Rwanda), whose country holds the Council presidency for the month, said the Commission’s role of advising on post-conflict recovery and bringing together actors in resource mobilization was complex, and it could only make an impact if it leveraged its unique membership structure. Country support should focus on building national capacities. “There is no substitute for strengthening national institutions,” he said, which was essential for avoiding a relapse into conflict.
He said the Commission should help the United Nations “deliver as one” by ensuring that guidance to field missions was aligned with national peacebuilding priorities. Resource mobilization was linked to both coherence and political progress. As such, he urged countries on the Commission’s agenda to advocate to attract investment and to identify ways to tap non-traditional donors, such as foundations and the private sector. The Commission’s strength lay with the readiness of its members to use it as a “linchpin” to bridge the gap between the global security and development architectures.
As for interaction between the Commission and the Council, he said joint membership should play a lead role in that regard. The Commission should be asked to provide information on coherence among key actors and on the risks to the peacebuilding process. The Commission was in a good position to support the drawdown of United Nations missions. To improve engagement, he agreed on the need for more interactive dialogues with the Council. Rwanda planned to hold an interactive dialogue between the Council and the Commission to exchange opinions to strengthen the Commission’s advisory role to the Council.
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