Speakers in Security Council Stress Need for Better Coordination, More Reliable Funding in United Nations Peacebuilding Efforts
Speakers in Security Council Stress Need for Better Coordination, More Reliable Funding in United Nations Peacebuilding Efforts
Delegates Air Concerns about ‘Fragmentation’ among Key Organs, Lack of ‘Coherence’
Member States and the United Nations must stop viewing peacebuilding solely as a post-conflict activity and focus more on coordinated programming and funding to prevent war and relapse into conflict, speakers in the Security Council said today.
“We keep addressing the matter as something that should occur after the guns fall silent,” said Gert Rosenthal (Guatemala), Chair of the Advisory Group of Experts on the 2015 Review of the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture, at the start of a day-long debate on that subject. The first conclusion of the seven-member panel, established by the Secretary-General in January 2015 to assess the Organization’s peacebuilding performance, was that the term “peacebuilding” should be replaced with “sustainable peace” to shift the emphasis to preventative action, he added.
Olof Skoog (Sweden), immediate former Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission — one of the three bodies subject to the 2015 review — declared: “There are no excuses for not heeding the call coming consistently across the three reviews on United Nations peace operations: ‘We must move prevention of conflict to the centre of our work’.” Also under review are the Peacebuilding Fund and the Peacebuilding Support Office.
The former Chair went on to state that sustaining peace was a political process requiring sound political judgement and programming, as well as adequate political and financial support. It was a tragic irony that billions of dollars were poured into peacekeeping and humanitarian responses, yet conflict-prevention initiatives — which could save so many lives and significantly reduce the need for peacekeeping in the first place — had to scramble for a fraction of those amounts, he said.
Macharia Kamau (Kenya), Current Chair of the Commission, said the 2015 review had been launched amid increasing calls to end fragmentation in the United Nations system’s peacebuilding efforts and to create strategic collaboration across its peace and security, development and human rights operations. The Organization also needed stronger partnerships with regional and subregional bodies, as well as with international financial institutions, in order to build peace.
Like other speakers, he said the lack of priority accorded to conflict prevention was reflected in the shortage and unpredictability of financial resources for peacebuilding. Funding was often directed towards short-term emergency responses that would produce immediate, tangible results, whereas countries emerging from conflict required significant aid over extended periods, he noted, adding that the impact of the Peacebuilding Fund remained limited. “Clearly, the Fund needs to be enhanced,” he said.
Senegal’s representative said the lessons drawn from peacebuilding processes in Africa, particularly Guinea-Bissau, illustrated that point. The Fund currently supported 222 projects in 22 countries, but was far from attaining its goal of becoming a steady flow of resources. He supported the call by the Chair of the Advisory Group and other speakers to ensure that $100 million — 1 per cent of the Organization’s entire budget for peacekeeping operations — was earmarked specifically for peacebuilding.
Several speakers voiced regret that the United Nations peacebuilding architecture had not lived up to its mandate and that its important role had gone unrecognized.
The representative of the United States pointed out that every conflict-affected country on the Council’s agenda had struggled to consolidate peace. The primary challenge was not necessarily the absence of resources, but rather the lack of coherence among peacebuilding actors, he emphasized. United Nations entities must work in a more coordinated fashion, with the Peacebuilding Commission acting as a bridge. In Sri Lanka, where local councils were receiving capacity-building support, and Sierra Leone, where the integrated work of successive United Nations missions had helped break the cycle of violence, coherent internal approaches had facilitated their emergence from conflict, he said. The Commission’s country-specific configurations should be smaller, more flexible and focused, he added.
The United Kingdom’s representative recalled that during the Council’s recent visit to Burundi, he had questioned whether more could have been done to prevent the country’s tailspin into violence. “People on the ground needed more than just words on paper, they needed meaningful action from this Council, and others,” he said. Early warning must be matched with early action, he said, stressing that improved horizon-scanning was of no use on its own.
Echoing other speakers, Angola’s representative said each country had its own timeline for addressing the root causes of conflict, and the Council should refrain from imposing rigid deadlines on the parties involved in resolving outstanding disputes. Agreement on adapting time frames on the basis of each situation on the ground could significantly help sustain peace, he said.
The observer for the African Union said lessons could be drawn from that continent’s conflict-affected countries, which comprised all the Member States on the Commission’s agenda and had received approximately 80 per cent of the Peacebuilding Fund’s resources between 2007 and 2014. Despite general improvement, the risk of relapse into conflict remained very high in Africa and gains from peacebuilding were fragile, particularly during the early stages of transition, as illustrated by the Ebola crisis in West Africa, he said, underlining that policies and programmes must address the transnational nature and root causes of conflicts.
He said the African Union Peace and Security Council had called for stronger links with the Security Council, adding that they should work together to form a common assessment of the nature and scope of peacebuilding challenges, agree on a division of tasks and hold more frequent and structured dialogue. He also called for a “desk-to-desk” exchange between the Peacebuilding Support Office and relevant departments of the African Union Commission and other regional mechanisms.
Some speakers, including Montenegro’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and European Integration and the representatives of Uruguay and Colombia, underscored the pivotal role of women in peacebuilding. Ireland’s representative called for a clear deadline for meeting a 15 per cent gender marker for peacebuilding financing, saying that the participation of women should also be built into the terms of reference for special envoys and special representatives of the Secretary-General.
However, the Russian Federation’s representative said that, while he recognized the important role women played in peacebuilding, an excessive focus on gender was counter-productive. Eradicating the root causes of conflict was the most important goal, he emphasized. Responding to a previous speaker, he said the idea of moving the Peacebuilding Fund to the regular United Nations budget was contradictory, adding that such a move would create more work while stripping the Fund of its effectiveness and flexibility.
Also speaking today were representatives of Egypt (also speaking on behalf of Spain and Ukraine), New Zealand, China, Malaysia, Japan, France, Venezuela, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Brazil, Australia, Italy, Belgium, Romania, Pakistan, Thailand, Guatemala, Germany, Poland, Mexico, Algeria, Switzerland, Philippines, Ireland, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Finland (also on behalf of Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), Republic of Korea, Argentina, Slovakia, South Africa, Morocco, Peru, Estonia, Croatia, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Sierra Leone, Netherlands, Botswana, Ecuador, Canada, Rwanda and Turkey, as well as the European Union and the Holy See.
A representative of the Organization of American States also spoke.
The meeting began at 10:07 a.m. and ended at 4:42 p.m.
MACHARIA KAMAU (Kenya), Chair of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, noted that the report of the Advisory Group of Experts reiterated the need for a comprehensive approach to conflict prevention and sustainable peace. He said the current review came at a time when there had been increasing calls to address fragmentation in the United Nations system’s efforts and growing unanimity on the importance of building coherence in collective efforts across the peace and security, development and human rights engagement of the United Nations at the intergovernmental and operational levels. Lasting peace would require predictable, sustained and adequate financing to address the root causes of conflict.
While countries emerging from conflict required significant financing over extended periods, funding was often directed towards short-term emergency responses that would produce immediate, tangible results, he continued. The role of the Peacebuilding Fund in providing financing to countries was important, but remained limited in its impact, he noted. “Clearly, the Fund needs to be enhanced.” All financing-related proposals contained in the Advisory Group’s report, including those aimed at appropriately resourced peacebuilding programmes undertaken during transitions, must be comprehensively considered by Member States during the current review.
He went on to say that the importance of enhanced partnerships with regional and subregional organizations, as well as with international financial institutions in building peace, could not be overemphasized. While Africa continued to be the priority destination for peacebuilding activities, there should not be any impression that Africa alone was “crying out” for peacebuilding interventions. “Anyone who reads the daily newspaper knows that Africa has no monopoly on violence,” he said. As the international community worked to operationalize the outcome of the peacebuilding architecture review, there must be stronger links between efforts to build sustainable peace and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
OLOF SKOOG (Sweden), former Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, said that validating and solidifying the shift in mindset while endorsing a corresponding change in the United Nations response to conflict was the most important outcome of the 2015 review of the peacebuilding architecture. The Commission’s aim was to adopt more transparent and strategic working methods, a more flexible agenda, and improved partnerships with regional and subregional actors. “There are no excuses for not heeding the call coming consistently across the three reviews on United Nations peace operations: we must move prevention of conflict to the centre of our work,” by better equipping the Organization to help sustain peace, recognizing that it was inherently a political process requiring sound political judgement and corresponding conflict-sensitive programming, as well as adequate political and financial support. Adequate resources to support peacekeeping and peacebuilding priorities were of key importance.
He said it was a tragic irony that while resources for peacekeeping and humanitarian responses amounted to billions of dollars, conflict-prevention initiatives — which could save so many lives and significantly reduce the need for peacekeeping — had to scramble for a fraction of those amounts. Every option, including innovative ways to increase financing, must be explored, he stressed. By strengthening national capacity to generate domestic revenue, the United Nations could decrease its dependence on external resources, in turn strengthening national leadership and ownership of development. The United Nations did not operate in a vacuum, and it was not always the best placed actor to address threats to peace, he said, emphasizing that it must therefore create stronger partnerships with regional actors and strengthen their capacity because they were the first to respond to conflict. Young people played a vital role in peacebuilding and were a positive source of peace, particularly in conflict-affected countries where youth represented a majority of the population and where unemployment among young people ran high. “By taking forward resolution 2250 (2015), and by adopting more inclusive approaches, we will make sure that their voices are heard,” he stressed.
Introduction of Report
GERT ROSENTHAL (Guatemala), Chair of the Advisory Group of Experts on the 2015 Review on the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture, introduced that panel’s report, saying it provided a collective and unvarnished opinion of seven independent specialists on the Organization’s performance in its peacebuilding activities. The Advisory Group’s first conclusion was that the international community must rethink what was meant by “peacebuilding”, he said, adding: “We keep addressing the matter as something that should occur after the guns fall silent.” The Group proposed the term “sustainable peace” as an alternative, the main point being that the United Nations as a whole must put greater focus on preventative measures, he emphasized.
The report also stressed the need for the Security Council, General Assembly and the Economic and Social Commission to discharge their responsibilities in a coordinated and coherent manner, each within the confines of its mandate, he continued. The Peacebuilding Commission, in its capacity as an advisory body, could play a key role in proposing how that coordination could be implemented in operational and practical terms, he continued. Furthermore, discussions about peacebuilding centred too much on the institutional and organizational aspects in New York, while building sustainable peace could only happen on the ground, he said. Reconciliation, capacity-building, institution-building and strategic planning could only be led by domestic stakeholders, through inclusive national ownership. The United Nations must improve its capacity to partner with regional organizations, as well as bilateral and multilateral financial institutions, he said, emphasizing that peacebuilding required long-term development financing, which would invariably be a good investment due to its intrinsic benefits.
AMR ABDELLATIF ABOULATTA (Egypt), speaking also on behalf of Spain and Ukraine, said it was in the Security Council’s interest to consider urgently ways in which to discourage the “siloed and fragmented approaches” to peacebuilding discussed in the report of the Advisory Group of Experts. Prevention was of key importance in establishing lasting peace, and helping countries find ways in which to address the root causes and drivers of conflict must therefore become a priority for the United Nations, he emphasized. Preventative diplomacy was a tool that the Security Council should deploy more often, drawing upon the good offices of the Secretary-General.
He went on to state that the Peacebuilding Commission, Peacebuilding Fund and the Peacebuilding Support Office had been underutilized over the past 10 years and their full potential had not been realized. The Security Council should consider the Peacebuilding Commission as a valuable tool when crisis situations were no longer regarded as such, but still required dedicated, targeted and sustained attention. Funding for peacebuilding, currently done on an ad hoc basis, should become more predictable and the recommendations of the Advisory Group in that regard deserved serious consideration. No resolution on reforming peacebuilding would stand a chance unless all Member States and the United Nations leadership were ready to renew their commitment to saving the present as well as future generations from the scourge of war, he emphasized.
ISMAEL ABRAÃO GASPAR MARTINS (Angola), highlighting his delegation’s role, alongside Australia, as co-facilitator of the intergovernmental consultations on the 2015 review, said regular reviews of the peacebuilding architecture were critical, as was the need for a change in the mindset of United Nations peacebuilding, which was based on the concept of sustaining peace and preventing armed conflict. “Sustaining peace is a permanent venture before, during and after conflict,” he emphasized, pointing out that in Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti, Sierra Leone and other strife-torn countries, the United Nations had helped to consolidate peace by promoting inclusive socioeconomic development and human rights. Peacebuilding must be built on an evolving concept of adapting to realities on the ground, he said, noting that each country had its own timeline for addressing the root causes of conflict. The Council could either look into the deep causes of such delays or adopt a rigid position on the parties and seek strict compliance with agreed time frames. Taking the appropriate time to resolve outstanding disputes and agreeing to adapt to the time frame dictated by the situation on the ground might help significantly in sustaining peace, he said.
GERARD VAN BOHEMEN (New Zealand) supported the Advisory Group’s call for the Council to play a more active role in peacebuilding and to have a more consistent, meaningful engagement with the Peacebuilding Commission, sharing knowledge and expertise. There were positive examples in that regard, such as the briefing by the Chair of the Commission’s Guinea-Bissau configuration during the Council’s discussions last week. New Zealand strongly supported the Chair’s involvement in the Council’s mission to that country next week. The Council could benefit from the Commission’s advice on how to design meaningful benchmarks to measure the completion of peacebuilding mandates, he said, adding that it must also better recognize the essential role of partnerships, particularly for institutional capacity-building. He voiced support for the Advisory Group’s recommendation to use mechanisms such as “peacebuilding compacts” to foster improved understanding and more meaningful ownership of programmes by national stakeholders. Such agreements had benefited peacebuilding missions in the Asia-Pacific region, he added. There was a need for better coordination with other peacebuilding actors so as to promote coherence in international assistance, he said, expressing support for strengthening the offices of resident coordinators in transition periods during peace operations.
LIU JIEYI (China) said that methods for improving peacebuilding efforts and creating lasting peace presented residual questions that must be addressed. Peacebuilding initiatives must adhere to the ideas and principles of host countries and be based on their consent. The international community must respect the sovereignty and leadership of post-conflict countries and provide constructive support and assistance, he said, emphasizing that the idea that peacebuilding actions could replace the role of a host-country Government “was not desirable”. The peacebuilding architecture should serve as a communications platform between host countries and the international community. International financial situations should focus on helping concerned countries to mobilize resources, and the United Nations should help all actors leverage their advantages and expertise. Tailor-made approaches must be created depending on the different realities facing each host country, he stressed.
RAMLAN BIN IBRAHIM (Malaysia) noted that the Peacebuilding Commission’s engagement with States not on its formal agenda showed that it had the flexibility required to address issues beyond a predetermined scope. For example, the Commission’s actions in response to the Ebola outbreak had demonstrated its ability to act in a preventative capacity. Moreover, its initiatives showed a “deepening of a cultural of prevention” within the United Nations system. Emphasizing the need for peacebuilding efforts to be aligned with the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, he said there was a need for inclusive approaches involving all stakeholders in conflict-affected countries, as well as greater efforts to address fragmentation in peacebuilding efforts.
MOTOHIDE YOSHIKAWA (Japan) said that, 10 years after the Peacebuilding Commission’s establishment, it was time to turn the organ into one that could better perform its intended function as an advisory body of the Security Council. As Japan had served as Chair of the Commission’s Working Group on Lessons Learned for the past two years, he said, findings had shown that strengthening core State institutions that provided security, justice, public administration and basic social services was fundamental to a successful transition from post-conflict to lasting peace. Moving forward, the Commission could be better employed for the prevention of lapses and relapses into conflict. Japan had committed to contributing by the end of March an additional $3.5 million to the Peacebuilding Fund, which was an important financial tool to support critical peacebuilding processes in many post-conflict countries. However, Japan did not believe in the “assessed contribution” option, which would greatly undermine the Fund’s comparative advantage to respond rapidly and flexibly.
FODÉ SECK (Senegal) said the Council must seize the opportunity to act on the three reviews, noting that the Advisory Group’s report had made the salient point that peacebuilding had taken a back seat in the Organization’s priorities and did not enjoy sufficient financing. Senegal called for the creation of a more consistent and comprehensive approach to breaking up the “silos” that led to the fragmentation of action and efforts in the United Nations system. Better coordination and more dynamic interaction were needed among the Commission, the Council and other United Nations bodies, he said, emphasizing that it was only in that way that the Organization could foster better impact on the ground. Calling for an integrated strategy for development, security and human rights, he pointed out that as countries emerged from conflict, they needed long-term financing for sustained development. Lessons drawn from peacebuilding processes in Africa, particularly Guinea-Bissau, illustrated that point. The Peacebuilding Fund was insufficient and far from attaining its goal of becoming a steady flow of resources. The General Assembly should study measures to ensure that basic financing of $100 million — 1 per cent of the Organization’s entire peacebuilding budget — was earmarked for the Commission.
DAVID PRESSMAN (United States) said he supported the goals of the peacebuilding architecture, but felt it had not lived up to its mandate. Every conflict-affected country on the Council’s watch had struggled to consolidate peace, he noted, saying practical, achievable and impactful changes were needed. While agreeing with many of the Advisory Group’s assessments and recommendations, as well as its conclusion that peacebuilding remained under-recognized and under-resourced, he emphasized that the primary challenge was not necessarily the absence of resources, but the lack of coherence. United Nations entities must work in a more coordinated fashion, he stressed, recalling that in Sri Lanka, where local councils were receiving capacity-building support, and Sierra Leone, which had benefited from the integrated work of successive United Nations missions to break the cycle of violence, coherent internal approaches had eased their emergence from conflict. The United States supported making the Peacebuilding Commission’s country-specific configurations smaller, more flexible and focused entities. The recent briefing by International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank representatives to the Burundi country configuration showed the crucial link between Headquarters and financial institutions. Applauding the Peacebuilding Fund, he said it had been among the first to fund a multi-partner trust fund in Colombia. An effective rapid-response tool, its efforts in that country would help generate tangible, inclusive peace dividends and create the conditions necessary to implement the peace accords, he said.
MATTHEW RYCROFT (United Kingdom) said it was no longer enough just to stop the fighting. In the case of Burundi, a small, poor yet beautiful country had suffered a great deal since the end of civil war more than 10 years ago, yet it stood once again on the precipice of war. He recalled that during the Council’s recent visit to Burundi he had questioned whether more could have been done to prevent its tailspin into violence. “People on the ground needed more than just words on paper, they needed meaningful action from this Council, and others,” he said. Even when the Council was united, lack of political will on the part of just one person could prevent positive action, he said, emphasizing that in such cases, regional organizations such as the African Union were of great importance. It was clear that crises were often brought to the Council for effective, preventive action, but early warning must be matched with early action, he said, adding that improved horizon-scanning was of no use on its own. More must be done to create lasting peace once the fighting had stopped, even though sustained engagement was clearly a challenge. Building peace must mean building peace for all — men, women, children, minorities, those in government and those who were not. Efforts must be made to create a bridge linking the usual silos so that the entire United Nations system could be greater than the sum of its individual parts, he stressed.
ALEXIS LAMEK, (France) said more attention must be paid to ensuring that the Peacebuilding Commission worked in a complementary fashion in support of the Security Council. It was crucial to ensure that the United Nations delivered a consistent message in the various situations that it addressed. In some cases, the Commission played a key advisory role to the Council, particularly in the context of the field visits it had conducted. The voluntary nature of contributions to the Peacebuilding Fund should be maintained to ensure transparency and follow-up to funding commitments. There must be better coordination of activities on the ground, including with international financial institutions, he said.
PETR V. ILIICHEV (Russian Federation) said that preventing the resumption of conflict took time, making it essential to draw upon the know-how of experts. National efforts should focus on strengthening the impact of peacebuilding in conflict-affected countries, in accordance with national action plans, he said, adding that it was essential to recognize that national ownership was the linchpin of national efforts. National Governments continued to bear primary responsibility for their own peoples’ security, and it was critical to ensure inclusive national processes and forge a single national vision. While recognizing the important role of women in peacebuilding, he said that an excessive focus on gender was counter-productive, emphasizing that eradicating the root causes of conflict was the most important goal. Describing the Peacebuilding Fund as an important mechanism for emergency financing, he said its work must be buoyed by resources from Member States. The Russian Federation had provided $2 million to the Fund annually, with a total accumulative contribution of $12 million. The idea of moving the Fund to the United Nations regular budget was contradictory, he said, adding that such a move would create more work while stripping the Fund of its effectiveness and flexibility. There should be greater interaction among the Fund, the Commission and international financial institutions, he reiterated.
ELBIO ROSSELLI (Uruguay) emphasized the need to carry out the recommendations of the peacekeeping reviews and to ensure inclusive dialogue and peace processes in conflict-affected nations. Support for Government institutions, the reintegration of people returning home and for socioeconomic revitalization was vital to peacebuilding. Developing national capacities must be at the heart of all international peacebuilding processes. Women had a pivotal role to play and must be more involved in political leadership positions as well as United Nations peacebuilding strategies, he said, adding that the Commission could play a key role if it had a gender perspective. Peacebuilding should be addressed as an inherently political process. Noting that the Fund needed more resources, he voiced support for the call that 1 per cent of the United Nations peacekeeping budget be devoted to the Commission. Noting that the leaders of some countries hosting peacekeeping operations were devoting most of their time to playing “sterile” games and clinging to power, he said he was among the many people tired of seeing entire societies suffering hunger, death and imprisonment, while their alleged leaders pursued battles and manoeuvres to maintain power. Noting that many United Nations workers had given their lives in such situations, he wondered whether they had died in vain.
RAFAEL DARÍO RAMÍREZ CARREÑO (Venezuela), Council President for February, spoke in his national capacity, saying that peacebuilding involved a range of long-term political, institutional and development activities seeking to address the root causes of conflict in order to attain sustainable and lasting peace. Peacebuilding processes were not linear and usually ended up being more lengthy and costly than anticipated at the outset. That required the United Nations to update and adapt its projections and models for achieving peace in conflict-affected countries, he said, adding that peacebuilding processes needed the Organization’s sustained attention. While capacity- and institution-building required technical expertise, peacebuilding was first and foremost an inherently political process, yet the United Nations had devoted little political attention or resources to it, which was partly to blame for relapses into conflict. The international community could not attempt to build peace if, at the same time, it ignored the need to meet people’s most basic socioeconomic requirements. It was imperative that countries emerging from conflict had the necessary tools to manage their own resources and economies, he emphasized.
IGOR LUKŠIĆ, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Montenegro, said the time had come to address challenges more decisively with a strengthened and more effective United Nations. It was striking that after all of the accumulated experience and institutional memory, peace was under-recognized, under-prioritized and under-resourced, especially in regard to the prevention of conflict. Changing perceptions of failure to act must be shifted towards a “culture of prevention”, he said, emphasizing that early action remained essential, requiring political will and leadership on the part of all actors.
He went on to stress the necessity to further improve the complementary nature of the work of the Peacebuilding Commission and the Security Council in order to maximize their impact in preventing conflict and sustaining peace. Development was one of the best resilience builders of all, and that was why achieving sustainable development was viewed as an essential conflict-prevention tool. Addressing human rights violations as early as possible was also crucial to peacebuilding. There was an obvious need for a more comprehensive and integrated approach to peacebuilding, he said, stressing that the international community should bear in mind that the risks posed by extremism, terrorism, organized crime and conflict increased where people had no education or hope for the future. Women and youth should be recognized as vital assets for building sustained peace, he said.
KATALIN ANNAMARIA BOGYAY (Hungary) called for a stronger focus on conflict prevention through early engagement and the use of all available tools for early warning and political mediation in order to prevent violence or escalation. Preventing relapse into conflict required relatively few resources while saving hundreds of thousands of lives. As such, Hungary welcomed the call to strengthen the role of global and regional peacebuilding partnerships, she said, calling for further strengthening of the formal and informal mechanisms of strategic engagement, including by the Council’s adoption of a clearer methodology for consultations with regional and subregional counterparts. As Co-Chair of the Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals, Hungary worked with Member States to ensure that Goal 16 explicitly recognized the connection linking peace, inclusion, sustainable development, justice and accountability, she said, adding that the peacebuilding review should adequately recognize that women were key agents in peacebuilding.
LOUISE SHARENE BAILEY of the African Union pointed out that all the countries on the Peacebuilding Commission’s agenda were on the continent and had received approximately 80 per cent of the Peacebuilding Fund’s allocations from 2007 to 2014. As such, lessons learned from them would be highly instructive for the review process. Despite general improvements on the continent, recent experiences had demonstrated that the risk of relapse into conflict remained very high and gains from peacebuilding fragile, particularly during the early stages of transition, as illustrated by the Ebola crisis in West Africa. Conflicts had multiple drivers, including transnational dynamics whose negative elements transcended borders and regions. Policies and programmes were needed to address the root causes of conflict, expedite reconstruction and prevent a return to violence, he said, emphasizing the essential need for adequate financing of the defined national priorities of countries emerging from conflict.
He went on to state that the African Union’s increased readiness to engage in peacebuilding was anchored in its 2006 policy on post-conflict reconstruction and development as well as relevant provisions of the protocol relating to the creation of the bloc’s Peace and Security Council. It had drawn up a database of peacebuilding experts and 2006 policy guidelines, organized assessment missions to countries emerging from conflict, and raised funds for quick-impact projects in Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Comoros and South Sudan to ensure the long-term survival of peacebuilding gains. The African Union Peace and Security Council had called for strengthened links with the Security Council, he said, adding that they should work together in developing a common assessment of the nature and scope of peacebuilding challenges and agree on a division of tasks. They should also have more frequent, structured dialogue, he said, noting that their first engagement had taken place in 2014. The African Union called for a “desk-to-desk” exchange between the Peacebuilding Support Office, relevant departments of the African Union Commission and relevant parts of regional mechanisms.
KAIRAT ABDRAKHMANOV (Kazakhstan) said peacebuilding should be associated not only with post-conflict situations, but must also be integrated into all United Nations efforts from the very start, with greater conflict prevention and resolution mechanisms. Interventions should be more comprehensive and oriented to the long term. It was critical that the United Nations system achieve a greater internal coherence among its agencies and country teams, as well as with host countries and regional structures and organizations. The peacebuilding architecture required multisectoral and interdisciplinary strategies aimed at ensuring local and national ownership, building capacity, building inclusive institutions, mutual accountability, risk management and greater resilience.
CARL HALLERGARD, on behalf of the European Union Delegation, said the idea of peacebuilding was conceived to address the gap between security and development in fragile post-conflict countries. As such, peacebuilding should occur at the country level tailored within a national context. To be truly effective in its response, the United Nations system needed to work in a more integrated, flexible and coordinated manner with an emphasis on prevention and early warning tools. Peacebuilding was an inherently political process that should be done on the basis of a long-term vision using a holistic approach. The human rights dimension should be integrated, both as an overall objective and an important early-warning tool.
The analytical capacities of the Peacebuilding Commission should be strengthened to better monitor ongoing activities and assess the impact of those efforts. The Commission’s greatest comparative advantage was its ability to call to task Member States and regional and subregional organizations and to help reconcile their approaches. However, several factors were hampering its ability to deliver, including the need to secure predictable financing. The European Union was keen to work in partnership with the United Nations, including on the ground. Addressing the challenge of sustainable peace required the United Nations to foster close strategic and operational partnerships with global financial institutions and with international, regional and subregional organizations.
MARÍA EMMA MEJÍA VÉLEZ (Colombia) said there was a need to expand the scope of the peacebuilding concept to focus on sustainable peace with the understanding that each case was different. The United Nations must adapt its actions to the particularities of each individual situation, she said, emphasizing that the work of peacebuilding must occur before, during and after conflict. Preventive actions must be supported by inclusive national ownership, and it was necessary to institutionalize women’s participation in peace and reconciliation. There must be greater coherence between the principal organs of the United Nations with regard to peacebuilding and silos must be broken down, she said. Ensuring an impact on the ground and responding to emerging crises would only be possible if sufficient, predictable and sustainable resources for peacebuilding were available, she said, adding that peacebuilding activities must be aligned with the priorities outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
ANTONIO DE AGUIAR PATRIOTA (Brazil) said inadequate and unpredictable financing remained a fundamental challenge for long-term peacebuilding efforts and States must agree on strengthening the Fund through assessed contributions. Peacekeeping missions must also be able to use budget resources for programmatic activities. A comprehensive approach to sustaining peace should address the need to eradicate poverty, promote development and gender equality and build institutions and inclusive societies. In close coordination with national authorities, that strategy must consider established priorities and national ownership at all stages. An interpretation that Sustainable Development Goal 16 on promoting peaceful and inclusive societies was directed at conflict and post-conflict situations disregarded the universality of the Goals and could indirectly lead to the mistaken assumption that violence and instability existed mainly in poor or less developed regions, he warned. Brazil supported enhancing cooperation with regional and subregional organizations in the area of peacebuilding because such groups often had a better understanding of the situation on the ground.
GILLIAN BIRD (Australia) said the three reviews concluded in 2015 laid out a clear framework for how the United Nations could better achieve the Charter goal of saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war. “Sustainable peace”, which was central to that vision, meant prioritizing peacebuilding across the complete cycle of the Organization’s engagement and required a longer-term perspective and intergovernmental and operational coherence. Sustaining peace further required creating a United Nations-system approach. As co-chair of the intergovernmental phase of the peacebuilding architecture review, Australia had been tasked with translating the widely-supported vision for United Nations peacebuilding set out in the Advisory Group of Experts report, into parallel resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly. The opportunity at hand was to change how peacebuilding was conducted and to ensure that the most vulnerable people — those in conflict-affected countries — were not left behind in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
SEBASTIANO CARDI (Italy) stressed the utmost importance of taking an integrated approach to the three major reviews under way — the future of peacekeeping, the role of women in peace and security, and the peacebuilding architecture. As a member of the Peacebuilding Commission’s Organizational Committee, Italy believed there was a growing awareness of the Commission’s important “bridging role” — through its preventive and multidimensional approach to conflict — in the face of rapidly changing security challenges. The review of the peacebuilding architecture should reshape the Commission into a more complete tool and enhance overall United Nations capacity in the field of preventive diplomacy, he said. A closer relationship between the Commission and the Security Council could be ensured by inviting the chairs of the country-specific configurations to participate in Council meetings as appropriate. However, the United Nations should not be seen as the sole peacebuilding actor, but rather as the main enabler of partnerships to sustain peace. Political attention to peacebuilding and necessary resources were sorely lacking, he said, adding that Italy had decided to resume its contributions to the Peacebuilding Fund throughout 2016. Alternate resources for peacebuilding activities, including non-monetary contributions and private sector contributions, were also needed.
MATHIAS BOGAERT (Belgium), associating himself with the European Union, said the paradigm of peacebuilding had changed visibly over the years. Noting that the review of the peacebuilding architecture had been taken place in the months following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, she pointed out that fragile and conflict-affected countries which required increased attention were among those that had advanced least towards its implementation. For that reason, Belgium had decided to allot 50 per cent of its official development assistance (ODA) to fragile and least developed countries, he said. While progress had been made in conflict prevention, a number of extended crises demonstrated that efforts in that area were still insufficient. Belgium called for strengthened transition and exit strategies, which would require political commitment on the part of all stakeholders, he said, calling for improved coherence and coordination in peacebuilding efforts.
ION JINGA (Romania) said the number of major civil wars had almost tripled in fewer than 10 years and more than 1.5 billion people were living in countries affected by violent conflicts. More than ever, conflict prevention was intrinsically linked to peacebuilding, he noted, emphasizing that preventing conflicts was considerably less expensive than responding to them and also less divisive for the international community, including the Security Council. Peacebuilding required an integrated and cross-cutting approach because its multidimensional nature posed coherence challenges, he said, adding that increased involvement in preventative action by the Security Council could help generate strategic planning for peacebuilding. Much added value would emerge from the United Nations, including the Security Council, further developing partnerships and engagement with regional organizations. Building peace called for good governance, opportunities for young people and fighting violent extremism.
MALEEHA LODHI (Pakistan) recalled that her country had first proposed in 2004 the idea of an ad hoc arrangement to draw different United Nations bodies together in addressing complex crises. Peacebuilding worked best as an integral part of a continuum from conflict prevention, to peacekeeping, to post-conflict reconstruction. Unfortunately, the international community’s focus remained on the conflict phase alone, to the detriment of the two other phases. The Peacebuilding Commission had not been able to live up to its promise, she said, adding that the failure to prioritize led to tragic cycles of relapse into conflict and turmoil. Addressing root causes of conflict was extremely important in avoiding its recurrence, she said, emphasizing that it required long-term commitment as well as adequate and predictable funding. The international community should prioritize prevention, take a holistic approach to sustaining peace, attach due importance to domestic resource mobilization while working on enhanced international support, encourage greater collaboration between the United Nations and the World Bank Group, as well as other regional and international partners, and ensure inclusive national ownership. The Peacebuilding Commission should present the Security Council with concise, realistic and context-specific recommendations and benchmarks, she said.
CHAYAPAN BAMRUNGPHONG (Thailand) said one of the key challenges identified by the Advisory Group of Experts report was that “peacebuilding was left as an afterthought” and was undertaken “only after the guns fall silent”. Instead, peacebuilding should be used throughout the conflict cycle and required sustained political attention. While political commitment must be matched by adequate and predictable funding for peacebuilding work, the Fund continued to face financial shortfalls. The Security Council and the General Assembly should consider resource mobilization through private sector partnerships and strengthened relationships with international financial institutions and regional development banks. The proposal to support the Peacebuilding Fund through an assessed contribution also merited careful consideration. As peace could not be sustained without lasting and inclusive development, “we cannot wait until the guns fall silent to start development works”, he stressed, emphasizing that the United Nations could play a crucial role in laying the necessary groundwork for a transition from conflict to normalcy.
JOSÉ ALBERTO ANTONIO SANDOVAL COJULÚN (Guatemala) said the recent failures of the United Nations had highlighted the need for a comprehensive review of the Organization’s peacekeeping architecture. Voicing support for better operational strategies and improved coordination with international financial institutions as well as regional and subregional organizations, he emphasized that States should use the Advisory Group’s recommendations as a basis for their discussions towards resolutions on peacekeeping and peacebuilding. It seemed that Member States would face major challenges in reaching a consensus on such issues as the inclusion of human rights, financing peacekeeping and defining such concepts as “sustainable peace”. International contexts were not static, and Member States therefore had an opportunity to discuss the structure of United Nations peacekeeping on the basis of past lessons learned. Emphasizing that greater efforts were needed to prevent conflict, he also underscored the need for the Council to guarantee that mandates granted to peacekeeping operations recognized the importance of integrating such missions into the United Nations system as a whole, including the Human Rights Council.
HARALD BRAUN (Germany), associating himself with the European Union, emphasized that the Peacebuilding Commission’s mandate must be enhanced to encompass crisis prevention, pointing out that preventing a conflict through mediation cost less than a peacekeeping operation involving tens of thousands of soldiers. The Commission must work more closely with the Council, but that could only be achieved if the Council involved the Commission in its own crisis-prevention and peacebuilding efforts work, and if the Commission had something to offer to the Council. Stressing that the “bureaucratic” approach to peacebuilding must be overcome, he said that some challenges, such as Ebola, called for a regional approach. There was no need for new structures; existing ones could be made more efficient through better cooperation with host countries, enhanced coordination with other United Nations agencies and more partnerships with regional and subregional organizations as well as international financial institutions. Noting that the need for predictable financing had been expressed even before the Rosenthal report, he said Germany had been a major donor to the Peacebuilding Fund and would substantially increase its contribution in 2016.
MARGARETA KASSANGANA-JAKUBOWSKA (Poland) said the lack of a proper attitude towards peacebuilding had contributed considerably to resurgences of conflict. Underscoring the importance of successfully implementing the 2030 Agenda and reflecting on why the Millennium Development Goals had not been fully realized, she said the maintenance of international peace and security must be discussed alongside good governance. There was a strong nexus between the principles of impartiality, transparency, accountability and combating corruption on the one hand, and United Nations efforts to assist Member States in preventing, resolving and recovering from military conflicts on the other. The scale and gravity of modern challenges meant the United Nations could not act alone. In that regard, the role of regional and subregional organizations in peacebuilding was critical. Poland fully supported the idea of partnerships between the United Nations and such organizations, similar to that in the sphere of peacekeeping. The Peacebuilding Commission should improve coordination with key United Nations bodies such as the Security Council and the General Assembly. In closing, she said the three review processes should maintain a high-level of coherence and complementarity.
RICARDO ALDAY GONZÁLEZ (Mexico) said that, 10 years after the establishment of the peacebuilding architecture, the best ways to ensure sustainable peace were still being sought. Success would depend on a more comprehensive strategy that would establish a firm link connecting peace and security with human rights and development. The focal point of peacebuilding efforts must be shifted away from the reactive point of view to a preventative one. There was a need for consistent efforts, and the presence of the United Nations must be constant, otherwise others might fill its role. Peacebuilding called for sustainable political, technical and financial support from the international community, and mechanisms were required to achieve that, he said, adding that the review provided an ideal opportunity to reconsider and reconceptualize peacebuilding.
SABRI BOUKADOUM (Algeria) said the current peacebuilding architecture had shown its limits, mainly because of the lack of adequate resources. Providing the Peacebuilding Fund with a symbolic 1 per cent of the value of the total United Nations budget for peacekeeping operations, as core funding from assessed contributions, would help to close the gap between mandates and programme resources. There were two opposing notions of time frame, namely that of the United Nations — punctuated by successive year sessions — and that of human beings in post-conflict situations. The latter was guided only by the required time it took for national reconciliation and framed social interactions to produce their expected positive effects. The importance of development in peacebuilding was something sine qua non towards lasting peace. However, the rule of law was also correlated to peace. Finally, he stressed the importance of strengthening the role of regional and subregional organizations in peacebuilding.
SIMON KASSAS of the Holy See said the Advisory Group’s findings demonstrated the complexity and difficulty of peacebuilding. The ability of the Peacebuilding Commission to engage with host Governments, as well as civil society and the most important stakeholders on the ground, remained crucial. The ultimate success of peacebuilding relied upon the attention given to the Commission by the international community as a whole. Appropriately, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development addressed the special need for financial, trade and development assistance for countries in post-conflict situations. However, as Pope Francis had noted in his recent address to the General Assembly, “solemn commitments […] are not enough”. Concrete steps and immediate measures were needed. The Holy See had always been a promoter of peace among countries, while local Catholic churches had long been a factor in reconciliation and peacebuilding at the national level, he said.
TATJANA VON STEIGER WEBER (Switzerland) said a fragmented approach to peacebuilding was not sustainable. The United Nations had yet to tap its full potential with regard to peacebuilding, even though its peacebuilding architecture and mandate remained highly relevant. Switzerland fully supported the thrust of the resolution on peacebuilding, which should clearly refer to the 2030 Agenda and underline the importance of more predictable funding. Emphasizing that a reinforced peacebuilding architecture would not infringe on the Security Council’s unique role, she said that, rather, the impetus provided by the resolution would enable the peacebuilding architecture, the Peacebuilding Commission in particular, to better assume its advisory role. The Commission could provide added value in contexts where the United Nations was present “with only a light footprint approach”, she said, adding that it could also highlight development and human rights issues, look at a broader time horizon and enhance the circle of internal and external stakeholders.
LOURDES ORTIZ YPARRAGUIRRE (Philippines) said that for decades, the United Nations had focused most of its resources on peacekeeping, which had yielded both successes and failures. It was highly regrettable that with armed conflicts raging in many part of the world, there was still a lack of motivation to prevent and overcome conflicts. Emphasizing the urgent need to inform and educate the world about the huge amount of work that remained once the guns had been silenced and the transition from war to development had started, she said the road to lasting pace could not be trodden in a rigid, linear and sequential manner. Development was the linchpin for any peacebuilding initiative and vital for preventing conflict. As the Philippines had learned from its own experiences, peace was a long and arduous process that would not come overnight, she stressed.
DAVID DONOGHUE (Ireland) said the participation of women in peacebuilding was vital, and more must be done to ensure that gains made in the normative framework on women, peace and security were reflected in the field. A Council resolution on the peacebuilding architecture should include a clear deadline for meeting a 15 per cent gender marker for peacebuilding financing. The participation of women should also be built into the terms of reference for special envoys and special representatives of the Secretary-General. Such a resolution should also mandate the changes needed to adapt the Commission’s working methods to the unpredictability, geographic diversity and challenges presented by today’s wars and conflicts. Noting that mandates and missions did not lend themselves to a “one-size-fits-all” approach, he said each conflict had unique characteristics that should be reflected in any United Nations mission. Ireland supported a role for the Commission in advising the Council on peacekeeping mandates and technical assistance operations, he said. However, no steps taken in New York would make a difference unless they meant something to those at risk of experiencing conflict, or who had already experienced it.
MASUD BIN MOMEN (Bangladesh) said his country had yet to close certain chapters of its Independence War, as seen in its efforts to break the culture of impunity for the crimes that had been committed against humanity. Indeed, peacebuilding was not an easy, short-term fix, and each conflict setting called for its own course for recovery and reconstruction. Without sustained, long-term efforts to address the underlying drivers of conflict, sufficient alacrity to read early warning signs and a combination of will and agility to pre-empt conflict, he warned, peacebuilding could risk becoming only an “ad hoc, piecemeal exercise”. It should be owned and appropriated by the principal organs of the United Nations in due recognition of the interface between peace and security, development and human rights. The desired coherence in peacebuilding hinged on the level of commitment demonstrated by the Security Council and United Nations peacebuilding efforts, he said, emphasizing the need to leverage the Peacebuilding Commission’s convening capacity in order to broaden further its orientation and engagements, and thus relieve it of its formulaic, agenda-based approach. He said that, while the notion of “sustainable peace” brought the question of adequate, predictable and sustained financing for peacebuilding efforts to the fore, there was merit in the suggestion to create an assured financial stream based on assessed contributions. In conclusion, he stressed the primacy of national ownership defined by inclusive and accountable processes, saying it should remain at the heart of peacebuilding efforts.
KAYODE LARO (Nigeria) said there was a clear need for closer engagement and collaboration with regional and subregional actors since they were usually closest to areas of conflict and often the first effective line of coordinated response. National leadership, ownership and inclusivity were central to post-conflict peacebuilding and must be strengthened. Where peacebuilding efforts were rooted in inclusive consultative processes, trust in and legitimacy of the State and its institutions were likely to be enhanced. Conflict-affected States should explore domestic sources for financing peacebuilding, while other Member States provided technical support aimed at improving State capacity to manage natural resources, public funds and tax collection, as well as curbing illicit financial flows. Nigeria recognized the difficulty of adopting an integrated approach to peacebuilding among United Nations entities that operated under different mandates, but saw merit in having one set of objectives and a single vision to guide all actors on the ground, he said.
KAI SAUER (Finland), aligning himself with the European Union and speaking also on behalf of Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, said a more effective and integrated United Nations system was needed. Seamless cooperation, improved analysis of the drivers of conflict and better coordination of peacekeeping and peacebuilding activities were required. Peacebuilding was an inherently political process that was not only about preventing a relapse to conflict, but also preventing conflict in the first place. Successful efforts required inclusive national ownership and higher priority must be given to the participation of local communities and civil society. Women’s participation was indispensable, as they brought to the table questions and issues that mattered for the entire population. Promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment was an investment in the stability of societies and conflict prevention. Strengthening the rule of law in countries emerging from conflict was critical to build stability, end impunity and tackle the underlying causes of conflict. More needed to be done to create judicial and security institutions that were effective and impartial, he concluded.
HAHN CHOONGHEE (Republic of Korea) said that a decade after its establishment, the Peacebuilding Commission had yet to find its place within the United Nations system, which made it difficult for the body to reach its full potential. Due institutional arrangements should be made and political attention paid to peacebuilding activities, with the Security Council acting as a true partner and patron of “sustaining peace” and the Commission contributing to its deliberations. Genuine sustainable peacebuilding efforts could not be limited to post-conflict activity, he emphasized, saying it was the Republic of Korea’s intention to highlight the long-term nature of peacebuilding in its capacity as Chair of the Commission’s Working Group on Lessons Learned. As a donor to various United Nations conflict-prevention activities, the Republic of Korea recognized the nexus between development and peace and security, and intended to increase its contributions in the coming years. The role of regional and subregional organizations could not be overemphasized, he said, adding that the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, in particular Goal 16, represented a historic opportunity for United Nations peacebuilding. The onus now was on the Security Council and the General Assembly to seize the opportunity and lay the foundations for lasting and sustainable peace.
MARTÍN GARCIA MORITÁN (Argentina) said that, to date, there had been fragmented efforts in the area of peacebuilding, and coordination between the main United Nations bodies was far from effective. The Organization must therefore integrate the related work of its Security Council, General Assembly and Economic and Social Council, at Headquarters with efforts in the field. All three reviews of United Nations peace operations focused on prevention, he noted, adding that prevention was linked to the concept of sustainable peace. Addressing the root causes of conflict — by strengthening the rule of law, eradicating poverty, promoting social development, democracy and respect for human rights — was also critical, and inclusive national ownership of peacebuilding activities should be encouraged. National realities must have pre-eminence, and peacebuilding should therefore have a flexible focus, he said. The lack of attention to peacebuilding was reflected in the scant resources available for related activities, he pointed out, calling for predictable, sustainable financing. Argentina therefore agreed with the suggestion to assign $100 million, or 1 per cent of the total budget for United Nations peace operations from assessed contributions, to peacebuilding annually.
FRANTIŠEK RUŽIČKA (Slovakia), associating himself with the European Union, said post-conflict development programmes were implemented in countries where the root causes of conflict, underdevelopment, rising inequality, denial of human rights and weak State institutions were intricately linked. More than a decade since the establishment of the Peacebuilding Commission, the world still faced the challenge of how to effectively measure, monitor and evaluate progress in the context of peacebuilding. Effective peacebuilding required thorough security-sector reform in societies emerging from conflict, since ensuring security and the rule of law were core preconditions for sustainable peace. Governments, regional organizations and the United Nations must continue to support national efforts to develop security institutions that were accountable, accessible and responsive to the needs of citizens, he stressed.
MAHLATSE MMINELE (South Africa) said that partnerships with regional and subregional actors and civil society were essential for making peace sustainable. South Africa was encouraged by the progress made by the United Nations in strengthening its partnerships with regional organizations, particularly its efforts to institutionalize its relationship with the African Union, he said. Emphasizing that sustaining peace should be an activity undertaken by the entire United Nations system, including the three relevant intergovernmental organs, he said national ownership of peacebuilding efforts was at the core of creating sustainable institutions in the immediate aftermath of conflict. The international community was obligated to build upon and advise on the basis of priorities that a conflict-affected State had identified for itself, he said, adding that building institutions and capacity in post-conflict countries required a substantive injection of resources and more predictable funding.
ABDERRAZZAK LAASSEL (Morocco) said there had been significant progress over 10 years, but there could be improvement through collective efforts. The review was asking for a change in the perception of peacebuilding because the complexity of new conflicts had altered the usual view of conflict resolution. Peacebuilding must be a holistic effort, he said, emphasizing that consolidation and peacebuilding must be undertaken with a multidimensional perspective, ensuring the inclusion of all groups in a post-conflict society. Peace was not a goal in itself, but rather a means to prosperity, and it could not be imposed from outside or seen in a standardized way. It was essential to involve women from the very early stages, and the transition process at the conclusion of a United Nations mission must be carefully planned, and not the outcome of budgetary or logistical conditions. The time had come for the Peacebuilding Commission to be given the acknowledgement and attention it deserved, and the Council must step up its engagement with the Commission beyond just considering its reports, he said, stressing that mobilizing structured, predictable and lasting financial support was of key importance. Peacebuilding could only succeed if it was part of a global integrated development process, since a country emerging from conflict must ensure macroeconomic stability, job creation and economic growth.
GUSTAVO MEZA-CUADRA (Peru) said it was important to maintain the relationship between peacebuilding and Goal 16 of the 2030 Agenda. More than 10 years ago, it was decided to build a peacebuilding architecture to break the cycle of conflict once and for all by attacking its root causes. Peru agreed with the Advisory Group of Experts on the need for a series of measures to improve action in the field. Peacebuilding was an inherently political process and the work of the United Nations should be to facilitate that process. Sustainable peace also called for reaching out to regional and subregional organizations. Larger and more predictable resources for peacebuilding should be considered by the General Assembly. Early warning systems should be adopted to prevent conflict and should involve the participation of all United Nations agencies.
SVEN JÜRGENSON (Estonia) said the international community had yet to realize the full potential of peacebuilding and must place prevention at the centre if it was serious about sustaining peace. Peacebuilding should no longer be seen merely as a post-conflict activity, but as a challenge of sustaining peace throughout the cycle of United Nations engagement. A holistic approach linking the three recent reviews of the Organization’s peace operations, as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, should address the connections linking peace, security, and development, in addition to the protection of human rights and women’s rights. Effective national, regional and international partnerships facilitated the joint development of more relevant approaches targeting the specific needs of peacebuilding. Lastly, more predictable and sustained funding was required to achieve the peacebuilding architecture’s full potential. The Peacebuilding Fund, as a relatively small-scale strategic entity, must be complemented by longer-term commitments from other financing sources, such as multilateral and regional development banks, he said.
VLADIMIR DROBNJAK (Croatia) said the term “peacebuilding” had evolved to take on a broader meaning than originally intended, and there was growing recognition that it should not be limited to post-conflict engagement. A holistic, people-centred, country-tailored approach that recognized national specificities, respected regional expertise and empowered local actors was essential. At the same time, international efforts should be more effectively integrated into locally- and regionally-owned efforts, he said, stressing the importance of including and empowering youth in national peacebuilding priorities and actions. Long-term political and financial support was needed, as well as partnerships among local communities, Governments, the private sector, and regional and international organizations, including international financial institutions.
JUAN CARLOS MENDOZA-GARCÍA (Costa Rica), recalling that his peace-loving country had remained disarmed of its own free will for nearly 70 years, emphasized that it was indispensable to replace the logic of war with good will and peace. There was a need for the United Nations to act early and maintain a lasting presence during and after conflict. Noting that the global landscape was increasingly complex, he said that forging alliances with regional and subregional organizations was therefore essential. The fragmentation and lack of coherence characterizing United Nations peace operations were major challenges that must be resolved promptly, he said, calling for greater emphasis on the operational and structural elements of conflict prevention. Peacebuilding called for more time than was currently envisioned, he said, adding that sufficient transition time was needed to respond carefully to issues of human rights, security and sustainable development. Describing Latin America as a “zone of peace”, he said the region’s States had committed not to intervene in the internal affairs of any State and to respect the principle of sovereignty.
FEDERICO ALBERTO GONZÁLEZ FRANCO (Paraguay) said new peacebuilding methods would require needs-based budgets, better management of existing resources and a modern institutional framework. Billions of dollars had been allocated to programmes aimed at stabilizing post-conflict situations, but those resources had not been efficiently used. He highlighted the importance of coordinating efforts to ensure that the benefits of development could be pooled in the same direction as peacebuilding efforts, and further stressed the urgent necessity to optimize resources, which must go hand-in-hand with any reformulation of the peacebuilding architecture.
VANDI CHIDI MINAH (Sierra Leone) said Africa had been a key beneficiary of peacebuilding efforts. In dealing with the causes and consequences of conflict, timely, compelling action was needed. With that in mind, the Peacebuilding Commission and the Council should deepen their relationship to benefit all stakeholders, he said, noting that financing was a concern. Peace depended on predictable financing and the issue could be resolved, with an oversight mechanism established to report to the Council and Commission during a pilot phase. One per cent was a drop in the ocean, he said, referring to the suggestion of allocating a portion of the peacekeeping budget to the Commission. That idea was not wildly ambitious, he said, in fact it was quite modest, as was the Secretary-General’s goal of 15 per cent of United Nations peacebuilding funds dedicated to women’s concerns. For its part, Sierra Leone had evolved into a fully functional State, and while the Ebola outbreak had knocked back some gains, the country was, with United Nations support, on the way to economic recovery. In closing, he said that in situations where a Government had collapsed and rebel groups were operating, it was time for the United Nations to step in.
KAREL JAN GUSTAAF VAN OOSTEROM (Netherlands) said peacebuilding could only be durable and inclusive if it was viewed as a partnership whereby all stakeholders were involved, including local communities and governments, women and youth, business communities, regional organizations and non-governmental organizations. Women’s participation was critical. The Peacebuilding Review should be linked to the Secretary-General’s review of peace operations, the review of Council resolution 1325 (2000) and the 2030 Agenda. During or after a conflict, a coherent United Nations strategy should focus jointly on goals and deliverables, on the basis of a shared conflict analysis and with complementary roles for political, military, police and development instruments. The restoration of trust in the maintenance of law and order was of equal importance, he said. On the resolution on the peacebuilding architecture, which was currently being negotiated, he said the text should give a clear and actionable mandate to the Secretary-General to take the necessary steps to turn the recommendations of the Peacebuilding Review into actions aimed at overcoming silos and fragmentation in the United Nations system.
NKOLOI NKOLOI (Botswana) said that, historically, Africa had endured its fair share of internal conflicts and remained an integral part of the peace and security architecture. Most of the continent’s post-conflict countries remained fragile and increasingly vulnerable, and very often they had weak or no governance institutions, the rule of law had broken down and they had no capacity to undertake socioeconomic development. Those countries required long-term support from the international community, he said. Noting that peacebuilding processes were very complicated and required time to consolidate, he expressed regret over the continuing lack of proper or predictable funding at the regional or international levels to ensure that the seeds of sustained socioeconomic growth were safeguarded through reconstruction and recovery. The international community must share experiences and lessons learned with post-conflict countries so as to cultivate a culture of reconstruction, reconciliation, institution-building and peace.
DIEGO MOREJÓN PAZMIÑO (Ecuador) said poverty, human rights violations and conflict continued to affect populations around the world. The number of conflicts affecting countries highlighted the need for a change in perspective. Peacebuilding had failed to receive due priority or resources at the global level or within the United Nations system. The international community must evaluate why it had been unable to address relapses of conflict that had been seen in many countries. Peace should be the common denominator within all United Nations activities. With that in mind, he said more predictable financing needed to be directed towards peacebuilding. The participation of women throughout the entire lifecycle of peacebuilding should be encouraged, he concluded.
MICHAEL DOUGLAS GRANT (Canada) said preventing violent conflict and sustaining peace must remain at the forefront of international peace and security efforts. United Nations peacebuilding encompassed actions before, during and after conflict, he said, adding that prevention efforts needed to be at the core of peacebuilding efforts going forward. In light of the Advisory Group of Experts report, it was now up to Member States and United Nations agencies to adopt and implement reforms that would revitalize the international community’s ability to effectively prevent and respond to instability and conflict. The resolution currently being negotiated on the peacebuilding architecture was substantive and ambitious, but realistic. He hoped to see reforms that would improve United Nations operational coherence both in New York and in the field, enhance the Peacebuilding Commission’s role in conflict prevention and strengthen its efforts to advise the Security Council.
GONZALO KONCKE of the Organization of American States said peacebuilding must be seen from the most comprehensive perspective possible, and not only as a post-conflict phase. While emergency action to end crises was sometimes necessary, the international community must focus on the stages leading up to conflict and work to avoid it. The nexus between sustainable development and peacebuilding should be highlighted, he said, adding that any peacebuilding process must be people-centred. The Organization of American States had worked to protect and promote human rights, he said, underscoring the key role of regional and subregional organizations could play in preventing conflicts. Such organizations had the necessary perspective to play an important role on the ground. His organization was fully committed to the peace process in Colombia, where the last conflict of the region was located. The common denominator of the three recent reviews of United Nations peace operations was the paramount need to protect and promote human rights, he concluded.
EMMANUEL NIBISHAKA (Rwanda) said his country had transitioned from a post-conflict nation to becoming a major contributor to United Nations peace operations. In many cases, however, post-conflict peacebuilding efforts had been carried out as a purely operational exercise. The deteriorating situation in some countries on the peacebuilding agenda called into question whether effective mechanisms had been put into place to avoid a relapse into conflict. “The situation in Burundi speaks for itself,” he said. The fact that Burundi had descended into an ever-greater spiral of violence was indeed troubling and demonstrated that the Peacebuilding Commission had not lived up to its expected role and had fallen short of expectations. The Commission’s work should focus on viable locally-driven and defined priorities with a clear implementation plan to promote national ownership and leadership. Despite many challenges, Rwanda was encouraged by the Commission’s efforts to interact with various stakeholders through country visits and to provide briefings to the Security Council. The Commission had a critical role to play for fostering regional engagement and commitment, he said.
Mr. BEGEC (Turkey), associating himself with the European Union, said the 2030 Agenda, particularly Sustainable Development Goal 16, underscored the link between peace and development with an emphasis on conflict prevention, good governance and the rule of law. Turkey had long advocated for a stronger humanitarian-development interrelation. Humanitarian assistance delivered through development tools enhanced the recipient’s resilience against recurrent crises. Noting that conflict prevention was a cost-effective tool, he said Turkey supported United Nations efforts in using mediation for that purpose and using peacebuilding as a contribution to sustainable peace. The Peacebuilding Commission played a bridging role between principal United Nations organs, he said, noting that Turkey had participated in five out of six country-specific configurations with the organ. Adequate resources should be allocated to the Peacebuilding Fund, he stressed, noting that his country supported the Fund through voluntary contributions.