The Security Council underscored the importance of long-term institution-building as a critical part of peacebuilding in Africa, as it held an open debate today on the topic where speakers emphasized the importance of addressing the root causes of conflict, the need for predictable and sustainable financing, and closer cooperation with the African Union and subregional organizations.
Issuing presidential statement S/PRST/2016/12, it noted the need for comprehensive approaches to institution-building, bearing in mind African countries’ national development strategies. It also recognized that peacebuilding as an inherently political process, aimed at preventing the outbreak, escalation, recurrence or continuation of conflict.
It reaffirmed the importance of national ownership and leadership in peacebuilding, with responsibility broadly shared by Governments and all other national stakeholders. It also recognized the critical role of the African Union, seeing opportunities for partnership with that entity.
“The Security Council stresses the importance of long-term national capacity development through institution-building, human resource development and confidence-building among the national actors, which are key to sustaining peace,” it said through its statement.
It went on to reaffirm the importance of addressing the root causes of conflicts, encouraging efforts to ensure the engagement and empowerment of women, and stressing the potential benefits of innovative approaches such as the use of science and technology.
The Council further reaffirmed the importance of the Peacebuilding Commission and the need for predictable and sustained financing to United Nations peacebuilding activities, including through increased contributions.
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, speaking at the outset of the debate, called peace in Africa a top priority. While expressing grave concern about the situations in South Sudan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya and Mali, he said there was another, largely untold African narrative of growing economies, improved living standards and expanding democratic space.
“Our shared responsibility is to nourish these seeds of peace and prosperity,” he said. Nurturing institutions that were inclusive, transparent, effective and accountable would not be easy, but they were the cement that bonded States and citizens — and while the effort might take decades, he said communities emerging from conflict would be looking for early and tangible results.
Amina Chawahir Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Kenya, speaking as Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, outlined measures that Africa had taken in response to various challenges. She told how African countries had revitalized their economic integration initiatives while seeking institutionalized strategic partnerships with the United Nations.
Describing peacebuilding as the main focus of policymakers in Africa, she said the Commission brought national and international actors together in pursuit of that goal. She also stressed the need for greater investment in governance, security and development, and early warning systems. The Commission could only be effective if policy and political discussions were complemented by predictable financial support.
Smail Chergui, the African Union’s Commissioner for Peace and Security, discussed lessons learned from recent relapses of post-conflict countries into violence. There needed to be a greater focus on coordination among all actors and integrating planning and operations. If properly calibrated, post-conflict reconstruction and development interventions would be critical to African Union conflict-prevention strategies, he said, calling for institutionalized annual meetings between the United Nations and African Union to share lessons learned.
In the course of the debate, speakers agreed that institution-building must be a priority and that a coordinated approach was needed to address diverse challenges, from democracy and security to governance, public administration and national reconciliation. African problems required African solutions, many said. Solutions must be tailored, and both owned and led by the countries concerned.
On that point, Georges Rebelo Chikoti, Minister for External Relations of Angola, cautioned that peacebuilding encompassed many priorities and numerous stakeholders. Elections were not, by themselves, a solution for consolidating peace, and relapse into conflict was probable unless institutional capacity-building and economic recovery were dealt with first.
Addressing the challenges required redefining strategies, said Mankeur Ndiaye, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Senegal. More must be invested in prevention by tackling the root causes of conflict. Many tools were available, but political resolve was lacking. Greater support for the African Union and subregional organizations was critical, as they could defuse tensions early on.
Many discussed national and regional initiatives taken to secure peace.
South Africa’s representative said the African Union had developed a Post‑Conflict Reconstruction and Development Policy, as well as the African Solidarity Initiative, which was aimed at mobilizing support from within the continent for peacebuilding measures. The development of national capacities in the aftermath of conflict would not succeed without the provision of adequate, predictable and coherent funding.
Among speakers from African States emerging from conflict, the representative of Côte d’Ivoire said his country had put in place a national peacebuilding plan aimed at restoring State authority and community security, supporting national reconciliation, social cohesion and conflict reduction, and identifying vulnerable populations.
Rwanda’s delegate, noting that her country had moved from a failed State in a post-conflict situation to a key contributor to peacekeeping operations, said that, as the review of the peacebuilding architecture had shown, peacebuilding was both a political and technical process. She regretted that the Council had been reactionary, pressing it to play a more proactive role in countries on its agenda or where peacekeepers had been deployed.
The representative of Sierra Leon recounted how his country had become a “storehouse of lessons” on transitioning towards peace and development. Since the closure of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL), he said, Sierra Leone had worked to resolve tensions, monitor and promote human rights, and consolidate good governance and lessons learned as it left behind its “blood diamond nation” label.
Among donor countries, the United States’ representative said national ownership of peacebuilding processes must not be pretext for inaction on the part of the Council or the international community. Too often, she said, that was the case. Political leaders needed to be held to account to halt violence and uphold the rule of law, she added.
The European Union’s representative said regional integration initiatives had been undermined by the fact that States often belonged to regional groups with identical or overlapping mandates. Another challenge was that regions’ political ambitions were not sufficiently underpinned with operational capacity and resources, which, in turn, limited their absorption of aid.
Anifah Aman, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, conveyed lessons learned by his country, saying developing States could learn much from their peers. Despite its distance, Malaysia considered Africa to be a close neighbour, and despite its modest resources, it would contribute to its development.
Morocco’s representative emphasized good governance and solid, accountable institutions, calling them essential preconditions for reducing tensions, alleviating poverty and bringing about a positive impact on development. Reinforcing the obligation of those in public office to be accountable for their actions allowed for a balanced system of power, he said, adding that protecting and promoting human rights were also critical.
Also speaking today were representatives of Japan, France, New Zealand, China, Venezuela, Russian Federation, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Spain, Egypt, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Pakistan, Thailand, Switzerland, Guatemala, Germany, Belgium, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Denmark, Canada, Poland, Indonesia, India, Israel, Ireland, Slovakia, Portugal, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Uganda, Turkey and Cyprus.
A representative of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See also spoke.
The meeting began at 10:08 a.m. and ended at 4:19 p.m.
BAN KI-MOON, Secretary-General of the United Nations, described peace in Africa as a top priority, expressing grave concern about the situations in South Sudan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya and Mali. However, that was not the full story of Africa, he emphasized. There was another narrative, largely untold, of growing economies, improved living standards and expanding democratic space. “Our shared responsibility is to nourish these seeds of peace and prosperity,” he said. One way to do that would be to nurture inclusive, transparent, effective and accountable institutions. To do so would help African nations reach the Sustainable Development Goals. “When institutions are weak, nations cannot thrive,” he said, stressing that inclusive and accountable institutions were the cement that bonded States and citizens.
Building such institutions was not easy, but some fundamental lessons had been learned, he continued. Institution-building must be rooted in national historical, political, social, cultural and economic contexts. Imposing outside models could do more harm than good. Institution-building must also be rooted in political agreement because national ownership and leadership were key. It was a long-term process that sometimes took decades, but communities also needed to see early and tangible progress. If high expectations were not met, grievances could mount, he cautioned, warning also that pressure from donor countries for instant results could also be detrimental. “In meeting our shared responsibility, we need wisdom, commitment and patience.”
United Nations missions and humanitarian and development actors were committed to working closely as one to support the building and strengthening of institutions in Africa, he said, citing the Organization’s efforts and experiences in Somalia, Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic. Recent years had seen a significant increase in institution-building mandates from the Security Council, but they were not always accompanied by realistic time frames or the necessary resources and support. Although the General Assembly’s Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) had allocated funds for institution-building, a large gap remained and the Peacebuilding Fund faced a desperate funding shortfall, he said. Asking Governments to help the Fund achieve a funding target of $300 million at its pledging conference in September, he also encouraged the Council to build on its recent resolution on sustaining peace and to continue strengthening its relationship with the Peacebuilding Commission, an important platform to focus attention on long-term institution-building.
AMINA CHAWAHIR MOHAMED, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Kenya and Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, outlined measures that Africa had taken in response to various challenges. In 2002, it had transformed the Organization of African Unity into the African Union, complete with a framework for the development of the continent’s peace and security architecture. The subsequent establishment of the African Union Commission, African Union Peace and Security Council, Continental Early Warning System, Panel of the Wise, African Standby Force and the African Union Peace Fund had provided the basis for peacebuilding, she said. African countries had revitalized their economic integration initiatives and had sought institutionalized strategic partnerships with the United Nations.
Describing peacebuilding as the main focus of policymakers in Africa, she said the Peacebuilding Commission brought national and international actors together in pursuit of that goal. Noting that the principle of “sustaining peace” stressed the need for more investment in governance, security and development, she said that emphasis on conflict prevention meant recognizing the primacy of politics in the pacific settlement of disputes. She cited the importance of investing in early warning systems and called for the bridging of cultural challenges that hindered women’s participation in sustaining peace. The Peacebuilding Commission could only be effective if policy and political discussions were complemented by predictable financial support, she emphasized, noting that the African Union Peace Fund was underfunded.
Speaking in her national capacity, she recalled that she had chaired the fourteenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in Nairobi last week. The Conference had underscored the importance of market access, official development assistance (ODA) and increased investment flows as building blocks for enhancing the economic resilience of developing countries. The gaps between peacebuilding, humanitarian assistance and development must be overcome and addressed as a continuum so that all people could have the opportunity to enjoy peace and prosperity, she stressed. Underlining Kenya’s commitment to peace, she expressed concern about the European Union’s cutback on funding for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), saying it which was not in keeping with the collective objective of achieving sustainable peace.
SMAIL CHERGUI, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union, said the regional bloc’s policy framework for post-conflict reconstruction and development was based on security, humanitarian and emergency assistance, political governance and transition, socioeconomic reconstruction and development, human rights, justice and reconciliation, and women and gender. Since its adoption, the Commission had identified joint activities to support the implementation of peace agreements in States emerging from conflict, conduct needs assessment missions and consolidate security sector reform, among other things. All such programmes were obliged to mainstream gender and ensure compliance with Security Council resolution 1325 (2000). The Commission engaged various partners in such efforts, including the Peacebuilding Commission and the African Development Bank.
He went on to discuss the lessons learned from recent relapses of post-conflict countries into violence, urging greater focus on coordination among all actors and on integrating planning and operations. Looking forward to advancing joint modalities for addressing disjointed and incoherent peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction, he said that, if properly calibrated, post-conflict reconstruction and development interventions would be critical to African Union conflict-prevention strategies. He called for the annual meeting between the African Union and the United Nations to share lessons learned should be institutionalized. One innovation to address financing challenges was the Africa Solidarity Initiative, which aimed to mobilize in-kind as well as funding support for post-conflict reconstruction and development. Its goal was to promote a paradigm shift towards African self-reliance, while not overlooking support from traditional and new partners, he said.
The Council then issued presidential statement S/PRST/2016/12.
FUMIO KISHIDA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan and Council President for July, spoke in his national capacity, saying that Africa and its people possessed rich culture and traditions, as well as huge growth potential. However, several African countries suffered from conflict, confrontations and terrorism. “We need to pool our collective wisdom in order to engage in institution-building in countries where confrontation persists,” he said, encouraging delegates to focus on the significant role of institution-building, particularly in preventing conflict. Japan’s peacebuilding principles emphasized empowering people on the ground, improving living standards through inclusive economic development and tolerance of diversity, he said. The fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development, to be held in Kenya in August, would be a good opportunity to promote peacebuilding through development. Priority areas for Japan’s peacebuilding efforts included support for institution-building, capacity-building for people running institutions and building trust. There must be innovation in peacebuilding methods, he emphasized, adding that there was ample room for expanded use of science and technology. He announced that Japan would provide $120 million over two years to strengthen Africa’s counter-terrorism capacity. The funds would go towards human resource development, information and data collection, providing border controls with cutting-edge technology and capacity-building for police forces. There was a need to break down silos, and the entire United Nations system, national Governments, civil society and related actors must work together in the long term. “As a foreign minister who comes from Hiroshima, peace is particularly close to my heart,” he said, reiterating Japan’s strong commitment to peace and security in Africa.
ANIFAH AMAN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, associating himself with the statement to be delivered by Thailand on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said a sustainable peacebuilding agenda must emphasize institution-building and national ownership. Faithful adherence to those principles would contribute to national resilience. It used to be said that a country with a population as diverse as Malaysia’s could not succeeded, but with sustained measures the Government ensured that everyone had a seat at the table. Another lesson that Malaysia had learned was that developing countries required support and assistance, including from other developing countries. Despite the inconvenience of distance, Malaysia considered Africa to be a close neighbour, and despite its modest resources, it would contribute to its development through such initiative as the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme. Welcoming the presidential statement just adopted, he said his country remained committed to African peace, security, economic development and prosperity over the long haul.
GEORGES REBELO PINTO CHIKOTI, Minister for External Relations of Angola, said institution-building must be accorded the highest priority in any peacebuilding effort. Countries emerging from conflict needed to build institutions that helped to achieve individual safety, reform the security sector, revitalize economies, provide social services, support national reconciliation and political cohesion and establish the rule of law. In spite of the constraints imposed by a long-armed conflict, Angola had enacted a development model embodied in a broad national reconciliation process. Its 2010 Constitution reaffirmed the rule of law and democracy, extended rights and freedoms to all citizens and ensured the participation of all in the democratic process. Noting the urgent need to put the Great Lakes region on the path to sustainable development, he said the Great Lakes Regional Strategic Framework was an important tool to that end and must be supported, along with the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region Regional Initiative against the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources.
In search of peaceful solutions to political crises and conflicts in the region, he said that Angola had promoted the United Nations-led “Guarantor of Peace, Cooperation and Security Mechanism”, the Conference on Private Investment in the Great Lakes Region and the decision urging South Sudan’s leaders and people to put differences aside and work for the implementation of the peace agreement. The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region Regional Initiative against the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources had reiterated the need to put an end to the negative forces and prepare for elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Furthermore, it had stressed the call for inclusive and transparent dialogue in Burundi. Underlining the importance of financing for peacebuilding, he cautioned that peacebuilding was a complex process encompassing many priorities and numerous stakeholders, and that the hierarchy of priorities varied from country to country. Elections were not, by themselves, a solution for consolidating peace, and relapse into conflict was probable unless institutional capacity-building and economic recovery were dealt with first.
MANKEUR NDIAYE, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad of Senegal, said it was lamentable that so much effort was focused on post-conflict peacebuilding. Despite the efforts of the Peacebuilding Commission and others, several post-conflict African countries were struggling and vulnerable. A new approach, recommended in the report of the Advisory Group of Experts on the Review of the Peacebuilding Architecture, was needed. That meant redefining approaches and strategies. More needed to be invested in prevention by tackling the root causes of conflict in Africa. There were certainly many tools available, but political resolve was lacking. Sustainable peace meant giving top priority to political solutions. The Organization, in particular the Council, had a crucial role to play, he said, welcoming adoption of the presidential statement on the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS). He underscored the efforts of the African Union and subregional organizations in defusing tensions early on, and called for providing them with more support. Better interaction between the Peacebuilding Commission and the African Union would improve coordination, as well as progress on the ground. Experience had demonstrated the complexity of transitioning to sustainable peace, requiring early stage planning, as well as predictable financing. Meeting the colossal challenges of peacebuilding required a comprehensive and coordinated approach, he said, calling resolution 2282 (2016) an important step towards adapting the Organization’s peacebuilding architecture to current challenges.
SAMANTHA POWER (United States) called the prevention of conflict and promotion of stability an immensely important subject for the Council to focus on. At a time when conflicts were re-emerging in Africa, the Council needed to reaffirm principles fundamental to ending conflict and take concrete steps to put them into practice. National ownership of peacebuilding processes, while important, could not be a pretext for inaction by the Council or the international community, yet that had happened too often. Political leaders must be held to account to stop violence and uphold the rule of law. The recent violence in South Sudan demonstrated what would happen when political leaders failed to commit themselves to peace at the start of a peacebuilding effort. Funds that could have gone towards education and infrastructure there were being diverted to avert hunger amid a man-made crisis. Gruesome atrocities were happening daily, yet there was no effort to hold the perpetrators to account. In 2011, the Council gave the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) a mandate to assist the State, but the country’s leaders failed to live up to their end of the bargain, she said, calling on the Council and the international community to “double down” on South Sudan. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there were serious concerns that upcoming elections would not be held in accordance with the Constitution. In Somalia, AMISOM deserved the Council’s immense gratitude, but durable peace would depend on the Government taking concrete steps to establish itself and extend its reach. Military victories alone would not bring peace. Having authorized a peacebuilding mission, the Council must remain focused on national leaders’ actions.
ANDRÉ VALLINI, Deputy Minister for Development and Francophonie of France, said that his country shouldered its responsibilities, as it had in Bamako, or amid the threat of genocide in the Central African Republic, and in conflicts in Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Being committed did not mean going alone, but rather at the request of African partners and acting with them to respect international law. Security on the continent was the main objective, he said, citing the Barkhane operation in the Sahel, and France’s role with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in that context. France also supported African peace operations, including the Multinational Joint Task Force in the Lake Chad Basin, and assisted in security cooperation, especially in the Sahel, training more than 20,000 African soldiers a year. Human rights, combating impunity and establishing good governance were crucial. France supported African Union rules which opposed late amendments to a Constitution, especially when they sought to change a Government. It would hold a ministerial conference in October on peace in Francophone Africa. On human development, he said no country could take off before 80 per cent of its population had completed its primary education, urging that progress be measured and substantial investments be made in quality education in Africa.
GERARD VAN BOHEMEN (New Zealand) said that the Council must play a more deliberate and active role in peacebuilding. Council-mandated missions contributed by providing security and political stability, facilitating reconciliation and accountability, and supporting governance. Those mutually reinforcing efforts were most effective when they were planned and considered from the earliest stages of a mission. Furthermore, there was a need to ensure that the institutions central to peacebuilding were supported by a wide range of organizations. In that regard, better coordination with other peacebuilding contributors was crucial. Among others, he stressed that the host State must take early joint ownership and leadership of relevant peacebuilding activities. “National ownership is the greatest determinant in the success or failure of peacebuilding efforts,” he said, adding that United Nations missions must aim at assisting, but not displacing the delivery of critical services.
LIU JIEYI (China) said that as traditional and non-traditional security threats were interwoven, it was essential to help Africa respond to terrorism. The international community should support the continent in combating terrorist activities, regardless of the pretext targets and means, helping them build capacity and prioritize such work. Peacebuilding should abide by national ownership and respect sovereignty, avoiding the imposition of “outside wills” on African countries. The United Nations should focus on resolving issues deemed most urgent by the concerned countries. Also, the African Union and regional and subregional organizations had a deep knowledge of peacebuilding needs, bringing unique cultural and other advantages to such work. He supported a holistic peacebuilding strategy from a regional perspective, and an active role played by the regional mechanisms. Many post-conflict African countries faced infrastructure, employment, health and social security challenges, and he urged helping them achieve early economic recovery. Noting that there were over 2,600 Chinese peacekeepers in Africa, he said that, over the next five years, China would provide $100 million in military aid to the African Union to support creation of African Standby Force and a crisis response force.
RAFAEL DARÍO RAMÍREZ CARREÑO (Venezuela) said Africa had progressed substantially in reaching the Millennium Development Goals and strengthening public institutions at the national, subregional and regional level. He asked to what extent Africa’s colonial past would affect its future, noting that its resources had been plundered, groups that historically had been united were now divided and artificial borders had been created which lacked a sense of nationhood. Such a legacy weighed on people and Western Sahara continued to suffer that scourge of oppression. He objected to the flow of small arms and light weapons to terrorists and the negative impact of sanctions, stressing rather that cooperation, dialogue and respect for sovereignty and self-determination should be promoted. He urged supporting the African Union and relevant regional and subregional organizations. Military interventions needed to be replaced with methods to achieve political solutions. Many African countries had natural resources which could be used to generate revenue, however predatory mining companies had prevented them from taking advantage of them. Post-conflict countries must build expertise to negotiate fair contracts, and, in that context, he advocated creating an international legal framework and reform of tax regimes.
VITALY CHURKIN (Russian Federation) said that any peacebuilding document written in New York would remain a piece of paper if it failed to take into consideration the situation on the ground. Affirming the principle that African problems required African solutions, he said the potential for cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union and subregional organizations had not been fully realized. Sustainable peace needed to be based on eradicating the root causes of conflict. There had to be national reconciliation, and recovery and reconstruction, with Governments determining their relevant peacebuilding priorities and the United Nations providing assistance at their request. Achieving sustainable peace was more complex that writing and adopting resolutions. There had been some success stories, but also significant failure, he said, citing South Sudan as an example. Priorities were not always clear and resources improperly used. He expressed astonishment that, during Council discussions, some members rejected the idea of helping local law enforcement agencies in Burundi at skill-building. The Peacebuilding Commission had an important role to play, he said, hoping that the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council would turn to it more often. He went on to mention the importance of sustainable and predictable financing, and making the Peacebuilding Fund more appealing to donors.
VOLODYMYR YELCHENKO (Ukraine) said that the core of the Peacebuilding Architecture must shift to prevention in order to avert escalation of tensions into violent conflicts. The Council must be proactive in considering emerging conflicts or fragile situations, he said, calling upon the Secretary-General to provide input. Regarding the transition period from peacekeeping operations to other forms of United Nations presence, he acknowledged the steady peace restoration in Côte d’Ivoire, and stressed that Ukraine had actively contributed to the process. However, it was vital that the international community follow-up on the situation closely and implement a successful exit strategy to strengthen positive trends. On the prolonged deployment of missions, he described the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as among the most worrying. In fact, he said that 17 years of peacekeeping efforts in that country had yet to be transformed to sustaining peace.
MATTEHW RYCROFT (United Kingdom) said Africa was often associated with the scourge of war, yet many countries were thriving in peace or escaped the conflict cycle. He asked what lessons could be learned and what the Council could do to ensure more success in the future. It was not the Council’s place to prescribe solutions, but to help countries identify threats and their ability to respond to them. Citing the African Union’s early warning system and Panel of the Wise, he said sustaining and predictable financing would strengthen African-led processes. Getting better at United Nations interventions and planning transitions once a mission’s objectives had been achieved was vital, as well. Mandates should be country-specific, he said, adding that sustainable peace meant inclusive participation and good governance. Women had a crucial role to play, without fear of reprisal or backlash. Noting that Africa had more people under the age of 20 than anywhere else in the world, he stressed the need to support children and young people through education, training and employment. Early warning meant early action, but in order to be effective, political will was required.
ELBIO ROSSELLI (Uruguay) called institution-building a priority area for peacebuilding. The root causes of conflict sometimes ran so deep that neither a Government nor a population could build institutions in the wake of a conflict. Building peace meant promoting socioeconomic growth, human rights and stronger institutions, which in turn would build confidence. The entire population needed to feel the benefits of peace, with women and children given space to participate. Regional and subregional organizations could play crucial roles as they understood local circumstances better, he said, citing the work of the African Union. When a peacekeeping operation or special political mission was withdrawing, the host State and the United Nations had a shared responsibility for peacebuilding, with the former leading the process and the latter playing a complementary role. States needed to use all available tools to build their institutional capacities. By addressing root causes, peace could be achieved and the recurrence of conflict avoided.
ROMÁN OYARZUN MARCHESI (Spain) said the Council had not been able to help Burundi build lasting peace, noting that the 15-member body had not unified to convey the need to find a solution to the crisis. Recalling the horrors of the 1990s, he said the inability of leaders in South Sudan was largely to blame for the situation in the country. However, Burkina Faso had seen the triumph of the rule of law, while Guinea and Sierra Leone had overcome the Ebola epidemic. “Building peace is a cycle,” he said, which started with prevention. For example, efforts by the Council, ECOWAS and others in Guinea-Bissau were already bearing fruit. He proposed the creation of an automatic transition mechanism whereby the Peacebuilding Commission could fill the vacuum left by a departing peacekeeping mission, which could help in the Central African Republic. It was important for national authorities to establish priorities, he said, noting that African leaders shouldered the duty of protecting their populations and urging international support for building African institutions. The conflict cycle could be overcome only if all segments of society were involved, especially women.
IHAB MOUSTAFA AWAD MOUSTAFA (Egypt) said resolution 2282 (2016) set out a global approach to peacebuilding, which he hoped would foster the political dynamic needed to consolidate peacebuilding in Africa. The expansion of terrorist and organized criminal groups demanded an innovative approach, and he urged moving from conflict management to examining root causes in that context. He emphasized the key role of national, inclusive reconciliation and security sector reform, as well as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration efforts — all of which would be in vain unless economic and social needs were met. Justice systems must be independent and fair. For its part, Egypt had trained more than 700 experts from countries on the Peacebuilding Commission’s agenda in such fields as security, medical and agriculture, he said, underscoring the principle of ownership in Africa. The Commission must better coordinate national, regional and international efforts, and inform the Security Council’s creation of mandates. Rapid and sustainable financing was also needed, as was coordination among international financial institutions. Egypt had proposed the establishment of a centre to support such post-conflict reconstruction and development activities.
JUDITH MARCIA ARRIETA MUNGUIA (Mexico) said that sustaining peace required addressing systematic challenges with the active participation of all parties. Development could not be realized without peace and security, she said, calling upon all to focus their efforts on effective dialogue and prevention. Making progress also required adopting a people-centred approach, respecting human rights and strengthening the rule of law. Underscoring the importance of democratic transition, she emphasized that Mexico had provided electoral assistance and training to African countries.
CARLOS SERGIO SOBRAL DUARTE (Brazil) cited recent progress in achieving peace and security in Africa, including the work of ECOWAS, the transitions in Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire and the essential early warning role played by the Peacebuilding Commission in preventing further Ebola casualties. Nevertheless, the continent still faced a number of challenges, such as capital lost to illicit financial flows and the illegal exploitation of natural resources. In Burundi, the Council should prioritize the promotion of reconciliation through inclusive dialogue and national ownership. In South Sudan, the United Nations must remain committed to working with all South Sudanese, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the African Union and other regional partners to support the return to stability. Noting that the Sahel region continued to face the consequences of an ill-fated intervention in Libya that contributed to increase the illegal traffic of weapons and spread the activities of terrorist groups, he warned that “this tragedy should be taken as a powerful warning against resorting to military force as the first measure to solve conflicts”.
ANDREA BIAGINI (Italy) emphasized the need to invest in the Peacebuilding Commission’s work to ensure sustainable funding. In 2016, Italy had restarted financing the Peace Building Fund with a commitment to increase its development assistance. It also had proposed a “Sustainability Compact” to prevent conflicts, ensure socioeconomic development and manage migration. Describing ownership as the main pillar of peacebuilding activities in Africa and partnership as an enabler of peace, he said that promoting a culture of prevention and strengthening the capacity of local actors played a key role in mediation. Among others, he stressed that the Italian Development Cooperation was operating in Africa, improving living conditions and addressing the root causes of conflict.
NABEEL MUNIR (Pakistan), noting that Africa’s challenges were formidable, said the Peacebuilding Commission’s marshalling of resources and focus on reconstruction and institution-building had made a difference on the ground. As needs in Africa varied, peacebuilding interventions must be tailored to specific situations. Success stories had the common thread of inclusive national ownership, which must be kept in mind when devising future programmes. The Commission’s quick refocus during the early stages of the Ebola crisis had demonstrated its agility, and emerging crises should continue to receive such attention. Further, institutional capacity-building, training and skills development should be directed at supporting local stakeholders and engaging external actors in peacebuilding activities. Enhancing the capacity of regional and subregional organizations for conflict resolution and the maintenance of regional peace and security was vital.
VIRACHAI PLASAI (Thailand), speaking on behalf of ASEAN, underscored the importance of national ownership, saying that one of the underlying causes of conflict and instability was exclusion from political and decision-making processes. Partnership was also critical, and enhanced exchanges of views and dialogue was needed between the African Union, the Security Council and other United Nations bodies involved in peacebuilding. The experience of the ASEAN region had demonstrated that partnership with civil society could contribute to addressing peacebuilding challenges, especially in the field of development. Additionally, sustained support was needed in the area of adequate and predictable funding, as the Peacebuilding Fund continued to face shortfalls. Access to assessed contributions for the Fund should be considered, he said, adding that careful mission transition planning and post-mission support should be in place from an early stage in order to ensure coherence and continuity.
JÜRG LAUBER (Switzerland) said that in its peacebuilding engagements, his country attached great importance to the principle of inclusive national ownership. As much as conflict-affected countries needed international assistance, peacebuilding could not succeed if it was perceived as a mere external intervention. Without the commitment of Governments and other national key actors, societies could not build sustainable peace and launch an inclusive dialogue. Drawing attention to the importance of coordination between national, regional and international actors, he said that, too often, different peacebuilding efforts turned into unconstructive competitions. In that regard, the United Nations should rely on regional and subregional partners with enormous networks and sound knowledge, and such partnerships must be driven by synergies in terms of substance and institutional structures. On the role of peacebuilding architecture, he said that a multitude of measures would be necessary. Furthermore, coordination between the Security Council and the Peacebuilding Commission must be strengthened in full respect of their mandates.
JOSÉ ALBERTO ANTONIO SANDOVAL COJULÚN (Guatemala) said that, in order to achieve stable and sustainable peace, a variety of sectors of society needed to be involved, including women, children and civil society. The implementation of peacebuilding in Africa had provided examples of good practices, but there were also cases where the implementation of sustainable peace had been less successful or where the situation had even been aggravated. Noting that Governments bore the primary responsibility for protecting civilians, he recalled that Guatemala had been affected by conflict for over three decades. The process of national reconciliation had focused on participatory socioeconomic development featuring social justice and sustainable economic development. Underscoring the importance of truth and reconciliation commissions, he added that national efforts should also focus on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration. States should also work to implement relevant United Nations resolutions.
REINHARD JOSEF KRAPP (Germany) recalled that his country had been one of the main actors in developing and promoting the concept of “civilian stabilization”, which was targeted at creating a secure environment and improving living conditions of people suffering from internal or inter-State armed conflict. Together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), it had developed the Stabilization Facility for Libya, which provided quick rehabilitation of critical infrastructure, enhanced the capacity of municipalities and supported local authorities in taking a more proactive role in peacebuilding. Noting that stabilization efforts would fail in the absence of political will for change, he said measures must be designed to enable the first steps towards reconciliation between conflict parties. In Mali, Germany was assisting the Government in implementing the peace agreement with a particular focus on decentralization, and it strongly advocated for implementing the concept of civilian stabilization in United Nations peacekeeping missions. That would require an integrated approach, as well as the strengthening of existing tools — including the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission — and increased financial resources.
BÉNÉDICTE FRANKINET (Belgium) said that the conditions of each country varied from one to another, encouraging the Council to integrate sustainable peace into its deliberations. As the electoral period was delicate and fragile, it was important to ensure that there would be no backsliding. While commending the work carried out by the United Nations and regional organizations, she stressed the importance of reaching an agreement on distribution of tasks and goals to accomplish. Among others, she noted that her State attached great importance to national ownership, calling upon African countries to create effective institutions.
CARL HALLERGARD, Minister Counsellor, European Union, said the bloc provided substantial financial support to regional organizations in Africa. While there had been relatively good progress with the African Union, ECOWAS and IGAD, regional integration initiatives had been undermined by the fact that States often belonged to regional groups with identical or overlapping mandates. Another challenge was that regions’ political ambitions were not sufficiently underpinned with operational capacity and resources, which, in turn, limited their absorption of aid.
He said the bloc supported the African Union and its regional economic communities through the Africa Peace Facility, which provided core funding for their operational work. It had been a “game changer” in making African-led responses to political crises possible. The European Union was funding the development of a continental early warning system, complemented by similar systems at the regional level. Noting that Africa’s own funding efforts must be supplemented by flexible, quickly disbursable funding, he said the Facility had put in place an early recovery mechanism for that aim. While it could not provide direct training to national institutions, the mandate of the peace support operations it funded could include a component to train bodies such as the army or police. That had been the case in Somalia, where the European Union supported training for the Somali National Army and job training for police. Other mechanisms included the Instrument Contributing to Stability and Peace, and the European Union Electoral Observation Missions.
BARLYBAY SADYKOV (Kazakhstan) said that the changing nature of conflicts demanded a new, robust and multidimensional strategy, combining peacekeeping, peacebuilding and sustainable development with climate mitigation. The Commission, more than ever, must play an advisory bridging role among all relevant actors, he said, describing mediation, negotiations and reconciliation efforts as the building blocks for the peace building architecture. Furthermore, regional organizations, development banks and bilateral donors must be engaged in efforts to advance the situation on the ground and ensure stable predictable funding capacity and institutional building. While stressing the need for a global development strategy to create just structures and a just world order that could eliminate conflict, he expressed support for the vision of Africa 2063 that aimed at making the region conflict-free.
SIMON KASSAS of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See said that some countries had achieved peace and sustainability while others continued to suffer from extreme poverty. Drawing attention to local religious organizations, he said that they helped identify needs and priorities of communities, in partnership with other actors. The Holy See supervised those networks, ensuring that they contributed to the development of the continent. Urging the international community to recognize young people as active individuals, he said that they should participate in and lead peace processes. Conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts were not effective unless human rights were promoted and protected, he said, calling upon all to act in solidarity.
JERRY MATJILA (South Africa), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, stressed that the key to sustainable peace consolidation lay in strengthening political approaches including preventive diplomacy, conflict prevention and management, mediation and peacebuilding. Achieving those aims would ensure that countries not only averted conflict, but avoided sliding back into it. Guarding against instability spiralling into full-blown conflict was critical, he said, calling for the international community to pay sustained attention to countries emerging from conflict and provide positive contributions to the stability, economic growth and development of such countries. The African Union had developed a Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development Policy, as well as the African Solidarity Initiative, which was aimed at mobilizing support from within the continent for peacebuilding measures. The development of national capacities in the aftermath of conflict would not succeed without the provision of adequate, predictable and coherent funding. In that regard, he pointed to the recent establishment of the African Union Peace Fund which would be complemented by the establishment of a 0.2 per cent levy on eligible imports. Among other things, South Africa supported the governance institutions for countries emerging from conflict and the promotion of good governance, including by supporting the African Union’s African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.
OH JOON (Republic of Korea) said that his delegation, having recently travelled to West Africa in its capacity as Vice-Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, had seen first-hand the high expectations that many stakeholders had of the United Nations renewed approach to peacebuilding. To deliver on such expectations, priority should be given to institution-building. In the aftermath of the Korean War, the Organization had established the United Nations Korean Reconstruction Agency which had implemented a range of projects aimed at restoring stability and laying the foundation for future economic growth. The country had identified institution-building — especially education — as a priority. Drawing on those experiences, the Republic of Korea had underscored the importance of education as a core component of the “Blueprint for Comprehensive Cooperation with Africa”, unveiled during its address to the African Union in May. His country had also increased its financial contribution to the African Union Peace Fund, and welcomed the recent decision at the Kigali Summit to revamp the fund. Highlighting the importance of national ownership, he said Governments must take the leading role in identifying investment priorities, drawing up development strategies and carrying out their implementation.
IB PETERSEN (Denmark), speaking on behalf of the Nordic Countries — Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and his country — said the diversity and complexity of different peacebuilding efforts in Africa called for a differentiated and comprehensive whole-of-Government and whole-of-United Nations approach. Political solutions must be at the centre of any peace process, he continued, underscoring the need for accountable, transparent and inclusive political leadership. The latest experiences in Somalia, Mali and South Sudan had once again made that clear. Despite achievements, the international community must place greater emphasis on conflict prevention, he pointed out, acknowledging that the African Union and other regional groups, the European Union and the United Nations had a unique role to play in facilitating political processes. Among other things, he said that, in order to counter the emergence of new threats, strong governance structures were required.
CLAUDE BOUAH-KAMON (Côte d’Ivoire) said social cohesion, national reconciliation and healthy political life were essential for fostering durable peace and development. With assistance from the United Nations, Côte d’Ivoire had put in place a national peacebuilding plan aimed at restoring State authority and community security, supporting national reconciliation, social cohesion and conflict reduction, and identifying vulnerable populations. The first phase covering 2011 to 2014 had been financed by the Peacebuilding Support Office for $11.5 million. A second phase for the 2015‑2017 period was under way. The plan had allowed the Government to hold presidential elections in October 2015 and promote youth employment, among other things, he said, noting that the Commission for Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation, established in 2011, recently had been replaced by the National Commission of Reconciliation and Victim Compensation. The creation of an authority for good governance had helped to promote public management values, he added.
MICHAEL DOUGLAS GRANT (Canada) emphasized that strengthening national institutions was crucial to managing conflicts and breaking cycles of violence and fragility. Supporting and promoting African ownership must be an essential part of peacebuilding efforts in the continent. As the African Union and Regional Economic Communities had taken on a greater role in responding to conflict and peacebuilding, strengthening the capacity of those organizations would contribute to ensuring effective responses to conflict and sustaining peace. Furthermore, for institutions to be effective, they must be both inclusive and accountable, as reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals. For its part, Canada was supporting efforts to strengthen the justice system in Mali by increasing access of those affected by conflict. Among others, he stressed the need to address the deficiencies and shortcomings of existing peacebuilding approaches.
PAWEŁ RADOMSKI (Poland), associating himself with the European Union, said sustaining peace could not be achieved without inclusive, effective and accountable institutions and the rule of law. Regional and subregional organizations played an important role in the peacebuilding process. Initiatives similar to the African Governance Architecture and the African Peace and Security Architecture had helped to maintain peace and security while supporting wider integration of the continent. The inclusion of African women, youth and civil society in decision-making processes was important for the advancement of peacebuilding efforts in the long-term, he said, adding that Poland had provided financial support to educational projects in various African countries. Building the capacity of military forces and local police, as well as the establishment of a credible justice system and fighting corruption, should be high on the list of priorities, and it was important to strengthen the activities of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund.
DIAN TRIANSYAH DJANI (Indonesia), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said progress in Africa had been “no small feat” considering the injustices of colonialism, apartheid and other development obstacles. However, serious challenges remained, and it was vital that the United Nations and other partners assisted African countries in their capacity-building and broader peacebuilding, in line with their nationally identified priorities. From its own experiences, Indonesia understood the imperative of peacemaking and a fully owned national undertaking for sustainable peace and development. As in South-East Asia, where ASEAN played a critical role, the African Union had been a strong force for dialogue, peaceful conflict resolution and cordial relations between African countries. Indonesia supported the five thematic priorities of the African Union’s new road map (2016-2020) for the African Peace and Security Architecture, and at the Asia-African Summit in 2015, leaders from the two continents had formulated important steps to bolster Africa in achieving its aims. Noting that Indonesia was planning to further expand its bilateral cooperation and training programmes for civilian capacity, he went on to call for a more productive partnership between the Council and the Peacebuilding Commission, along with other relevant entities to advance more effective peacebuilding in Africa.
TANMAYA LAL (India) recalled that his country had worked in Africa to support decolonization and anti-apartheid efforts, as well as for the rights of developing countries, and that it remained the largest cumulative troop contributor to United Nations peacekeeping efforts. Emphasizing that the Peacebuilding Commission was not taken seriously enough at the United Nations and lacked adequate funding, he stressed the need to empower the Commission through resources, capacities to gauge the requirements on the ground and a serious consideration to its advice by the Council. The spirit seen during the adoption of the 2030 Agenda was not matched in the discussions on collective resource mobilization to achieve common goals, a fact that could be seen in the cross-border reach of terrorist groups, the growing refugee crisis, outbreaks of pandemics and the spread of hate ideologies. The success of the third India-Africa Forum Summit of October 2015 had taken his country’s long-standing and growing partnership to an even higher level. India’s cooperation with Africa was focused on sharing expertise and resources and helping to build capacity as per the priorities of African nations. A real understanding of the importance of sustainable development to building peace and security was critically needed, as was the political will to address those issues over the long term, he concluded.
DANNY DANON (Israel), describing the Peacebuilding Architecture as an ambitious statement, said that it challenged the international community to rethink peacebuilding. “A comprehensive approach must address all stages of conflict,” he said, adding that peacebuilding must not wait until conflict started. Furthermore, he said that bringing an end to ongoing violence and rebuilding post-conflict communities were important, yet the international community must develop prevention capabilities in order to avoid escalation. To make progress, it was essential to focus efforts to build institutions on the ground that enabled States to sustain peace and resolve tensions. In addition, the international community must promote strong mechanisms for national reconciliation, including justice and governance and focus on national ownership and inclusivity.
TIM MAWE (Ireland), associating himself with the European Union, outlined four high-priority issues that needed to be addressed to ensure effective peacebuilding in Africa. First, there was a need to tackle the root causes of conflict, and a particular need to understand the drivers of conflict in countries emerging from conflict. As his country had seen through its close engagement with partners including Liberia and Sierra Leone, multistakeholder conflict analysis must ensure that peacekeeping mission drawdowns were backstopped by the technical and financial support needed to build the capacity of national institutions to sustain peace. Second, conflict prevention was crucial, despite having been under-resourced and under-evaluated for many years. The case of Burundi had reinforced the urgent need for investment in conflict prevention. Third, women and youth must be included. Noting that, according to some sources, by 2100, almost one half of the world’s youth would be African, he said Ireland was exploring ways to answer the call of the United Nations peacebuilding resolutions to increase their participation in peacebuilding, including through trade and development links. Finally, there was a need to prioritize African ownership of its own peacebuilding, and African economic growth would only be sustainable if it was driven from within.
FRANTIŠEK RUŽIĚKA (Slovakia), associating himself with the European Union, said the key to transitioning from conflict to peace was an accountable system of security based on the rule of law. On 21 June, the United Nations Group of Friends of Security Sector Reform, chaired by Slovakia and South Africa, had held a dialogue on building support for such priorities in the Central African Republic. It focused on elements in the national security sector reform processes that were required to secure peace, as well as on the immediate and long-term reforms for the police and other bodies. Emphasis was placed on national ownership, national responsibility and political consensus, with security sector reform highlighted as essential for preventing relapse into conflict. The co-chairs would present the outcomes of the dialogue.
JEANNE D’ARC BYAJE (Rwanda), noting that her country had moved from a failed State in a post-conflict situation to a key contributor to peacekeeping operations, said that as the review of peacebuilding architecture had shown, peacebuilding was both a political and technical process. The United Nations had struggled to fill gaps by trying to match top-down strategies with realities on the ground. The relapse into conflict of countries on the Peacebuilding Commission’s agenda had called into question whether conflict dynamics had been considered in formulating programmes. There was a need for the United Nations to adopt targeted measures that addressed the root causes of conflict and likewise respected the specificity of each situation. Democratization, rule of law, unity, reconciliation and socioeconomic development should be viewed as key pillars when addressing those causes. She regretted that the Council had been reactionary, pressing it to play a more proactive role in countries on its agenda or where peacekeepers had been deployed. She deplored that, in some countries, peacebuilding projects had collapsed due to the lack of a sustained funding model. A more flexible Peacebuilding Fund should play a greater role in that context.
ÁLVARO MENDONÇA E MOURA (Portugal) said that, by extending peacebuilding from conflict prevention to post-conflict reconstruction, peace could be preserved if understood as a systemic concept. While African countries were the sole focus of the peacebuilding agenda and prime recipients of peacekeeping missions, they had every reason to be a central actor for peace and stability. They contributed half of the peacekeepers deployed globally. The African Union was a pre-eminent security provider. Inter-State warfare had fallen, while economic prospects had increased despite sluggish world growth and commodity price volatility. Sustaining peace should not be seen as providing exogenous solutions, but rather, joint solutions to ensure sustainability. The experience in Guinea-Bissau had shown that responsibility of African States to provide security within their own jurisdictions should not be diluted. Initiatives, such as the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security, could provide a way forward. Efforts that excluded local communities risked the taint of political illegitimacy.
VANDI CHIDI MINAH (Sierra Leone), noting that global solidarity was imperative to building capacity in the region, said 2016 marked the fourteenth year since the end of conflict in his country. In that time, Sierra Leone had moved from a country on the Council’s agenda to a “storehouse of lessons” on how to transition towards peace and development. Since the closure of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL), the country had worked to resolve tensions, monitor and promote human rights, and consolidate good governance and lessons learned as it left behind its “blood diamond nation” label. Sustaining those gains would require a focus on fair, transparent institutions that would prevent relapse into conflict. Peacebuilding must be at the core of United Nations work. Equally significant was women’s role in ensuring that peace processes were kept on track. Building partnerships with regional and subregional organizations was also important in addressing drug trafficking and other criminal activities. The Commission should mobilize resources in a predictable and timely manner to support States’ capacity to address the drivers of conflict.
MAHLET HAILU GUADEY (Ethiopia) said that, in order to sustain peace in Africa, the Peacebuilding Commission should build stronger links with the African Union and the subregional organizations and enable them to exercise their comparative advantages. The mindset which equated peacebuilding to a mere post-conflict process had to change and change for good, he said, stressing that sustaining peace required the determination to address the root causes of conflicts. It was critical to adopt comprehensive and integrated approaches that tackled the challenges of peace, security, human right, good governance and development in a holistic manner. Among others, he stressed that peacebuilding efforts in Africa had been significantly hindered due to the ad hoc nature of financing that was often directed to emergency responses.
MASUD BIN MOMEN (Bangladesh) said several initiatives were afoot to accelerate the pace of regional and subregional economic integration towards achieving sustainable development in Africa. In that regard, peacebuilding was gaining further momentum, especially in conflict-affected, least developed countries presently on the agenda of the Peacebuilding Commission. Underscoring the importance of prevention, he emphasized the centrality of national ownership and leadership in peacebuilding and the importance of breaking down silos in sustaining peace. He welcomed the upswing in the Commission’s interface with relevant regional and subregional organizations and its growing focus on regional, cross-cutting issues. The Commission’s gender strategy and focus on youth were also valuable contributions. Noting that the issue of financing for peacebuilding remained a major stumbling block to realizing its potential, he said he looked forward to creative ideas from the Secretary-General on mobilizing finances, factoring in both assessed and voluntary contributions.
RICHARD NDUHUURA (Uganda) said that, for the first time in years, apart from Western Sahara, Africans had achieved their self-determination, a prerequisite for sustained peace. Most African countries were democracies. Africa had some of the most vibrant regionally integrated entities, including ECOWAS and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). “Africa is on the rise,” he said, noting that the continent had raised $450 billion annually in domestic resources. In Nigeria, a private African company was investing $15 billion in an oil refinery that was expected to produce up to 650 barrels of crude oil a day and create 100,000 jobs. “This is not a stand-alone development,” he said, noting that Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania were expected to build a $4 billion pipeline with a French oil company. Colonialism and cold war manipulation had precipitated the collapse of the Somali State, he said, noting that the conditions behind the crisis in Libya were also known. Colonial and post-colonial marginalization in South Sudan had laid the foundation for struggle in that country. Solving the conflicts required adapting best practices. In South Sudan, Libya, Somalia and other places, he cautioned against quick-fix solutions, pressing the Council to apply a consultative approach. Time and resources must be invested in effective State structures and the creation of armed forces that were subordinate to national authorities.
GÜVEN BEGEÇ (Turkey), associating himself with the European Union, said Africa’s challenges were transnational in character and the response needed to be holistic. Turkey provided personnel and contributed financially to seven of the nine existing peacekeeping missions in Africa and took part in five of the six country-specific configurations of the Peacebuilding Commission. In addition, it co-Chaired the Horn of Africa Working Group within the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum with the European Union, and it provided financial assistance to the African Union for projects in the areas of trade and investment, peace and security, rural development, empowerment of youth and women, infrastructure and transportation. In 2015, it had allocated $300,000 to the East Africa Stand-by Force and the African Union Peace and Security Architecture. Stressing that regional endeavours in Africa should be encouraged and supported by the international community, he went on to note that Turkey had hosted Somalia’s National Independent Electoral Commission in 2015 and had worked to train thousands of African military personnel. Other joint initiatives included work to support small and medium-size enterprises in Africa’s least developed countries and the establishment of Turkish-Sudanese and Turkish-Somali hospitals for training and research.
NICHOLAS EMILIOU (Cyprus), associating himself with the European Union, underscored the diversity of challenges facing Africa and stressed that there was no simple or single answer to addressing them. Based on its own experience, Cyprus believed that nationally owned processes provided the best responses to existing and potential crises as they reflected the interests and needs of local populations. It was crucial for the international community to support multidimensional national and regional strategies that addressed political, security and development aspects, and priority had to be given to the regional dimension of building sustainable peace. The international community should also assist Africa in its efforts to implement the Sustainable Development Goals and the targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, he said, underscoring the importance of African women’s participation in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security and increasing their role in decision-making with regard to conflict prevention and resolution and peacebuilding.
OMAR HILALE (Morocco) said good governance and solid, accountable institutions were essential preconditions for reducing tensions, alleviating poverty and bringing about a positive impact on development. For a State to regain the trust of its citizens, it needed to be capable of justice and act as the guardian of sovereignty and territorial integrity. Many African States faced the enormous task of rebuilding their institutions. Their success depended largely upon the effectiveness of long-term capacity-building, legislation based on the promotion of good governance and human rights, and transparency in the drawing up and implementing of public policy. Reinforcing the obligation of those in public office to be accountable for their actions allowed for a balanced system of power, he said, adding that efforts to protect and promote human rights were also critical to moving from conflict to peace. Noting that the participation of indigenous communities, civil society and other groups must be facilitated and macroeconomic stability encouraged, he went on to stress the importance of easing debt burdens. In 2000, Morocco had written off the debts of many least developed countries, he said in that respect.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2016/12 reads as follows:
“The Security Council recalls its resolutions and the statements of its President on peacebuilding, in particular S/PRST/2010/7, S/PRST/2011/2, S/PRST/2012/29, S/PRST/2015/2 and S/PRST/2016/8, and resolution 2282 (2016), and stresses the importance of institution-building as a critical component of peacebuilding and sustaining peace in Africa, which requires comprehensive approaches bearing in mind African countries’ national development strategies.
“The Security Council recognizes that peacebuilding is an inherently political process aimed at preventing the outbreak, escalation, recurrence or continuation of conflict, and further recognizes that peacebuilding encompasses a wide range of political, developmental, and human rights programmes and mechanisms.
“The Security Council reaffirms the importance of national ownership and leadership in peacebuilding, whereby the responsibility for sustaining peace is broadly shared by the Government and all other national stakeholders and underlines the importance, in this regard, of inclusivity in order to ensure that the needs of all segments of society are taken into account and further reaffirms the primary responsibility of national governments and authorities in identifying, driving and directing priorities, strategies and activities for sustaining peace.
“The Security Council recognizes the critical role of the African Union in peacebuilding and sustaining peace in Africa, and commends the efforts of the African countries, the African Union and regional economic communities in this regard. The Security Council reiterates that cooperation with regional and subregional organizations is critical to contributing to peacebuilding and sustaining peace, and further stresses the importance of partnership and cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union consistent with Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter. The Security Council encourages the Secretary-General both through United Nations Office to the African Union and consistent with its resolution 2282 (2016), the Peacebuilding Support Office, to commence holding regular exchanges, joint initiatives, and information sharing with the African Union Commission. The Security Council welcomes various fora for dialogue among national Governments, the African Union, civil societies and other relevant actors, including beyond the United Nations.
“The Security Council recognizes that African initiatives in peacebuilding, notably the AU policy on Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) and African Solidarity Initiative (ASI), could provide opportunities for the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union to increase synergies and ensure the coherence and complementarity in their peacebuilding efforts in Africa. The Security Council takes note in this regard of the adoption of the African Union Agenda 2063 and its first 10-year implementation plan, which outlines key African flagship projects, fast track programs, priority areas, specific targets, and African strategies and policy measures at all levels.
“The Security Council stresses the importance of long-term national capacity development through institution-building, human resource development and confidence-building among the national actors, which are key to sustaining peace. The Security Council recognizes that an integrated and coherent approach among relevant political, security and developmental actors, within and outside of the United Nations system, consistent with their respective mandates and the Charter of the United Nations, is critical to achieve these ends. The Security Council calls upon the United Nations system, and invites Member States, to assist African countries emerging from conflict, upon their request, in pursuit of global development and win-win cooperation.
“The Security Council reaffirms the importance of addressing the root national reconciliation and moving towards recovery, reconstruction and development. In particular, the Security Council underlines the importance of socioeconomic development for sustaining peace in Africa through economic development including transnational and transregional infrastructure development, industrialization, job creation, agricultural modernization and promotion of entrepreneurship. In this regard, the Security Council also underscores the importance of the rule of law in support of socioeconomic development. The Security Council also notes that AU PCRD highlights the need for undertaking comprehensive institution-building to enhance good economic governance through the reinforcement of fiscal and financial management institutions in support of effective revenue collection, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms and anti-corruption structures to ensure accountability and transparency. The Security Council stresses the importance of strengthening public-private partnerships and political commitments to reinforce such efforts.
“The Security Council, while welcoming the statement by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 29 March 2016 stating that the Ebola situation in West Africa no longer constitutes a public health emergency of international concern, reiterates its concern about economic, social and humanitarian consequences of this virus disease and underlines the importance of promoting long term human and institutional capacity building to build strong national health systems. The Security Council supports current efforts and underscores the need to strengthen the global health architecture, including inter alia through the implementation of the WHO International Health Regulations (IHR) and its Health Emergencies Programme, in order to better respond to public health emergencies, as well as for promoting strong, sustainable and responsive health systems for better preparedness and prevention.
“The Security Council encourages those who drive the efforts on peacebuilding to take the necessary steps to ensure that women are equally engaged in the process of peacebuilding. The Security Council underscores the need to empower women to do so by such means as increasing representation of women at all decision-making levels at local, national, regional and international institutions and through mechanisms for the prevention and resolution of conflict and mediation, and to consider gender-related issues in all discussions pertinent to sustaining peace. The Security Council further welcomes the efforts of Member States to implement resolution 1325 (2000) and its subsequent resolutions, in particular its resolution 2242 (2015).
“The Security Council calls on all relevant actors to engage in long-term capacity-building to promote a culture of peace, tolerance, intercultural and interreligious dialogue that involve youth and discourage their participation in acts of violence and terrorism. The Security Council further stresses the importance of promoting policies and adopting tailored approaches for youth that would positively contribute to peacebuilding efforts, including social and economic development, supporting projects designed to grow local economies, and providing youth employment opportunities and vocational training, fostering their quality education and promoting youth entrepreneurship and constructive political engagement. The Security Council recognizes that such efforts contribute to countering recruitment to violent extremism, which can be conducive to terrorism, and promoting social inclusion and cohesion, making the society more resistant to radicalization to violence.
“The Security Council stresses the potential benefit of taking such innovative approaches as the use of science and technology, which can play a key role in support of sustaining peace, economic growth, sustainable development and national capacity-building through institution-building in Africa. The Security Council appreciates the efforts to develop and apply relevant technologies to activities, such as elections management, border control and the prevention of disease outbreak, among others. The Security Council stresses the need for strengthening capacity of relevant institutions at local, national, regional and international levels through further innovation, including digital connectivity through improved information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and enhanced access to energy.
“The Security Council recalls its resolution 2282 (2016), and welcomes the valuable work undertaken by the Peacebuilding Fund. The Security Council reaffirms the importance of the advisory functions of the Peacebuilding Commission and requests it to further consider and share good practices on institution-building for sustaining peace in Africa. The Security Council reaffirms the importance of strengthening coordination, coherence and cooperation with the Peacebuilding Commission.
“The Security Council emphasizes the need for predictable and sustained financing to United Nations peacebuilding activities, including through increased contributions and strengthened partnerships with key stakeholders, while also noting the significance that non-monetary contributions can play in peacebuilding efforts, taking into account the need to ensure transparency, accountability and appropriate monitoring of funds.
“The Security Council recalls the General Assembly’s decision to invite the Secretary General to report to the seventy-second session of the General Assembly, at least 60 days prior to the high-level meeting on peacebuilding and sustaining peace, on efforts to implement its resolution 2282 (2016). The Security Council further recalls the Secretary-General’s suggestion to provide an oral briefing to the Security Council no later than December 2016.”