23 September 2010

Security Council Summit Pledges to Continue Strengthening Activities for Maintenance of International Peace, Security

23 September 2010
Security Council
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

6389th Meeting (PM)

Security Council Summit Pledges to Continue Strengthening Activities


for Maintenance of International Peace, Security


Secretary-General Opens High-level Meeting,

With Nine Heads of State and Government, Six Other Senior Officials Attending

In a summit meeting this afternoon, opened by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and attended by nine Heads of State and Government as well as six ministers, the Security Council pledged to continue strengthening all its activities in the maintenance of international peace and security, and to adapt them to ever-changing circumstances.

That pledge was made in the form of a wide-ranging presidential statement read out by Abdullah Gül, President of Turkey, whose country holds the rotating Council presidency this month.  Joining him were Premier Wen Jiabao of China, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda, Federal President Heinz Fischer of Austria, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of Nigeria, Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Haris Silajdžić, President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon, President Michel Sleiman of Lebanon and Prime Minister Naoto Kan of Japan.

Foreign Ministers Sergey Lavrov of the Russian Federation, Celso Amorim of Brazil, Patricia Espinosa Cantellano of Mexico, Bernard Kouchner of France, were also present, as were Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of the United States and William Hague, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom.

According to the presidential statement, Council members welcomed the considerable progress made in recent years in refining and strengthening the preventive diplomacy, peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding capabilities of the United Nations.  They pledged to strengthen those tools through a range of efforts, including closer cooperation with regional organizations and other partners, better early-warning assessments and more effectively designed peacekeeping missions that could more smoothly transition to peacebuilding.

Council members reaffirmed their commitment to protect civilians in situations of armed conflict, battle impunity for human rights crimes, empower women and strengthen national ownership of peace processes, among other efforts.  The Council also paid tribute to troop- and police-contributing countries, reiterating its commitment to strengthen consultation with them, as well as to the “good offices” efforts undertaken by the Secretary-General and his representatives.

“The world needs the Security Council to uphold its responsibility for maintaining international peace and security — fully, fairly, without delay, Secretary-General Ban said as he opened the Summit.  “We must do more — and be equipped to do more — to fulfil this cardinal mission.”  He said the Organization had come a long way in responding to diverse challenges, having reinvigorated preventive diplomacy and upgraded mediation capacity.  It had become more nimble in responding to brewing trouble, from Guinea to Kyrgyzstan.  Peacekeeping operations continued to become more efficient and effective through the “New Horizons” process and other initiatives, he added.

He stressed, however, that more must be done in all areas, and that all available tools of peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding must be employed in an integrated fashion, through a more flexible architecture of response.  Close partnerships must be built between actors, as must coherence within the United Nations system.  In addition, the Council must maintain its long-term commitments to help people resolve their conflicts, rather than serving as a “band-aid” to keep troubles in check.

Following Mr. Ban’s presentation, the high-level representatives reaffirmed their countries’ commitment to making the Council’s work in maintaining international peace and security more effective, and pledged to continue their contributions to United Nations peacekeeping, peacemaking and peacebuilding.  Foreign Minister Kouchner, for one, stressed that, despite its flaws, United Nations peacekeeping was irreplaceable.

However, all the leaders agreed that, despite the reforms of the past few years, much more improvement was still needed, particularly in the areas of conflict prevention, early warning, quick response and the integration of peacebuilding into all phases of the Council’s involvement in addressing a conflict’s root causes.  Along with other leaders, President Museveni of Uganda urged better cooperation with regional organizations, as well as greater engagement with countries subject to Council action.

Many speakers stressed the continuing need to address the scourge of sexual violence, with Secretary Clinton pledging to ramp up national contributions in that area.  Some urged a wider concept of protection, with Prime Minister Kan of Japan — in addition to calling for expeditious consideration of Security Council reform — stressing the importance of the human security concept.  “True peace can be sustained only when each individual human being achieves freedom, secures dignity and leads a fulfilled life,” he said.

The meeting began at 3:15 p.m. and ended at 5:30 p.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2010/18 reads as follows:

“The Security Council reaffirms its primary responsibility under the Charter of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security.  The Council in this regard recalls its resolutions and statements of its President in relation to preventive diplomacy, peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.

“The Security Council recognizes the progress made in many regions of the world towards building a more peaceful and stable environment.  The Council, however, acknowledges the evolving challenges and threats to international peace and security, including armed conflicts, terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and small arms and light weapons, transnational organized crime, piracy, and drug and human trafficking.

“The Security Council thus reaffirms that international peace and security now requires a more comprehensive and concerted approach.  The Council also underlines the necessity to address the root causes of conflicts, taking into account that development, peace and security, and human rights are interlinked and mutually reinforcing.  To this end, the Council expresses its firm commitment to contribute to the enhancement of the effectiveness of the United Nations throughout the conflict cycle.

“The Security Council welcomes the considerable progress made in refining and strengthening the United Nations preventive diplomacy, peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding capabilities in recent years, and pledges to continue to contribute to the adaptation of these tools to changing circumstances.  The Council also underlines that the relationship between these tools is not always sequential and that it is necessary to use them in a comprehensive, integrated and flexible manner.

“The Security Council stresses that the comprehensive and coherent use of preventive diplomacy, peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding tools is important in creating the conditions for sustainable peace.  The Council undertakes to provide the necessary political support to ensure this overarching objective.

“The Council also reiterates its strong support for the protection of civilians and reaffirms its conviction that the protection of civilians in armed conflicts, particularly women and children, should be an important aspect of any comprehensive strategy to resolve conflicts.  The Council further reiterates its opposition to impunity for serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law.

“The Security Council calls upon Member States to resolve differences peacefully and draws particular attention to the importance of preventive diplomacy as a cost-effective and efficient way of crisis management and conflict resolution.  The Council encourages and reaffirms its support for endeavours aimed at enhancing the preventive capacities of the Member States, United Nations, and regional and subregional organizations.  The Council stresses, in particular, the importance of developing early-warning, assessment, mediation and response capabilities of these actors, as well as ensuring a sound coordination among them.

“The Security Council pays tribute to the efforts undertaken by the Secretary-General in using his good offices, his Representatives, Special Envoys and mediators, as well as by regional and subregional organizations to help facilitate durable and comprehensive settlements, and undertakes to continue to support their work.

“The Security Council further commits to following closely existing and potential conflict situations that may affect international peace and security, engaging with parties undertaking preventive efforts, encouraging the steps taken to de-escalate tension and build confidence, supporting efforts aimed at mobilizing the necessary expertise and capabilities available in and to the United Nations.  The Council also recognizes the importance of enhancing efforts, including coordination among bilateral and multilateral donors, to ensure predictable, coherent and timely financial support to optimize the use of preventive diplomacy tools.

“The Security Council underscores its commitment to continue to enhance the overall effectiveness of United Nations peacekeeping.  In this regard, the Council reiterates its support to ongoing efforts such as those of the General Assembly and the United Nations Secretariat to bolster the effectiveness and efficiency of United Nations peacekeeping and to upgrade the United Nations capacity for successful planning, establishment, deployment, conduct, monitoring and evaluation, as well as transition and completion of peacekeeping operations, including those steps taken to speed the deployment of experts in policing and rule of law.  The Council in this regard welcomes efforts by the United Nations Secretariat to advocate the development of partnerships among all stakeholders.

“The Security Council recognizes that peacekeeping operations have become an increasingly complex undertaking, requiring an overarching political strategy for each mission, a deterrent posture consistent with their mandate, strong civilian and military leadership, adequate resourcing, as well as experienced, trained and equipped military, police and civilian personnel, with the ability to communicate effectively with local populations.  The Council also acknowledges the need for improved military expertise and expresses in that context its intention to continue to look into the role of the Military Staff Committee.

“The Security Council pays tribute to the invaluable role played by the troop- and police-contributing countries in keeping and building a sustainable peace in many volatile parts of the world and reiterates its commitment to strengthen consultations with them, while encouraging Member States with the necessary capabilities to contribute more police, military and civilian personnel, including female personnel to United Nations peacekeeping and political missions.

“The Security Council emphasizes that effective peacebuilding requires an integrated and comprehensive approach based on coherence among political, security, development, human rights, humanitarian and rule of law objectives, and that peacebuilding perspectives need to be considered starting from the first stages of planning and implementation of peacekeeping operations.

“The Security Council underlines that sustainable peacebuilding also requires national ownership, the development of national capacities and empowerment of people affected by conflict.  The Council stresses the need for continued progress by the Secretary-General in fulfilling his agenda for action to improve United Nations peacebuilding efforts in order to better respond to the core needs and priorities identified by the countries concerned.  The Council looks forward, in particular, to the outcome of the civilian capacity review.

“The Security Council also stresses the importance of progress in refining roles and responsibilities for the key peacebuilding actors, and welcomes in particular the important role of the Peacebuilding Commission in promoting and supporting an integrated and coherent approach to peacebuilding.  The Council reiterates its support for the work of the Commission and expresses its willingness to make greater use of its advisory role.  The Council looks forward to considering the facilitators’ report of the 2010 review of the Peacebuilding Commission.

“The Security Council recognizes that a comprehensive and integrated strategy to peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding should involve all relevant actors, taking into account the unique circumstances of each conflict situation.  The Council further acknowledges that sustainable peace and security can best be achieved through effective collaboration among all concerned parties on the basis of their expertise.

“The Security Council reiterates its commitment to strengthening its strategic partnerships with and support to regional and subregional organizations consistent with Chapter VIII of the Charter, in conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.  The Council also underlines that it should continue to strengthen its partnerships with all other relevant players at both the strategic level and on the ground, in particular the General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, Peacebuilding Commission, international financial institutions, such as World Bank, and civil society.

“The Security Council also reaffirms the important role of women in all aspects of the prevention and resolution of conflicts, as well as in peacekeeping and peacebuilding, and recognizes that a concerted and determined approach that addresses the root causes of conflicts also requires a systematic and comprehensive approach to women and peace and security issues.  The Council in this regard looks forward to marking the tenth anniversary of resolution 1325 (2000) by taking action on a comprehensive set of indicators on the basis of recommendations of the Secretary-General.

“The Security Council is fully aware of the responsibilities bestowed upon it by the Charter of the United Nations, and of the collective aspirations of the peoples of the world, which impel it to take effective action to maintain international peace and security and eradicate the scourge of war.  The Council expresses its commitment to continue to fulfil its responsibilities in the most effective manner and in full cooperation with its partners.  It further recognizes that successful accomplishment of this task requires a continuous process of reflection and adaptation of its practices in preventive diplomacy, peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.”


The Security Council met this afternoon to consider the topic “Ensuring the Security Council’s effective role in maintaining international peace and security”.  Members had before them a concept paper transmitted in a letter dated 1 September from the Permanent Representative of Turkey — Council President for the month — addressed to the Secretary-General (document S/2010/461).

According to the concept paper, the world looks to the Security Council for decisive action to prevent conflict, protect populations, end wars and prevent them from recurring.  The Council, therefore, should constantly take a fresh look at the evolving international security environment and it’s implications for the United Nations and for the Council itself.  Such a strategic reassessment took place some 20 years ago, following the end of the cold war, when the Council dramatically expanded the pace and scope of its activities.  The first-ever Council Summit took place on 31 January 1992, when the Secretary-General was requested to present recommendations with a view to enhancing the capacity of the United Nations for preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and peacekeeping.  The recommendations were published in July that year under the title “An agenda for peace” (document A/47/277-S/24111).

Today, the paper says, the Council still depends on the core operational tools of preventive diplomacy, peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding to address a widening spectrum of complex challenges to international peace and security.  They include intra-State armed conflicts with regional dimensions, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism and transnational organized crime, all of which have led to a growing recognition of the links between security, development and environmental degradation.  The rationale for holding another broad strategic debate at the summit level is therefore compelling.  It takes place five years after the 2005 World Summit and a decade since the launch of the report of the Panel on UN Peace Operations (the “Brahimi Report”, document A/55/305-S/2000/809).

Noting an increasing convergence of views among the United Nations membership on the complex nature of the international security environment, and on the means to address emerging threats and challenges, the paper states that the multilateral system still struggles to translate that broad accord into practical, effective and mutually reinforcing steps on the ground.  Today’s Summit could therefore be an opportunity to re-energize the whole process; provide a comprehensive political framework to integrate ongoing processes; restore confidence in the ability of the United Nations to prevent and resolve conflicts; reaffirm the Council’s primary role in maintaining international peace and security; and recommit the Council to discharging that responsibility, in cooperation with its partners.

The concept paper says that, by providing a comprehensive political framework to integrate those processes, and by clarifying its own role, the Council could reaffirm its will and ability to play a stronger role in the political settlement of disputes and in the implementation of peace processes.  It could also stress the importance of sustained engagement with countries in conflict.  A discussion of that nature could help shift the debate from exit strategies to integration among the different elements and tasks of bringing peace to a country or region in conflict, the paper concludes.

Introductory Remarks

ABDULLAH GÜL, President of Turkey, whose country holds the Council presidency for September, welcomed members, noting that it was not too often that the Council came together at the highest level.  However, the world had changed since 1945 and the need for the United Nations to prevent wars between States had been overtaken by other security threats, such as intra-State conflicts, failed States, transnational crime and terrorism.

Noting that peace and security could no longer be maintained by military means alone, he said the international community was compelled to adopt a more comprehensive approach.  In light of its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, the Council should lead by example, he said, adding that he had convened today’s Summit in order to undertake a broad review of how to deal with the new challenges.  The meeting would help to provide firm guidance on the issues of peace and collective security.


BAN KI-MOON, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said the Security Council and the Secretariat had come a long way in responding to the diverse challenges to international peace and security, having reinvigorated preventive diplomacy and upgraded mediation capacity.  They had become more nimble in responding to brewing trouble, from Guinea to Kyrgyzstan.  Peacekeeping operations continued to become more efficient and effective through the “New Horizons” process and other initiatives.

The United Nations continued to enhance its pool of envoys, deepen cooperation with regional partners, help Member States build capacity, and support field missions and regional offices, he said.  Some 122,000 civilian and uniformed personnel had been deployed in 15 peacekeeping missions and a further 4,000 in 14 field missions with wide-ranging mandates.  The Organization’s capacity to protect civilians in armed conflict was being strengthened in an atmosphere that continued to see mass rapes and other outrages.

He stressed, however, that more must be done in all areas, adding that all available tools of peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding must be employed in an integrated fashion, through a more flexible architecture of response.  Close partnerships between actors and coherence within the United Nations system must be built and maintained.  In addition, long-term commitments must be maintained in order to help people resolve their conflicts, rather than serving as a “band-aid” to keep troubles in check.

Prevention, early warning and early action must be improved, he emphasized.  “The world needs the Security Council to uphold its responsibility for maintaining international peace and security — fully, fairly, without delay.  We must do more — and be equipped to do more — to fulfil this cardinal mission,” the Secretary-General said, noting also that building peace and advancing development were mutually reinforcing tasks.

WEN JIABAO, Premier of the State Council of China, said that, while the international security situation was stable on the whole, threats to stability were increasing due to the global economic and financial crises.  Terrorism, transnational crime, cybersecurity, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and other non-traditional security issues were becoming more pronounced, he said, emphasizing that, in the face of those threats, multinational cooperation must be intensified and stronger collective action taken.

As the core of the collective security mechanism, the Council must enhance its authority and play a greater role in maintaining international peace and security, he said, proposing in that regard that it improve the peaceful settlement of disputes.  Dialogue, negotiations and diplomacy were the only effective way to do that.  The Council should therefore strengthen its good offices and mediation role in order to prevent outbreaks of conflict. 

Noting that peacekeeping was the major means by which the Council addressed conflicts, he said it was therefore important to improve the effectiveness of such operations.  However, the Council must adhere to the Hammarskjöld principles of impartiality, consent of the parties and non-use of force except in self-defence.  While the Council might decide to impose sanctions, it must exercise caution since such measures often did not help to solve the situation.  An integrated strategy was necessary in order to remove the root causes of conflicts, such as poverty, he said.

The Council must, as a matter of priority, resolve problems in Africa, since most issues on the Council’s agenda related to that region.  In the quest for world peace, hot spots in Africa must be addressed, he said, stressing that the international community must accommodate the concerns of African countries and respect their choices.  China appreciated the value of peace and, as a permanent Council member, had worked vigorously for the peaceful settlement of disputes.  It had played an active part in United Nations peacekeeping operations, he said, noting that his country was the biggest contributor of peacekeeping personnel among the Council’s permanent members.

YOWERI KAGUTA MUSEVENI, President of Uganda, recalled that the emphasis in the Security Council’s formative mandate had been on quick and strong action.  Where the United Nations had acted alone, however, it had made mistakes, as in Congo during the 1960s and in Rwanda during the 1990s.  The solutions to all the major problems resolved in Africa had been regionally led, with the United Nations and other extra-African bodies playing a supportive role, he noted.

He said the Council needed to work on new ways to tackle new threats, such as transnational organized crime, drug trafficking and terrorism, through a more concerted and comprehensive approach at all levels.  Inaction and indifference to any conflict situation should be avoided.  In addition, it was essential that the Council continuously evaluate and reflect on whether its diagnosis of conflict situations and the prescribed solutions were correct.  In many cases, the recurrence of conflicts showed that core problems had not been addressed.

Despite efforts to enhance peacekeeping, more attention must still be given to supporting fragile, post-conflict countries in building national capacity, he said, adding that the Council should also take a greater interest in wider issues of human security.  Given the many capabilities demonstrated by the African Union, the United Nations should optimize the contributions of regional organizations and provide adequate resources for such operations as the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).  Given that Africa had no permanent member on the Council, he said, the body should strive for more fairness and dispel the perception that vested interests had overriding power.  In that vein, he encouraged the Council to engage more with countries on its agenda.

HEINZ FISCHER, Federal President of Austria, said that peacekeeping — originally not foreseen in the United Nations Charter — had developed into a particularly successful crisis-management tool.  But with the changed nature of hostilities today — intra-State conflicts, terrorism, organized crime and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction — peacekeepers faced complex tasks and challenges.  Austria had contributed troops, police and experts to United Nations operations immediately after joining the Organization and 90,000 Austrians had served since 1960, he noted.

Confronted with today’s threats, the protection of civilians in armed conflict was a key priority and a precondition for sustainable peace, he said.  As long as United Nations peacekeeping missions were involved, it was also a question of the Council’s credibility, he said.  Creating a favourable protection environment went beyond protection from physical violence.  That task must be complemented by activities in the fields of rule of law, human rights, security-sector reform, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, and empowerment of local communities.

An equally important issue was the role of women in peace and security, he said.  Women should have increased participation, representation and full involvement in preventive diplomacy, mediation, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.  Those efforts must be accompanied by increased protection for women and girls, especially from sexual violence, he stressed.  To resolve a conflict in a sustainable manner, the Council should pursue an integrated approach throughout all stages of conflict, with peacekeeping and peacebuilding going hand in hand to provide security and development, he said.  Prevention was the most effective and efficient way to manage conflict.  “The Security Council will exercise its role in a most effective and credible manner when the guiding principle of its actions is the rule of law — clear and foreseeable rules equally applicable to everybody.”

GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN, President of Nigeria, said the complex challenges of maintaining international peace and security called for vision, creativity and commitment on the part of member States.  The Security Council should consider repositioning itself to deal with the changing international environment, and enhance its collaboration with the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, as well as other relevant stakeholders, especially international financial institutions, in order to find solutions to the interwoven challenges of peace, security and development.  The Council should also deal more effectively with smaller-scale challenges, he added.

The current security architecture was not the best for addressing today’s multiple challenges, he continued.  There was therefore a compelling case for a coherent strategic framework to integrate security and development imperatives.  Liberia and Sierra Leone showed how United Nations agencies could work with political actors to foster stability through the creation of opportunity and the promotion of good governance and the rule of law.  Nigeria was also encouraged by the Council’s recognition of the importance of the full range of preventive diplomacy tools, and welcomed the new conflict-management mechanisms and regional offices that were being established for that purpose.

Underscoring the effectiveness of regional organizations in many areas, he said his country was willing and well-positioned to be a driver of further cooperation among the United Nations, the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).  Given the many meetings on strengthening the maintenance of international peace and security, it was necessary to build a mechanism to monitor progress on objectives already identified, he said, urging leaders to be bold, pragmatic and unwavering in efforts to end the torment of conflict experienced by the oppressed around the world.

HARIS SILAJDŽIĆ, Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said he could not stress enough the crucial importance of applying the lessons learned from the past.  The Council had erred in the past by imposing an arms embargo on Bosnia and Herzegovina, thereby adding to the military advantage of the late Serbian President Slobodan Milošević’s regime, and some powerful Council members had justified that course of action at the time by arguing that lifting the embargo would “add oil to the fire”.

He said the message that the Council sent to would-be perpetrators acting in the name of a twisted ideology must be crystal clear: “Your crimes will not pay off.”  The errors made in Bosnia and Herzegovina had not been corrected to date, he said, pointing out that the peace and security established by the Dayton Agreement, as well as the progress made, were now being destabilized by open calls for secession.  “It would be a repetition of the mistake to dismiss open calls for changing international borders as election campaign rhetoric.  Our ability to prevent is tested once more,” he said.

Turning to post-conflict peacebuilding, he said that, although all relevant national and international actors should be involved, the political will of the host country and national ownership were sine qua non conditions for the success of peacebuilding operations.  The promotion of dialogue between parties, particularly among decision-makers and civil society organizations, was critical to confidence-building and reconciliation, as was holding those responsible for committing crimes accountable.  He reminded the Council in that regard that Ratko Mladić, “the chief executioner of the genocide in Srebrenica”, remained at large.

ALI BONGO ONDIMBA, President of Gabon, said new threats to peace and stability had emerged, including climate change, piracy, drug-trafficking and arms proliferation.  The complex nature of those threats, and the linkages between security and development, made the Council’s role increasingly difficult.  Gabon invited the Council to emphasize prevention, since it was better to prevent conflicts than to resolve them.  Early-warning systems should be improved, as had been done in the Central African region with the Mécanisme d’Alerte Rapide de l’Afrique Centrale (MARAC) and the Peace and Security Council of Central Africa (COPAX).

The Council must reconsider its approach to peacekeeping, he said, stressing that it must impose peace when peacekeeping was not operational, he said.  Such an approach would have been useful in Somalia.  Furthermore, peacekeeping missions must be of a multidisciplinary nature, and Gabon welcomed in that regard the inclusion of specialists on child soldiers and victims of sexual abuse.  It was also important to establish peacekeeping missions with clear and achievable mandates that included exit strategies based on benchmarks.

Ensuring international peace and security required increased cooperation between the Council and regional organizations, since the latter were better adapted to a given situation.  Gabon therefore welcomed the consultation mechanism between the Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council.  Peacekeeping must be pursued through peacebuilding in order to prevent the resurgence of crises and conflicts, he said, underlining the importance of increasingly including, in peacebuilding missions, programmes to help re-establish political, legal, security and socio-economic institutions.

MICHEL SLEIMAN, President of Lebanon, said that despite the joint approaches to crises adopted by the international community, the international system had flaws.  The Security Council, in particular, required reform in order to become more democratic, more representative and more effective in implementing resolutions.  In that context, the conflict in the Middle East, which had lingered for decades, was among the most unjust and painful of crises.  Israel continued to occupy Arab lands and deprive the Palestinian people of their rights, while retaining its nuclear arsenal and subjecting Lebanon to a host of violations that necessitated a firm position from the international community.

To bolster its performance in general, the United Nations must move from reaction to pro-action by strengthening mediation and addressing the root causes of oppression and poverty-induced conflicts before they arose, he said.  There were different types of peacekeeping operations, some of which were not connected to negotiations and simply relied on pressure from the international community.  In that connection, he commended the efforts of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and stressed that Israeli forces must withdraw, without any condition, from all Lebanese territory it still occupied.

Emphasizing that Palestinian refugees must not be resettled in Lebanon and other neighbouring countries, he proposed that the Council conduct a study of the perception that Israel appeared to be exempt from accountability and had escaped coercive measures such as sanctions.  The Council must address that issue in order to improve its effectiveness and gain the confidence of the world’s peoples in its ability to defend them, so they would not have to resort to resistance and other legitimate means of self defence.

NAOTO KAN, Prime Minister of Japan, said the mere absence of a state of war was not true peace; only restoring the lives of people destroyed by conflict led to true peace, and for that reason Japan would continue to provide assistance that focused on peacekeeping, peacebuilding, conflict prevention and human security.  Describing his country’s extensive activities in those areas, he also emphasized that the Security Council must continue exerting its utmost efforts to halt the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

For the Council to cope with all matters of international peace and security, the concept of human security was particularly useful, he said.  “True peace can be sustained only when each individual human being achieves freedom, secures dignity and leads a fulfilled life.”  Relying on that philosophy, Japan would continue to contribute to international efforts towards protecting and empowering vulnerable States and peoples, he pledged.

Noting that it had been 65 years since the birth of the United Nations, he said that in order for the Council to continue playing an effective role in maintaining international security in a changing world, it must itself demonstrate its legitimacy by reflecting the reality of the international community.  To that end, Japan would cooperate with other Member States and work actively for the early realization of Security Council reform, he said.

SERGEY LAVROV, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, said it was important for the Security Council to further improve the existing mechanisms and instruments at its disposal in order to ensure more effective and prompt responses.  Modern conflicts must be resolved, not by force, but at the political and diplomatic level, he said, adding that no effort should be spared in the early prevention of conflict.  For that purpose, active support should be provided to the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, as well as to regional and other relevant organizations.

The success of peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Africa, Haiti and Timor-Leste relied on the capacity to take account of the interests and priorities of the host country, he said, stressing that assistance must not be imposed.  Furthermore, the complex and comprehensive solutions required in all cases required close coordination among all actors.  To that end, the Russian Federation welcomed the regular dialogue between the Council and troop-contributing countries, and reaffirmed the relevance of its proposal to further intensify the activities of the Military Staff Committee.  Outlining the Russian Federation’s extensive contributions to peacekeeping, he pledged that his country would continue to contribute in a practical manner to both peacekeeping and peacebuilding activities of the United Nations.

CELSO AMORIM, Minister for External Relations of Brazil, highlighted the interrelated nature of peace, security, development, human rights and the rule of law, adding: “Peace can never flourish where there is hunger and poverty.”  As much as an “exit strategy”, peacekeeping operations must have a “strategy of sustainability” that could deliver the real dividends of peace — stability, development and strong national institutions.  Stressing that he was not advocating that the Council be given a mandate to promote development, he noted that, in most cases, it would benefit from the advice of the Peacebuilding Commission.

In Haiti, it was clear that there would be no lasting peace unless extreme poverty and deprivation were adequately addressed, he continued.  The window of opportunity created by the Brazilian-led United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) must be seized in order to strengthen institutions, improve living conditions and allow real stability to prevail.  Guinea-Bissau was another situation in which poverty and institutional instability hampered peace, he said.  The reforms needed there, especially of the armed forces, would require courageous decisions on the part of the national authorities, who could not, however, dispense with substantial international cooperation.

In order to achieve those combined goals, proper attention by the Council was needed, he said.  Coordinated peacekeeping and peacebuilding actions would also be of great value in situations such as that in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  “Security issues that concern the whole of the international community cannot be dealt with as the private domain of a limited number of Powers,” he stressed.  Improving the Council’s effectiveness also depended on the role of the non-permanent members, who should participate fully in the decision-making process.  “It is not appropriate to call upon them only to ratify decisions already taken by the permanent members.”  The veto question should also be addressed, he said, adding that, although it should not be abolished, imaginative formulas should be found to make its use more difficult.  He also warned that imposing sanctions was not an end in itself, and if used imprudently, such measures could be counterproductive.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, Secretary of State of the United States, welcomed the presidential statement’s emphasis on the centrality of peacemaking, peacebuilding and peacekeeping, as well as on providing better protection for civilians.  The statement was also “clear eyed” about the need to improve the Council’s core function.  She said she had met many of the dedicated men and women working under the “Blue Flag”, such as those in Liberia, Pakistan and Haiti, and their presence provided much needed hope in dangerous places.

Noting that the undertakings of peacekeeping missions had become increasingly complex, she said it should be accompanied by peacemaking and peacebuilding efforts.  The growing gap between requirements and resources should also be filled, she said, pointing out that all too often peacekeeping missions lacked key capacities, such as helicopters.  Sending them out without the resources and support they needed undermined their effectiveness.

More cooperation was needed with regional forces and host countries, she said.  Improvement should begin with clear, credible and achievable mandates for all missions.  The United States supported operational reforms that would allow field missions to respond more rapidly, as well as management reforms to improve efficiency and transparency.  It was providing assistance in training formed police units, which often provided a bridge between short-term peacekeeping and long-term stability, she said, adding that women should play a greater role in them.

Turning to protection of civilians, she said better coordination was needed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where sexual violence against civilians had reached unimaginable proportions.  Although she had presided over a Council meeting during which resolution 1888 (2009) had been adopted to address those situations, it was regrettable that that not much progress had been made.  The United States would fund the implementation of that resolution and also contribute to the training and protection of those working for accountability on the ground in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Underscoring her country’s commitment to improving United Nations operations, she said it was not only a moral imperative, but the “smart and strategic” thing to do.  Those operations could help contain conflicts that would otherwise spill over into other countries, and keep fragile States from becoming failed States.  Hopefully, today’s discussion would not be just another meeting, she said.  It was to be hoped that it would be followed through in order to ensure greater effectiveness for the most important missions of the United Nations — peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.

WILLIAM HAGUE, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom, said that tackling conflict required a coherent and coordinated response.  There had been reforms in that direction, but the real test was whether they were making a difference on the ground, given the complex peacekeeping operations now going on.  Peacebuilding was also critical to addressing the root causes of conflict and preventing their recurrence, he said, adding that it needed to happen as soon as possible so as to build confidence in peace agreements.

He said reform was as yet incomplete, and much more needed to be done in order to make use of the capacities of regional organizations and the Peacebuilding Commission.  The Council needed also to develop a genuine culture of prevention, regularly monitoring countries that were not yet in conflict through the cooperation of a range of experts and with input from regional and subregional organizations.  Additionally, in the year ahead, lasting improvement on the ground in situations such as Liberia must be demonstrated through the establishment of exit strategies built on strongly reinforced national capacities, he said.

PATRICIA ESPINOSA CANTELLANO, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mexico, said that, as the body responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security, the Council should continue to strengthen its mechanisms and the reach of its decisions in order to deal more effectively with threats affecting contemporary global stability, instead of being overtaken by reality.  It had the tools and opportunities to promote an environment conducive to improvements in peace and security.  The Council worked to reach consensus, and there was a constructive relationship among the permanent members as well as within an exceptionally consistent group of non-permanent members.  It was thus possible to strengthen the peacekeeping agenda, emphasizing conflict prevention and peacebuilding, while providing political support to ensure lasting peace.

Calling for greater emphasis on conflict prevention, she said dialogue and the peaceful settlement of disputes were essential to strengthening international peace and security and eradicating the structural causes of conflict.  Preventive diplomacy, respect for the rule of law, and transparency in the Council’s working methods were all elements necessary to increasing the Council’s efficiency.  Mexico was one of the most active promoters of the resort to arbitration and international courts, and encouraged the peaceful settlement of disputes through mediation.  Thanks to mediation, the Latin America and the Caribbean region had been among the most peaceful in the world for several decades.

It was also important to highlight Council resolutions urging parties to armed conflict to comply with international humanitarian law and ensure the protection of vulnerable groups, she said.  The Council had assumed the role of collective guarantor under the First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions.  Mexico had therefore convened two sessions on the protection of children in conflict situations, with the aim of preserving their rights and ensuring their return to a safe environment, with prospects for growth and development.

BERNARD KOUCHNER, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of France, stressed that, despite the flaws in United Nations peacekeeping, there was no replacement for it.  Everyone was in favour of prevention, but there was no better mechanism for supporting nascent peace processes than United Nations peacekeeping operations.  The Council should learn from both its successes and failures, adapting its decisions in that light.  Outlining France’s extensive contributions to peacekeeping, he said there had been great difficulties and even greater tragedies, but lessons had been learned, including the need for specific and achievable mandates.

He said efforts in protection had also been mixed, and credibility, in particular, was at stake in that area.  In the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, attacks against civilians must be stopped through the restoration of the rule of law, but more deliberations by the Council must lead to improved protection strategies in the meantime.  In addition, the chain of command in peacekeeping operations and the provision of adequate resources must be improved, and transition and withdrawal strategies sharpened.

Peacebuilding must be taken into account from the very beginning of the Council’s involvement in a situation, he said, welcoming the Peacebuilding Commission’s further advice in that area.  The steady commitment of the host State must also be secured; it was unacceptable for such a host abruptly to end the relationship with a United Nations peacekeeping operation.  He pledged France’s ongoing commitment to improving the performance of the United Nations in all areas of maintaining international peace and security.

Mr. GÜL, President of Turkey, spoke in his national capacity, saying that the valuable insights presented today were of particularly importance to his country, situated as it was at the crossroads of a host of conventional and asymmetrical risks and threats that dominated a vast region, ranging from the Balkans to the Middle East, from the Black Sea and the Mediterranean to the Caucasus and Central Asia.  Turkey, therefore, often found itself dealing with a great diversity of issues affecting its own security.

Recalling that his country had recently been recognized for its active mediation and facilitation efforts, he said that such preventive efforts were the most cost-effective and efficient means by which to resolve potential and existing disputes.  Turkey, therefore, attached great importance to building and improving the preventive capacities of the international community.  Starting with preventive diplomacy, the international community must better coordinate its activities, starting at the United Nations.  The Council in particular must reach out to its partners within and outside the Organization and make better use of their comparative advantages.

The Council’s approach to peace and security should be of a more comprehensive and strategic nature, as there had been a tendency to use its operational tools in a more sequential fashion, he said.  Peacekeeping, which had become increasingly complex and robust, should not be confined to stabilization operations by military and police forces.  Their mandates must incorporate an early, long-term peacebuilding perspective.  The critical linkages between security and development, between human rights, democracy and security, should be taken into account, and the root causes of conflicts addressed early on.

He noted that the Council operated in a rapidly evolving and somewhat unpredictable security environment, and had proved somewhat slow in adapting to changing circumstances.  To remedy that shortcoming, it must have greater interaction with non-members in a more transparent and forward-looking manner.  It should also acquire enhanced early-warning and assessment capabilities, as well as flexible resourcing mechanisms.  “In the un-chartered waters of the twenty-first century, there is no doubt that we need a more effective Security Council to fulfil its primary responsibility of maintaining international peace and security.  Today’s debate demonstrated that this common objective is well within reach.  We now need to take the necessary concrete steps to materialize it.”

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