National Ownership, Economic Investment, Key to Post-Conflict Peacebuilding Efforts, President Tells Security Council

SC/13607
5 December 2018

National Ownership, Economic Investment, Key to Post-Conflict Peacebuilding Efforts, President Tells Security Council

African Union Commission Chair Hails Côte d’Ivoire’s Recovery, as Secretary-General Stresses Refocus on Prevention

Building and sustaining peace after the end of conflict requires holistic responses characterized by national ownership, economic investment and inclusive efforts to repair torn social fabrics, the President of Côte d’Ivoire told the Security Council today, as members discussed peacebuilding and sustaining peace in the context of post‑conflict reconstruction, security and stability.

“For more than a decade, Côte d’Ivoire was the recipient of unprecedented support from the international community,” said President Alassane Ouattara, whose country holds the over the Council presidency for December.  While the civil conflict formally ended in 2011, Côte d’Ivoire’s situation remained highly fragile after the conflict amid widespread economic insecurity.  Basic public services, for example, were in a dismal state.

“This situation could have compromised my country’s return to peace and stability in the long term,” he continued.  However, holistic strategies for economic recovery and development — implemented from the very start of the post‑conflict phase — averted such a relapse.  Calling attention to the private sector’s role , he said it transformed Côte d’Ivoire’s economy, driving its annual growth rate up to a high of 9 per cent.

He went on to state that a vast disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme allowed for the reintegration of some 65,000 former combatants, to whom decent jobs were provided.  Governance reforms, anti‑corruption measures and efforts to boost social cohesion were also successful.  “Ivoirians are [now] living in peace and in tolerance,” he said, noting that the country’s experience can serve as a case study for the Council’s work going forward.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, stated:  “Côte d’Ivoire’s experience is an eloquent demonstration that peace is within reach” when actors are determined to turn commitments into action.  Countries in which recurrent conflicts persist would do well to learn from its experience, he said.  Welcoming recent diplomatic progress in the Horn of Africa, he recalled that, similarly, Côte d’Ivoire’s political agreement extended a hand to “the enemies of yesterday”.

The United Kingdom’s delegate declared:  “Too seldom do we hear success stories in the Council.”  Applauding Côte d’Ivoire’s many ongoing reforms, she said that while it can be extremely difficult to be magnanimous in the aftermath of conflict, it is also critical.  She recalled her country’s experience in Northern Ireland, where accommodating the interests of diametrically opposed armed groups within the political process led to peace.  She also highlighted the “virtues of patience”, noting that, according to the World Bank, meaningful institutional change can take a decade to bear fruit.

Secretary‑General António Guterres, delivering opening remarks, said that merely reacting to crises entails huge human and financial costs, emphasizing that the United Nations must refocus on prevention in the spirit of his Action for Peacekeeping initiative.  Calling for holistic approaches, he emphasized the crucial importance of tackling inequality, climate change, corruption and cross‑border crime, which means investing in basic services and social cohesion.  The United Nations must also adapt to the needs of host countries, help to mobilize marginalized groups, youth and the private sector, while enhancing partnerships with both regional and subregional organizations.

As the floor opened for the debate, many delegates noted that the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) — first deployed in 2004 — was able to formally withdraw in 2017, in contrast to other missions the mandates of which have lingered for decades.  Some speakers expressed concern that serious and evolving terrorist threats in West Africa and the Sahel may jeopardize today’s efforts to recover from recovery conflict.  Several called for stronger United Nations support for peace operations, spearheaded by the African Union, while others supported mandating the “Group of Five” (G‑5) Sahel joint force — currently combating extremists in that region — under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter.

Equatorial Guinea’s delegate stressed the importance of ensuring justice for victims in order to quell the desire for revenge.  Creating a safe environment in which African socioeconomic development can thrive will require significant international support.  He said that his delegation is currently participating in negotiations on a draft resolution intended to provide predictable and sustainable financing for peacekeeping operations in Africa through the United Nations regular budget.

Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, called for integrated approaches to post‑conflict recovery, saying they should include sustainable, inclusive social and economic development.  The Netherlands has invested in risk analysis related to climate change and human rights violations, she said, adding that such studies are needed to help prevent conflict and ensure sustainable transitions from conflict to peace.  She also spotlighted the need to protect agriculture‑based livelihoods — thereby securing the means to produce food during conflict — saying that, in turn, requires innovative partnerships among the private sector, financial institutions and other key actors.

Paul Robert Tiendrebeogo, Burkina Faso’s Minister for African Integration and Burkinabe Abroad, recalled that his country overcame a national crisis in 2014 and 2015 with support from the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund, regional and subregional organizations as well as neighbouring States.  It then adopted a National Plan focusing on good governance, developing human capital and eradicating the root causes of crises.  Since then, however, Burkina Faso and other States in the region have faced recurrent terrorist attacks which now hinder their progress, he said.  Outlining Government efforts to root out the drivers of terrorist recruitment, he called for stronger United Nations support for, and coordination with, the G‑5 Sahel joint force working to combat terrorism.

Rwanda’s delegate declared:  “While the balance sheet of Africa’s peace and security dividend is not where we could like it to be, there are major positive developments that point to a bright future for the continent.”  Sharing three core pillars from the reconstruction period following the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, she underlined the importance of security, peace and stability; building institutions; and the development dividend.  Reconstruction efforts should be fully inclusive, with women engaged in the entire process, and Governments must ensure that citizens feel the impact of development in meaningful ways, she added.

Also speaking today were representatives of China, United States, Bolivia, Peru, Russian Federation, Poland, Kuwait, France, Sweden, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia, Japan and Senegal.

At the meeting’s outset, delegates observed a moment of silence in honour of the late George H.W. Bush, former President of the United States.

The meeting began at 10:18 a.m. and ended at 1:29 p.m.

Opening Remarks

ANTÓNIO GUTERRES, Secretary‑General of the United Nations, applauded the great advances that Côte d’Ivoire has made, saying they provide valuable lessons to peacekeeping operations currently under way.  Merely reacting to crises entails huge human and financial costs, he added, emphasizing that the United Nations must refocus on prevention in the spirit of his Action for Peacekeeping initiative.  Calling for a holistic approach, he stressed the crucial importance of tackling inequality, climate change, corruption and cross‑border crime, which means investing in basic services and social cohesion.

The United Nations must also adapt to the needs of host countries, he continued, emphasizing that the entire system, from peacekeeping to humanitarian actors to development stakeholders, must mobilize accordingly.  Cautioning that countries that have recently emerged from conflict can easily relapse into violence, he stressed the importance of more inclusive approaches, pointing out that local and national stakeholders must spearhead peace and development activities.  Mobilizing citizens and the private sector is also crucial and it is especially vital to bring on board such previously marginalized segments of society as women and youth, he noted.

“We need more partnerships,” he continued, expressing his commitment to strengthening ties with regional and subregional organizations as well as international financial institutions in order to safeguard development gains.  The Organization’s partnership with the African Union continues to deepen, he said, citing their joint frameworks on peace and security and on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063.  Highlighting the Peacebuilding Commission’s useful convening and bridging role, he said it can provide a platform from which diverse actors foster coherence among political objectives.

He went on to underline the importance of adequate and predictable resources for peacebuilding and development across the conflict cycles, saying the Peacebuilding Fund deserves greater support.  As a catalytic, fast and flexible vehicle, the Fund fosters local participation and provides support in often overlooked remote areas.  Restructuring the peace and security and development pillars of the United Nations will help foster a new generation of approaches and architecture to more effectively respond to the world’s most pressing problems, he said.

MOUSSA FAKI MAHAMAT, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, said that countries in which recurrent conflicts persist would do well to learn from Côte d’Ivoire’s experiences.  “The search for peace is a long process,” he added, noting that it requires the unwavering and active involvement of all national stakeholders as well as support from the international community.  While the latter is critical, no lasting results can be achieved without robust national political will.  “Côte d’Ivoire’s experience is an eloquent demonstration that peace is within reach” when stakeholders are determined to turn commitments into action, he said, describing the country’s successful emergence from conflict as a source of encouragement.  More recently, developments in the Horn of Africa have been similarly hopeful, he added.

Noting that the political will and determination of Ivoirian stakeholders continued to drive progress during that country’s post‑conflict phase, he said that its political agreement extended a hand to the enemies of yesterday and provided them with a voice in the reconciliation process.  The courageous measures announced by the President Alassane Ouattara in August 2017, on the fifty‑eighth anniversary of his country’s independence, were emblematic in that regard.  In the economic sphere, significant growth and impressive infrastructure development have allowed Côte d’Ivoire to emerge in the way it always longed to, while laying the foundation for a prosperous future, he said.  Anchoring lasting peace requires efforts that go far beyond peacekeeping missions, he added, pointing out that some 40 per cent of countries emerging from conflict relapse during the post‑conflict phase.

It was against that backdrop that the African Union adopted a framework on post‑conflict reconstruction and development in 2006, he recalled, adding that its approach in that regard is based on the principle of mutual assistance.  The regional bloc’s “rapid impact” projects and other tangible programmes demonstrate its firm commitment to ending conflicts across the continent, he said, also noting that the African Union has agreed to shoulder 25 per cent of the cost of operations related to maintaining peace and security across the region.  Calling for balanced development and special attention to the needs of women and young people, he spotlighted the important role to be played by subregional organizations.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was among those taking up the baton from the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) following the latter’s closure, he noted.  Encouraging cooperation is also taking shape between the African Union’s Peace and Security Council and the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, he continued, adding that the latter will continue to work alongside United Nations peacekeeping missions in Africa that are preparing for drawdown.  He concluded by underlining the core principles of national ownership; tailoring solutions — including those relating to justice and reconciliation — to specific national realities on the ground; and ensuring strong, long‑lasting international support that does not dwindle once conflict ends.

Statements

ALASSANE OUATTARA, President of Côte d’Ivoire and Council President for December, spoke in his national capacity, noting that his Presidency is set against the backdrop of a rapidly shifting global landscape.  Expressing his commitment to allowing all voices, no matter how small, to be heard, he said the Presidency will be characterized by openness, dialogue and the sharing of experiences.  It will also pay close attention to African issues, which, unfortunately, still dominate the Council’s work.  Calling for a positive response to calls for stronger United Nations financing of peace operations in Africa, he said that the Organization — and the Security Council in a particular — are more critical than ever to addressing the continent’s conflicts.

“For more than a decade, Côte d’Ivoire was the recipient of unprecedented support from the international community,” he recalled, noting that the Council adopted more than 50 country‑specific resolutions on such matters as the protection of civilians and the certification of national elections.  Peace, security and stability are of great importance to the country in light of its recent experiences, he said, underlining the need to make peace irreversible and to pass on the lessons it learned.  Whereas the conflict ended formally in 2011, Côte d’Ivoire remained highly fragile amid widespread economic insecurity.  Basic public services, for example, were in a dismal state.  “This situation could have compromised my country’s return to peace and stability in the long term” had holistic economic recovery and development strategies not been implemented from the very start of the post‑conflict phase, he stressed.

Recalling the many long nights spent working alongside other national stakeholders to develop both emergency reconstruction programmes and longer‑term development plans, he called attention to the special role played by the private sector, which transformed Côte d’Ivoire’s economy and drove its annual growth rate up to a high of 9 per cent.  Security sector reform — as well as a vast and extensive disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme — was another critical element of the recovery, which allowed for the reintegration of some 65,000 former combatants, for whom decent jobs were assured.  Additionally, Côte d’Ivoire’s modern Constitution provides for the full realization of civil rights, including for women and minorities.

He went on to outline additional reforms aimed at combating corruption and promoting national reconciliation and social cohesion, declaring:  “Ivoirians are living in peace and in tolerance.”  Côte d’Ivoire’s experience should provide a case study for the Council’s work, he added.  First and foremost, Governments hosting peace operations must demonstrate political will and support a credible reconciliation process, he said, also underlining the need to institute measures for economic recovery.  Peace, stability and development in post‑crisis situations also depend on the regional climate, he said, pointing out that West Africa and the Sahel region today face serious threats from terrorist groups.  In that regard, he called for sustainable financing in support of the “Group of Five” (G‑5) Sahel joint force and other forces combating terrorists on the ground.

SIMEON OYONO ESONO ANGUE (Equatorial Guinea) said the consequences of continuing armed conflict in Africa include poverty and the weakening of institutions, adding that international efforts to assist post‑conflict countries must focus on economic recovery, prioritizing industrialization and agricultural modernization.  Stressing the importance of justice, he said victims must see justice to have been done in order to quell the desire for revenge.  Describing efforts to maintain peace and promote justice as complementing each other, he said justice is not simply a legal issue, but one linked to political and economic factors.  “The desire for peace and stability is a desire we all share,” he continued.  That is particularly so in Africa, where war and conflict persist.  In order to create a safe environment in which socioeconomic development can thrive, the continent requires significant support, he said.  The Council must shoulder its “primordial responsibility” in relation to peacekeeping, he said, also calling for greater cooperation with the African Union and subregional economic communities.  Noting that his country is participating actively in the negotiations on a resolution intended to provide predictable and sustainable financing for peacekeeping operations in Africa through the United Nations regular budget, he called upon delegates to support that text so that Africa can achieve its ambitions.

SIGRID KAAG, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, said that peace and security represent more than the mere absence of armed conflict.  Instead, “sustainable peace and conflict prevention require an integrated approach, of which sustainable, inclusive social and economic development is a key part”, she emphasized.  The Netherlands has invested in risk analysis in relation to climate change and the failure to respect human rights, she said, adding that such analysis is needed to help prevent conflict and to ensure sustainable transitions from conflict to peace.  “Environmental sustainability is no longer optional in economic development,” she emphasized, pointing out that this is especially crucial in terms of food security.  In order to respond more systematically to food insecurity and famine risk, the Netherlands calls for safeguarding agriculture‑based livelihoods and securing the means to produce food during conflict, she said.  That in turn requires innovative partnerships, including between the private sector and financial institutions.  Moreover, women and girls must have equal opportunities, including in terms of access to education, inclusive finance and land rights.  It is also necessary to provide psychosocial support to all those who have suffered trauma as a result of conflict, she stressed.

MA ZHAOXU (China) said peace can only be consolidated when people’s basic needs are met.  Emphasizing national sovereignty, he said all reconstruction processes must be led by and owned by the host country.  He called upon the international community to support the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and encouraged regional organizations to play an active role in post‑conflict reconstruction.  Underscoring his country’s commitment to South‑South cooperation, he recalled its hosting of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China‑Africa Cooperation, saying China and Africa will focus on eight major initiatives, ranging from trade facilitation to infrastructure connectivity.

JONATHAN COHEN (United States) noted the late President George H.W. Bush’s contributions to “a freer, safer world”.  He said that conflicts often fade from the headlines and the Council’s agenda after a ceasefire, the precise moment when the hard work of reconstruction begins.  While that work is historically the domain of national Governments, the United Nations has been seeking to marshal its full expertise for the task.  Calling for voluntary contributions to the Peacebuilding Fund, he said the Organization must pair mandates with achievable exit strategies.  Noting that the Peacebuilding Commission has been active in Côte d’Ivoire, he applauded the strong coordination among the Government, the United Nations and the citizens.  The international community should treat a ceasefire as a first step in a long process, he said, emphasizing that local actors must buy into the transition.

SACHA SERGIO LLORENTTY SOLÍZ (Bolivia) recalled that the term “peacebuilding” first emerged at the United Nations in 1992 in the context of efforts to overcome the devastating impacts of war and avoid relapse into conflict.  It remains a key tool today, as long as national ownership is respected.  It is also crucial to tackle the structural root causes of conflict, including through early‑warning mechanisms and long‑term social strategies, he said.  Underlining the importance of regional and subregional organizations, he said they should also share their view of conflicts with the United Nations in order to ensure a unified response and better coordination.  Calling for more formalized cooperation standards, he said the strategic plan of the Peacebuilding Support Office should ensure that programmes complement each other and remain fully inclusive.  Côte d’Ivoire’s experience demonstrates the results of strong, committed leadership by national stakeholders as well as the support of the United Nations and other partners, he said, pointing out that the country has now held three peaceful elections and enjoys high economic growth rates and improved social cohesion.

GUSTAVO MEZA‑CUADRA (Peru), agreeing that lasting peace in post‑conflict countries requires broad national consensus and expanded, equitable economic opportunities, said the international community must support efforts to achieve those goals.  “There can be no lasting peace without development and no development without peace,” he said, spotlighting the importance of repairing “torn social fabrics” by undertaking national reconciliation, providing justice and promoting human rights.  Post‑conflict economies require a new dynamism, in particular by transparent rebuilding of infrastructure and enhanced financial investment.  The proliferation of conflict is closely linked to inequalities as well as violent extremism, transnational organized crime and other cross-border threats.  Such threats affect all nations, he said, calling upon Governments around the globe to redouble their commitment to multilateralism.

DMITRY A. POLYANSKIY (Russian Federation) said United Nations peace operations have long been a critical tool for countries emerging from the “hot phase of crisis”, which often lack the resources needed for the transition to sustainable development and for avoiding a relapse into conflict.  Peacekeepers make an important contribution in laying the foundation for initial post‑conflict recovery.  However, “peacebuilding is not a short list of tasks but a long process”, he cautioned, saying it must be led at the national level.  Additionally, assistance provided during conflict is not always effective because gains can easily be lost.  Noting that Governments bear the main responsibility for driving post‑conflict peacebuilding, he said international support should be based on Council resolutions 1645 (2005) and 2282 (2016), which lay out the fundamental principles of peacebuilding.  Emphasizing the need to strengthen national capacities without replacing their leading role, he said that within the United Nations, there should be full respect for the proper division of labour, noting that the lead role in post‑conflict support falls to the Peacebuilding Commission.  Only an impartial and transparent approach to peacebuilding will truly enhance United Nations support in that area, he stressed.

JOANNA WRONECKA (Poland) emphasized the importance of multidimensional peacekeeping operations, stronger national ownership and capacity, and greater coherence within the United Nations system.  Building resilient, empowered societies will not be accomplished through humanitarian assistance alone, she pointed out, stressing that responsibility and leadership must be extended to national and local actors, including Governments, which play an essential role in encouraging human development.  Respect for human rights and social cohesion contributes to stability, she continued, describing the participation of women and young people as crucial to effective implementation of the peacebuilding and sustaining peace agenda.

KAREN PIERCE (United Kingdom) saluted the ongoing reforms in Côte d’Ivoire, noting “too seldom do we hear success stories in the Council”.  While it can be extremely difficult to be magnanimous in the aftermath of conflict, it is also critical, she emphasized, recalling her country’s experience in Northern Ireland, where accommodating the interests of diametrically opposed armed groups within the political process led to peace.  Pointing out that the Yemen peace talks are about to begin, she stressed the importance of political agreement, noting that power struggles undermined State‑building in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan.  She went on to highlight the “virtues of patience”, saying that, according to the World Bank, meaningful institutional change takes 10 years.

MANSOUR AYYAD SH. A. ALOTAIBI (Kuwait) said the Côte d’Ivoire experience bears witness to the importance of the post‑conflict period, emphasizing that national ownership and sincere political will for reconciliation are crucial to avoiding relapse.  The Truth, Reconciliation and Dialogue Commission tasked with inquiring into human rights violations in Côte d’Ivoire was a crucial component of that country’s transition, he noted.  Underscoring the role of regional and subregional organizations, he said they are crucial in helping the United Nations resolve conflicts and stop conflicts from spreading.  He also emphasized the importance of such international financial institutions as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank for economic recovery and job development.

FRANÇOIS DELATTRE (France), describing the Côte d’Ivoire experience as inspiring, said that after a conflict, the primary task is to reconstruct what the war has destroyed.  History has demonstrated that resuming trade is often the best guarantee of sustainable peace, he said, while cautioning that no peace can be robust unless the people feel it in their daily lives.  Reconstruction of the economic fabric must, therefore, be a priority for all actors, he emphasized.  The 2030 Agenda must be integrated into post‑conflict development and reconstruction should also entail restoring the rule of law.  Victims must be able to trust the courts and discrimination that feeds violence must be fought mercilessly, he stressed.

IRINA SCHOULGIN NYONI (Sweden) cautioned that countries will relapse into conflict without greater attention to broader political, economic and social reforms during post‑conflict reconstruction and transition periods.  “By moving from words to action, we can foster hope in affected societies,” she added.  Noting the effects of sexual and gender‑based violence, such as trauma, stigma, poverty and poor health, on generations, she stressed the importance of community cohesion as well as justice and reparations for victims.  She also stressed the need to plan exit strategies for peacekeeping missions at an early stage, and to anchor them in national development planning processes to ensure national ownership.  Citing exclusion, inequality and power imbalances as the principal causes of conflict and violence, she said growing inequalities fuel social unrest, while policies striving for equality create more peaceful societies.  She cautioned against the creation of “silos” for conflict‑prevention, humanitarian action and peacekeeping activities.  Emphasizing that the women, peace and security agenda is not an “add‑on”, she said it must be universally adopted for the sake of sustained peace.

KAIRAT UMAROV (Kazakhstan) applauded Côte d’Ivoire’s emergence from a long conflict to hold a seat on the Security Council.  He stressed the importance of the 2030 Agenda and the Secretary‑General’s Action for Peacekeeping initiative in reinforcing such regional plans as Silencing the Guns 2020 in Africa.  He stressed the need to overcome prevailing fragmentation and silo‑like strategies within the United Nations system as well as in field mechanisms, peacekeeping operations and special political missions.  “The changing nature of conflict demands a new, robust and multidimensional strategy combining peacekeeping, peacebuilding and sustainable development,” he emphasized.  Noting the importance of reviewing how mandates are shaped and implemented, he called for broadening the concept of peace and stability from State‑centred to people‑oriented security and from purely military to non‑military security.  Kazakhstan proposed to create a new United Nations paradigm for peacebuilding and sustaining peace and development, he said, citing President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s Manifesto, The World. 21st Century.  He also noted Kazakhstan’s success in building a platform of 80 countries to bring States together for implementation of the United Nations Global Counter‑Terrorism Strategy.

TAYE ATSKESELLASIE AMDE (Ethiopia) said that reversing fragmentation in the United Nations system is essential to ensuring that peacebuilding and sustaining peace remain at the heart of the Organization’s work.  While applauding the Secretary‑General’s reform agenda, he nevertheless warned that effective and efficient operational support cannot be provided without fully utilizing the Peacebuilding Commission’s convening, bridging and advisory roles.  Calling for scaling up contributions to that body, he welcomed the expanding cooperation between the Commission and the Security Council on several regional and country‑specific issues as well as the recognition of the Peacebuilding Support Office’s “hinge” role in broader reforms.  He went on to underline the need to enhance partnerships with regional and subregional organizations, financial institutions, Governments, civil society and private organizations “across the whole spectrum of conflict cycles”.  Hailing the signing of the Framework for the Implementation of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the United Nations 2030 Agenda, he also called for stronger synergies between the Peacebuilding Commission and the African Union.

PAUL ROBERT TIENDREBEOGO, Minister for African Integration and Burkinabes Abroad of Burkina Faso, said that Côte d’Ivoire’s experience is rich with lessons about post-conflict situations.  For example, the Council was able to firmly terminate UNOCI’s mandate, in contrast with those of the many peacekeeping missions that linger for decades, he pointed out.  Recalling that his country itself went through a national crisis in 2014 and 2015, he said it enjoyed support from the Peacebuilding Fund, regional and subregional organizations as well as neighbouring States.  As a result, Burkina Faso was able to develop a National Plan — closely aligned with the 2030 Agenda and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 —focused on good governance, developing human capital and eradicating the root causes of crises.  Since that time, however, Burkina Faso and other States in the subregion have faced recurrent terrorist attacks which hinder their progress, he said.  “A military response is not enough to defeat terrorism,” he stressed, outlining efforts by his country’s Government to accelerate the delivery of basic services to citizens in the areas most vulnerable to violent extremists.  In that regard, he expressed support for proposals to place the G‑5 Sahel joint force under a Chapter VII mandate, thereby allowing it to enjoy greater financing and support.

VALENTINE RUGWABIZA (Rwanda) declared:  “While the balance sheet of Africa’s peace and security dividend is not where we could like it to be, there are major positive developments that point to a bright future for the continent.”  Sharing three core pillars from the reconstruction period following the 1994 genocide in Rwanda — which apply in most post‑conflict situations — she underlined the importance of security, peace and stability; institution‑building; and the development dividend.  The ultimate goal is to create conditions suitable for self‑sustaining economic growth and human development, while addressing the major risk factors that can lead to relapse into conflict, she said.  Emphasizing that security and stability for citizens is the linchpin of post‑conflict reconstruction, she called attention to such national instruments as the Rwanda Governance Board and other efforts to combat corruption.  Reconstruction efforts should be fully inclusive, with women engaged in the entire process, and Governments must ensure that citizens feel the impact of development in meaningful ways, she said.

KORO BESSHO (Japan) said that in order to achieve sustaining peace, security and stability in post‑conflict countries, it is essential to build State capacity and institutions, and to strengthen trust between the State and the people.  In that regard, he called for improving living standards through inclusive economic development, so that all people can benefit from the peace dividend.  He went on to highlight the importance of tolerating diversity and local ownership, in accordance with the basic philosophy of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development, scheduled for August 2019.  Citing the example of Côte d’Ivoire, he said Japan is currently implementing a project that promotes reconciliation and trust between that State and its people by developing infrastructure and deploying experts.

CHEIKH NIANG (Senegal) asked:  “Who better than Côte d’Ivoire to lead today’s debate?”  Applauding that country’s resolution of the crisis that almost destroyed its solid political institutions, he went on to outline the needs of post‑conflict countries, emphasizing the importance of electoral assistance, strengthening health and education systems and creating jobs.  Most countries that emerge from conflict need to have everything rebuilt after the ravages of war, he said, noting that Mali’s experience exemplifies the negative effect that security problems can have on reconstruction.  Noting that financing for sustaining peace remains erratic, he emphasized that national post‑conflict reconstruction processes must continue to receive attention and assistance, especially from donors.

For information media. Not an official record.