United Nations Focusing More Strongly on Managing Peacekeeping Operation Drawdowns to Retain Security, Development Gains, Secretary-General Tells Security Council

SC/13888
18 July 2019
8579th Meeting (PM)

United Nations Focusing More Strongly on Managing Peacekeeping Operation Drawdowns to Retain Security, Development Gains, Secretary-General Tells Security Council

Speakers Stress Role of Regional, International Financial Institutions, Successful Transitions in Côte d’Ivoire, Timor-Leste, Liberia

The United Nations is paying greater attention to managing transitions during the drawdown and subsequent closure of its peace operations as they, if poorly handled, could reverse progress made, Secretary-General António Guterres told the Security Council today.

Usually the result of progress towards peace, transitions of the Organization’s special political missions and peacekeeping operations offer hope, potential and promise, he said.  But, they also pose risks as the international community may pay less attention to the country concerned and strategic gains achieved during decades of international support can hang in the balance.  The resulting loss of life, economic devastation and reversal of development gains caused by a relapse into conflict can go far beyond a country’s borders.

“Nationally owned and forward-looking transitions are therefore a priority for the entire United Nations system,” he said, also stressing the need to prioritize and strengthen partnerships with national stakeholders, international financial institutions and Member States to ensure their success.  “Strong partnerships […] can help avoid a sudden drop-off in support as our presence is reconfigured,” he said.

For example, in 2016, the United Nations, World Bank and the European Union helped the Central African Republic Government draw up a National Recovery and Peacebuilding Plan, he said.  Donors have pledged $2.2 billion to implement it.

Also briefing the Council were senior officials of international and regional financial institutions.  Franck Bousquet, Senior Director of the Fragility, Conflict and Violence Group of the World Bank, said half of the world’s extreme poor will live in conditions marred by fragility, conflict and violence by 2030.  Collective efforts must focus on addressing these conditions to realize the Sustainable Development Goals.  The World Bank has doubled resources to $14 billion in recent years to do so through its International Development Association, including by investing in prevention, supporting refugees and host communities and catalysing private sector investment in the most difficult environments, and by strengthening partnerships across the humanitarian‑development‑peace nexus.

Yero Baldeh, Director of the Transition States Coordination Office of the African Development Bank Group, noted that most fragile situations in the world are in African countries, and empowering them is a core part of his financial institution’s mission.  The 2014‑2019 strategy for addressing fragility and building resilience in Africa guides these efforts by focusing on strengthening State capacity, promoting equitable access to employment and basic services and advocating actions that foster resilience and build partnerships to achieve them.  The Bank seeks to increase resources for addressing fragile situations and creating more flexible, responsive intervention, he said, adding that it has created a dedicated financing mechanism, the Transition Support Facility.

Speaking in his capacity as Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, Carlos Holmes Trijillo, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Colombia, said transition phases must include joint planning involving strong and coordinated partnerships with key stakeholders to, among other things, close political gaps and prevent backsliding on progress, as can be seen on mission closures in Côte d’Ivoire in 2017 and in Liberia in 2018.  Indeed, one of the principal purposes of the Peacebuilding Commission is to “fill the vacuum” in institutional and structural capacity, he said.  The Commission has progressively used its convening power to promote effective partnerships, including in Liberia.  Recognizing the role the Commission can play for successful transitions, the Security Council has asked for its advice in some cases and encouraged it to deliver recommendations.

In the ensuing debate — in which Member States affected by United Nations mission drawdowns participated alongside Council members — delegates explored how the Council, together with the Peacebuilding Commission, can better promote nationally owned transitions and utilize key lessons learned from previous transition processes to sustain peace during forthcoming processes.

“Getting those transitions right is a top priority,” said the representative of the United Kingdom, stressing the need to align United Nations peace mandates with nationally owned peacebuilding processes.  Proposing some measures, he encouraged the United Nations, the Security Council and their partners to make better use of data, also urging the Secretariat to consider ways to engage the World Bank in strategic assessments.

Equatorial Guinea’s delegate said the international community must provide support to help fragile countries achieve socioeconomic development and assist them in the design of their reconstruction and development strategy, citing the cases of Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia as good examples.

The speaker from Côte d’Ivoire said the drawdown and exit of the peacekeeping mission from his country — the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) — in 2017 was the fruit of a lengthy process, nurtured over years, with the Government taking early ownership of key pillars of peacebuilding.  A successful transition depended on clear and specific priorities, as well as accounting for vulnerabilities that could trigger renewed conflict, he added.

Haiti’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Worship of Haiti said his country has not yet emerged from a situation of armed conflict.  “Enduring peace goes hand in hand with long-term development and piecemeal solutions will always be fragile,” he stated.  Welcoming the transition to the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti as a positive step and recognition of the efforts of the Haitian authorities, he said there has been undeniable progress, notably in building the capacity of the Haiti National Police, but much remains to be done.  Enduring peace cannot be achieved in a context of poverty, hunger, social inequality and exclusion, he said, stressing that the growing importance of climate change and natural disasters on security and stability in Haiti must be considered.  Going forward, the Organization’s presence must shore up national efforts and civil society initiatives to address root causes.

Timor-Leste’s Minister for Legal Reforms and Parliamentary Affairs underscored the role that the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor‑Leste (UNMIT) played in helping his country achieve self-determination.  Recalling in detail his country’s experience, he noted that the Government had assumed responsibility, in consultation with UNMIT and other stakeholders, for deciding the nature, activities and role of the United Nations after the Mission’s withdrawal.  Continued stability, free and fair elections, the formation of a national Government, ensuring democratic space for the opposition and progress in other areas, including human rights, were part of the transition plan.  While Timor-Leste hopes its experience can be useful, he stressed that one size really does not fit all and there are no quick fixes.

Several Council members commended the role of the Peacebuilding Commission and its increased engagement with their organ, with Peru’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Council President for July and speaking in his national capacity, stressing its role in creating synergies between the United Nations and other entities and providing strategic guidance.  The Russian Federation’s delegate added that the Commission can boost the quality of recommendations to the Council, and it should be borne in mind that Council members also participate in that Commission’s discussions and country configurations.

France’s delegate said that, to prevent fragile countries from relapse into conflict, innovative financing for peacebuilding projects is necessary, such as from the private sector.  France’s development agency has created a dedicated fund for peacebuilding and resilience, he added.  Echoing this view, Poland’s delegate said consideration should be given to leveraging more private resources for development in the form of blended finance.

Also speaking today were representatives of Germany, South Africa, China, Kuwait, Belgium, United States, Dominican Republic and Indonesia.

The meeting began at 3:08 p.m. and ended at 5:42 p.m.

Briefings

ANTÓNIO GUTERRES, Secretary-General of the United Nations, noting that special political missions and peacekeeping operations are effective tools to promote and maintain international peace and security, said the Organization is strengthening its focus on when such missions and operations are reconfigured or leave a country.  A mission transition is usually the result of progress towards peace — a moment of hope, potential and promise — but it also poses risks.  The international community may pay less attention to the country concerned.  Strategic gains achieved during decades of international support can hang in the balance.  And the loss of life, economic devastation and reversal of development gains caused by a relapse into conflict can go far beyond a country’s borders.

“Nationally-owned and forward-looking transitions are therefore a priority for the entire United Nations system,” he said.  As national authorities and communities assume increased responsibilities for security and peacebuilding tasks, they need the continued support of reinvigorated United Nations country teams and of multilateral and bilateral partners so that their path towards durable peace and development is irreversible.  It is vital to prioritize and strengthen partnerships with national stakeholders, international financial institutions, Member States and the United Nations system to ensure their success.  Strong partnerships can help avoid a sudden drop-off in support as the Organization’s presence is reconfigured.  For example, in 2016, the United Nations, the World Bank and the European Union helped the Central African Republic Government draw up a National Recovery and Peacebuilding Plan.  Donors have pledged $2.2 billion to implement it.

The Peacebuilding Fund’s transition window now covers two years before and five years after a mission drawdown, he said, urging all Member States to donate to this important resource and to substantially increase its capacity.  “Earlier this year, I made transitions a corporate priority for the United Nations, and I have dedicated special attention to transition contexts in several countries,” he said, including the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).  In Haiti, the United Nations peace and development pillars have a common approach to support rule of law and governance institutions since the creation of the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) in 2017.  The country team is finalizing a package of projects in priority areas identified by the Haitian Government, including some to be financed for the first time by the Peacebuilding Fund.  With the European Union, the Organization has allocated $12 million from the Spotlight Initiative to combat gender-based violence over the next three years.  And in Colombia, the United Nations has responded to the Government’s request for support for the peace process with two successive political missions, working closely with the country team.

Regional political offices also support resident coordinators and United Nations country teams to consolidate peacebuilding gains in the post-mission phase, he said. For example, the good offices provided by the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel were critical to addressing the political crisis in Liberia following the 2017 presidential elections.  Delivering on the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development means delivering for those left farthest behind: people in countries affected by conflict and crisis.  “The United Nations is strongly committed to supporting countries as they strive to heal after conflict and fulfil their aspirations for peace, stability and a better future,” he said.  “We will continue to build stronger partnerships, to improve coherence, and increase accountability across the peace continuum.”

FRANCK BOUSQUET, Senior Director of the Fragility, Conflict and Violence Group of the World Bank, said the international community has made impressive strides in reducing poverty; however, it is rising in countries affected by these challenges.  Indeed, estimates show that half of the world’s extreme poor will live in conditions marred by fragility, conflict and violence by 2030.  Collective efforts must focus on addressing these conditions to realize the Sustainable Development Goals.  The World Bank has doubled resources to $14 billion in recent years to do so through its International Development Association, including by investing in prevention, supporting refugees and host communities and catalysing private sector investment in the most difficult environments, and by strengthening partnerships across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus.  Citing several examples, he said a United Nations-World Bank partnership framework has deepened cooperation in more than 40 countries, including Burkina Faso.

But, more needs to be done, he said, pointing at progress made on drafting a strategy to address the challenges posed by fragility, conflict and violence.  Aligned with the Sustaining Peace Agenda, the strategy aims at ensuring support for the most vulnerable communities and proposes tailoring interventions to diverse situations.  In this vein, maximizing the strategy’s impact depends on addressing the root causes of fragility and offering solutions adapted to local contexts.

Highlighting the strategy’s four key pillars of engagement, he said prevention investments are being scaled up, including supporting youth, women and pastoral communities in Niger.  The World Bank also is remaining engaged in situations of conflict to preserve institutions and maintain delivery.  For example, in Yemen, the institution has partnered with the United Nations to help to deliver more than $1.8 billion for development programmes focused on strengthening capacity, building local institutions’ resilience and preserving hard-won development gains.  The third pillar aims at supporting countries in critical moments of transition escape the “fragility trap” over long-term periods.  This includes building a State’s legitimacy and capacity, he said, pointing at a partnership with the United Nations to assess the fiscal impact of peacekeeping transitions.  The final pillar aims to help countries mitigate consequences such as forced displacement shocks.  “Only through collective action will we be able to succeed in our mission to end extreme poverty, and only through a shared vision will we be able to effectively support the vulnerable, disadvantaged and marginalized,” he said.

YERO BALDEH, Director of the Transition States Coordination Office of the African Development Bank Group, said most fragile situations in the world are in African countries, and empowering them is a core part of his financial institution’s mission.  The 2014-2019 strategy for addressing fragility and building resilience in Africa has been central to guiding these efforts.  The strategy focuses on strengthening State capacity and establishing effective institutions; promoting equitable access to employment and basic services; encouraging direct policy dialogue on fragility issues; and advocating for actions that foster resilience and build partnerships to achieve them.  At the operational level, the Bank seeks to increase resources to address fragile situations and strengthen intervention approaches to be more flexible and responsive. 

The Bank has created a dedicated financing mechanism, the Transition Support Facility with three windows, he said.  The first window is to provide support to Governments facing specific fragility challenges.  The second window clears arrears to help Governments to re-engage.  The third one targets technical assistance programmes to strengthen the delivery capacity of national and regional institutions.  Côte d’Ivoire benefited from all three windows from 2008 to 2017.  In the Gambia, the transition of power revealed the need for long-term resilience building.  The Bank has worked with United Nations agencies, the World Bank and other partners to help the Ivorian Government rebuild an inclusive economy, restore faith in justice and governance institutions, and strengthen regional integration.  It is also vital to identify and strengthen sources of resilience. 

The Bank’s interventions are guided by a new data-driven analytical framework, the Country Resilience and Fragility Assessment, he continued.  Just last week, this assessment was conducted in Burkina Faso.  In the Sahel region, the Bank worked with partners to establish an alliance in 2017 to promote stability and resilience in the region.  The Bank is able to use its convening power for policy dialogue.  Lessons learned include the importance of adopting a State-building approach, the necessity for long-term programming, the importance of the private sector, and good governance, including improving public financial management, enhancing natural resource management, and combating corruption.  The Bank looks forward to deepening partnerships, including conducting joint analytical work, leveraging public and private solutions, cooperating in dealing with regional challenges, and deepening complementarity for more equitable division of labour.

CARLOS HOLMES TRUJILLO, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Colombia, speaking in his capacity as Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, said promoting strategic partnerships with key actors is a priority.  The scale, scope and nature of the proposal contained in recent resolutions on the peacebuilding architecture requires that the United Nations does not act on its own in its efforts to support priorities of national initiatives.  As Colombia’s experience shows, effective partnerships with States, the United Nations and other stakeholders are critical.  Transition phases are also important and must include joint planning involving strong and coordinated partnerships with key stakeholders to, among other things, close political gaps and prevent backsliding on progress, as can be seen on mission closures in Côte d’Ivoire in 2017 and in Liberia in 2018.

Indeed, one of the principal purposes of the Peacebuilding Commission is to “fill the vacuum” in institutional and structural capacity, he said.  The Commission has progressively used its convening power to promote effective partnerships, including in Liberia.  Recognizing the role the Commission can play for successful transitions, the Security Council has asked for its advice in some cases and encouraged it to deliver recommendations.  The Council has also recognized that the Commission platform could be used to consider good practices in transition situations.  The Council could take advantage of the capabilities of the Commission as a platform that makes it possible to encourage coherence among the peacebuilding efforts of the United Nations and other organizations.  The Commission can also encourage coherence and coordination of focus in complex contexts, such as that of the Sahel — where a wide range of interested parties are involved.  Women and youth are key actors in peacebuilding and should meaningfully be included in all efforts. 

Turning to the case of his own country, he said Colombia has benefited from the work of United Nations bodies and agencies to be more effective in its peacebuilding efforts.  “For this reason, we have just decided to request a renewal of the mandate of the special political mission for a further year,” he continued, noting that national processes must allow the development of capabilities that will enable States to address the fundamental causes of the conflict to be able to overcome them.

Statements

NÉSTOR POPOLIZIO BARDALES, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Peru, Council President for July, spoke in his national capacity, underscoring the need to bestow national institutions with the means to prevent and resolve conflicts, generate consensus around good governance and ensure that the needs of the population, including the most vulnerable, are met.  Noting that the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development this week is focusing for the first time on Goal 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions), he said the 2030 Agenda is the right universal framework for the support that the United Nations can give to national efforts to build and sustain peace.  The Council must guarantee that United Nations peace operations are planned and managed in ways that ensure smooth transitions to peacebuilding and sustainable peace.  Emphasizing that there are no templates or recipes for success, he said innovative partnerships are required to address the particular circumstances, needs and priorities of each situation.  Results must ensure that root causes of conflicts are addressed, he said, stressing also the involvement of various national stakeholders and the empowerment of women and youth groups.  He went on to discuss the role of the Peacebuilding Commission as the right platform to accompany transition processes, create synergies between the United Nations and other entities, and provide strategic guidance.

DMITRY A. POLYANSKIY (Russian Federation) said post-conflict recovery stages must be duly prepared.  In some instances, it can be wise to launch peacebuilding efforts prior to the closure of a peacekeeping mission.  Otherwise, a drawdown risks being interpreted as a green light to resume hostilities.  Building and sustaining peace is impossible without national reconciliation, he added, emphasizing the need to take the views of host States fully into account.  In delivering assistance for peacebuilding and sustaining peace, there must be a coordination of efforts and an appropriate division of labour, with no conflict of authority.  Specialized United Nations bodies and international mechanisms are already in place for dealing with such issues as human rights and environmental matters.   Emphasizing that development alone cannot guarantee peace, and that peace on its own cannot guarantee development, he said the differences between those two processes must be grasped in determining which United Nations entities can best address them.   Ultimately, it is the host State that bears the main responsibility for the design and implementation of peacebuilding programmes.  Within the United Nations, he said the Peacebuilding Commission can boost the quality of recommendations to the Council, but it should be borne in mind that Council members also participate in that Commission’s discussions and country configurations.  For the Russian Federation, resolution 1645 (2005), which established the Peacebuilding Commission, and resolution 2282 (2016) on post-conflict peacebuilding are sufficient.

CHRISTOPH HEUSGEN (Germany) stressed the need for the Security Council to live up to its responsibility for shaping transition processes both during missions and after they end.  Transitions are more than a technical endeavour, they are a political endeavour.  He stressed the need to strengthen partnerships with reginal organizations and other stakeholders, including international financial institutions, and encouraged the engagement of the Peacebuilding Commission and the need for local ownership and a nationally driven process.  It is also vital that the United Nations strengthen coherence and coordination in its work in line with its reforms, including that of the resident coordinator system.  And it is crucial to secure, sufficient, reliable and sustainable financing for transitions and peacebuilding.

JOANNA WRONECKA (Poland) said building political dialogue with a host nation throughout the peacebuilding process should be carried out holistically, embracing all actors from local communities to the highest political levels, as well as non-governmental organizations and regional and subregional organizations.  Recalling the pledge of the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind, she said the Organization must prepare for new forms of partnership.  In that regard, it is crucial to align the core business of the private sector with the strategic goals of the international community, she said, adding that development assistance alone is not enough to tackle post-conflict challenges, including economic stagnation.  Consideration should be given to leveraging more private resources for development in the form of blended finance, she added.

JERRY MATTHEWS MATJILA (South Africa) said that while Governments have the primary responsibility for peacebuilding and sustaining peace, the international community has an obligation to assist in the maintenance of peace and security, including through partnerships for development that ensure implementation of the 2030 Agenda.  Support for post-conflict reconstruction and development should be tailor-made, with local ownership and leadership as well as the meaningful participation of women and the involvement of youth.  Peacebuilding must involve the entire United Nations system, he said, reaffirming South Africa’s support for strengthened cooperation between the Council and the Peacebuilding Commission.  South Africa sees merit in enhancing partnerships between the United Nations peacebuilding architecture and subregional counterparts such as those of the African Union.  He went on to underscore the need for predictable and sustainable funding for peacebuilding though assessed contributions.

NICOLAS DE RIVIERE (France) welcomed the Secretary-General’s reform on the peacekeeping and peacebuilding architectures as well as the role of the Peacebuilding Commission, which can set the stage for effective peacebuilding after missions close.  It is vital to strengthen partnerships among national stakeholders and boost national capacity-building.  It is necessary to listen carefully to host countries as they set out their peacebuilding priorities.  The withdrawal of peacekeeping missions from Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia demonstrated how important national ownership is, including women’s participation.  The United Nations and other stakeholders must leverage their comparative strengths.  To prevent fragile countries from relapse into conflict, innovative financing for peacebuilding projects is necessary, such as from the private sector.  France’s development agency has created a dedicated fund for peacebuilding and resilience.  Transitions in Darfur, Haiti, and Iraq, as well as the Democratic Republic of the Congo down the line, cannot fail.

WU HAITAO (China) stressed the need to uphold the principle of national ownership as managing transitions is ultimately a responsibility of States.  In assisting such processes and helping with national capacity-building, the United Nations must abide by its Charter, including the principle of sovereignty.  Smooth transitions from peacekeeping to peacebuilding requires advance planning.  Some peacekeeping operations now have peacebuilding as a mandated element.  Partnership with regional and subregional organizations is also vital as they are familiar with local contexts.  Also vital was creation of synergies, such as among the Peacebuilding Commission and global and regional financial institutions.

JONATHAN GUY ALLEN (United Kingdom) said that transitions are crucial for countries emerging from conflict, and therefore “getting those transitions right is a top priority”.  It is also necessary to align United Nations peace mandates with nationally-owned peacebuilding processes.  Stressing the importance of the peacekeeping-humanitarian-development nexus, he said an integrated approach is essential, bringing stakeholders in those disciplines together early on.  Welcoming the latest development in Sudan, he said the United Kingdom wishes to see a legitimate national partner for peacebuilding as UNAMID draws down.  Proposing some measures, he encouraged the Secretary-General to focus transition risks in his regular reports and detail how the United Nations is working to mitigate those risks, including examples of mandate alignments with national peacebuilding priorities.  The United Nations, the Security Council and their partners can also make better use of data, he said, urging the Secretariat consider ways to engage the World Bank in strategic assessments.

NAWAF A. S. A. ALAHMAD (Kuwait) said that with contexts differing from country to country, there can be no single approach to transitional processes.  Underscoring the role of national institutions and acknowledging strengthened cooperation between the Council and the Peacebuilding Commission, he stressed the link between national ownership and lasting peace.  Identifying predictable financing as a major challenge, he called for pooled efforts to ensure adequate funding from international, regional and subregional organizations as well as United Nations agencies.  Private sector participation can make it possible to surmount many financial obstacles.  He added that the Council’s acknowledgement of the importance of regional organizations stems from the fact that they are best placed to grasp the root causes of conflict as well as security challenges.

KAREN VAN VLIERBERGE (Belgium), describing the drawdown and closure of peacekeeping operations as complicated processes that must be preceded by assessment missions, said the Organization’s efforts must dovetail with regional and subregional discussions.  For the handover of responsibilities to national authorities to be effective, all three pillars of the United Nations must be engaged.  She commended the World Bank and the African Development Bank for their dedicated approaches to specific strategies and for enhancing means.  Work on governance, including security sector reform, is also key.  She recommended broadening the financial base of the Peacebuilding Fund as well as stronger relations between that entity and international financial institutions.

CHERITH NORMAN-CHALET (United States) said successful transitions are crucial for lasting stability and security around the world.  The United Nations 14 active peacekeeping missions and 11 active special political missions all have their drawdown and conclusion as their goal, as seen in Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Timor-Leste.  Transition processes can be challenging, but those that are owned by host countries — with support from Member States, regional organizations and the United Nations — are most likely to result in lasting peace and security.  She emphasized that successful transitions require significant advance planning and communication among all stakeholders.  For the United States, every mission must have a clear exit strategy, with benchmarks that ensure that host countries can stand on their own.  She called for the deployment of more women, peace and security experts in order to better understand the needs of women during the shift towards peacebuilding.  On Haiti, she said the transition to a special political mission is an important milestone.  Success will depend in large part on the progress the Government can make on free and fair elections, the professionalization of the police force, action on gang violence and justice reform.

JOSÉ SINGER WEISINGER (Dominican Republic) said that transitions involve systematic reductions of resources, including military and civilian personnel.  All must be done to ensure that exit strategies take into account the ability of State to assume the responsibility previously assumed by United Nations missions.  If a country does not have such capacity, transition poses high risk and the country might return to the catastrophic situation.  The timetable for drawdown must be carefully crafted.  Political missions must engage in socioeconomic development to improve the living conditions.  Reconciliation is among the key objectives to prevent relapse into conflict.  He encouraged greater cooperation between the Peacebuilding Commission and the Security Council.

VICTOR MANUEL ELÉ ELA (Equatorial Guinea) said that global efforts to maintain peace must be redesigned, welcoming the Secretary-General’s reform and calling for investment in these efforts.  Investing in sustainable development around the world is the best way to prevent conflict.  Countries coming out of conflict face numerous challenges.  Therefore, the international community must provide support to help them achieve socioeconomic development and assist them in the design of their reconstruction and development strategy, he said, citing the cases of Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia as good examples.  Drawdowns must be planned in close coordination with local actors.  The Peacebuilding Commission and the Security Council should have frequent contact.

DIAN TRIANSYAH DJANI (Indonesia) said that there are limits to what peacekeeping operations and special political missions can achieve.  He underscored the need for early and integrated planning, and partnership with those outside the United Nations system, to ensure successful transitions.  Peacebuilding must be home-grown, with inclusive participation of national actors and international support that conforms with national strategies and needs and respect for sovereignty.  On financing, he called for greater investment in peacebuilding-related official development assistance (ODA) and recommended that the Peacebuilding Commission further explore innovative financing options.

TIEMOKO MORIKO (Côte d’Ivoire) said the drawdown and exit of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) in 2017 was the fruit of a lengthy process, nurtured over years, with the Government taking early ownership of key pillars of peacebuilding.  A successful transition depended on clear and specific priorities, as well as accounting for vulnerabilities that could trigger renewed conflict.  The aim was to set out a clear political vision, with national ownership to ensure that the most vulnerable population groups were not forgotten.  Partnership with regional and subregional organizations such as the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as well as the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel was also vital.  National development plans that enjoy support from bilateral and multilateral partners and international financial institutions can help to combat poverty and improve social services.  Ultimately, he said, success rests on a desire to exit a crisis.  As the world casts its gaze on other countries in transition, Côte d’Ivoire hopes that they will get the same level of support that it received.

BOCCHIT EDMOND, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Worship of Haiti, reviewing his country’s experience, said Council members will agree that it has not yet emerged from a situation of armed conflict.  “Enduring peace goes hand in hand with long-term development and piecemeal solutions will always be fragile,” he stated.  Welcoming the transition to the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti as a positive step and recognition of the efforts of the Haitian authorities, he said there has been undeniable progress, notably in building the capacity of the Haiti National Police, but much remains to be done.  Enduring peace cannot be achieved in a context of poverty, hunger, social inequality and exclusion, he said, adding that the growing importance of climate change and natural disasters on security and stability in Haiti needs to be taken into account.  Going forward, he said the Organization’s presence must shore up national efforts and civil society initiatives to address root causes.  He assured the Council that the President and Government of Haiti are fully aware of their responsibility to improve living conditions and will spare no effort to that end.  He emphasized the importance of unconditional and ongoing development financing as well as sustained dialogue between the Council and other United Nations entities, including the Economic and Social Council.

FIDELIS LEITE MAGALHÃES, Minister for Legal Reforms and Parliamentary Affairs of Timor-Leste, underscored the role that the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) played in helping his country achieve self-determination.  Recalling in detail his country’s experience, he emphasized the importance of extensive and meaningful consultations with national leaders.  Quoting from a letter sent by the former Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmão, to the Secretary-General in 2012, he recalled that the Government assumed responsibility, in consultation with UNMIT and other stakeholders for deciding the nature, activities and role of the United Nations after the Mission’s withdrawal.  Continued stability, free and fair elections, the formation of a national Government, ensuring democratic space for the opposition and progress in other areas, including human rights, were part of the transition plan.  Once they were deemed to have been met, the leaders of Timor-Leste decided that continued assistance was best done through the United Nations country team and other partners, rather than a peacekeeping or political mission.  He emphasized that financing for the development aspects of the transition and the post-mission exit phase are crucial and that ODA must be well coordinated.  While Timor-Leste hopes its experience can be useful, he stressed that one size really does not fit all and there are no quick fixes.  The right balance must be found with the leadership of each country for an integrated exit strategy that enjoys support from the Peacebuilding Commission and the engagement of other partners.

For information media. Not an official record.