New York

16 April 2010

Secretary-General's remarks to Security Cuoncil Open Debate on Post-Conflict Peacebuilding

Thank you, Mr. President, Foreign Minister Okada of Japan, Distinguished Foreign Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Afghanistan, Distinguished Ministers from Sierra Leone and Timor Leste, Distinguished Members of the Council, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you, Minister Okada, for taking part in person in this very important debate of the Security Council, for focusing the attention of the Security Council on this important subject. I congratulate you for the successful conduct of the Presidency of the Security Council

In our previous debates, a consensus has emerged on some of the factors in successful post-conflict peacebuilding. The report on peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict that I presented to this Council last July laid them out in some detail.

We must seize the crucial opportunity after the end of a major conflict.

We must respond early and robustly.

And we must then stay engaged over the long term.

We have also agreed that our collective efforts must be tailored to the needs of each country.

Today I would like to emphasize three points in order to situate our discussion in a larger context.

First, we build peace in the minds and hearts of people.

This means delivering concrete peace dividends. Peace will not last unless people see real benefits in their daily lives –safety, justice, jobs, prospects for a better future. In this regard, our work must always be guided by the principle of national ownership.

Second, peace will not endure unless governments in post-conflict countries are able to perform the basic functions of the State and to ensure sustainable security.

These functions include policing the streets, upholding the rule of law, establishing a functioning justice and corrections system and delivering basic services. Governments should also be capable of demobilizing and reintegrating ex-combatants, developing a professional security sector, and protecting civilians from death and injuries caused by landmines.

Third, we must take a comprehensive approach. That means addressing the security, political, economic and social dimensions. It means engaging national, bilateral, regional and international actors. And it means coherence, coordination and a common vision.

The United Nations continues to sharpen its work.

We are building partnerships and synergies across the United Nations system and with regional and international actors, with an emphasis on early engagement. This includes a stronger partnership with the World Bank and other international financial institutions.

We are bolstering our capacity to support viable peace processes that produce durable agreements.

We are improving our tools for deploying and supporting peacekeeping operations, integrated peacebuilding offices and other field operations that take on peacebuilding tasks.

We are paying more attention to the nexus between peacekeeping and peacebuilding.

Peacekeepers themselves are, in an important sense, early peacebuilders.

They seize the window of opportunity in the immediate aftermath of conflict. They are the first to set priorities. We must take advantage of their unique yet temporary presence –while remaining aware that peacekeepers do not have the resources for long-term development.

The Secretariat is working on a strategy to ensure that critical early peacebuilding tasks, carried out by peacekeepers and others, contribute to longer term peacebuilding and development.

In doing this we want to draw on the assets of all partners, in particular those from the South.

Toward this end, and following through on one of the recommendations contained in last year's report, I have asked the Peacebuilding Support Office to conduct a review of civilian capacities for peacebuilding.

I have also appointed a Senior Advisory Group, chaired by former Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, Mr. [Jean-Marie] Guéhenno.

I understand that the Peacebuilding Commission will provide inputs to this review, thus ensuring that we capture the views of a broad and unique segment of the membership.

Mr. President,

Timely funding is essential.

It is vital to have adequate and timely resources for early peacebuilding tasks, including, if necessary, the rapid deployment of standing police and other civilian capacities.

Last year, the Peacebuilding Fund revised its Terms of Reference so that it would be better positioned to provide the kind of flexible, rapid and predictable resources envisaged in my 2009 report.

Since its inception in late 2006, the Fund has provided resources to 16 countries. Eighty-eight per cent of this funding has gone to countries with either peacekeeping missions or political and peacebuilding missions.

The Peacebuilding Fund also serves as a pillar of support for the Peacebuilding Commission, with approximately $106 million allocated to the four countries on the Commission's agenda.

I am pleased to announce that this month; the Fund will reach $200 million in allocations. With 48 donors and nearly $350 million in deposits and pledges, the Fund continues to make progress, including through the guidance provided by its Advisory Group.

However, the Peacebuilding Fund's value is in identifying priority areas and helping to channel resources to them. By itself, it can not meet the financial needs of countries emerging from conflict.

I therefore urge donor countries to increase their support: as bilateral donors, through direct contributions to countries emerging from conflict; and as multilateral donors, through the international financial institutions or UN agencies on the ground.

Mr. President, Distinguished Members of the Council,

The ongoing review of the peacebuilding arrangements agreed to in 2005 is an opportunity to strengthen our work in important ways.

Peacebuilding is a complex and multi-faceted undertaking. It requires significant amounts of human, financial and institutional resources.

But the most important tool we can deploy is the political commitment of national and international actors.

The Security Council has a central role to play.

As peacekeeping mandates increasingly include peacebuilding responsibilities, I urge you to ensure that the resources provided are commensurate with the tasks assigned.

And I urge you to use your great influence and experience to help peacebuilding achieve its potential.

Thank you.