New York

11 February 2011

Secretary-General's remarks to the Security Council thematic debate on "Interlinkages between Peace, Security and Development"

Your Excellency, Mr. Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, Distinguished Members of the Council, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me begin by thanking you, Mr. Minister, and the Government of Brazil for focussing on the crucial linkages between peace, security and development.

Recent events around the world are a sharp reminder of the need for political stability to be anchored in peace, opportunity, decent standards of living and the consent of the governed.


Peace, security and development are interdependent. Evidence abounds.

Nine of the ten countries with the lowest Human Development Indicators have experienced conflict in the last 20 years.

Countries facing stark inequality and weak institutions are at increased risk of conflict. Poorly distributed wealth and a lack of sufficient jobs, opportunities and freedoms –particularly for a large youth population can also increase the risk of instability.

Drug trafficking and international organized crime have found fertile ground in places that lack basic services and economic opportunities, leading to fear in the streets and insecurity across entire regions.

Just as the lack of development can feed the flames of conflict, economic and social progress can help prevent it and secure peace.

Sustained broadly-based development can help to address the roots of conflict, by such steps as ensuring the equitable sharing of wealth, better access to agricultural lands, strengthening governance and justice for all.

Above all, development should be inclusive. By definition, this means including women, who can play a critical role in negotiations and peace processes, and young people, who have vast potential to contribute to the development of their societies.

In short, inclusive development on the basis of consensus and consultation is perhaps the most effective route to diminishing the risks of conflict and enabling long-term stability.

In recent years, we have come a long way in incorporating these insights into our work.

The Peacebuilding Commission, for example, brings together a wide variety of actors to develop common approaches –including Security Council and ECOSOC members, troop contributors and key donors with the participation of the World Bank and IMF. The equally new Peacebuilding Fund works to motivate and support timely efforts of the full United Nations family for peacebuilding.

I have also requested all UN presences in places where there is both a UN country team and a multi-dimensional peacekeeping operation or political mission to identify priority areas for peace consolidation and develop integrated strategic frameworks to guide their work in these areas.

It is increasingly recognized that these strategic frameworks must be developed with the host country to account for national priorities and to enable ownership of the development process.

Furthermore, the 2008 UN-World Bank Partnership Framework for Crisis and Post-crisis Situations provides a basis for developing coherent approaches to post-conflict countries.

These are important steps. Yet there is more we can do to ensure truly integrated, mutually reinforcing approaches to security and development.

Let me highlight five areas:

First, for the United Nations to act as one across the security-development spectrum, we would benefit from a “whole of government” approach applied by Member States across the multilateral system.

In this respect, I welcome the increasing emphasis by Member States on strengthening coherence across different multilateral institutions, including through structured delivery, and the engagement on the Security Council, ECOSOC, the Peacebuilding Commission, UN executive boards and the governing boards of the World Bank and IMF.

Second, we need to better manage the process of drawdown and withdrawal of Security Council-mandated operations, and provide a stronger basis for seamless transitions of specific tasks to the UN Country Team and other development actors.

Third, we need to find innovative ways to build and strengthen national institutions in fragile countries. As last month's Security Council debate on institution-building made clear, effective institutions and strong national ownership are central to sustainable peace.

Fourth, we must focus more on the climate change - security - development nexus. Lack of energy, and the effects of climate change are having increasingly serious impacts on development and security. We cannot achieve security without securing energy and managing climate risks.

Fifth, we need to consider how to reduce criminal violence -- an ever greater security concern in many parts of the world. In some regions, organized crime is threatening both development gains and the very fabric of international peace and security.

Organized crime is a challenge to a modern functioning state.

I would also add that in too many places around the world, the proliferation of small arms and ammunition is a standing threat to the security of ordinary people. In this context, the Council may wish to consider strengthening its collaboration with the General Assembly to advance strategies to halt the illicit proliferation of small arms and ammunition.

Mr. President,


As highlighted in my recent report on the causes of conflict and the promotion of peace and development in Africa, the next generation of security challenges will require added emphasis on conflict prevention, disaster risk reduction strategies, stronger civilian components in peace operations and strengthening the rule of law.

At a strategic level, it will be necessary to better prioritize and sequence security, governance and development efforts, and to reach out to new partners. The forthcoming World Development Report will provide important insights in these areas.

We have ample experience and convincing evidence illustrating the close links between peace, security and development.

I look forward to continuing to work with the Security Council and the full range of partners in bringing this knowledge to bear on our efforts to fulfil our Charter-driven mandate to promote peace and human well-being.

Thank you for your continuing focus on these challenges.