I would like to thank Mr. Guéhenno, Ms. Malcorra and Ambassador Gasana for their briefings.
It is logical for the General Assembly to have yesterday considered the report on civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict (see S/2011/85), which the Chairman of the Peacebuilding Commission introduced during today’s debate, just as it is that the Secretariat has already begun to follow-up the proposals of the Senior Advisory Group led by Jean-Marie Guéhenno.
The implementation of the report requires a joint effort by the entire United Nations, including the commitment of the Secretariat and the support of Member States, as was the case with the Brahimi report on peacekeeping operations and military capacities (S/2000/809).
The report on civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict is part of our efforts to improve the performance of the United Nations on the ground. We have a collective interest in ensuring that its goals are achieved. Moreover, we should avoid ideological debates and focus on the essential, namely, how to get the most benefit from the report that has been presented to us and how to help the Secretariat to implement it in the best way possible.
I should like to focus on three issues that are at the heart of the reflection carried out by the experts that are of direct concern to the Security Council.
First of all, the priority is national ownership. As we have said frequently in Security Council debates, there can be no lasting reconstruction without national ownership. In that regard, as rightly pointed out in the report, local human resources within civilian capacity support structures in post-conflict countries is of crucial importance.
Secondly, partnerships must be expanded. The Senior Advisory Group has suggested establishing a civilian partnerships cell to facilitate matching needs with the capacities of different countries. That is exactly what France proposed in the context of the Group of Eight working group on peacekeeping and peacebuilding, which we currently chair. In that regard, countries of the South can provide more civilian capacity. That does not mean that the countries of the North can forego their responsibility in the areas of peacekeeping and development. It is not a matter of transferring the burden, but rather of taking advantage of more effective expertise by virtue of being closer to reality on the ground. The goal should be to strengthen the trilateral cooperation between donors, those that provide personnel and the host country. This is a concern for everyone.
Lastly, we should encourage initiative on the ground. We therefore support the idea proposed by the Senior Advisory Group to provide a broader margin for decision-making to Special Representatives of the Secretary-General in the internal management of civilian resources. This is a productive proposal that could improve coordination with the funds, programmes and agencies in the use of their resources, thereby contributing to instilling a culture based on results in the management of resources.
As we see routinely in our debates in the Council, the needs with regard to civilian capacity are numerous, varied and tend to increase with the complexity of the situations in which United Nations intervention is required. The United Nations must therefore be able to adapt, often in a short span of time. Effectiveness requires a certain level of flexibility in the use of civilian capacity. It also requires rigorous and responsible management of financial and human resources.
Following up on these recommendations cannot be done without the participation of all Member States and on the basis of consensus. The recommendations to be made by the Secretary-General should be considered by the entire membership, in particular at the Fifth Committee. We cannot properly carry out these important reforms without moving ahead gradually and in unison.
I once again thank Mr. Jean-Marie Guéhenno for the excellent work done by the Senior Advisory Group on civilian capacity. I also thank the Chairman of the Peacebuilding Commission for his interest in the report. Lastly, I think that I can say on behalf of the entire Council that we have every confidence in Ms. Susana Malcorra in connection with the follow-up she has initiated on the experts’ proposals. We shall closely consider the next report on the Secretary-General on this subject.