I would like to thank Ambassador Abulkalam Abdul Momen, outgoing Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), and his successor, Ambassador Ranko Vilović, for their briefings and their strong personal commitment to the Commission.
A number of recent crises, such as that in Guinea- Bissau last spring or that which began in December in the Central African Republic, show the extent to which the peacebuilding process is a hard road. The United Nations and the PBC in particular face a number of very complicated problems. The most recent report of the PBC (S/2013/63) quite rightly underscores both the potential and the limitations of the Commission — a body which would be hard tasked to singlehandedly address the underlying causes of instability. The support that the Commission can provide must indeed itself be accompanied by a strong commitment on the part of national stakeholders — national ownership is essential in that context — and lasting support from international partners.
The PBC has, of late, achieved encouraging results in a number of fields. First, in terms of political assistance, the PBC has, for example, helped in implementing a national reconciliation strategy in Liberia and is supporting the Government as it resumes its responsibilities, which are being transferred back from the United Nations Mission in Liberia.
Secondly, with regard to partnership development and resource mobilization, the poverty reduction strategy in Burundi, for example, was able to make progress, which was crucially the result of cooperation between the PBC and the World Bank. That strategy enjoyed the support of a donors conference held in Geneva, which provided an opportunity for dialogue between Burundi and its partners.
Thirdly, with regard to strengthening the coherence of activities carried out in the field of peacebuilding, I would refer to the example of the cooperation between the Government of Guinea and the Peacebuilding Fund, which allowed approximately 4,000 troops to be retired, which has contributed to progress in security sector reform in that country.
All of that progress is positive, but efforts must be continued so as to ensure that the Commission be able to play its full role. Among the principles in the field of peacebuilding, set as priorities by the Secretary- General in 2012, I would like to underscore two in particular. First, a long-term approach is essential, because peacebuilding is a difficult process that requires solid foundations to be laid, starting with the rule of law, a police force and a justice system. The absence of those elements makes it impossible for a lasting peace to be built. The PBC must also enable a country to emerge from a cycle of violence. In the absence of credible police or military forces, it is too often armed groups that take control of a region or a State. The current crisis in the Central African Republic shows us the extent to which peacebuilding is a process that is both very fragile and reversible. The work of the PBC must therefore have a long-term perspective.
Secondly, in order to be viable, peacebuilding processes must be inclusive, that is, they should bring together all sectors of society. The increasing recognition of the role of women in peacebuilding is positive. We welcome in particular the decision of Nepal, which, on the basis of resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008), has drawn up a national action plan to make women an integral part of peacebuilding. The efforts of the PBC and of its Organizational Committee regularly to address that issue should continue. Beyond the general principles for implementing peacebuilding, we believe that the PBC must also improve its methods. In that regard, there are two critical aspects.
First, the coordinating role of the PBC must be strengthened in order to prevent the assistance provided to countries on its agenda from being too fragmented or inconsistent. Within the United Nations, exchanges among the various bodies and relevant agencies should continue. We welcome the Security Council’s holding of an interactive dialogue with the PBC. We are interested in the conclusion of the Commission’s report that proposes considering areas in which the PBC could more closely cooperate with the General Assembly. We also underscore the fact that subregional organizations play an increasing role in post-conf lict periods. It is therefore important that their views be taken into account in the context of country configurations. A more f luid dialogue with such organizations is desirable.
Finally, the initiatives outside the United Nations, such as, for example, the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States, also merit the Commission’s attention. The partnership between the PBC and the international financial institutions, the private sector and philanthropic organizations is also important. We believe that the work in that direction must be pursued in order to mobilize resources, identify financing gaps and duplication and define priorities in partnership with the State concerned.
Lastly, we believe that relations between the Commission in New York and in the field must be improved. For instance, there should be a more f lexible exchange of information between the Commission here and its field offices. For example, there are regular contacts between the Chairs of the PBC country configurations and the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General.
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