(translation of statement made in French)
France commends the organization of this debate, held a few months before the fifth anniversary of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC). It is an opportunity to underscore the initial gains of the PBC and to focus on priority efforts that could improve the effectiveness of its work. The 2010 review should allow the Commission to become an influential tool that will bring added value to key areas of peacebuilding.
We fully align ourselves with the statement to be made by the representative of Sweden on behalf of the European Union.
I also wish to thank Ambassador Muñoz ,Chair of the Commission, for his dedication and his work at the head of the PBC since January 2009. France also wishes to express its gratitude to the four Chairs of the country-specific configurations engaged in resolute peacebuilding efforts in the countries in question.
As its report (S/2009/444) indicates, the PBC has already achieved satisfactory results in the four countries on its agenda. For four years, the Commission has played a growing role in its United Nations peacebuilding efforts in countries that are just emerging from conflict, by mobilizing resources and coordinating international assistance. My delegation emphasizes the importance of the ties that have been established between the PBC and the national authorities of those four States, in particular in the definition of strategic priorities. The ownership of those peacebuilding strategies by all stakeholders is vital. We therefore call on the Governments of Burundi, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau and the Central African Republic, which have the primary responsibility for successful peacebuilding, to pursue their cooperation with the Commission, in particular in completing the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration processes under way, reforming their security sectors and organizing elections.
Despite that progress, we feel that the Commission’s effectiveness can still be improved. The Commission has not yet achieved all the objectives entrusted to it when it was created. France favours strengthened relations between the Commission and the Security Council, as suggested by the Secretary-General in his June report (S/2009/304). The primary objective of the Commission is to ensure the transition between peacekeeping operations and the peacebuilding process. To that end, the Commission and the Council must cooperate more regularly and more closely to ensure, in particular, that the peacebuilding dimension is taken into account at the earliest possible phase in defining post-crisis strategies.
The effectiveness of the Commission also depends on its relations with the United Nations system, in particular the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council. Increased synergy with those organs will ensure the coordination of actions conducive to the establishment of lasting peace in the political, economic and social spheres. We also call on all Member States to pay particular attention to the work of the Commission and to support it.
The main contribution of the Commission is to mobilize energies and resources while coordinating activities on the ground, including the work of international financial institutions, United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations with which the PBC is in ongoing contact. In that regard, it is vital that the Commission follow up on projects financed by the Peacebuilding Fund in order to ensure the coherence of the international community’s financial assistance. Thus, the Commission’s value added could lie in the coordinated selection of projects and of the States that are recipients of funds through the Peacebuilding Fund.
The Commission should review some of its working methods and step up its efforts on the ground. The Commission’s presence on the ground in the form of a PBC focal point, through a United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office, is a prerequisite for coordinating international efforts and for ensuring the credibility of the Commission. The Integrated Peacebuilding Offices should serve as effective day-to-day intermediaries in the implementation of approaches jointly defined by the Commission and the State in question.
Finally, I welcome the role played by the Peacebuilding Support Office in supporting the activities of the Commission. I wish great success to Ms. Judy Cheng-Hopkins, who recently took up her post.
In our view, the 2010 review of the Peacebuilding Commission will be a critical milestone in enabling the Commission to enhance its effectiveness and to gain visibility and influence here in New York and, most especially, on the ground. The in-depth and objective review should provide a comprehensive view of its strengths and weaknesses of the Commission’s activities, with a view to making it more effective.