New York, 20 May 2008
At the outset, I would like to congratulate you on convening this thematic debate. Let me assure you of our utmost support for your stewardship in ensuring a productive outcome of this debate.
Before I proceed further, my delegation wishes to associate itself with the statement to be made by the distinguished delegate of Jamaica who will speak on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Since its introduction in 1992, the concept of Post-Conflict Peace-Building or PCPB has evolved and entered into the mainstream of various peace initiatives. It is now an integral part of the efforts by the international community in bringing durable peace to the countries arising from conflict.
In a world where wars, famine, and destruction are acutely prevalent, PCPB is a commendable effort that deserves our outmost support.
Many countries that are on the agenda of this Council have benefited from such efforts. PCPB has been instrumental in ensuring that peace sustains in those countries.
Moreover, with the increasing significance of PCPB efforts, there is presently high expectation to facilitate an expeditious graduation of current UN peacekeeping operations into a PCPB phase.
It is an important phase not only for the country concerned, but also for the Council so that it can focus its work on more pressing issues such as solving conflict and building peace in the Middle East, where violence has long become a daily view. It is indeed a tragedy, in this part of the world, indiscriminate killings continue unabated.
As we underline the importance of PCPB, we are however of the view that such an effort cannot be perpetual. It must have its exit, and it must eventually strengthen the independence and self-reliance of countries where PCPB missions are deployed.
With regard to the role of the recipient countries in PCPB efforts, my delegation attaches primary importance to the national leadership and ownership of the endeavors. They must actively be involved in every step of the PCPB process, including in the setting of the agenda.
Since PCPB is a multi-faceted process, we hold the view that it needs to be guided by a hierarchy of priorities established in response to the specific needs and political dynamics in the given context of the recipient countries. Establishing such a hierarchy requires the development of an overall political strategy, in which the national authorities should take the lead.
PCPB plays a critical role in guiding countries in a fragile post-conflict phase out of the conflict environment and into a more stable state. Its significance is not questionable. Yet, much remains to be done in order to improve its effectiveness.
Rapid deployment is as much important in PCPB as it is in peacekeeping
The UN has deployed various peacekeeping operations with large numbers of troops in different countries with a degree of success. This has to be supported by the civilian experts, including development specialists, judges, administrators and other relevant specialists.
As the UN is experiencing an over-stretch in terms of its personnel available for peacekeeping and peacebuilding missions, enhancing and broadening the scope of international cooperation becomes critical. The Agenda for Peace underlines that PCPB may take the form of concrete cooperative projects that link two or more countries in a mutually beneficial undertaking.
International collaboration can be beneficial in addressing the challenges of peacebuilding. However, the challenge to international collaboration is how to provide a sizeable, swift, and coordinated response to the PCPB demands.
International involvement means not only cooperation from the UN and its affiliated agencies, but also the full participation of involved players, which together can collectively be better utilized and marshaled to provide lasting and beneficial results.
This brings us to the issue of funding, another critical element in a successful PCPB.
All funding avenues have to be optimally explored and utilized. The triangle of ODA, trade, and investments is particularly vital in this endeavor. Multi-donor Trust Funds – as helpful as they are – cannot be the foundation for normal socio-economic activity, which requires self-sustaining avenues.
As far as funding is concerned, the trap of debts or overly tight fiscal policies imposed by international institutions should be avoided. We – the developing countries – know only too well of this predicament.
Therefore, more efforts can and should also be made to engage non-governmental resources and the private sector to fill the gaps.
With regard to PCPB within the UN system, we underline the central role of Peace Building Commission (PBC).
In its third year, the PBC is beginning to find its niche and demonstrate its value added. It has been able to create linkages between political/security and financial/development actors and has maintained medium-term political attention to countries emerging from conflict.
In response to the essence of time with regard to peacebuilding, it is imperative that the UN system is prepared to act quickly once a peace agreement is signed.
Coordination is a major issue to be dealt with, given the existence of so many competing institutions and resources.
In enhancing adequate coordination and division of labor at the level of UN organs, we recognize the role that the Security Council can play. In our view, the Council can ensure the operational relevance of PBC advice which remains essential for countries on the agenda of both organs and in resolving the security related aspects of peacebuilding. Finest synergy between the two organs would serve to clarify and define a seamless transition from peace-keeping to peace-building.
Equally essential is the synergy between the PBC, the General Assembly – including its Fifth Committee and the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations – and ECOSOC. Of particular importance is bridging peace building and political stability, socio-economic recovery and humanitarian issues that would lay foundations for longer term development activities.
The Special Representatives of the Secretary-General play important roles in peace processes. They can serve coordinating roles for the overall efforts of the UN in a country and with regard to all relevant players. They can provide a focal point for peace-building efforts, both from a negotiation and mediation standpoint, as well as an administrative, financial and logistical one.
Finally, Mr. President, my delegation reaffirms our support for the international efforts in PCPB. We also reiterate our emphasis on the central role of the PBC in providing the UN with policy guidance and strategies in its PCPB activities.
I thank you.