21 January 2011 - Security Council - Institution-building - Statement by Mr. Gerard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
I thank you, Sir, for convening this debate on the complex issue of institution-building. There can be no lasting emergence from conflict without reconstruction and national institution-building; when they are lacking, conditions conducive to violence can quickly re-emerge.
As previous speakers have said, and as subsequent ones will as well, there is broad consensus in the Council on the subject of our debate today, namely, on the need to address as soon as possible the process of institution-building in the aftermath of crisis. Peacekeeping and peacebuilding are two sides of the same coin. They must be planned in a forwardlooking and integrated manner. There are three ideas that I would like to develop here: the need for national ownership of the process, as my German colleague has already mentioned; the need to define priorities as early as possible; and the importance of long-term funding for these new institutions.
First of all, with regard to national ownership of the process, the building of national institutions, the establishment of the rule of law and the development of practices of democratic governance are essential elements of any stable and peaceful political life. These things cannot be improvised. While it is possible to temporarily set up institutions in the aftermath of war — as we saw in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with the International Committee for Support of the Transition — lasting national institutions can only gain full legitimacy where there is national political will, validated by the people through a referendum or democratic elections. Such national ownership also makes it possible to ensure that the intellectual and human resources of a country are used appropriately and that newly created institutions are adapted to the national context and make it possible for development to occur. Should it gain independence following the referendum that has just been completed, what takes place in Southern Sudan will of course be an exceptional process that the Council will have to monitor very carefully.
Priorities will also have to be defined better. We have to take into account the stakes involved in governance. Corruption is a threat to the stability and security of societies, as it undermines institutions, democratic and moral values and justice. It also compromises lasting development and the rule of law.
It is therefore important to define strategies and oversight mechanisms that can enable new institutions to defend themselves against this scourge, in conjunction with the whole host of international partners.
In order to avoid a resumption of conflict, attention must also be paid to the development of institutions in the immediate post-crisis context: democratic and representative bodies, public services that address primary needs and security institutions that ensure the stability of the State while guaranteeing respect for human rights and the rule of law.
Guinea, where everything has to be rebuilt even if it is not emerging from civil war, is a good example of this. President Alpha Condé has indicated that he wants to make security-sector reform one of the areas for immediate attention, along with setting up basic services and encouraging inter-communal dialogue. His project of having military engineering corps participate in public works is also an interesting way of cleaning up a military institution while placing it at the service of the development of the country.
There is no single way of rebuilding institutions. All partners involved must therefore support a strategy that is fully endorsed by the legitimate authorities of the host country.
My third and last point relates to the need for long-term funding. We must address the issue of sustainable funding for newly created or consolidated institutions from the very outset. As a State emerging from crisis rarely has the necessary resources to do so, the international community has to lend support. Let me cite the example of the press, which can be an important pillar for peacebuilding and the promotion of human rights. In that regard, the role played by United Nations Radio in the Great Lakes region must be acknowledged. The issue of funding radio services following the departure of United Nations missions has to be considered.
The Peacebuilding Commission must also play its role fully in building institutions. It can do so if it adheres to the three requirements that I have just mentioned, namely, national ownership, good governance and financial commitment. We trust that the 2010 review of the Peacebuilding Commission will make it possible for it to better focus its action and bolster its contribution to institution-building in the post-crisis stages.