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31 January 2007 : Security Council debate on the Peacebuilding Commission - Statement by Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Deputy Permanent Representative of France at the United Nations

My delegation wishes at the outset to thank the Russian Federation for its initiative to organize today’s debate during its presidency of the Security Council. I wish also to welcome the President of the Economic and Social Council, the Chairman of the Organizational Committee of the Peacebuilding Commission and Ms. Carolyn McAskie, and to thank them, and the other previous speakers, for their statements. Those statements clearly indicated everything that is at stake in ensuring that the Peacebuilding Commission is successful in its mission and outlined the all challenges that it must meet to achieve that success.

In our view, it is vital that flexible and effective interaction between the Commission and the Security Council be developed in practice ; we hope that the Council will regularly consider the work of the Peacebuilding Commission. We hope too that the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council will devote particular attention to the new body’s work, as provided for in the resolutions that established the Commission.

While we fully endorse the statement that will be made by the presidency of the European Union, I wish to speak of some particular aspects of the work of the Peacebuilding Commission.

The Peacebuilding Commission’s added value derives from its capacity to deal in a concentrated manner with problems that are specific to peacebuilding processes, by tackling the most urgent challenges. The participation in the Commission’s work of all relevant actors on the ground, in particular States of the region and institutional and bilateral donors, is fundamental in that regard. Here, my delegation fully supports participation in the meetings of the Peacebuilding Commission by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, as their representatives have proposed today.

Most often, issues of institution-building — related to such areas as the rule of law, good governance and security-sector reform — are key postconflict priorities. In many cases, those areas fall outside the realm of intervention and the capacity of development actors. By their very nature, they require close coordination of activities undertaken on the ground. I am thinking in particular of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration processes, which lie at the intersection of peacekeeping and development concerns.

By making it possible to identify goals and priorities shared by all actors and to coordinate their activities in accordance with a timetable for intervention that is robust but adapted to immediate priorities, the Peacebuilding Commission can become an essential instrument for setting countries emerging from crisis firmly on the path to peace and sustainable development.

The first country-specific meetings, on Burundi and Sierra Leone, have made it possible to start identifying areas that are critical for the peacebuilding processes in those countries on the basis of analyses carried out by their national authorities. That is at the core of the work of the Peacebuilding Commission, and it must continue with a view to precisely identifying priority actions and measures to be undertaken in areas seen as crucial to the peacebuilding process. At the end of the process, all actors in the field, first and foremost the authorities of the countries concerned, should have a road map that can form the basis for an appropriate and lasting commitment by the international community.

In that spirit, we consider that the Commission should focus its efforts at this stage on preparations for country-specific meetings concerning the countries on its agenda. The Peacebuilding Support Office, which is now operational, has a critical role to play here. We consider that speedy and appropriate distribution to Commission members of information relating to the countries concerned is essential. An inventory of actions undertaken in each of the areas critical for the peacebuilding process has already been carried out. It should now be the basis for identifying gaps and improving coordination among all peacebuilding actors in the two countries.

In addition to projects financed by the Peacebuilding Fund, the Commission’s work should lead to better allocation of resources and enhanced involvement by all actors, starting with the authorities of the countries concerned. Those authorities should, of course, be closely involved in the preparation and implementation of the work of the Commission. Here, I want to pay tribute to the endeavours carried out by the authorities of Burundi and of Sierra Leone in liaison with the United Nations and other actors.

My delegation wishes in conclusion to reaffirm the importance it attaches to the goal of being able collectively and in the very near future to achieve tangible results for the countries being considered by the Commission. I wish also to stress that at the appropriate time the Security Council should fully integrate those results into its work. The Council ought to be able to share in the added value that the Peacebuilding Commission should bring to our collective effort to promote peace and security./.

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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU