Post-conflict peacebuilding (01/14/2015)
Post-conflict peacebuilding- Statement by Mr. Alexis Lamek, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations Security Council – 14 January 2015
I would like at the outset to thank Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson for his briefing, as well as Ambassador Patriota, Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC). I would also like to thank the Chilean presidency of the Security Council for taking the initiative to convene this important and welcome debate on a complex issue to which we have not found a satisfactory response despite the collective efforts we have made since 2005.
Ten years after the establishment of the peacebuilding architecture, clear progress has been made, on the one hand, towards better understanding of the specific challenges facing post-conflict countries, and on the other, towards better coordination of various international efforts, particularly those of the United Nations entities in the countries concerned. The report of the Secretary-General on peacebuilding in the aftermath of conflict (S/2014/694), which is the basis for our discussion, cites numerous examples in which the peacebuilding architecture has actually improved situations.
Yet, progress can still be made in our collective efforts. The capacities to mobilize long-term resources and to coordinate different donors in support of strategies defined together with the host States remain a challenge for which we still need to find a satisfactory solution. In the case of countries emerging from conflict that relapse into critical situations, we see these as failures that challenge us to do better.
In this regard, France supports the review of the peacebuilding architecture to be carried out in 2015. The review will be held together with the strategic review of peacekeeping operations. That these two events will be conducted concurrently is particularly appropriate. In short, with the help of these two reviews, all modalities of United Nations intervention in countries in crisis or emerging from crisis will be critically considered throughout the entire lifecycle of a conflict, as the Deputy Secretary-General said earlier — from conflict prevention to post-conflict stabilization, via the peacekeeping and transition-management phases. These beneficial exercises are welcome. In this context, I would like to draw particular attention to three crucial ideas.
First, there is a need to be firmly anchored in the field and local conditions in order to provide an appropriate response. We see it as very positive that the method for reviewing peacebuilding uses country-specific case studies. Similarly, France believes that it is in the country-specific configurations of the Peacebuilding Commission that the real work can be accomplished, with the determined commitment of ambassadors in the configurations that they chair and in operational meetings on specific and concrete issues that will enable follow-up of projects. While organizational considerations are important, they must not distract us from the heart of the matter — the work to be done on the countries on the agenda.
Second is the issue of articulation among the various missions and how they are sequenced. This issue is at the heart and intersection of the two reviews in progress. It is crucial. France thanks Japan for its report on the lessons learned in the transitions between missions. Our thinking and efforts in this area need to be continued. This reflection on the sequencing and prioritization of international action applies not only to the succession of different missions, but also within missions in the implementation of their mandates. This is what France has done with its partners within the framework of the phased approach mandated for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic.
Third and last is the issue of coherence of international actions and the need to ensure a long-term commitment in support of national processes. Institutional reconstruction, restoring functioning State structures throughout the territory, national reconciliation, transitional justice, and economic recovery and development are challenges that take years or even decades to address. Managing these emergencies is one thing, but meeting these long-term challenges is another, and our progress in these areas has been immense. In this regard, the involvement of regional and subregional organizations in peacebuilding is a major challenge.
In conclusion, France fully supports Ambassador Patriota’s earlier comments advocating women’s roles as a factor for social stability and cohesion that needs to be a critical pillar of the brainstorming under way.