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16 April 2010 - Security Council - Post-conflict peacebuilding : Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

(UN Translation)

I would like to thank His Excellency Mr. Okada, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, for being here with us today, and Japan for having organized this open debate on the wide-ranging subject of peacebuilding. I also thank Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Minister of Defence of Sierra Leone, the Minister of Justice of Timor-Leste and the Managing Director of the World Bank for their presence and statements this morning.

France associates itself with the statement to be made by the representative of the European Union.

The United Nations is devoting all its political, military, humanitarian and development instruments to developing an effective strategy to prevent countries that have been weakened by war from reverting to conflict.

First of all, peacebuilding strategies should be defined on the ground in cooperation with local authorities. National ownership is an essential aspect of their success. As emphasized by the Secretary-General in his report of June 2009 (S/2009/304), these efforts should be based on the efforts of the countries involved, taking into account local, national and international capacities available.

The London Conference on Afghanistan in January thus restated the international community’s long-term commitment to the Afghan people and authorities on the basis of a road map to accelerate their assumption of sovereign responsibility.

The establishment of lasting peace in a country emerging from conflict involves greater consistency in strategies and the participation of all peacebuilding actors, including United Nations agencies, international financial institutions, non-governmental organizations, national Governments or civil society organizations.

However, the coordination role falls first and foremost to the Peacebuilding Commission, which we created five years ago. This subsidiary advisory body should ensure that actors and resources can be better coordinated. Today, we must note that the outcomes achieved in this regard could and should be improved, and that will be the challenge of the review process that we have initiated.

Indeed, the United Nations peacebuilding architecture should be able to respond to the realities on the ground and to meet the expectations of Member States by setting out the priorities areas to be dealt with by all of the actors on the ground. The Peacebuilding Commission should become this central, recognized element that we all hope for, both in New York and on the ground, and both within the United Nations and in the international community as a whole.

The Peacebuilding Fund, which was established in parallel with the Commission, could play a catalysing role by mobilizing bilateral and multilateral donors. However, we must meet not only immediate needs but also more long-term ones, and that is one of the main difficulties that faces us in terms of peacebuilding. We must be able to simultaneously anticipate, act and develop our strategies in order to ensure that countries do not relapse into conflict.

Beyond the cases that the Commission has before it, we can work on improving coordination between all the actors within the United Nations family, particularly in countries where peacekeeping operations or special political missions are deployed. This is the case with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for instance. New, custom-made tools, such as integrated strategic frameworks, enable us to better coordinate the efforts of all actors for the benefit of the countries where peacebuilding remains necessary.

To conclude, I would like to recall that peacebuilding does not necessarily depend on an official emergence from conflict. The unfortunate example of Timor-Leste has revealed that drawing down a peacekeeping operation too rapidly and not managing the transition process carefully enough can lead to a resumption of conflict. In order for durable strategies that are applicable in the immediate and long term to be implemented, peacebuilding should be clearly understood as one dimension of peacekeeping and not just as the step that follows it.

The Council debate that France organized on 12 February 2010 highlighted the importance of including the peacebuilding dimension from the outset of a peacekeeping operation. Stepping up relations between the Peacebuilding Commission and the Security Council might also bring about a strengthening of the relationship between peacekeeping and peacebuilding. The Commission review process will make it possible to enhance the Commission’s efforts and furnish the United Nations with a truly effective tool to ensure that countries do not relapse into conflict.

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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