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20 December 2012 – Security Council – Post-conflict peacebuilding – Statement by Mr. Martin Briens, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

(UN translation)

At the outset, let me also take the opportunity to commend and thank the five Council members who will depart at the end of the year — Germany, Colombia, India, Portugal and South Africa — and to thank them for their contributions and cooperation throughout the two years. I also thank the Secretary-General and the Chairperson of the Peacebuilding Commission for their briefings. I associate myself with the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union.

Twenty years after the publication of the report by the former Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros Boutros- Ghali, entitled “An agenda for peace” (S/24111), the United Nations has provided itself with many means to meet the challenges of peacebuilding. Today we have an opportunity to take stock of the initiatives pursued in that domain.

Peacebuilding is indeed a real challenge for the United Nations. It is essential that the international community have effective tools to avoid a recurrence or resurgence of violence in States made fragile by conf lict. Current events provide numerous examples of the ongoing risks in post-conf lict situations. Therefore, the entire United Nations must make the best use of the means at its disposal to meet the challenges of peacebuilding.

I wish to address three issues presented as priorities in the report of the Secretary-General (S/2012/746). First, the peacebuilding process must be inclusive. No reconstruction effort is possible without genuine national ownership of the peacebuilding goals. To be sustainable, that reconstruction must be based on an inclusive process. Yesterday the Council again saw, with respect to the situation in the Central African Republic, that it is essential that all stakeholders accept the terms of the peacebuilding process and fully participate in it. The processes must entail a broad political dialogue in which the opposition, under a democratic framework, has its full place.

Also, the lives of various segments of society must be taken into account. Addressing post-conf lict peacebuilding must include enhancing the contribution of women. Women must have access in a more systematic manner, and on equal footing with men, in the political, economic, social and cultural domains. In that regard, we fully support the recommendation of the Secretary-General to ensure the active participation of women in all aspects of peacebuilding. The goals of his seven-point action plan must be implemented.

Secondly, institution-building efforts must be strengthened. Institution-building is a key factor in the success of peacebuilding. But beyond the institutions, in the strict sense of the word, a broad enabling environment for peacebuilding must be established. That involves the implementation of security sector reform and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration processes. It also requires support for national reconciliation, establishing respect for rule of law, and the reintegration of the economic fabric. Setting up all of those elements presupposes excellent coordination of all actors involved over the long term in order to appropriately address the transition process. As a priority, coordination of all actors at all levels is crucial. The Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) — I commend its work here — can play a liaison role among various members of the international community, including States, international organizations and financial institutions. We encourage the PBC to step up efforts in those areas.

The second aspect of transition is that it must be formulated with a view to the long term. Transition covers a number of realities, for example, transition from a peacekeeping operation to a special political mission, or from a political mission to the withdrawal of United Nations action. Setting up an appropriate sequence entails defining the criteria. However, it also involves expectations. For example, the transition plan established under the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste was developed over the long term and in close coordination with the local authorities. It is an example of institutional reforms having been carefully adjusted in preparation for the withdrawal.

Thirdly, international support must be lasting and based on the principle of mutual responsibilities. We know that peacebuilding involves long-term efforts. I would like to highlight two initiatives that are sources of hope for enduring peacebuilding, namely, the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States, and the review of the civilian capacities initiative.

To start, the role of the international community is to create the conditions for a country’s recovery. States receiving assistance should not continue to get it indefinitely. To deal with that, priority should be given to setting up contracts, such as the New Deal compact, which was defined during the Fourth High-level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, held in Busan. Such a contract would define a State’s commitments and therefore enable its full involvement in the undertaking. In that view, initiatives aimed at restoring a viable economic fabric must be especially encouraged. The joint event held in June by the Economic and Social Council and the Peacebuilding Commission on partnerships for job creation for young people was useful. However, what is important, obviously, is the specific implementation of those efforts on the ground.

Secondly, to ensure the durability of the international community’s commitment, certain considerations were addressed, such as a review of civilian capacities. We would encourage the Secretary-General to continue to broaden and strengthen the use of civilian experts to fully meet immediate capacity-building requirements of States emerging from conflict.

The issue of developing partnerships is a key element of the review. We believe that the long-term commitment of all partners represents the best hope. We note with interest the launching of the CAPMATCH initiative.

In conclusion, I highlight that the robust mobilization of many players on these crucial issues has enabled the establishment of many impressive tools. It is now up to us to use them effectively, relying as much as possible on the synergies of the various available instruments. In that way the coherence of international action and the clarity of United Nations peacebuilding interventions can be assured.

Learn more on peacebuilding.

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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