UN Security Council Debate on Peacebuilding Commission

Stalni predstavnik RH pri Ujedinjenim narodima, veleposlanik Ranko Vilovic, održao je govor na javnoj raspravi Vijeca sigurnosti UN-a na temu Komisije za izgradnju mira.

Mr. President, We thank you for organizing this debate to which Croatia attaches great importance. Croatia also appreciates Assistant Secretary-General Judy Cheng-Hopkins presence at this debate and recognizes the important role the Peace-building Support Office has to play in our deliberations. Croatia aligns itself with the statement to be delivered by the Swedish presidency of the EU later in our debate. We thank the Peace-building Commission under the capable leadership of its Chairperson Ambassador Heraldo Munoz and Vice-Chairperson Ambassador Park In-kook, for the comprehensive report on the respective areas of its competence. In light of the increasing complexity of conflicts and their aftermaths, as well as new emerging challenges to peace-building efforts, focus on this topic not only deserves the sustained attention of the Security Council but also needs to be approached in a coherent and coordinated manner. Therefore, we particularly welcome its commensurate review by both the Security Council on the tail of the recent General Assembly debate. It is the firm belief of Croatia that, next to conflict prevention and peace related activities undertaken during a conflict, peace-building is a key element of peace operations, whose ultimate objective is the establishment of self-sustainable security and prosperity for affected populations. As the Secretary-General has pointed out, countries in post-conflict situations are as a rule fragile and can over time re-enter the spiral of violence. That is why utmost attention needs to be invested into building solid foundations to establish sustainable peace. For Croatia the cornerstone of international peace-building efforts continues to be found in the UN architecture, notably in the Peace-building Commission which, together with the PBSO and PBF, represent the core mechanisms to guide future peace-building and development efforts. Furthermore, they have proved important conduits for enhancing coordination and coherence of international support to countries' peace consolidation efforts. In taking stock of respective PBC mandates over the last three years, it is appropriate that we recognize notable outcomes in its third year of operation. As the principal organ for maintaining peace and security, the Security Council should consider how to further advance the peace-building agenda in the UN and beyond, so that collectively the international community can effectively support countries emerging from conflict to advance on the path towards sustainable peace, reconstruction, economic recovery and development. There needs to be a recognition that peace-building efforts are highly complex and that often a plethora of actors are operating at any one time. Notwithstanding the leadership role played by the UN and its personnel in the field, every effort must be made to coordinate the activities of these actors, as well as others operating in theatre, so as to avoid duplication or blurring and to achieve a synergy of efforts. The Secretary-General's report itself notes that the existence of a single peace-building strategy, developed through a consultative process of all relevant partners on the ground, will significantly help facilitate coordination efforts. It is our view that the UN should continue to play the role of “umbrella organization”, providing the groundwork for various organizations to meet, discuss and coordinate plans and projects, while similarly respecting their independence, and their own approaches and responsibilities. It was our conviction that the establishment of a system of feedback and lessons learned, whereby present activities will be inspired by the effects of those undertaken in the past, would provide the best way forward, and it is for this reason that we welcome the work being done by the PBC's Working Group on Lessons Learned. We are especially supportive of its focus on key lessons learned by experts on their respective issues on, for example, rule of law issues, DDR, developing national capacities and coordinating PBC efforts with regional and sub-regional organizations. National ownership must also be a central tenet of any peace-building effort. Our own experiences from the 1990's have demonstrated that despite the ultraistic goals set by UN missions and agencies in the field often times external actors are unable to fully comprehend the real needs of the domicile population. Namely, external actors are often ill-equipped to rebuild the institutions of war-torn states by themselves. National actors need to be part of the early peace dividend, and international support should build on existing structures and capacities. Mr. President, Croatia would like to reiterate its support for the Secretary-General's report and his recommendations to strengthen peace-building efforts. We welcome the improved interaction between the Peace-building Commission and the Security Council, although it should be noted that there is still room for improvement to ensure a natural transition from peace-keeping to peace-building. We would like to stress that this Council itself in its Presidential Statement on 5 August 2009 [S/PRST/2009/24] re-emphasized the need for coherence between and integration of peace-making, peace-keeping, peace-building and development, as well as pointed out the need for progress in achieving a coordinated UN approach in-country to address amongst other things the critical gaps in achieving peace-building objectives. Before finishing, allow me to touch upon the issue of challenges to financing peace-building, especially as in times of global financial constraints the affects of crises are mostly exacerbated in areas of vulnerability. It is therefore understandable that successful peace-building efforts require predictable, sustained and well coordinated funding, for, as stated by the Secretary-General, “funding for peace-building should be seen as an early investment in sustainable peace and development”. As the Peace-building Fund can only provide a limited share of required resources, we support the efforts of the Peace-building Commission to engage other non-traditional donors and partners, like diaspora or private foundations. Donor mechanisms for their part need to be more adaptable to changing needs on the ground. We also look to other quick response mechanisms such as CERF – which has been very successful in the 4 years since its inception.