Understanding Successful Peacebuilding

5/29/2008 // "Peacebuilding must become an integral part of our common UN agenda," said Ambassador Mr. Johan L. Løvald, when focusing on leadership, peacebuilding architecture and civilian capabilities in a statement at the Security Council debate on Post-conflict peacebuilding 20 May 2008.

Madam President,

There is a need to recognize the critical importance of gaining a coherent understanding of recovery interventions and successful peacebuilding. The UN, its Member States and other international actors need to change their modes of operation in order to address the special needs of countries that are in, emerging from, or affected by conflict.

This is all the more true as peacebuilding must become an integral part of our common UN agenda. I want to focus on three issues.

1) On leadership,

It is important to remind ourselves that one of the key lessons from the Brahimi report is that failure is inevitable when peacekeeping becomes a substitute for facing painful political compromises that are needed from all sides to achieve sustainable peace. One of the findings from a project on Multidimensional and Integrated Peace Operations that Norway initiated in 2006 was the need to get a clearer view of what needs to be achieved politically that could assist in making the necessary distinction between humanitarian assistance in emergencies, and the need for long-term recovery efforts. It requires the Secretary-General to take on a stronger role in guiding efforts inside the UN system, forging incentives for better coherence and integration. Peacebuilding is not a sequential process; it needs to be looked at as a highly interlinked series of simultaneous activities. It is also important to speed up efforts in this regard, bringing on board all stakeholders including the international financial institutions, donors and national counterparts to the countries concerned, to make sure that all are aware of what is to be expected, delivered, how and by whom.

It is critical to ensure that the senior UN representative in the field has at her or his disposal a clear and robust mandate. The UN representative also needs to be backed by a strong and integrated leadership team. Member States need to adapt and change the current frameworks that guide both the administrative and budgeting processes. Today, success often depends on the personal capabilities of senior UN mission leaders to find ways of maneuvering around the system, rather than as a result of it.

There is a need to address how to ensure more predictable and sustainable sources of funding. The current system for financing multidimensional peace operations does not allow for adequate resourcing of multidimensional mandates with strong peacebuilding and recovery components. We need to think about how to create more organic links between assessed and voluntary funding sources.

2) On peacebuilding and on the peacebuilding architecture,

The role of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) is taking on an even stronger proactive and convening role in promoting better system coherence and integration should be examined. While the PBC has had a great deal of progress in the last year, we still have a way to go to ensure effective coordination within the UN and with other partners. Norway for her part has been honored to chair PBC’s efforts regarding Burundi – a country in need of even greater international attention and support. As more countries come on PBC's agenda we will have to take a closer look at PBC's working methods. The focus will increasingly have to be country-specific, in each particular case, relying on tailor-made approaches and always focusing on policy impact.

We agree with the Secretary-General that the evolution of the peacebuilding architecture constitutes a significant innovation in the ability of the United Nations to help countries in, emerging from or affected by conflict. Thus, we emphasize efforts to develop country-specific strategies, that bring on board all stakeholders, including national partners, and define responsibilities in line with both national and international programming objectives. These frameworks are not academic exercises. They are essential tools in providing added value.

3) On civilian capabilities,
An existing deficit of readily qualified and deployable civilian capabilities should be addressed in greater depth as a complement to increased emphasis on national ownership. This requires putting in place conditions and training systems that will sufficiently prepare them for operating in a multidimensional and integrated mission framework in countries that require robust recovery efforts. It also requires taking advantage of national rosters that can be rapidly deployed. But to repeat – this must be done to empower national authorities further, not to replace them.

Madam President,

There is a need to bridge the current security, development and humanitarian planning frameworks in order to effectively address the complex challenges at hand.

We believe that this meeting is a critical starting point in providing the Secretary-General and the UN system with an endorsement of the progress thus far achieved, as well as providing the political incentives to further strengthen the implementation of the various reform initiatives, in order to best assist countries emerging from or affected by conflict, and prevent a relapse by building sustainable peace.

Thank you, Madam President

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