Dear Mr. President.
It is my pleasure to speak on behalf of the Nordic countries, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Norway. At the outset, allow me to thank the Chairperson of the Peacebuilding Commission H.E. Mr. Yukio Takasu for his able leadership and introduction here today. We also welcome the appointment of Jane Holl-Lute as the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support.
With the establishment of the PBC we started to fill the previous gap in our institutional ability to help countries in the transition from war to lasting peace. And while it has showed considerable progress, we believe increased emphasis should be put on the following three factors:
Firstly, We still have a way to go to ensure effective coordination within the UN and with other partners. One main purpose of the Peacebuilding Commission is to bring together all relevant actors to marshal resources and to advice on and propose integrated strategies for post-conflict peacebuilding and recovery.
After two years of gaining experience, we must stay focussed on enhancing cooperation with the international financial institutions, especially the World Bank, the IMF as well as with regional organizations.
The Peacebuilding Commission should be given a more central role in ensuring that the international community is a more reliable partner to governments in a post-conflict situation.
We must all heed the principle of national ownership and make sure that our dialogue with national authorities be efficient and expeditious in order for needed assistance to be delivered early to already heavily burdened post-conflict countries.
The role of neighbouring countries is also essential. In the case of Burundi, we wish to commend in particular the Regional Peace Initiative and the South African Facilitation for their indispensable role in support of durable peace in Burundi.
Secondly. We must recognize that peacebuilding is part of our core agenda and not a subsequent phase or a subsidiary activity to peacekeeping operations. Peacebuilding should be a central component from the beginning of the transition from war to lasting peace. This must be recognized at all levels. It will require constant political attention - also on the part of the Security Council and indeed the Secretary-General. We therefore emphasize the practice of inviting Peacebuilding Commission chairs to brief the Council on a regular basis, as well as opportunities for briefings of the PBSO / ASG for Peacebuilding in the Security Council. Peacebuilding means addressing the most critical areas of nation-building. This may entail slow progress at times and also setbacks. But we must never waiver in this undertaking. It is all about instilling hope and showing the promise of a new beginning.
Thirdly, peacebuilding will not happen unless there is genuine national ownership. That is why continued resource mobilization and early capacity building is key. We must never forget that the populations of post-conflict countries are normally found among the “bottom billion”. The fight against poverty remains one of the essential reasons why peacebuilding is so crucial. It is crucial, therefore, that commitments are implemented. This applies of course also to the national institutions and authorities themselves. But peacebuilding is a partnership and the international community must shoulder its responsibility.
It is important that the Peacebuilding Commission continues the search for an appropriate working format. On the one hand, the country specific configuration should not be expected to have the time or expertise to get involved with detailed policy planning. On the other hand, we must ensure that strategic frameworks are sufficiently context sensitive and recognize that one size does not fit all peacebuilding models.
For this reason, the PBSO should strengthen its focus on strategic planning and be entrusted to utilize capacities of the UN as a whole. Part of the success of the PBC rests on the extent to which it can target sectors that fall outside the coverage of other funding institutions and contribute to early and tangible results on the ground.
Peacebuilding can become a success story for the UN. But even more importantly - it could be the path to political stability and development and a life in dignity for millions living in the post-conflict countries. As such it is a real opportunity, but also a challenge. As such it must continue to be a priority concern also for the Security Council.
I thank you, Mr President