SC: Post-conflict peacebuilding

12/20/2012 // Deputy Permanent Representative Ms. Tine Mørch Smith held Norway's statement on post-conflict peacebuilding in the open debate in the Security Council on December 20th.


Mr President,

Norway would like to thank the Secretary General for a good report. We will focus on two issues that are central in the report; the need for inclusive political settlements and international support for peacebuilding.

One year ago Nobel Peace Prize winner for 2011, Tawakkol Karman of Yemen gave her Nobel lecture in Oslo. She stated:

I have always believed that human civilization is the fruit of the effort of both women and men. So, when women are treated unjustly and are deprived of their natural right in this process, all social deficiencies and cultural illnesses will be unfolded, and in the end the whole community, men and women, will suffer.

Violent conflicts are not solved, they are not settled, in a just and sustainable manner if women have not been part of the process.  Security Council resolution 1325 was a landmark resolution. There is growing awareness of the role of women in peacebuilding. As stated in the report before us, it has been uneven progress in the implementation of the seven point action plan for gender responsive peacebuilding. There is an urgent need to see genuine and concrete results at the field level.  Studies, reports and work-shops are fine, but that cannot buy political will to make a real difference for women in peacebuilding.  We must now act on the plentiful knowledge we have and implement inclusive peacebuilding.

There can be no doubt that political and economic exclusion, inequalities and discrimination, undermine sustainable peace. We must all ask ourselves how we can foster inclusive political settlements and conflict resolution which will lead to sustained peace. Peacebuilding is a difficult process which takes time and involves many risks. We must be patient and not assume there are quick-fixes. But patience does not mean inaction. And sometimes the international community must be willing to take risks. Donors must move from risk aversion to risk management.

The Peacebuilding Fund has proven its comparative advantages.  The Fund’s focus on countries low on the radar, its swiftness, willingness to take risk, and its large donor base, constitute the Fund’s main strengths and added value. But we must remember that PBF is most of all a catalytic fund. PBF cannot be the main funding source of a peacebuilding process in a country. 

Sustained and predictable financing for peacebuilding is important and Norway will continue to provide substantial funding. But let us be clear; in peacebuilding, broad national ownership is of vital importance. Good political leadership is essential. Accountability is key. In her Nobel Lecture last year President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia summarized it the following way:

Liberia’s continued progress depends on policies and programs that invest in people and strengthen democratic institutions, while remaining grounded in the rule of law. Most importantly, they must stand the test of time. They must not be dependent on any one leader or any one political party. We must build space and respect for opposition voices; they are not the losers in our open society, but an essential component to strengthened accountability in government.

The real test of peacebuilding is to ensure that such wise words are followed-up in countries undergoing a transformation from internal conflict to lasting peace. The international community must provide political and financial support, but the prime responsibility lies with the countries concerned.

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