31 October 2011 - Security Council
Post-conflict peacebuilding - Statement by Mr Martin Briens, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Thank you, Madam President, for holding this meeting on peacebuilding. I would also like to thank Assistant Secretary-General Cheng-Hopkins and Ambassador Lucas for their presentations. It is crucial for the Security Council, which is responsible for issues of international peacekeeping and security, to regularly address the matter of peacebuilding. United Nations action is not limited to merely supporting or restoring peace. Building peace once it has been established is essential to make sure that a country just emerging from conflict does not relapse into crisis.
We must remember that peacebuilding consists above all of managing the progressive restoration of all the capabilities of a given sovereign State with the goal of giving their people full mastery of their destiny.
Several elements are key to the successful management that transition.
First of all, national ownership, which is the basis of lasting peace, demands sizable reforms. Those reforms, which involve such essential aspects such as governance, justice and security, or which can also require the renewal of a development process, cannot be brought to fruition without national ownership. The key to success in peacebuilding is the implementation of a substantial dialogue with the State in question. To facilitate that dialogue, we have established in some post-conflict countries, integrated peacebuilding offices, such as the United Nations Integrated Office in the Central African Republic and the United Nations Integrated Office in Burundi.
The second key element for a successful transition is good coordination among the stakeholders. Post-conflict peacebuilding is complex, because it implies the simultaneous management of very different tasks. There is often a fine line between those tasks and peacekeeping operations. Peacekeeping operations should support that process as much as possible. However, even during the early stages, peacekeeping operations cannot necessarily take on all the aspects of peacebuilding. The earliest possible return of the usual actors, in the realm of development for example, is preferable. Careful consultation and coordination among all stakeholders is therefore necessary for the most effective international partners to be involved in peacebuilding programmes, and for each stakeholder to play the most appropriate role. In addition to the civilian structure that any peacekeeping operation implies, this could involve the United Nations agencies with solid technical experience, such United Nations Development Program, or bilateral partners. It is precisely that level of engagement that the Peacebuilding Commission, with the impetus provided by the Luxembourg Mission and the help of the Secretariat and the Office in Dakar, is attempting to advance in Guinea, where there is neither a peacekeeping operation nor an integrated peacebuilding office. We are pleased to see that the support actions have been identified and assigned, particularly with respect to security sector reform, in order to help the Guineans to build peace and consolidate their young democracy.
The third key element is advance planning. Because the conditions needed for peacebuilding must to be present from the first stages of crisis management, it is important to undertake a process of reflection on the priorities that need to be implemented in the immediate post conflict period. In that regard, I wish to single out the study conducted by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Mission Support Division on the contribution of peacekeeping operations to the question of consolidating peace, which was explored during the last meeting of the Peacebuilding Commission.
What tools do we have for implementing those transition principles?
First of all, we must work on the quality of the mandates, which should allow us to lay the groundwork for the peacebuilding phase. That is what we did in Côte d’Ivoire, with resolution 2000 (2011), which gives the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire a clear mandate to support the authorities in stepping up their security sector. We did the same thing with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, with resolution 1996 (2011), which sets forth support for the South Sudanese authorities with respect to the reform of their justice and security sectors, and the strengthening of the rule of law.
Secondly, based on those mandates, the Secretariat should implement a planning process that includes, on the one hand, a mechanism for measuring the progress of a mission, and on the other, provisions that allow its end-point to be taken into account from the beginning. Finally, it is critical to have resources on the ground in order to implement the transition. For that reason in particular, the civilian capacity-building is a key aspect in peacebuilding in post-conflict situations. In order to more effectively help countries affected by conflict, the efforts of the international community should be guided by a spirit of partnership that strengthens the links between United Nations civilian capacity, Member States, regional organizations and civil society. In that context, I welcome the Secretary- General’s report from last August (see S/2011/552), which is the first United Nations response to the Independent Report by Mr. Jean-Marie Guéhenno on civilian capacities.
To conclude, I should like to underscore that the growing mobilization of different stakeholders with respect to peacebuilding, whether the United Nations or other international actors, has provided us with many tools, which we must use in the best way possible by developing synergies. We will thus ensure both consistent international action and clear United Nations work in the area of peacebuilding.