Security Council speakers note much progress, some setbacks in six countries on Peacebuilding Commission’s agenda, urge better cooperation between two bodies
6954th Meeting (AM)
Council Briefed by Former and Current Chair of Commission
Of the view that post-conflict peacebuilding must meet the expectation of ensuring the durability of the peace efforts that preceded it, speakers in the Security Council today reaffirmed the Peacebuilding Commission’s role to prevent a relapse of conflict and support the initiatives of recovering Governments and societies to own and lead the process of rebuilding and leaving the trauma behind.
In two briefings, the Council heard a review of the Peacebuilding Commission’s performance over the past year from its former Chairperson, Abdulkalam Abdul Momen of Bangladesh, and glimpsed the course of its future work from current Commission Chair, Ranko Vilović of Croatia.
Mr. Momen reported that 2012 had been a year when the question of collective responsibility and commitment of the membership had taken centre stage in the Commission’s deliberations, as it strove to facilitate the work of the country-specific configurations in the countries on its agenda — Burundi, Central African Republic, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The peacebuilding process in each of those six countries was at a different stage, thus presenting different opportunities and challenges, he explained. For example, the Commission had provided support for the launching of a national reconciliation strategy and for the first regional hub for security and justice in Liberia and to the successful conduct of elections in Sierra Leone. It had mobilized resources for the peacebuilding pillar of a new poverty reduction strategy in Burundi, and initiated a resource mapping exercise in Guinea.
However, he said, the disruption of the presidential electoral process through an unconstitutional change of government in Guinea-Bissau on 12 April 2012 had undermined progress. That and the violence in Central African Republic towards the end of last year had underlined the need for the Commission to be more comprehensive, targeted, and well coordinated in the absence of broader, vigorous, and continuing national commitment.
He said that the pace with which the global peacebuilding agenda was evolving testified to the urgent need to address sources of protracted instability and drivers of relapse into conflict. “We can no longer afford to remain in the custody of traditional and business-as-usual approach to the link between security and socioeconomic development,” he said, adding that systemic challenges would remain, but so too must a commitment to face them with resolve and determination.
Current Chair Vilović said that the Commission recognized that a crucial element of its advisory role was to ensure that timely and appropriate analysis of risk factors and drivers of conflict were brought to the Council’s attention. And, by sustaining broader international attention to situations that might not be on the Council’s “radar screen”, it worked to ensure that the energy and resources invested in stabilizing conflict situations were protected for the long term.
With the “inherently dynamic” situations before them, he said there should be equally dynamic information-sharing with the Council on country-specific developments, opportunities and risks. Thus, more regular and substantive exchanges might be of value. He was aware that the Commission needed to sharpen its tools, but he was also convinced that the Council, as a parent organ providing nearly 25 per cent of the Commission’s membership and having referred five of six countries on the Commission’s agenda, should contribute to those efforts.
Following the briefings, speakers generally agreed that the Commission and Council “can find room” for mutual cooperation, concerned that both bodies tended to function as separate “compartments”. Some speakers described the Commission as a vital institutional link among the Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Bretton Woods institutions. Several suggested that the Council invite the Chairs of the country-specific configurations to relevant consultations, especially when mandate renewals were considered.
It was also felt that the Commission’s architecture, though still a work in progress, enabled a flexible response to each situation on its agenda with its platform of country-specific configurations, but that it could be more receptive to country’s requests. Many acknowledged both the progress and setbacks in 2012, agreeing that a one-size-fits-all solution was not the right approach. With peacebuilding a constant process informed by trial and error, it was important to learn from the successes and failures. To be effective, speakers suggested, early peacebuilding tasks could be carefully woven into peacekeeping mandates.
The representatives of the United Kingdom, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Togo, China, Guatemala, France, United States, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Australia, Morocco, Luxembourg, Argentina and Rwanda spoke.
The meeting began at 11:04 a.m. was adjourned at 1:19 p.m.