Key to successful peacebuilding efforts is political will, Ban tells Security Council

16 April 2010
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed the need for strong political commitment by post-conflict countries and their international partners, saying it is the key to building lasting peace in the aftermath of war.

“Peacebuilding is a complex and multifaceted undertaking. It requires significant amounts of human, financial and institutional resources,” Mr. Ban noted in his remarks to the Security Council's debate on post-conflict peacebuilding.

“But the most important tool we can deploy is the political commitment of national and international actors,” he stated.

The Secretary-General, in a report issued last July, laid out some of the other factors that are important to ensuring successful peacebuilding efforts. These include seizing the crucial opportunity after the end of a major conflict, responding early and robustly, staying engaged over the long term, and tailoring efforts to the needs of each country.

For peace to last, he stated, concrete peace dividends had to be delivered, with real benefits in people's daily lives. He added that peace will not endure unless governments in post-conflict countries are able to perform the basic functions of a State and to ensure sustainable security.

These functions include policing the streets, upholding the rule of law, establishing a functioning justice and corrections system and delivering basic services. Governments should also be capable of demobilizing and reintegrating ex-combatants, developing a professional security sector, and protecting civilians from death and injuries caused by landmines.

“Timely funding is essential,” Mr. Ban also stressed, stating that it is vital to have adequate and timely resources for early peacebuilding tasks, including, if necessary, the rapid deployment of standing police and other civilian capacities.

Since its establishment in 2006, the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund has provided resources to 16 countries, with 88 per cent of this funding going to countries with either peacekeeping missions or political and peacebuilding missions.

The Fund also serves as a pillar of support for the UN Peacebuilding Commission, which was set up in 2005 to help struggling States avoid slipping back into war and chaos by providing strategic advice and harnessing expertise and finance from around the world to aid with recovery projects.

Approximately $106 million from the Fund has been allocated to the four countries on the Commission's agenda – Burundi, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau and the Central African Republic (CAR).

The Secretary-General noted, however, that the Peacebuilding Fund's value is in identifying priority areas and helping to channel resources to them. By itself, it can not meet the financial needs of countries emerging from conflict.

“I therefore urge donor countries to increase their support: as bilateral donors, through direct contributions to countries emerging from conflict and as multilateral donors, through the international financial institutions or UN agencies on the ground,” he told the meeting, which is scheduled to hear from nearly 50 speakers during the day-long debate, including Ambassador Peter Wittig of Germany, who serves as Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission.

In a related development, the Security Council has decided to cancel its planned mission to Africa, which was scheduled to depart today, due to the disruption to international flights in and across Europe caused by the ash clouds resulting from the volcanic eruption in Iceland.


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