Recent crises show efforts to prevent relapse into conflict insufficient, Security Council told

15 July 2014

The Chair of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) told the Security Council today that the recent crises in the Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan are painful reminders that efforts to prevent relapse into conflict remain insufficient and tools are not fully adequate.

“These crises have also reminded us that the consequences of relapse can cause untold human tragedies and create instability across State boundaries,” Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar Patriota of Brazil stressed, as he briefed on the Commission’s work.

“The Security Council has been mandated to respond to and seek to bring end to violent conflicts using a variety of strategies and tools,” he added, highlighting the complementary role of the Peacebuilding Commission, which was established in 2005 to help the UN to strengthen its strategies and find avenues to bring long-lasting stability to countries emerging from conflict.

“Most States emerging from conflict struggle to develop the domestic revenue generation systems which are necessary to sustain effective institutions and fully re-establish the legitimacy of the State,” Mr. Patriota said. In order to ensure new institutions become and remain resilient and act as an effective brake against renewed conflict, essential would be the long-term support from the UN, PBC, regional partners and even more importantly, countries themselves.

“National ownership, national leadership and national political commitment are indispensable ingredients for durable peace,” he stressed. Meanwhile, in regards to the Commission’s work, peacebuilding and reconciliation strategies must naturally be adapted on a country-specific basis.

For example, in the CAR, the Commission supports the UN and African Union’s missions seeking to strengthen collaboration in the region. In Burundi, the Commission works closely with UN leadership and the World Bank engaging national efforts to address various political and socio-economic challenges.

Similarly, in Guinea-Bissau, the Commission threw its political weight behind the efforts of the UN leadership to ensure a smooth return to constitutional order and more inclusive political arrangements in the wake of the 2012 unconstitutional change of government.

Calling for improved interaction between the PBC and the Security Council, he said it is critical to refine procedures and enhance conversation between the two bodies to maximize gains on the ground. Deeper analysis, supported by country examples, of how the UN’s multifaceted efforts contribute to long-term and sustainable peace would allow the Commission to learn from its work.

Introducing the report on the progress made in taking forward the recommendations of the 2010 review of the UN peacebuilding architecture, the Commission’s former Chair, Ambassador Vladimir Drobnjak of Croatia, said that peacebuilding was a “fraught process” with challenges that are typically context-specific. Engagement, therefore, must take various forms at different stages.

“In view of the Commission’s engagement in a variety of post-conflict contexts, there is a particular need for greater clarity in the Council of the Commission’s areas of strengths and limitations in each specific context,” he said.

He advocated for mutual accountability and commitments between countries and their main partners. Members of the Commission that are also members of the Security Council have a special role to play in ensuring that the Council is able to draw more effectively on the Commission’s unique membership structure and outreach, he noted.

“The complementarity between the roles of the Commission and the United Nations senior leadership in the field is a key factor for fostering coherence of messages and actions,” he said, highlighting the recent transition from the security and politically focused UN missions to the development-oriented UN Country Teams which the Commission has been highly involved with.

Peacebuilding will only be long lasting if women are involved in every part of the process, he added, highlighting the Commission’s focus on women’s economic empowerment through partnering with UN women and focusing on gender mainstreaming in planning, priority setting, design and delivery of national reconciliation processes.

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