Ambassador U. Joy Ogwu
Nigeria Mission to the UN
New York, NY
16th April, 2010
My delegation wishes to express its profound appreciation to the delegation of Japan for convening this timely debate on the important theme of post-conflict peacebuilding. We are also honoured by the presence here today of ministers from Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sierra Leone and Timor-Leste and the Managing Director of the World Bank.
Mr. President, your choice of theme has provided an opportunity for the Security Council to contribute to the series of events targeting the review of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) five years after its establishment. We believe that the outcome of this debate can make an important contribution to the mandated review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture.
The year 2010 is a pivotal one for peacebuilding. First, the African Union has declared 2010 the Year of Peace and Security in Africa. Secondly, the World Bank’s World Development Report 2010 will focus on the issues of conflict and fragility. It is also the year that the Secretary General will issue his first progress report on peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict. These activities, combined with the Council’s previous discussions on this subject, will, we hope, underline the importance of peacebuilding as an integral pillar of peace and security.
I would like to highlight five main points in this debate. First, national capacity and ownership are vital to ensuring lasting peace. We stressed this point a few days ago in the context of the presence of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in that country and ardently believe in its applicability to other countries emerging from conflict. Ensuring ownership on the basis of capacity is a challenge that we all recognize and should strive to meet.
Although peacekeepers are often called upon to support this effort, their role is essentially a gap-filling measure. It is important, therefore, for national Governments and other actors in peacebuilding to better understand the very thin line between peacekeeping and peacebuilding responsibilities.
Secondly, a comprehensive approach to peacebuilding requires partnership, consistency and coherence among the various actors. For a partnership to be strong and effective, it must be grounded in a shared vision and common objective. As Member States engaged in peacebuilding, we need to be consistent and coherent in the policies that we promote and, indeed, speak with one voice on this issue, regardless of the setting and place of discussion.
Nowhere is there greater need for this approach than in the interactions between the United Nations, World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization aimed at enhancing the goals of peace, security and development in the aftermath of conflict. In our opinion, our shared vision of and common objective for peacebuilding should guide the various programmatic activities and enable the different actors to adapt and respond to emerging challenges, notwithstanding their operational mandates and reporting lines.
Thirdly, threats to peace have cross-border implications and linkages, often demanding broader efforts and mechanisms at the regional and subregional levels. This is not only true of conflicts in West Africa, but is the case in most regions of the world. For this reason, we would like to emphasize the need to pay due attention to the regional dimensions of peacebuilding. Peacebuilding cannot be achieved using a short-term strategy. It requires a comprehensive and integrated strategy responsive to needs and priorities, as well as the long-term commitment of all actors at the national, regional and international levels.
Fourthly, the PBC should have a central role insustaining a monitoring commitment to peacebuilding activities. Monitoring for its own sake will be of little use if it does not seek to focus attention on an endstate. Consequently, the PBC should aim to keep international focus on the end goals of peacebuilding. The PBC is not an abstract entity. In essence, it is made up of member States with a political will. As such, we should demonstrate through our words and our deeds that we truly own and cherish the institution. Its strength or weakness will be measured in large part by the quality of our political commitment to the institution and its cause.
I believe that we should seize the moment in 2010 following the PBC review to regenerate momentum around peacebuilding. We would also need to alert our individual Governments to the need to invest in peacebuilding if we are to help countries emerging from conflict to sustain their peace. The review should help us reinvigorate the vision of 2005 on the basis of the experience gained from engaging countries on the PBC’s agenda.
Lastly, if the PBC is to serve its intended purpose, it will require substantive support, expertise and institutional linkages within the United Nations system and beyond. Strengthening the capacity and role of the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) should be the first step in the direction of positioning the Office to provide such support and build such linkages. The PBSO could also assist the PBC in promoting partnerships for peacebuilding.
Let me conclude by reiterating our support for the delegation of Japan’s initiative to convene this debate and the critical importance of feeding its outcome into the PBC review. We support the draft presidential statement to be adopted at the end of today’s debate.