Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at the UN Security Council Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace
We are happy to welcome you in the Chair of the UN Security Council.
We thank Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, Chair of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia Carlos Trujillo for the reports they presented. We are thankful to representative of the World Bank Mr. Bousquet, and representative of the African Development Bank Mr. Baldeh for their detailed statements that provided a good basis for today’s discussion.
The issue of continuity of international assistance by drawdown or closure of UN peacekeeping missions that was raised today is of utmost importance for prevention of conflicts’ recurrence during transition period, when the ultimate success of collective efforts has not yet been guaranteed. Sometimes to preserve and multiply the results might be much more difficult than to achieve them.
Peace must be resilient in the countries where peacekeeping missions are closed. To ensure this resilience, it is vital to carefully prepare for post-conflict recovery. In some cases, it makes sense to start peacebuilding work prior to termination of peacekeeping presence. Otherwise there is a risk that decreasing international attention to a particular situation might be taken by some actors as a signal to resume their destructive activity.
The issue of missions’ withdrawal and transfer of their residual functions to other UN bodies should be kept in mind from the very start and throughout the entire “life cycle” of peacekeeping missions. It is also important to have an integral picture of what political settlement that missions help to carry out will look like, because it is hardly possible to build and sustain peace without national reconciliation.
That is why when considering missions’ mandates, i.a. those having peacebuilding tasks, it is vital to fully account for the position of the host country.
Whenever needed, the Security Council can task a mission to help host party solve questions related to peacebuilding, such as disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, security sector reform. Thereby, when providing UN assistance related to building and sustaining peace, due coordination of efforts is required, as well as the division of labor that would not create any “conflict of competences”. Inclusion of generic tasks in the mandates, e.g. human rights monitoring, sexual and gender issues, environmental protection, promotion of development, etc. can turn out to be an unreasonable expenditure. For these purposes, there are specialized UN bodies and international mechanisms.
When exploring theoretic inter-connectedness of human rights, development, peace and security, we should realize that development per se cannot guarantee peace, whereas peaceful life does not guarantee development. Therefore, we should not only account for interconnectedness, but also mind the difference between these processes and understand which exact body or mechanism of the United Nations is responsible for promoting each of these tracks.
Your Concept Note for this meeting justly emphasized the leading role of States in transition in accordance with the principle of national ownership. Indeed, it is host governments that bear the main responsibility for developing and implementing peacebuilding strategies and programs given total account for the demands of the community.
In light of this, it is crucial that extension of cooperation between the UN, regional and sub-regional organizations, as well as financial institutions in peacebuilding area be accompanied by strengthening of their relations with host countries. Interaction with local communities and NGOs can be of auxiliary nature given the central coordinating role of authorities.
The UN Peacebuilding Commission plays an important role in the UN system in terms of providing peacebuilding support to States. At the same time the PBC is a consultative body and a platform that brings together a wide range of interested stakeholders.
We believe the PBC possesses capacity to improve the quality of recommendations to the Security Council that it can provide upon a SC request regarding situation in countries that are on the agenda of both bodies.
We are convinced that the value of the Commission is its ability to transmit the peacebuilding priorities of host countries to the Security Council. This is even more relevant at the final, transitional stage of the work of peacekeeping operations, and it could constitute a useful addendum to the relevant reports of the Secretary-General.
It is the added value and relevance of PBC recommendations that are crucial for their prospective involvement in the activities of the Security Council, General Assembly, and ECOSOC.
We should also not forget that Members of the Security Council are represented at the PBC and are active participants of the discussions of the Commission in the framework of its Organizational Committee and country configurations. In order to improve interaction of the Council and the Commission we should effectively employ the existing broad opportunities according to SC resolutions 1645 and 2282. We believe they are quite enough.