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I have the honour to speak on behalf of the EU and its Member States.
The Acceding country Croatia*, the candidate countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Iceland+ and Serbia*, the countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, align themselves with this statement.
The European Union and its Member States welcome the report of the Secretary-General on Civilian capacity in the aftermath of the conflict.
The report shows well both the progress achieved in this important undertaking as well as the challenges for the next phase of the work. It goes without saying that there is continuous need for a practical, results oriented focus in the process, aimed at delivering stronger and efficient support to national processes and priorities.
We value the consultative approach taken to develop and promote the initiative, also shown well through various regional conferences.
The EU and its Member States support strongly the basic principles of the initiative. National ownership is underlined as the only way to build a lasting peace. Partnerships are a vital element and should be made maximum use of. As the report underlines, this is a collective enterprise by various actors, both internationally and within the UN system.
The international community must do better at providing rapid, effective civilian capacity to conflict-affected countries. One of the main efforts is to broaden and deepen the pool of civilian expertise. We are in the process of defining how we can contribute to this endeavour, both within the EU and in cooperation with the UN. We are aiming at enhancing the identification, recruitment and training of specialist civilian expertise and opportunity for synergies, where appropriate. We also look at priority gaps in the provision of support to national institution-building in countries in conflict and crisis-affected countries and those in transition. We do emphasize the awareness and understanding of the specific context and conditions as criteria for the expertise, thus strongly supporting the South-South cooperation. Creating networks to this effect is important.
We note with satisfaction that the new online platform CAPMATCH has now been launched, providing a mechanism to connect those seeking experience and capacity with potential providers. We encourage active use of the system and also its continuous refining, based on early experiences and lessons learnt. New innovative models need to be found to enable triangular cooperation.
We welcome the focus put on enhancing accountability and support the establishment of the Joint Global Focal Point for rule of law. Synergies to be gained through such an approach are important and similar arrangements could be beneficial in other sectors as well.
The EU is fully committed to strengthen its partnership with the United Nations. The EU is working closely with the UN on how to provide support to the Civilian Capacity review. The UN has drawn attention to a number of areas where EU experience in civilian capability development for crisis management could be of direct support to UN field operations.
Like the report states, the initiative will apply across the various responses of the UN system. We therefore encourage the UN system to continue to work together, in finding the optimal ways to be more nimble, responsive and innovative in post-conflict situations.
* Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
+ Iceland continues to be a member of EFTA and the European Economic Area.