Madam President, this statement is delivered 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, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.
Thank you for having organised today’s debate revolving around the Report of the Peacebuilding Commission on its Fifth Session.
Thank you as well, for having put forward the concept note for today’s discussion.
It is important to take stock, at least once per year, of the activities carried out by the Peacebuilding Commission: a healthy exercise to assess the achievements registered over the past months, to draw lessons learned from the shortcomings but also to further elaborate on the immediate challenges requiring our collective attention.
Report of the PBC on its Fifth Session: progress made
In terms of progress, we should note that during the period under review, the PBC has carried out a series of important outreach activities and the coherence between the PBC and the PBF has been strengthened in some cases.
The report also portrays some positive developments achieved by the continued engagement of the Country Specific Configurations in supporting the six countries on the PBC agenda. These configurations have endeavoured to provide political guidance aimed at coherence among key players pursuing nationally-owned peacebuilding priorities.
The placement of Guinea on the PBC agenda in February last year and the progress witnessed thus far in this country on Security Sector Reform (the launch of a pension scheme for 4000 military personnel with the PBF) and on deployment of civilian expertise (appointment of an advisor on SSR) are also positive steps.
Report of the PBC on its Fifth Session: challenges ahead
Still, great challenges ahead remain. Our determined efforts to release the PBC’s full potential to overcome these challenges need to continue.
Important test cases are the November elections in Sierra Leone and the national reconciliation in Liberia. The situation in Guinea Bissau is also extremely precarious and we need to step up our efforts for a return of constitutional normalcy and to loosen-up the military grip on civilian power through a genuine SSR process.
We still believe that the PBC has a key role to play in these areas.
Crucial period: need to re-energize political commitment
We believe that the PBC is now in a second critical phase of its life and there is a need to re-energize political commitment for this body.
In this context, we fully welcome some encouraging developments witnessed recently.
For instance, the recent meeting of the PBC Chairs Group and the E/SRSGs (of PBC countries) was an excellent initiative to have a frank discussion on how to reinvigorate the relationship between both. We sincerely hope that this dialogue will continue in the future.
We are also very grateful to the United Kingdom for having put forward a thoughtful non-paper aimed at strengthening the role of the PBC and seeking a more interactive relationship with this Chamber. The benefits of an enhanced and more organic relationship between the Security Council and the PBC are increasingly being recognized and the potential exists to create a new dynamic between a more forthcoming UNSC and a better performing PBC. We also hope that the Interactive Dialogue between the PBC Chairs and Council Members scheduled for tomorrow may bring issues forward.
Similarly, we are also buoyed by the dynamics surrounding the PBC Configuration of Liberia, namely through the appointment of a new “full-time Chair” and a new SRSG in Monrovia. This should facilitate a common understanding of both roles and a good complementarity with the New Deal Initiative (G7+).
Finally, we are very glad to acknowledge that peacebuilding and prevention figure prominently in the action agenda set out by the UN Secretary-General for his second term. In this context, we are looking forward to the upcoming UNSG report on post-conflict peacebuilding due at a later stage this year.
Having said this, let us not forget the most important aspect: National ownership. Peacebuilding will only succeed if it is home-grown and nationally led. Our duty, as the international community, must consist in aligning behind nationally owned strategies.
To conclude Madam President,
Peacebuilding is a very complex and multifaceted challenge. It is a work in progress. And we are still learning by doing.
In this context, we firmly believe that the PBC has a pivotal role to play. Its strength comes directly from its nature as the unique intergovernmental advisory body to the UNSC. But also its limitations, as a New York based platform.
The EU and itsMemberStatesstand ready to continue supporting the efforts to enable the UN peacebuilding architecture to live up to the expectations which accompanied its establishment.
* 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.