Statement by Ambassador Wittig in the Security Council on the Civilian Capacities Review

May 12, 2011

(As delivered)

Mr. President,

I thank Jean-Marie Guéhenno and USG Susana Malcorra for their comprehensive briefings and would like to commend Mr. Guéhenno and the Senior Advisory Group for their excellent Civilian Capacities Review.

This is a welcome opportunity to start a collective effort.

A key challenge, particularly in the period immediately following a ceasefire or peace agreement is this: how to secure best civilian capacities needed to build sustainable peace. This includes the re-establishment of institutions of government, rule of law, respect for human rights and economic revitalization. The response of the international community and the UN in this field is still too fragmented and often too late. We need to do better to enable national ownership, to work in partnership and to improve the effectiveness, appropriateness and timeliness of the UN support to conflict-affected countries.

We therefore welcome the findings of the independent report, including the recognition of the critical role of women in peace building. We also welcome and support the leadership of USG Malcorra to take forward the implementation process with the Steering Committee.


Mr. President,

When considering the next steps in the follow-up to the report I would like to highlight three priorities:

First, all efforts should aim at a leaner system that works needs based, flexible and result-oriented. This also includes working towards leaner and more flexible missions in terms of civilian staff where ever possible.

Duplications within the UN system and gaps need to be identified and addressed. Recruitment procedures for civilian experts need to be streamlined and simplified. As the report points out (quote): “The UN can implement many of the recommendations without legislative changes”. I would like to encourage the Secretary-General to take all necessary steps to that end and to develop a prioritized roadmap on the way ahead that also indicates where action by member states is required.

Second, instead of setting up new and costly structures focus needs to be on making better use of existing resources and systems already in place. Partnerships are an essential element in this context, including the south-south cooperation.

The EU has a broad set of instruments and expertise through its Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and its civilian crises management missions. We encourage the Secretariat to pool the efforts to deliver and train resources as offered by the EU in yesterday’s debate in the General Assembly.

Building on partnership between the UN and regional and sub regional organizations will also be vital as is making use of the tools and instruments provided by the international financial institutions, notably the World Bank, and engaging the private sector.

Germany stands ready to provide expertise through our Centre for International Peace Operation ZIF to assist the Compact Support Team established by USG Malcorra. The Centre maintains a national standby roster of trained experts who are ready to be deployed in peace operations of the UN, the EU and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The Centre also offers to provide “in mission training” and we look forward to discussing this in detail with the Compact Support Team.

Third, it is important to draw on lessons learnt, best practices and evaluation results. The cluster approach of the humanitarian system was recently evaluated (2010) and the Inter-Agency Standing Committee currently works on implementing the recommendations. Existing reform processes such as the implementation of the Global Field Support Strategy need to be taken into account.


Mr. President,

We should start to take concrete steps without delay.

South Sudan could be the first test case and a starting point. Critical needs, notably the establishment of government institutions and justice will have to be addressed swiftly. Attention should therefore be paid to identifying and supporting effectively national capacities including the capacities of the diasporas.

Furthermore, the Security Council will have to consider from the outset of the mandate how to best integrate the building of partnerships and the initiation of peace building into the mandate.


Mr. President,

It is not for the Security Council alone to follow-up the process. Joint action is required by the Secretary-General, the Secretariat, United Nations bodies including the Peace Building Commission as well as the General Assembly.

Creating effective ways for making civilian capacity available to support peace building in conflict-affected countries is the best way to secure national ownership and render peace and reconstruction sustainable.

We are willing to work with the UN and all partners to that end.

Thank you, Mr. President.

© GermanyUN

Peace and Security

Regional conflicts, fragile or collapsed states, armed conflicts, terrorism and organized crime – all have grave consequences for the people who suffer under them. They also threaten the security and stability of entire regions and peoples.