Security Council: Statement by Ambassador Wittig on Post-Conflict Peacebuilding
(Security Council: Statement as delivered by Ambassador Wittig in an open debate on Post-Conflict Peacebuilding)
Let me begin by thanking you, Ambassador Nestor Osorio and your delegation for this important and timely initiative and for preparing an excellent concept note for today’s debate.
Let me also thank the Secretary General for his briefing as well as the present and former Chair of the PBC and Vice-President von Amberg of the World Bank for their insightful statements. Let me also commend ASG Judy Cheng-Hopkins for her important work at the helm of the PBSO.
Germany aligns itself with the statement to be delivered by the EU later during this debate.
We are here today not only to discuss the latest annual report of the PBC, but also to speak in more general terms about how we can enhance the role of the PBC within the UN system and in particular the impact that it has in the field.
In our view the PBC has not yet entirely realized its full potential. What can be done better? The concept paper prepared by the Columbian presidency raises important questions.
The PBC’s engagement with a country needs to be flexible and it has to evolve on the basis of a continuous assessment. Our approaches must be context-specific; there is no single approach that will fit all situations . However, there are a few overarching points and principles that seem important to me.
First, we need to clarify what the role of the PBC is and set realistic expectations. It seems that the PBC’s success is often only measured by its capacity to mobilize resources. Resource mobilization, including by mobilizing non-traditional donors, is indeed a key role of the PBC - but it needs to be clear that this is not its only role. Political accompaniment of countries emerging from conflict and fostering coherence among international actors are other core tasks outlined in the PBC’s founding resolutions. The eligibility for funding by the Peacebuilding Fund is therefore also linked to the national commitment to a political peacebuilding process. To marshal resources is not an isolated task but has to go hand in hand with a credible, nationally-owned political process. The PBC can only be successful if there is a genuine political commitment by the respective national government to the political peacebuilding process.
Second, effective political accompaniment and support of countries on the PBC’s agenda can only work if there is a close cooperation of the PBC with other key actors on the ground, namely with the ERSGs/SRSGs. Roles and responsibilities of the different actors must be clearly outlined in order to avoid overlap. The first meeting between the group of PBC Chairs and the ERSGs or SRSGs of PBC agenda countries in NY in May was an important step in the right direction. In our view such a dialogue needs to take place on a much more regular basis. The comparative advantage of the PBC to UN missions on the ground is its intergovernmental structure, which should allow it to lend the ERSGs/SSRGs additional political weight and support in their interactions with national and other international actors.
Third, the PBC must make better use of the political leverage of its individual members. PBC member states need to become better in assisting the PBC Chairs in their important work. Members of the PBC Organizational Committee and the PBC country configurations have a responsibility to support the PBC so that it can have a true impact on the ground. The PBC was created as a body composed of members of different UN bodies, including seven members of the Security Council, precisely for the reason that these members bring their political weight and experience from other bodies into the PBC’s activities. The intergovernmental nature of the PBC needs to be much better used in order to support countries on its agenda.
Fourth, the PBC needs to maintain a stronger and more regular rapport with other key partners in the field, especially with major donors such as the World Bank and other regional financial institutions, but also with active bilateral donors and other relevant international actors. I welcome the presence of the Vice President of the Worls Bank, Mr. von Amberg, with us today. His statement on the improved coordination between the World Bank and the PBC in post-conflict situations is reassuring. We encourage both sides to make full use of the potentials for future cooperation. It is only through such a regular, strong rapport that gaps and overlaps will be identified – be it in resourcing or civilian capacity building.
Fifth, we believe that there need to be more interactive and dynamic relations between the PBC and this Council. We welcome the fact that the Chairs of PBC country configurations are regularly included into briefings of the Security Council. Security Council members should in our view also consider inviting the PBC Chairs, as appropriate, to closed consultations of the Security Council. Furthermore, we should work on expanding existing –informal- ways of interaction between the PBC and the Security Council outside the consultations room. We had fruitful informal exchanges of views both on Burundi and Liberia. We think it would be beneficial to the work of this Council to have more of these informal exchanges of views.
The PBC Organizational Committee can be better in using the advantages of its unique intergovernmental structure. It could potentially serve as an ideal platform to create stronger links between developments that take place outside of the UN, (such as activities of the World Bank, but also initiatives such as the New Deal, agreed upon in Busan in 2011), with the peacebuilding agenda of the UN. Equally, the PBC could help linking certain processes within the UN, such as the post 2015 development agenda, to the peacebuilding agenda.
Having served myself as the Chairperson of the PBC Organizational Committee in 2010, I am very well aware of the opportunities, the challenges, and also of the limitations of this unique intergovernmental body. All of us created it together in order to achieve more durable peace and development in countries emerging from conflict. It is therefore also our common responsibility to make it work.
I thank you.