Security Council: Statement by Ambassador Wittig on Post Conflict Peacebuilding

Dec 20, 2012

(Security Council: Statement as delivered by Ambassador Wittig in an Open Debate on Post Coflict Peacebuilding)

"Thank you, Mr. President,

As this is most likely the last public meeting of the Council in which I will have the honour to speak as the representative of Germany in the course of my country's current term on the Council, I would like to express my delegations gratitude to you and all Members of the Council for the excellent cooperation we have enjoyed during the last two years. It was a gratifying experience to work with all of you !

I also wish to express my delegation's sincere appreciation and thanks to the Security Council secretariat team led by Movses Abelian and to all other staff members of the United Nations, not to forget the interpreters, who have worked behind the scenes, for their professionalism und unwavering support during this period.

As we leave the Council, we will continue to serve the United Nations family as best we can, based on the very same principles that have guided us during these two years. Our best wishes accompany the five new incoming members.

Now on peacebuilding:

Let me begin by thanking you for organizing today’s debate on Peacebuilding in the aftermath of conflict and for preparing a Presidential Statement which we fully support.  

Let me also thank the Secretary-General as well as the Chairperson of the PBC, Ambassador Abdul Momen, for their insightful statements.

Germany aligns itself with the EU-statement to be delivered later on.

We share the analysis of the Secretary-General's report that progress has been achieved: in strengthening and expanding partnerships of the UN in the area of peacebuilding, including with International Financial Institutions, in launching the UN Civilian Capacities Initiative, in improving coordination between UN missions and country teams on the ground, and in providing timely support during critical phases of transition through the UN Peacebuilding Fund, to name just a few areas.

However, much more needs to be done in order to deliver on commitments and to further enhance impact on the ground. We need to continue to adapt our engagement in peacebuilding to changing and evolving circumstances in countries emerging from conflict. This also requires a regular (re-)assessment of the actual impact and effectiveness of our engagement on a post-conflict country’s capacity to achieve its national peacebuilding goals.

In this context, let me briefly highlight four points that seem of particular importance to us:

1. Institution building and capacity building:

We need to understand the term institution-building in a very broad sense. This is the approach Germany adopts in its bilateral development cooperation. “Institution-building”, or rather, “state-building”, is not only about constructing government institutions and state capacity. It is about the whole social fabric of a society; about how a state interacts with its society. Thus, guaranteeing active participation of women, supporting the establishment of a vibrant civil society or integrating former child-soldiers into their local communities can equally be part of institution-building. Also, we must think in medium- and long-term perspectives. We all know: building states from scratch takes decades, not years. We therefore strongly support the Secretary-General’s call on governments and their international partners to carefully pace, sequence and adjust institutional reform programmes, balancing long-term support for institution building with the need to achieve early and tangible outcomes through the restoration of core government functions and service delivery.   

In this context, the UN’s Civilian Capacity Initiative is a crucial tool in ensuring the transfer of knowledge on how to build institutions and how to train the people who will run those institutions. We welcome the establishment of the online platform CAPMATCH that connects those seeking expertise with potential providers, fostering, in particular, South-South and triangular cooperation.

2. Women`s engagement in Peacebuilding:

Every conflict is unique. There is no one-size-fits-all-approach. However, in all stages of the process of building peace, negotiating peace agreements or introducing development programmes we need a stronger role for women. We take note of the so far modest progress on the implementation of the Secretary-General’s Seven-Point Action Plan on gender-responsive peacebuilding, bearing in mind that ensuring women’s participation in peacebuilding is first and foremost the responsibility of national actors. It requires a sincere and long-term commitment to a full inclusion of women into national policies. We support the Secretary-General in his call on UN entities and Member States to take more systematic action to ensure women’s participation in peace processes and to report to the Security Council on the concrete results of efforts in ensuring that gender-relevant provisions are included in ceasefire and peace agreements. Let me share with you that yesterday the Federal Government adopted the first German National Action Plan to implement Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. It should intensify and better coordinate our efforts to promote the role of women in peacebuilding.

3. On the role of the Peacebuilding Commission, I would like to reiterate that the PBC must make better use of the political leverage of its individual members. PBC member states need to do 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 help the PBC having a true impact on the ground. The PBC was created from members of different UN bodies, including from seven members of this Council, precisely for the reason that these members bring in 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 in achieving their peacebuilding priorities. 

Furthermore, the PBC Organizational Committee can be better in taking advantage of its unique intergovernmental structure. It thus potentially could serve as an ideal platform, a “connecting tissue”, to create stronger links between developments that have taken 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 UN peacebuilding agenda.

Fourth and lastly: Peacebuilding and the Post 2015 process:

Progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals has been slow in fragile or conflict-ridden countries. The Rio+20 outcome document notes that countries in situations of conflict need special attention in achieving sustainable development and that this requires good governance, the rule of law and effective, transparent, accountable and democratic institutions. Any post-2015 process will also have to tackle the root causes of conflict. Germany therefore welcomes the Secretary-General’s call on Member States to support the incorporation of peace and security considerations in the post-2015 development agenda. The PBC could facilitate constructive dialogue in this regard.

Mr. President,

While several countries appear to be graduating from fragility, there is scope to maximise the impact of peacebuilding efforts by further developing our strategic approaches and by bridging the gap between policies conceived in New York and their successful implementation on the ground.

Germany has supported the Peace Building Fund with a new contribution of 6,5 Mio. US $ in 2012, thus bringing up our combined contribution to 25 Mio US$. My country stands ready to work with the countries emerging from conflict, the UN and all relevant stakeholders.

I thank you, Mr. President !"

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