Security Council Open Debate: Statement by Ambassador Thoms on "The promotion and strengthening of the rule of law in the maintenance of international peace and security"
Germany wishes to thank the Lithuanian presidency for the preparation of this open debate and the Secretary-General for his instructive briefing.
At the outset, we would like to align ourselves with the statement made by/to be delivered by the delegation of the European Union (EU).
As a country that experienced the disastrous consequences of disregarding the most basic rules and standards Germany today strongly reaffirms its commitment to support all efforts to strengthen and promote the Rule of Law as an essential contribution to peace and security. Strengthening the rule of law is a priority in our foreign policy, both bilateral and multilateral. Within our conflict prevention and management activities we are currently providing rule of law assistance in a number of crisis and post-conflict situations worldwide.
We welcome the growing awareness that Rule of Law and Peace and Security are interconnected and mutually dependent. We also welcome the efforts of the Secretary-General to mainstream the rule of law in all areas of the work of the United Nations and especially the growing focus of peacekeeping and political missions on strengthening institutions for the rule of law.
Germany pursues a holistic approach in its conflict prevention and management efforts. We apply an integrated set of measures, of which efforts to strengthen rule of law institutions are a key pillar.
Let me just mention three important fields in this regard:
Firstly: In close cooperation with the DPKO Office of the Rule of Law and Security Institutions we support and promote the global exchange of experiences of United Nations-Experts in the area of the Rule of Law. In the past years our Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF) and the United Nations System Staff College in partnership organized a “Dialogue Series” for Deputy Special Representatives of the Secretary General in UN Peace Operations and the Focal Point for the Rule of Law. And we are committed to continue our support in the coming years.
Secondly: Support to UN Policing is another key pillar of our engagement in the United Nations. The International Police Conference in Berlin in October 2012 led to the establishment of the Group of Friends of UN Police last year. As was rightly pointed out in the Concept Paper of this debate we need to ensure sustainability of our efforts in the area of Rule of Law in Peacekeeping Missions. Trainings and support to Rule of Law institutions must be made more consistent through the development of standards and guidance, through a more systematic training of police officers and civilian experts in Missions, and through longer term commitments of police contributing countries to specialized areas of training. Germany stands ready to continue its support for OROLSI in this endeavor.
Thirdly: We support the establishment of the Global Focal Point for the Rule of Law, inter alia with a seconded expert. We are confident that the appointment of the Global Focal Point will contribute to the promotion of the Rule of Law by the United Nations through better and faster coordination. In addition, it should make our efforts in the area of Rule of Law more sustainable by ensuring better transitions from Peacekeeping Missions to the UN Country Team in post-conflict situations.
Lastly: Truth-finding-efforts and the fight for accountability and against impunity are crucial for the establishment of lasting peace in post-conflict settings. They are fostered by the work undertaken by national and international justice mechanisms, especially the International Criminal Court.
Current crises like in Mali, South Sudan and the Central African Republic have shown the importance of building Rule of Law institutions in crisis and post-conflict situations. Strengthening Rule of Law institutions should thus be at the center of our efforts for peacebuilding and conflict prevention.