What's In Blue

Posted Wed 19 Dec 2012

Peacebuilding Open Debate

Tomorrow (20 December), the Security Council expects to hold an open debate on post-conflict peacebuilding, where Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is set to present his 8 October report (S/2012/746). Ambassador A.K. Abdul Momen (Bangladesh), the chair of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), is also expected to brief. Following four rounds of negotiations a presidential statement was put under silence late Monday and is ready to be adopted tomorrow.

It appears the presidential statement emphasises some of the key messages from the report, using previously agreed language to overcome a number of areas which required what some delegations described as “challenging” negotiations. To start with, it appears the statement may “note” rather than “welcome” the Secretary-General’s report because of the concerns of one delegation with some of its content.

It seems that the statement will reaffirm the importance of national ownership and national responsibility as key factors in peacebuilding processes as well as highlight the importance of the rule of law. With respect to national ownership, as in the report, the statement apparently underscores the importance of inclusivity in peacebuilding processes, noting that a wide spectrum of societal actors should participate. In this sense, as in the report, the statement notes the critical role of women in conflict resolution and peacebuilding.

One delegation apparently had some difficulty with the language in the statement recognising the importance of addressing violence against women in peace processes and on child protection issues. However, the final version of the presidential statement apparently indicates that these differences were somewhat overcome, with relevant language on these matters being retained. While language on the contribution of peacekeepers as early “peacebuilders” has been included in the text, it appears that there were differences on this issue as well. This is an issue that has arisen in peacekeeping discussions as well with some members supporting such language, while others are more inclined to note the differences between peacekeeping and longer-term peacebuilding.

Another key message in the statement, also mentioned in the report, seems to be the need for enhanced coordination and coherence within the UN system and with other international actors in peacebuilding efforts, including a clearer understanding of respective roles and responsibilities. In this respect, the statement apparently underscores the role of the PBC in promoting greater coherence in peacebuilding efforts, particularly in support of national peacebuilding priorities.

It seems the statement also touches on the threat that transnational organised crime, including drug trafficking and the illicit trade in arms, play in undermining peace consolidation in post-conflict settings. To address this threat, it appears that the statement may call for enhanced regional and international cooperation. (Some members were particularly keen to include language on transnational organised crime and drug trafficking especially related to West Africa, given that a number of countries from that region are on the PBC and that it has increasingly become a transit point for drugs .)

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