|Statement by Ambassador Liu Zhenmin at Security Council Open Debate on Post-conflict Peacebuilding|
22 July 2009
At the outset, I thank you for coming all the way to New York to host today’s meeting. We thank the Secretary-General for his presence and remarks at the meeting. We welcome the report submitted by the Secretary-General. I also wish to thank Ambassador Muñoz, Mr. Ryan and Mr. Mckechnie for their statements.
(Photo by Shen Hong, Xinhua News Agency)
Peacebuilding is a new concept that was put forward after the end of the Cold War. In 1992, former Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali initiated the concept in his Agenda for Peace report. This is yet another milestone for the development of the UN collective security system since the emergence of peacekeeping operations. It symbolized the international recognition that the end of a conflict does not necessarily mean the dawn of peace. Post-conflict peacebuilding is of great significance to the long-term peace and security of the countries and regions concerned.
For more than a decade, the United Nations has played an important role, achieved remarkable results and accumulated rich experience in post-conflict peacebuilding. The establishment of the Peacebuilding Commission in 2005 marked an important step forward for the UN peacebuilding endeavors. The UN peacebuilding process, however, is also faced with many new challenges, such as failure to give full play to the leading role of the country concerned in some circumstances, failure to interfere in post-conflict peacebuilding in a timely manner, insufficient financial input, and inadequate coordination between multilateral and bilateral financial assistance. China supports strengthening the UN peacebuilding capability and leadership role, and supports better coordination and integration of all UN peacebuilding endeavors. In this connection, I would like to make the following four points:
First, respect for the right of the country concerned to make its own decisions is fundamental to post-conflict peacebuilding. The primary task of post-conflict peacebuilding is to restore the administrative functions of state organs of the country concerned. All political leaders of the country concerned should give top priority to the overall interests of the country and the nation, comply with and faithfully implement peace agreements, resolve disputes through political dialogue and consultation, and be committed to national reconciliation, democratic development, and economic and social recovery and development. While participating in post-conflict peacebuilding endeavors, the international community needs to seriously heed the views of the government and people of the country concerned, and fully respect local political, cultural, legal and religious traditions. International assistance strategy should be drafted in keeping with the specific conditions of the country concerned, and by taking into full consideration the development priorities identified independently by the country concerned. There cannot be a unified standard for peacebuilding endeavors. Different peacebuilding strategies should be formulated in accordance with different conditions of the countries concerned. In implementing the strategies, it is important to strengthen capacity building and personnel training of the countries concerned, and give priority to employing the existing human resources and expert teams of the countries concerned.
Second, sufficient financial input provides basic guarantee for the effectiveness of post-conflict peacebuilding. Many of the post-conflict countries are scourged by war, and have a lot of projects yet to be undertaken. These countries also suffer from inadequacy in governance and development capacities. Speedy and timely support and assistance from the international community are indispensable. The UN Peacebuilding Fund and other multilateral and bilateral donors have provided a large amount of financial input and played a positive role in post-conflict peacebuilding, but still fall short of meeting all the demand. China supports improving the work of the UN Peacebuilding Fund, speeding up financial input, and strengthening evaluation of the projects and the accountability system. The Secretary-General suggested that donor states change their assistance mentality to factor in the special needs of post-conflict peacebuilding, create flexible, speedy and predictable modes for financial assistance, and consider the establishment of innovative financing channels such as country-specific trust funds. These suggestions merit serious consideration.
Third, it is essential for the lasting peace of the country concerned to coordinate the activities in the entire process of peacemaking, peacekeeping and post-conflict peacebuilding. The conflicts in the world today are getting increasingly complicated and diverse. A comprehensive and systematic strategy needs to be adopted to achieve the goals for post-conflict peacebuilding endeavors. The issue of peacebuilding should be considered as soon as the process of peacemaking starts. Only by stabilizing the post-war security situation at an early date, establishing an extensively represented government, and promoting national reconciliation can a peaceful environment be created for economic recovery and development. Only by achieving economic recovery and reconstruction at an early date and ensuring that people enjoy the peace dividends can there be a stable political foundation for the peace process. Judicial justice and the rule of law are necessary conditions for the stability and development of post-conflict regions and countries. Without development, however, justice and the rule of law are only castles in the air. The problem of impunity should also be tackled in a way that meets the overall needs to promote political dialogue and accelerate national reconciliation.
Fourth, to strengthen consensus among multilateral agencies and donor states is an important avenue to promote international synergy in post-conflict peacebuilding. The United Nations should continue to play a leadership role in post-conflict peacebuilding. It also needs to develop stable cooperative and coordinative relations with the World Bank, IMF and other international partners to make full and integrated use of all the assistance resources. The relevant organs within the UN system should have a clearly defined division of labor and strengthen cooperation. As an important agency for post-conflict peacebuilding endeavors in the United Nations, the Peacebuilding Commission should play a bigger role in coordinating the international peacebuilding efforts.
At present, Africa is not only the main destination of UN peacekeeping operations, but also the focus of attention of UN peacebuilding endeavors. The international community should step up its peacebuilding assistance to Africa, help the countries concerned in capacity building, and improve the capability of African countries to achieve peacebuilding and economic recovery. We support the African Union in playing an important role in peacebuilding endeavors. We call upon the international community to continue to provide assistance to Africa, help countries in the region break away from conflicts and turbulence at an early date, and achieve stability and development. The success of peacebuilding in Africa will be a test to the UN peacebuilding mechanism. We hope the Security Council, the General Assembly, the ECOSOC, the Secretariat and other relevant organs work together to improve the UN peacebuilding capacity and make positive contributions to maintaining world peace.
Thank you, Mr. President.