Statement by Mr. João Gomes Cravinho, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation – Debate on “Post-conflict Peacebuilding” / Security Council (New York, 10.13.2010)
Post-conflict peacebuilding is at the core of our efforts to improve UN efficiency and weight. We now have to take stock of the work done since the establishment of the Peacebuilding Commission, 5 years ago, and devise – as clearly as possible – what we want to achieve in the near future.
From the outset, I would like to welcome the Progress report of the Secretary-General on Peacebuilding in the Immediate Aftermath of Conflict as well as the report of the Secretary-General on Women’s participation in peace building. The substantive contribution of the Co-Facilitators on the 2010 Review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture deserves to be commended. In line with what the EU Delegation’s will state, Portugal fully endorse the Co-Facilitator’s report.
We are now at a crossroads and I want to ensure you, Mr. President, of Portugal’s commitment to contribute towards a more effective and coherent international response to post-conflict peacebuilding.
We share the perception that there is a risk of fragmentation of the PBC process, on account of its complexity and the multiplicity of actors and institutions involved. We have to avoid artificial divisions and ensure integration between different levels of engagement.
To this end, allow me to stress some elements that deserve – in our opinion –careful and urgent attention:
- The relationship between the Security Council and the PBC need to be improved. To date, even if some progress has been achieved, the interaction is still limited and we should take advantage of the potential that now exists to create a new dynamic that will allow for better performance (in particular, at an early stage, when the setting up of peacekeeping mandates takes place);
- We also believe that transparency and inclusiveness should be increased in order to build on a firm involvement from the Member States, the UN as a whole and other stakeholders and partners, in particular relevant regional and subregional organizations;
- It is now broadly understood that peacebuilding must not follow peacekeeping operations, but be simultaneously present form the start and as soon as the situation on the ground permits (– i.e. when the phase of open conflict is over). We agree with the notion that the PBC should also have a preventive role and stand ready to respond to any possible deterioration of the situation on the ground;
- Concerning the chairmanship of the Country-Specific Configurations, we share the view that there is still room for improvement, namely by the nomination of a Vice-chair as well as the establishment of liaison committees in the field;
- Portugal welcomes the recent creation of Liberia Country Specific Configuration (of which we are members). This is a great opportunity to ensure that peacebuilding and peacekeeping efforts are complementary and mutually supportive. It is the first time that a CSC is created still during the maintenance of a peacekeeping mission and after the Co-Facilitators report on the 2010 Review of the PBC. And it will be an excellent opportunity to start to implement some of the recommendations;
- The importance of women’s contribution to this process was clearly underlined in the Secretary-General’s report on Women’s Participation in Peacebuilding. The instrumental role that women play in economic recovery, social cohesion and political legitimacy – thus, expanding the scope of national ownership and national capacity – makes it imperative to fully integrate the gender perspective into our goals and to relegate consideration of gender issues to later phases of peacebuilding is to ignore the centrality to everything from institutional design to funding allocations to programme execution. Portugal is fully committed to a gender-responsive approach for each of the five peacebuilding priorities outlined in the report of the Secretary General.
Finally, Mr. President, it is always important to underline the inherent connection between peace and development, and, in this context, we consider of paramount significance that more coherent and integrated peacebuilding efforts are made, including fostering stronger partnerships with the World Bank and other international financial institutions.
Portugal is strongly committed to an active contribution to the UN endeavors and to help paving the way for a revitalized Peacebuilding process that will promote peace and security in all parts of the world.
I thank you.