Thank you, Mr. President.
Let me begin by thanking you, Mr. President, for organizing today’s open debate on a subject that is of vital importance for the work of this Council. I would also like to thank the Secretary General for his statement and report on Peacebuilding in the Aftermath of Conflict. Our thanks are also due in particular to Ambassador Abulkalam Abdul Momen of Bangladesh for his statement today and his able stewardship of the Peacebuilding Commission during the year. I would also like to thank the Secretariat team so ably led by Ms Judy Cheng-Hopkins.
Mr. President, once described as the “missing middle” between peacekeeping and durable peace, the establishment of Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) was in response to the widely felt need of the international community to assist post-conflict societies to attain sustainable peace. The PBC, its organization committee, and its Country-Specific Configurations have done commendable work in mainstreaming peacebuilding in post-conflict countries. This Council’s continuous engagement on peacebuilding in recent times has also helped to emphasize the critical role of peacebuilding.
In this context, we welcome the progress made in implementing the Secretary General’s agenda for action. Inclusivity, institution-building, and sustained and meaningful international engagement – the priorities identified by the Secretary General are useful guides to peacebuilding ventures in future.
Mr. President, inclusive polity and governance, including provision of basic services, and peace, security and stable social order continue to be the key peacebuilding tasks. Success in the implementation of these key tasks will impact on subsequent efforts at economic and social revitalization. This success, in turn, will depend on the ability of the international community in providing required resources and generating greater coherence among entities, programmes, and field operatives with a view to promoting an integrated approach for sustainable peacebuilding.
We believe that peacebuilding activities should draw from the field achievements. The PBC being an advisory body, expectations are that its Country Specific Configurations will deliver core peacebuilding tasks with agility and nimbleness. With much efforts invested in its mechanisms at the Headquarters, the time has now come to test our abilities to make a difference to the people and societies in post-conflict situations.
Mr. President, inclusivity is a sign of healthy societies. Women and youth should be fully included in peacebuilding activities. Efforts in this regard are, however, demanding and resource intensive. Also, the widening gap between our aspirations and field programmes need to be narrowed down by means of suitable programmes and enhanced resource commitments.
My delegation encourages the PBC to work in this regard with international and regional financial institutions so that tangible peace dividends are made available to the population in post-conflict societies. It is also necessary to avoid over-reliance on the supply side of the equation by relegating peacebuilding programmes to a secondary place.
Mr. President, conflicts today are vastly different than those in the past. Their intra-state character, natural resources dimension, transnational crimes, illicit trafficking in drugs and weapons, and their regional dimensions demand an integrated approach. Institutions of governance, socio-economic development, youth employment, transitional justice, national reconciliation, electoral support, and constitution building are tasks that need coherent and sustained assistance from the international community. This, in turn, requires political will, matching resources, and readiness for long-term engagement taking into consideration local conditions.
It is, therefore, important for the PBC to align its objectives with national priorities and ensure that all plans and programmes are implemented under national leadership and ownership and through national institutions so that the gains are sustainable even if slow. It also important that peacebuilding starts from firm foundations of successful peacekeeping.
Mr. President, as a responsible global citizen having wide experience of nation-building which are most relevant for countries on the PBC agenda, India has been a regular contributor to the Peacebuilding Fund. Apart from our participation in peacekeeping missions, we have also partnered extensively with the national authorities in post-conflict countries, particularly in Africa, with a view to supporting their national efforts for peacebuilding, including in sectors such as human resource development, institutional capacity building, information technology, etc.
We will continue to partner with the post-conflict countries bilaterally and through the United Nations in meeting the challenges of peacekeeping and peacebuilding.
Mr. President, since this is the last public meeting of the Council this year, let me avail of this opportunity to thank all Council members, the wider UN membership and the Secretariat for their cooperation during the last two years as we made our modest contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security. I would also like to extend a very warm welcome to the five newly elected members – Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, the Republic of Korea, and Rwanda – and wish them great success during the next two years.
I thank you.