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Path For Peacebuilding In Security Council Debate

Secretary-General outlines path for peacebuilding in Security Council debate

20 May 2008 - To help countries in their struggle to stabilize and prosper after years of conflict, the United Nations must become more coherent in coordinating its activities, increase its capacity on the ground and build up its civilian expertise, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council today.

Addressing an open debate on post-conflict peacebuilding, Mr. Ban said the world body's lengthy experience in helping countries emerge from conflict - from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Liberia to Timor-Leste and Haiti - showed that while each country is different, there are always common short-term priorities.

Viable political processes that put in place legitimate national authorities must be established first to buttress nascent peace agreements, he said.

Security and the rule of law must also be restored through the development of professional and accountable justice systems and the affected population must receive immediate and tangible benefits to strengthen their support in the long-term for development.

Mr. Ban said the UN is working to streamline and improve its coordination and coherence in the field to better assist countries in the immediate aftermath of conflict.

"We have put in place structures, planning and monitoring processes to support this effort in the immediate term and throughout the transition to longer-term peacebuilding," he said, adding that the Organization aims to work even more closely with Member States, regional bodies and international financial institutions.

"Where we work together, as in Liberia and Sierra Leone, we deliver a vastly more effective response. Coordination and clarity of leadership is critical to ensuring that each partner brings its distinctive strength to the broad collective effort."

The Secretary-General said the UN needs to boost its capacity so that it can lead on the ground, with his Special Representatives given the means to identify strategic priorities, elaborate plans and mobilize funds with others.

He also stressed that the world body should expand its civilian expertise, citing the "small but agile" standing police capacity of the UN and the launch of a standby team of mediation experts as key steps in the right direction.

"But we remain desperately short of judges, prison wardens, state administrators and managers - particularly those with knowledge and experience of the countries and systems in which we operate. Not only should these be well-equipped when they are deployed; they need start-up funding at their disposal."

The extra civilian expertise is necessary in the recovery and development fields, as well, he said, noting that "all this requires early and flexible funding." He called for the explorations of a possible common start-up fund.


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