Cablegate: Unga: Debate On the Peacebuilding Commission
DE RUCNDT #0949 2912222
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 172222Z OCT 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5133
INFO RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA PRIORITY 0546
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR PRIORITY 0220
RUEHFN/AMEMBASSY FREETOWN PRIORITY 1323
UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000949
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL AORC KPKO BY PU SL CT
SUBJECT: UNGA: DEBATE ON THE PEACEBUILDING COMMISSION
HIGHLIGHTS INCREMENTAL PROGRESS
1. On October 9 and 13 the General Assembly (GA) considered
the Peacebuilding Commission's Report (A/63/92) and the
Secretary-General's Report on the Peacebuilding Fund
(A/63/218), which covered July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008.
2. In his opening statement, GA President (PGA) Miguel
d'Escoto noted progress during the second year of the
Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) and Peacebuilding Fund (PBF),
referring to their initial work with Burundi, Guinea-Bissau,
and Sierra Leone, and subsequent assistance to the Central
African Republic (the four "agenda countries"). The PBF has
also supported projects in Cote d'Ivoire, Haiti, Guinea,
Liberia, Kenya and Nepal. D'Escoto called on the PBC to
respect "national ownership" and involve regional actors.
3. Member States frequently referred to the principle of
national ownership in post-conflict situations, and called
for closer coordination between funds, programs, and agencies
in the UN System, as well as a higher profile for the PBC.
4. Areas for Improvement: Jamaica disagreed with the policy
that peacebuilding strategies be developed before PBF funds
can be allocated. Italy said the PBC needs to improve its
intervention planning, and expressed disappointment that the
PBF has not provided the anticipated immediate post-conflict
response. Indonesia asserted that the PBC Organizational
Committee should be at the center of the PBC,s work.
Iceland, on behalf of the Nordic States, called for a
better-defined relationship between the Peacebuilding Support
Office, the PBC, and the PBF. Austria encouraged "the
participation of women in all aspects of peacebuilding."
5. Other notable comments included those by France, on
behalf of the EU, that the PBC needs fewer but better
meetings, and that the PBC's work should be coordinated with
the with Security Council. Thailand publicized a recent ASEAN
Regional Forum workshop co-sponsored with United States in
Bangkok on stabilization and reconstruction. Chile called
for higher participation from Latin America. Egypt called
for additional African seats on the PBC.
6. Philosophical musings: Thailand, Indonesia and Mexico
warned that sustainable peacebuilding must accompany
development assistance. Ghana noted that commencement of
peacebuilding assistance should not necessarily lead to the
termination of peacekeeping mandates. Similarly, Italy
emphasized the continuity of PKOs and peacebuilding.
Pakistan said that conflicts are complicated by revenue
deprivation caused by agricultural subsidies and illegal
exploitation of natural resources. Chile reiterated, "the
PBC should not be perceived as another development agency."
7. In remarks available on the Mission's web site, Mission
encouraged the PBC to reach out to expertise outside the UN
and better coordination within the UN.