Statement by H.E. Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan, Permanent Representative of the Mission of Turkey to the United Nations, at the Security Council High Level Thematic Debate on "Post-Conflict Peace Building: Comprehensive Peacebuilding Strategy to Prevent the Recurrence of Conflict"

Ertuğrul Apakan 16.04.2010
Mr. President,

First of all, I wish to welcome Your Excellency and commend Japan's presidency for organizing this meeting.

I would also like to thank the Secretary General and the Managing Director of World Bank for their substantive briefing which includes valuable assessments and recommendations on how to develop post-conflict peace-building processes.

We are particularly honored by the presence of the Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan and Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as Ministers from Sierra Leone and Timor Leste.

Mr. President,

The concept note presented by Japan includes pertinent questions that encompass a wide range of issues within the peace building agenda and provides food for thought for future discussions. In that respect, I will limit my intervention with four points that we deem particularly important. Moreover, the PRST that is already before us includes a number of measures relevant to post-conflict peacebuilding and we fully support it.

The challenges we address today are not new. For over a decade we have been grappling with how to bring peace building upstream and mount a more rapid and effective response in the immediate aftermath of a conflict. Though the challenges aggravated by the global resource constraints remain formidable, the renewed enthusiasm on behalf of the Member States and the international community, as well as the impetus gained so far through the reform of the UN peace operations bring added optimism for a new peace building agenda.

In our view the new peace building agenda requires first and foremost the recognition in practice, not just in rhetoric, the substantive and inherent linkages between peace, security, stability, development, human rights and the rule of law. That in turn compels us to take complementary, integrated and rightly sequenced action in all these areas so as to create a catalytic impact on the outcome of our peace building endeavors.

Indeed peace building requires well-calibrated action, not only in various policy areas but also among short-term, mid-term and long-term goals. This was also one of the messages of the Secretary General's report last year. We agree with the SG's conclusion that decisions taken in the short-term should not prejudice medium and long term peace building, but that they should be mutually reinforcing.

The recognition of the nexus between peace, security and development leads us to the second important element which is the necessity of deciding upon a comprehensive strategy and a political-strategic compass that is; designed to support viable peace processes, as well as political, economic and social stability. In other words, this strategy should be an integrated one, merging the tools of peacemaking, peacekeeping and peace building; a coherent one, adapted to the needs of the situation, and a well-coordinated one among the myriad actors involved in peace building.

The lessons-learned from various peace building challenges reveal that where such an integrated strategy is missing, the international peace building agenda is bound to be ad hoc, piecemeal or even contradictory- if not outright counter-productive. In the Balkans for example, the shared peacebuilding framework involving military, diplomatic, economic, legal and social instruments of the EU, NATO, OSCE and the United Nations made collective and concerted action possible, whereas in some sub-regional conflicts in Africa, the absence of such framework hinders, at times, the success of the peace building project despite continuous international assistance and high volumes of aid.

This brings us to the third important element which is ownership of the process. Undoubtedly, peace building is ultimately a homegrown project and the realization of its goals requires the active engagement of local stakeholders. This would not only inoculate against criticism that it has been imposed on the national government and population, but also would increase the success of it.

Therefore, any mechanism for building durable peace and justice must be carried out with the active participation of all local stakeholders, including the civil society, marginalized groups, ex-combatants, professional associations and women's organizations. This is particularly significant in terms of social reconciliation efforts where grass-roots structures play a catalytic role.

Whereas at the regional level, neighboring countries and regional factors should also be brought into picture. Given that many conflicts have cross-border dimensions beyond the domestic political circumstances, the scope of conflict analysis and response has to be broadened not only conceptually but also geographically.

Of course, the concept of ownership will remain abstract unless it was accompanied from the very-beginning by capacity-building support of the international community.

Mr. President,

While the components of any peacebuilding strategy should be tailored to specific situations, basic pillars on which the international community could lend its support remains more or less the same and four important elements come to fore for the realization of sustainable peace in a post-conflict situation:

-restoration of a functioning state (ensuring basic safety, security and services);
-rebuilding the legitimacy of the State by ensuring the democratic accountability of political leaders to their citizens and strengthening the rule of law
-promoting social reconciliation to heal the wounds of conflict;
-revitalization of the economy.

And this leads me to my fourth point that the UN has a unique role to play here; one that could merge the state-centered and human-centered approaches in all these areas and coordinate the work of various stakeholders to deliver as one on the ground. Peacebuilding Commission with its unique standing to explicitly address the nexus between security and development could play a critical role in this respect. Furthermore, the UN can also serve as a "Clearing House" type of mechanism for financial, in-kind and technical support at the bilateral and multilateral level, where all the stakeholders could interact with each other on their individual projects and programs.

Security Council also has an important role to play in signaling strong international attention and support for peace process and for the initiation of peace building.

I would like to conclude my remarks by emphasizing that the new peace building agenda highlights the need to operate at many levels from the micro community to the macro political level, from the national and the regional to the global levels. This is why we should go beyond state-centric concepts of security and move to multi-faceted and multi-level strategies that can help address the multiple causes of conflict from a long term developmental perspective.

Thank you Mr.President.