Statement by Mr. Fazlı Çorman Charge D'Affaires a.i. and Deputy Representative of Turkey to the UN, at the High Level Meeting on UNSC Meeting on ''Post- Conflict Peace Building"

Fazlı Çorman 21.07.2009
Mr. President

First of all, let me add my voice to the previous speakers in welcoming Your Excellency and commending the Uganda's presidency for organizing this timely meeting on "post-conflict peace building" and preparing the draft PRST which we fully support.

I would also like to thank the Secretary General for his substantive report and briefing which include valuable assessments and recommendations on how to develop UN's activities pertaining to post-conflict peace-building.

I wish also to thank the Chairman of the PBC, Assistant Administrator of the UNDP and representative of the World Bank for their valuable contributions.

Mr. President,

I will try not to repeat what was said around the table regarding the Secretary General's report. In short, we support the Secretary General in his efforts to streamline UN's response in the immediate aftermath of conflicts, and share his ideas with respect to the way forward. Yet, I would like to emphasize and reiterate some issues which we deem particularly important.

As experience shows, winning peace is often more difficult than winning war. Peace processes, in their early stages, are often fragile and relapsing into conflict poses even greater threat. Thus, the risk of failure is very high if peace is not supported from day one. In that respect, the first two years after the end of a conflict is maybe the most critical period where we can either sow the seeds of a lasting peace or set towards a dead-end, albeit with good intentions.

It is also a fact that tangible results in that period can only be achieved if political, social, humanitarian and economic considerations, as well as the security needs are addressed in a holistic manner. In this context and as it was pointed out in the thematic debate held under Turkey's Presidency of the Council on 29 June, peacekeeping and peacebuilding are inseperable, integral parts of a whole and success can come only if we treat them as such.

Mr. President,

In the realm of peacebuilding, the UN has undoubtedly a significant role to play. And there is ample room for improving UN's own response to post-conflict situations, including first and foremost, taking the necessary measures to ensure that the entire UN system acts in unison towards a single set of objectives and delivers as one. Quik and effective results can be achieved through such a synergy of efforts. Thus we welcome and support Secretary General's recommendations in this direction.

That said, notwithstanding its key leadership responsibility the UN is not the only actor that can make a difference on the ground in the immediate aftermath of a conflict. Indeed, given the manifold and multifaceted challenges, effective peace building requires a much broader international support. Thus, the coherence and coordination of international endeavors becomes key to helping countries succeed in their efforts to construct and implement a viable road map to peace.

Indeed, echoing the words of the Secretary General "… national authorities, the UN system and other international actors can have a much greater and earlier collective impact if all partners agree on an early strategy with defined and sequenced priorities, and align action and resources behind strategy."

In other words, the strategy to build peace ought to be devised as early as possible; should cover all aspects of the requirements of the post-conflict situation, has to be based on the common vision of both national and international partners, and must be well-supported by the financial resources and the technical expertise.

Additionally, priority setting must reflect the unique conditions and needs of the country, taking into account the lessons learned from past experiences and matching the existing capacities available to the task in hand. The expertise and accumulated experience in the World Bank and the UNDP, in particular, can be extremely helpful in guiding post-conflict recovery and reconstruction.

We also believe that the rapidly progressing Peace Building Commission could and should play an important role in promoting an integrated approach to peace building. We thus look forward to the review in 2010 with a view to further enhancing its capacity and effectiveness.

In light of the foregoing, we agree with the five-point agenda set out by the Secretary General to facilitate an earlier and more coherent response from the wider international community, which reflects all these core elements.

In particular, we strongly support the view that building national capacity and thus ensuring national ownership is an essential priority and that it has to be considered from the outset as the central element of all peace building efforts.

Indeed, we have to seize the rather limited window of opportunity in the immediate aftermath of the conflict by responding rapidly and effectively to support the development of national capacities across the entire spectrum, ranging from security to rule of law, from national reconciliation to electoral processes, and from basic socio-economic services to the return of refugees and IDPs.

Cognizant of the importance of delivering substantial assistance in these key areas, Turkey continues to focus its support in post-conflict socities on these key deliverables. Our policies and programs in Iraq and Afghanistan, for instance, where we continue to undertake rather ambitious reconstruction and development activities are precisely designed for that purpose. Turkey's Provincial Reconstruction Team in Vardak, Afghanistan, in particular, is a good example of our comprehensive and multi-faceted approach, placing national capacity-building at its core.

We do also recognize the importance of rapidly deployable civilian capacity to help achieve these key deliverables, and we support the Secretary General's recommendation to broaden the pool of civilian experts.

Finally, Mr. President, I would like to touch upon the issue of financing. For, better peace building practices require better financing. Thus we recognize the need for more flexible and predictable funding for post-conflict peace building efforts.

In this context, the Peacebuilding Fund actually sets a good example. Turkey stands fully behind its commitments to this Fund, and makes its contributions to the Fund without any caveat. We also share the observations of the Secretary General that the in-country Multi-donor Trust Funds should be used more extensively and that the partnership between the UN and the World Bank must be further improved.

Mr. President, before concluding, I would like to underline once again Turkey's continued commitment to support the enhancement of the UN's peace building efforts in every possible way, as well as our determination to help ensure a well-coordinated international response in the immediate aftermath of a conflict which presents a vital window of opportunity to build and sustain peace. As Ambassador Munoz said, time is to move from words to actions and Turkey is ready to assume its fair share in this endeavour.

Thank you Mr. President.