Statement By Turkey at the UN Security Council Open Debate on The Role Of Reconciliation In Maintaining International Peace And Security

Bilge Koçyiğit Grba 19.11.2019
Mr. President,
I would like to start by thanking the UK Presidency for organizing this open debate.
I would also like to thank the Secretary General and the distinguished briefers for their valuable assessments and recommendations on the role of reconciliation in peace processes and sustaining peace.
Peace is the core value and purpose of the UN and we agree that reconciliation is part of our comprehensive approach to sustaining peace. We need to have a more informed discussion on the role that the United Nations can play in reconciliation processes and the need to incorporate reconciliation into exit strategies for post-conflict situations. In the absence of a commonly accepted definition or guidelines for reconciliation, we consider it both an objective and a process that flow through all three pillars – peace and security, development and human rights - of the United Nations.
First, we need national and regional ownership to settle disputes. As such, the reconciliation processes must come from within the interested parties.
It is the primary responsibility of national governments in identifying, driving and directing priorities, strategies and activities for peacebuilding and sustaining peace. With this in mind, different narratives of the parties need to be taken into account to build confidence and mutual understanding, for the reconciliation process to be effective. The Peacebuilding Commission is well placed to promote national ownership in political, peace and security processes in collaboration with regional and sub-regional organizations, including the African Union.
Secondly, post-conflict reconciliation represents a long-term process that addresses the root causes. This requires an understanding of the grievances that lead to conflict, by taking into account the voices of women, young people and marginalized groups. This undoubtedly necessitates sustained commitment and support of the United Nations and the international community. Since every conflict is different, a variety of approaches are applicable, depending on the country-specific context. Most importantly, there cannot be a “one- size-fits-all” solution to promoting post-conflict reconciliation.
Thirdly, we need wider and more effective use of mediation and dialogue facilitation.
We welcome the Secretary-General’s strong commitment to mediation and we were pleased to host him and his High-Level Advisory Board in İstanbul in conjunction with the Sixth Istanbul Mediation Conference at the end of last month. Panel discussions focused on the role of international and regional organizations, as well as that of emerging technologies with participants from the field of peace and reconciliation
There is a need for mediation at all stages of the conflict cycle and mediation provides an important tool for reconciliation at different phases of this cycle. Timely intervention to reconcile parties of nascent hostilities before divisions entrench is crucial to our prevention efforts. Therefore, reconciliation should play an integral part of UN’s overall conflict prevention strategy.
Mr. President,
Reconciliation and healing are also crucial in the post-conflict stage in order to prevent recurrence of conflict, by building more peaceful and resilient societies.
While formal reconciliation processes are critical to sustainable peace, some of the most powerful forms of reconciliation, in terms of restoring the social fabric are to be found in everyday life. In critical situations, the starting point must be to ensure that adequate levels of humanitarian assistance are available. Long or medium-term tools of reconciliation such as education, health care and demobilization and disarmament are often underfunded and can perpetuate social divisions in post-conflict societies.
The needs and concerns of women, youth as well as the reintegration of refugees and internally displaced persons should be brought into humanitarian planning and post-conflict responses at the strategic level.
Against this background, I would like to end by emphasizing that actions speak louder than words. It is time to put an end to the conflict in Syria, which continues to hurt the collective conscience of humanity. This is a conflict that has already caused the death of nearly one million people, displaced more than twelve million people and forced half of them to leave the country.
It is imperative for the international community to support the peace corridor which would enable the voluntary, safe and dignified return of the Syrian people back to their homelands. We will continue to work towards the transformation of Syria into a democratic, secular and stable country with secure borders, in full respect of its territorial integrity and national unity.
Turkey stands ready to share her experience gained through active involvement in and support to the recovery efforts of various post-conflict countries from the Balkans and Middle East to the Horn of Africa. We are committed to continuing our support to the enhancement of the UN’s efforts in that direction.
Thank you.