Statement by H.E. Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan, Permanent Representative of the Mission of the Republic of Turkey to the UN, at the Security Council Open Debate on "Post Conflict Peacebuilding: Institution Building"

Ertuğrul Apakan 21.01.2011
Mr. President,

I would like to thank and commend the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina for organizing this open debate on this important issue. Let me also thank the Vice-Prime Minister of Timor Leste, H.E. Jose Luis Gutteres, the Secretary General and the Chairman of the Peacebuilding Commission, Ambassador Wittig, for their substantive briefings which encompass valuable assessments on post-conflict institution building.

Mr. President,

Today, we have a sound conceptual framework and a better understanding on the post-conflict peacebuilding, thanks to the considerable endeavors within the UN system in recent years. Now, we need to focus more on translating this framework into concrete action both in New York and in the field.

On its part, Turkey has been increasingly engaged in the preventive diplomacy, peacemaking, peacekeeping and post-conflict peacebuilding efforts, which are closely interlinked. We believe that it is essential to use these tools within a coherent and strategic framework. Turkey placed particular emphasis on these issues during its membership of the Council, including by holding a summit in September 2010. Now, together with Finland and the Group of Friends, we are working on how to further the concept of mediation both within the UN and beyond. In our view, peace mediation and facilitation efforts are the most cost-effective and efficient way of preventing and resolving conflicts.

Mr. President,

The concept note presented by Bosnia and Herzegovina and the PRST contain pertinent points about a wide range of issues within the peace building agenda.

First of all, peacebuilding is primarily a national responsibility. Hence, as stressed by many delegations, national ownership is of critical importance. The effective and sustainable realization of peacebuilding goals requires the active engagement of all local stakeholders, including civil society, professional associations and women’s organizations. Therefore, one of the priorities of the peacekeeping operations should be to win the hearts and minds of the local people, and to work together with them. This would not only inoculate against criticism that the operation has been imposed on the national government and population, but also would increase the success of it. National ownership and capacity building is also an essential element for an effective exit strategy.

At the regional level, the support and cooperation of the regional actors, particularly neighboring countries is another essential aspect for successful post-conflict peace and institution building. Many conflicts have cross-border dimensions beyond the domestic political circumstances. Accordingly, the scope of conflict analysis and response has to be broadened not only conceptually but also geographically.

In order for our peacebuilding endeavors to succeed, we should pursue an integrated and comprehensive approach. This approach should be based on coherence among political, security, development, human rights, humanitarian and rule of law objectives. We believe that it is necessary to take complementary actions in all these areas.

It is also important to always bear in mind that every country is unique. Local conditions, needs, opportunities and limitations may differ considerably. This means that the prioritization of peacebuilding and capacity building activities have to be country-specific. Therefore, the strategic planning of peacebuilding activities should also be sufficiently flexible.

In view of the resource constraints, the success of the overall effort depends on our ability to coordinate the activities of different actors in a strategic manner. In this regard, the UN has a unique role to play. It can coordinate the work of various stakeholders to deliver as one on the ground. The support of the UN to regional and sub-regional organizations should be increased to develop their capacities so that they can better perform the UN-mandated tasks in the future.

Before concluding, let me also underline the importance of mainstreaming women’s participation in all stages of the peacebuilding efforts. We welcome the increasing awareness within the UN system and among Member States to remove the constraints on their full participation in the peacebuilding processes, and look forward to seeing further empowerment of women’s role in peacekeeping, peacebuilding and mediation endeavors.

Thank you Mr. President.