Statement by H.E. Y. Halit Çevik, Permanent Representative of Turkey on the General Assembly's annual plenary meeting on the report of the Peacebuilding Commission on its seventh session and on the report of the Secretary-General on the Peacebuilding Fund

Y. Halit Çevik 26.03.2014

Mr. President,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the outset, I would like to thank you for your opening statement. I also would like to thank the former and current chairs of the Peacebuilding Commission, Permanent Representatives of Croatia and Brazil, Excellencies Mr. Vladimir Drobnjak and Mr. Antonio de Aguiar Patriota for their briefings.

Mr. President,

Today, peacebuilding has become an integral and essential part of international support to a conflict-affected country. Thanks to the considerable endeavors within the UN system in recent years, we now have a better understanding and a developed UN architecture regarding peacebuilding efforts.

Mr. President,

Peacebuilding initiatives and tasks have been becoming more diverse and complicated. It covers wide ranging activities from justice to economic recovery, from security sector to women’s participation in peacebuilding processes. In such a huge area of operation, we believe that the UN plays a central role in coordination, planning and ensuring coherence among international actors. Therefore, the UN peacebuilding architecture must be constantly updated and improved to meet today’s requirements. In that regard, we are looking forward to the comprehensive review of UN peacebuilding architecture in 2015.

Mr. President,

Peacebuilding Commission has a special place in this architecture. Its strength lies in its member-state driven approach. It can address the needs and requests of post-conflict member states by the will and support of its member states. In this vein, PBC’s potential must be better tapped. The coordination and communication with relevant UN bodies, such as General Assembly, Security Council and ECOSOC, must be improved.

With this understanding, we welcome the Security Council briefing on “Post-Conflict Peacebuilding” that took place on 19th of March. The annual session of the PBC, which will be held in June this year, is another important opportunity to better identify how to make the PBC more effective, both in terms of its communication with relevant UN bodies and with the countries it deals with.

Mr. President,

Another important tool of the UN peacebuilding efforts is the Peacebuilding Fund. We believe that the Fund is a vital instrument for the international community and conflict-affected countries in our common efforts to provide timely and focused attention to specific needs. Turkey is a regular contributor of the Fund and we welcome the fact that the Fund’s donor base has been improving in recent years, as the Secretary-General’s report indicates.

We also commend the work of the Peacebuilding Support Office, under the leadership of Assistant-Secretary-General Ms. Judy Cheng-Hopkins. The Office is a vital complementary element of the UN peacebuilding architecture, which ensures coherence, timely delivery of support and coordination.

Mr. President,

On its part, Turkey has been engaged in preventive diplomacy, peacemaking, peacekeeping and post-conflict peacebuilding efforts, which are closely interlinked. It is essential to use them within a coherent and strategic framework. Together with Finland and the Group of Friends of Mediation, we have been working on how to further the concept of mediation both within the UN and beyond. In our view, mediation is an effective cross-cutting tool that is consent-based and applies to all stages of the conflict cycle. We regard mediation and facilitation as the most cost-effective and efficient way of preventing and resolving conflicts, and thus saving precious lives.

Furthermore, we provide large-scale peacebuilding support to countries like Afghanistan and Somalia. Turkey also actively supports multilateral peacebuilding platforms. In addition to our financial contribution to the Peacebuilding Fund, which I mentioned previously, we are actively engaged in the work of the PBC with our membership to four of the six country-specific configurations.

Mr. President,

Before concluding, I would like to emphasize that for peacebuilding efforts to succeed, affected countries must take the lead and ownership in determining their futures and work with the international community to ensure inclusivity of the process.

Thank you Mr. President.