Statement by Mr. Nojibur Rahman, CDA, a.i, of Bangladesh to the United Nations on
behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement in its capacity as NAM Coordinator in the Peacebuilding Commission at the Security Council open debate on the theme “Post Conflict peacebuilding: Institution-building”.
New York, 21 January 2011
Thank you Mr. President,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement at our capacity of NAM Coordinator in the Peacebuilding Commission.
Let me begin by thanking you for organizing this important debate on the issue of institution building in the context of peacebuilding in post conflict countries. We also thank the UN Secretary General, the Vice Prime Minister of Timor-Leste and the Chairperson of the PBC for their respective statements delivered this morning.
This has been a very timely initiative as the debate is being taken place when the review of peacebuilding architecture has just been concluded and the review of international civilian capacity is in its final stage. We believe that this debate will add important value in all relevant processes in further streamlining peacebuilding activities and bringing sustainable peace in post conflict countries.
While we recognize that each and every post conflict situation is unique, we also experience that there are some commonalities across all conflicting or post conflict situations. They negatively impact regular work of a society by causing damage to physical, psychological and social structure. It shatters institution, tolls on human lives, breaks social bond and hinders regular activities. The institutional and other capacities previously created in the society or embedded in the bond of social dynamics is either broken or remain dormant, and are not readily available to steer peace process or to make it sustainable. Therefore, onus lies on us, the international communities, to work towards achievement of sustainable peace by facilitating national actors to rebuild their institutions, revitalize economies and rejuvenate their peaceful lives. This process entails assurances of national ownership in all peacebuilding activities including institutional capacity building.
Sustainable peace can be achieved only when the process is shared and owned by the ultimate user of the peace dividend. It is the national actors that clearly understand inherent
values and normative priorities of that particular society. Among diversity in post conflict situation, international communities, in consultation with relevant stakeholders, need to find commonalities among national protagonists to advance their common development agenda. It requires broader political will among international community and at least, minimum willingness of different factions in the post conflict countries.
International support in such dynamic and evolving situation is to be based on broad political willingness and adequate and predictable resources. Efforts skewed towards unduly benefitting one group at the cost of others are likely to exacerbate the situation igniting causes of conflict. Active participation of civil society members and local as well as traditional authorities including marginalized groups may ease the situation and contribute significantly in ensuring national ownership for achieving peace building goals through a common vision of national development. Full and effective participation of women can further strengthen the process.
We agree with the concept note when it says that building institutional capacity in a post conflict country is a difficult task. However, it is not impossible. It requires coordinated efforts with constructive willingness and appropriate need assessment and defining norms and standards that we intend to establish. The post conflict volatile environment is largely defined by lack of indispensable resources including physical insfrustructure, human and financial capital and appropriate social bond. While some of them emanate from lack of adequate confidence, most of them suffer from insufficient financial resources, technical expertise and institutional skills. Any supply driven approach would not suffice; rather demand-pull approach coupled with cross country training and exchange programme may help. In addition to that, provision for adequate and timely resources support will be indispensable. In this context, the Movement believes that the following points must be upheld while conducting post conflict institution building activities:
– National Ownership: Any activity relating to peacebuilding of a post conflict country must be based on the principle of national ownership. In this regard, the institution building activities should also encompass the national priorities, taking into account the reality and necessity of people who are the potential clientele of the initiative;
– Effective partnership: Effective partnership must be forged among all member states so that the diversity in capacities among different member states can complement each other and strengthen the post conflict institution building efforts;
– Gender mainstreaming: Role of women in post-conflict peacebuilding cannot be overemphasized. Therefore, the process of institution building as well as the outcome of that process should ensure gender perspective appropriately. While crafting such norms and standards, sufficient attention must be given to ensure that the concerns of women in the host country are adequately taken into account to empower them to have effective participation in economic, political, social and security related activities of the post conflict country;
– Organizational Coordination: Without prejudice to the functions and powers of the other principal organs of the UN, the General Assembly must play the key role in the formulation and implementation of institution building activities. In this context, the PBC should play central role in providing policy guidance and strategies in conducting institution building activities;
– Cooperation among organs: The post conflict peacebuilding activities should be conducted through intense and effective consultation among main organs of the UN such as the General Assembly, Economic and Social Council and the Security Council giving due emphasis on their respective areas of competence;
– Role of Peacekeepers: The early peacebuilding activities need to be properly recognized. In this regard, the significant role of peacekeepers would further strengthen early peacebuilding activities which need to be identified by the UN peacebuilding architecture in cooperation with the national government including views of TCCs in relevant areas;
– South-South Cooperation: Countries in the South have similar socio-economic experiences which need to be utilized in the process. In addition to that, the diverse capacities and skills in the South can be replicated suitably in the form of lessons learned and development achieved from their previous experience of nation building;
– North South and Triangular cooperation: The efforts must also include mechanism for inclusion of North-South and triangular cooperation. This would revamp strength of partnership and complement south-south cooperation.
In conclusion Madam President, the Movement believes that the building of institution in post conflict countries be effectively based on fair appreciation of the circumstances of justices drawing on the prevailing social situation for which the norms and standards are being postulated. They should be the reflection of collective thought process premising on the need and concern of the people who will ultimately uphold those institutions. As supporting partners, international community must advance their capacities through institutional, technical, financial, human and other assistances in which they have capacity to do so. The process must forge effective participation of all stakeholders including women, civil society and other marginalized groups to address the root causes of the conflicts.
I thank you Madam President.