"Post-Conflict Peace-building – Open Debate"
Statement by Ambassador Henrique Valle
Deputy Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN
 Security Council, New York, May 26,  2005

 

 

Mister President,

My delegation highly appreciates your presence here today and I thank you very much for convening this timely and important meeting and I join previous speakers in welcoming you and Ministers Phil Goff and Michael Ambühl, the Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette, as well as Mr. Wolfensohn’s statement.

 

Mr. President,

Brazil is a traditional supporter of peace-building as an integral part of the United Nation’s work, in particular of peacekeeping operations. President Lula has been vocal in calling international attention to the fact that not only wars and terrorism represent a threat to peace and security: poverty, hunger, infectious diseases, under-education, under-development are all equally threatening. The latter, in fact, are threatening to peace in two ways – by themselves and by their role in feeding or refueling conflict. No set of sound policies can be adopted in our Organization in the absence of concrete advances in peace-building.

 

Due consideration should be given to transitional processes and hopefully it has now become clear for us all that the international community cannot afford – be it morally or financially – to allow countries to relapse into conflict. That is why post-conflict peace-building is so crucial. Peace must be made sustainable in the long term.

 

Mister President,

It is fascinating to note how our discussions in different fora become increasingly intertwined. If, for instance, we are to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, including the reduction of hunger and poverty, this will undoubtedly contribute to prevent conflict and its resurgence in many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa or Asia. All these issues, together with the need to reshape the Security Council in a way to better reflect the international realities, will converge in the September summit. 

 

Official assistance to countries fighting poverty and resurfacing from conflict is much needed and must be stepped up. Beyond assistance, the international community must also work together with the countries hosting peacekeeping operations to enhance their capacity to produce wealth and to generate income and employment.

 

In that larger context, the exploitation of natural resources is a crucial question. Lately in this Organization the concept of building ownership in areas such as security and rule of law has been in vogue, and rightly so. It seems to my delegation that we have to be equally devoted to building ownership with regards to the exploitation of natural resources: countries struggling with intra-state conflicts or coming out of conflict are often rich in natural resources, face difficulties exploiting and managing their resources to the best interest of the people. This dimension should become a larger part of peace-building efforts – and though it will not fall within the strict purview of the Council to do it, its active support will certainly be needed.

 

As we recall the idea that all our discussions on peace and security are intertwined with the development agenda, it is never too much to stress that the international system should reflect the same principles that are domestically applauded: it must be democratic, from an economic standpoint. What we urgently need is a development-oriented international trade system, free of barriers, so that also countries coming out of conflict are given fair opportunity to compete, in particular in the area of agriculture.

 

In the more immediate areas of Security Council action, our vision for peacekeeping operations must be expanded to include certain aspects of reconstruction and reintegration of ex-combatants. We must increase our interest and efforts for the development of quick impact projects that can provide economic occupancy, in particular to ex-combatants, and within that group, to the youth and the women. Those measures are to be taken either simultaneously with other peacekeeping activities or start even before peacekeeping as such – as was the case in Darfur. As you stated in your paper, for which we are thankful, Mr. President, there is no “one size fits all” solution.

 

Promoting economic occupancy is a key element of peace-building. But it does not exclusively mean creating jobs in labour-intensive enterprises, it may also be obtained through capacity building for self-employment, small businesses or craftsmanship. I would also like to reiterate, in that context, that special attention should be given to women. Not only because of the horrifying crimes committed against them in conflict situations, but also because they are a powerful instrument of change, being the ones primarily able to pass on to their children morals and ethical notions and better practical education, including basic health practices. Assistance, support and capacity building targeted at women are likely to make for enduring results.

 

To conclude, Mr. President, I would like to make a reference to the Secretary-General’s report In Larger Freedom. It has provided the basis for many fundamental changes in the way we deal with crucial matters such as peace, security, poverty, armed threats, human rights – from a conceptual as well as from an institutional perspective. It is for us to seize the moment and not shy away from our historical responsibilities. Brazil believes that the Peace-Building Commission proposed by the Secretary-General is one of the many important topics in that reform agenda.

 

With adequate balance between the involvement of the Security Council and the ECOSOC in its composition, as well as in its operation, and with active participation of the interested country, it will be possible for such a Peace-building Commission to achieve meaningful results in a short time. Appropriate coordination among UN actors and the involvement of the international financial institutions are equally essential and we welcome the important remarks made by Mr. Wolfensohn in this regard. Brazil will work towards this objective and trusts the General Assembly will approve the much needed reforms for this Organization.

I thank you.