am pleased to join previous speakers in welcoming you and congratulating your
delegation for convening this meeting on such a highly relevant subject. It is
indeed an honor to have you, Excellency, Mr. Alberto Romulo, presiding over our
session today. I thank Assistant Secretary-General for Politicas Affairs Kolomo
for his statement and welcome the valuable contributions made by Mr.
Paul van Tongeren, Dr.
Andrea Bartoli, and Mr. Vasu Gounden.
decades, our concept of security has been associated to military response. This
unidimensional perspective, however, is now being redefined to integrate root
causes of conflict into the concept of security threat. Conflict prevention is
directly dependent on a certain level of quality of life: hunger, poverty, poor
health and lack of education – although not necessarily the direct causes –
are powerful factors in catalyzing conflict.
is time for the United Nations – and in particular the Security Council – to
consider managing the interconnectedness of various political and socioeconomic
factors in conflict situations. This approach
makes explicit the need
for an increasing role
for civil society in conflict prevention and the pacific settlement of
disputes. Recent peacekeeping operations – the so-called complex operations
– are already reflecting this comprehensive, integrated approach, as they
encompass, for instance, human rights and development components.
role of civil society in this new approach cannot be overemphasized.
Citizen-based associations and movements, educational institutions, charities,
NGOs and even corporations now show a growing understanding that they should
also contribute to common efforts towards avoiding the scourge of conflict or
preventing the relapsing into conflict after a peacekeeping operation is
deployed. Their participation is more than welcome.
society organizations are close to popular aspirations and may provide for an
early warning when the social tissue deteriorates. They have the knowledge and
experience required and they embody direct links with their constituencies and
the capability to mobilize resources for conflict prevention. True leaderships
with ties to the communities can detect tensions, unrest and sources of
imbalances even before governments perceive them. Their action should be
complementary to the initiatives of governments.
Panel of Eminent Persons on United Nations–Civil Society Relations concluded
that constructive engagement with civil society must be promoted for the
identification of global priorities and the mobilization of resources. According
to the Panel, chaired by former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso,
the engagement of civil society is not a threat to Governments, but a powerful
way to reinvigorate domestic policies for the wellbeing of populations.
peace processes are being implemented, the contribution of civil society is
particularly relevant to promote inclusiveness and local ownership, including
through increasing public awareness and turning public opinion in favour of
peace initiatives. Their participation is also welcome in promoting
reconciliation and education for peace.
readiness to contribute to reconstruction efforts reinforces our conviction that
military and civilian components should be given similar importance in
peacekeeping operations and that exit strategies should be conditioned not only
by improvement in the security situation, but also by the fulfillment of
realistic benchmarks in areas such as institution-building, rule of law and
word must be said also for the need to explore synergies and complementarities
between civil society, governments, regional organizations and the United
Nations – their efforts must be coherent and compatible with this
organization’s legitimacy as the main global actor in peace and security.
should stress the need for increased attention to the coordinated planning of
our response to crises, with the help of specific mechanisms for that purpose in
the UN. Accordingly, we hope the establishment of the Peacebuilding Commission
will be of much help. Available instruments must be constantly improved and
adapted to the changing needs of our response to crises. In particular, a joint
reflection on the roles and responsibilities of different actors will allow the
UN to devise increasingly efficient ways to mobilize and finance civilian
capabilities on a global basis to assist countries threatened with conflict.
the complex challenges of conflict prevention and the settlement of disputes
cannot be attained without the mobilization of a wide range of actors and the
ability to make full use of the expertise, resourcefulness and comparative
advantages of all sectors of society.
the eruption of conflict, early analysis, early warning and preventive diplomacy
are sorely needed. And in the post-conflict phase, structural rebuilding and
long-term reconciliation have become as important as military response.
dealing with an ever-changing array of conflicts, increased attention has to be
paid to all fundamental political, economic, social and humanitarian dimensions.
The complexity and sensitivity of the UN’s role have multiplied our
responsibilities. Our contribution to peace has been and must continue to be
enriched by the active participation of civil society.