MRS. ANGELLA HAMILTON BROWN
DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE
PERMANENT MISSION OF JAMAICA TO THE UNITED NATIONS
ON BEHALF OF THE CAUCUS OF THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT IN THE
PEACEBUILDING COMMISSION ON THE OCCASION OF THE COMMISSIONíS
FIRST ANNUAL REPORT TO THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
10TH OCTOBER 2007
Please allow me on behalf of the caucus of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) to extend sincere congratulations to you on your election to the Presidency of this august body. We are confident that under your able leadership the General Assembly will complete its slate of activities in a cordial, efficient and professional manner, commensurate with the high office of the Presidency and the expectations of the many delegations which make up this esteemed Organization.
The report of the Peacebuilding Commission to this Assembly as mandated by the founding resolutions (A/60/180 and S/Res/1646) is a strong signal that the latest initiatives in the reform process of the United Nations is underway, in earnest. The completion of its first year in operation and the presentation of this report to the Assembly is not only a defining moment in the existence of the Commission, but will form a solid basis for the work to move forward while also adding another facet to the already existing body of knowledge aiding in the consolidation of peace and laying the foundation for the immediate rehabilitation and sustained economic recovery and development of the post conflict countries under consideration.
Throughout the preceding twelve months, the PBC successfully grappled with several administrative, organizational and directional issues, as it sought to establish itself and fulfill its mandate Ė catering to the Peacebuilding needs of Burundi and Sierra Leone, the first two countries which are under its consideration.
The NAM Caucus in the PBC is particularly pleased with the comprehensive character of the contents of the report, which in our estimation, represents a factual and faithful account of what transpired over the period and in so doing, provides an accurate record of the Commissionís work for posterity.
The Non-Aligned Movement continues to emphasize that the development aspects of any strategy geared towards extricating countries emerging from conflict cannot be over emphasized. The Movement strongly agrees that the PBC cannot ignore fundamental principles such as the rule of law, security sector reform and human rights, but certainly, these principles cannot be at the expense of providing immediate post conflict risk-reduction strategies, which is the precise and direct purpose of the Commission. These strategies are geared towards poverty reduction and include: education and training; rural agricultural development, private sector reform and other capacity building initiatives including the creation of an investor friendly climate; all of which lead towards job creation, together with enhanced employment opportunities and by extension, overall improvement in the lives and living conditions of the local populations.
The Non-Aligned Movement looks forward to the continuation of the dialogue within the PBC as we continue to build on the successes of the past months, always mindful that the countries under consideration by the Commission require swift action to implement priority projects as part of the rehabilitation and reconstruction process.
Additionally Mr. President, the PBC must continue to identify the means by which funds which are approved for disbursement by the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF), reach the recipient countries in the shortest possible time. It is not sufficient to identify the urgency of the need while paying scant regard to, or become lax in the critical follow-up actions, at the most crucial stage of the process.
The second year of he Commission will demand close coordination between the PBC, other UN bodies, the Peacebuilding Fund and donor countries and agencies, particularly those on the ground in post-conflict situations, if some of the pitfalls of the recent months are to be avoided.
It is also important that the Commission continues its work in the next months with the same level of commitment, dedication and drive that was evident during the period under review. In this connection, the NAM would like to reiterate several key principles which should continue to guide its work.
While we welcome the commitment of the donor community in the activities of the PBC, the PBC is not a donor organization; its activities involving all stakeholders must be executed in a far broader more comprehensive and participatory context, consistent with its mandate. Decisions regarding the provision of financial resources should therefore be guided by national priorities and based on the collective decision of members of the PBC. Recommendations for assistance must highlight the priority areas established by the government of the country under review by the Commission. The matter of government guidance should also be uppermost in planning the way forward and will certainly serve to strengthen the process of national ownership. This holistic and inclusive approach to evaluation and recommendations adopted at country-specific meetings can only add to the integrity of the process within the Commission.
We believe that with the architecture of the Commission now completed, its work should take on another dimension as it responds to the expectations of the international community, particularly those countries emerging from conflict, by producing tangible results with greater and more robust activities in the coming months, including the addition of more countries for consideration as they try to consolidate peace and engineer prosperity.
The Caucus of the NAM in the PBC calls for the streamlining of the meetings of the Commission. We must move to dispel the misconception that because of its different configurations, there is more than one Peacebuilding Commission. In this regard, the Organizational Committee must be the focal point of all PBC activities including the work of the Country Specific Meetings.
Finally Mr. President,
The Non-Aligned Movement continues to pay tribute to Angola, the first Chair of the PBC, under whose guidance the achievements of the Commission, during the period, was accomplished
Please allow me also to express appreciation to the respective Chairs of country-specific meetings and to the PBSO for their tireless efforts and excellent contributions during the first session of the Commission.
We also take this opportunity to welcome and extend best wishes to Japan, the new Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission and other incoming members of the new bureau of the Commission.
I thank you.