CHAIR OF THE NAM CAUCUS OF THE
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
THE ACTIVITIES IN THE PEACEBUILDING
New York, February 6, 2007
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement regarding the activities of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC). The General Assembly is the main deliberative organ of the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement welcomes the opportunity to participate in this open debate, acknowledging not only the role of this body in relation to discussions on any questions or matters within the scope of the United Nations Charter, but also paying due regard to the important function of the General Assembly in relation to the activities of the Peacebuilding Commission.
It is within this context that the NAM welcomes the opportunity to participate, while emphasizing that these open debates in the Security Council last Wednesday and again today in the General Assembly, only provide the basis for some preliminary exchanges which may inform but not substitute for, the annual report to be presented by the Commission to the General Assembly, and subsequent review as mandated by resolution 60/180.
Like any fledgling body, the Peacebuilding Commission is still grappling with the development of its own rules of procedure and working methods, notwithstanding its successes to date.
The NAM would like to see a more proactive PBC. The rules of procedure need to be strengthened and should include the requirements for regular meetings of the Organizational Committee in a manner that would allow the Organizational Committee to act as a planning, review and evaluation mechanism in between country-specific meetings. There should be a clear timetable to better prepare for country specific meetings.
As an important element of its working methods, the Organizational Committee should, among other things, make a clear determination as to the degree and level of progress made to date as well as chart the way forward after each country-specific meeting. This assessment and evaluation should be based on the chair’s summary of discussions held in country-specific meetings, in addition to inputs from the countries under consideration.
The Movement supports the view that decisions and recommendations of the Organizational Committee must be based on a holistic, coherent and inclusive approach and also reflect a careful balance in addressing situations in countries under review. The creation of balance can only be achieved through an integrated approach; taking into account the interplay of active engagement with the other principal organs of the United Nations, including the Economic and Social Council. Such balance and inclusiveness should also extend to the contributions from both donor and non-donor countries. It should also be emphasized that decisions regarding the operations of the Peacebuilding Commission should necessarily be taken within the Organizational Committee which is the focal point for all discussions and guidance in relation to the activities of the PBC.
The Non-Aligned Movement remains firm in its position that the provision of financial resources should be guided by national priorities and based on the collective decision of members of the PBC. Recommendations for assistance must be based on the priority areas established by the government of the country under consideration, as well as other national authorities and actors. This matter of national ownership is critical, as it lends legitimacy to the consolidation process and provides continuity and sustainability to peacebuilding efforts, long after international involvement ends. National ownership should mean exactly that – national ownership.
The effective and timely disbursement of resources for peacebuilding is fundamental to the process of recovery; a fact driven further home by the representatives of both Burundi and Sierra Leone in their recent presentations to the Security Council. It is understood that actual disbursement can fall short of pledges and promises, but if the PBC is to be taken seriously, then its approval for disbursement of financial and other support must be accompanied by swift action. We must never lose sight of the sense of urgency which must underpin its work.
To assist in the process towards determining the size of country envelopes, the Non-Aligned Movement advocates a much closer working relationship between the Peacebuilding Support Office and the Organizational Committee. This consultative approach will provide greater transparency and inclusiveness in the decision making process.
The Non-Aligned Movement strongly shares the view of the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, that the work of the PBC will be incomplete and fall short, if its meetings in New York become the sole medium by which the situation in countries under consideration are evaluated. To advance its peacebuilding strategy, the Commission should seek to gain a clearer appreciation and understanding of the local dynamics in relation to the peacebuilding efforts on the ground. In this regard, there is therefore a need for early Field Missions by the PBC to Burundi and Sierra Leone to: evaluate the situation on the ground and to exchange information with government authorities, civil society and other key stakeholders. Field Missions should in essence be an integral tool of the PBC.
The Non-Aligned Movement would like to use this opportunity to reiterate its appreciation to the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, the Chair of the country-specific meetings and the Peacebuilding Support Office for their efforts to date in carrying forward the work of the Commission.
I would also like to reaffirm the Movement’s commitment to working towards the success and full implementation of the PBC’s mandate which, by extension, will determine the success on the ground for countries in need. The international community must remain committed and vigilant in the overall efforts aimed at consolidating gains and achievements made, while mitigating the possibility of the countries under review, relapsing into conflict and civil strife.
I thank you, Madame President.