Thank you Mr. President. The United States welcomes your presence today and expresses our gratitude for this opportunity to discuss peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict. We would also like to thank the Secretary-General for his comments and Ambassador Muñoz, Mr. Ryan, and Mr. McKechnie for their briefings, and we extend our appreciation to UN staff worldwide working to help countries make the difficult transition from conflict to peace.
Mr. President, too many populations that have endured the hardships of conflict experience persistent violence and instability. They often lack the conditions necessary to restore governance, restart economies, and rebuild communities. Shoring up peace processes at risk can often take attention from the wider efforts needed to put countries on a steady path to long-term stability and development.
Mr. President, the overarching objective of our peacebuilding efforts must be to assist local authorities develop the capacity to manage their own transition to recovery.
This means helping them to restart basic functions of governance, establish the conditions for economic recovery, and create a secure environment in which affected populations can begin to rebuild shattered lives.
While other actors besides the United Nations have a role in peacebuilding, an effective United Nations can provide an unparalleled platform for unity of effort and overall success.
The Secretary-General’s report provides a clear road map for the UN system to ensure that its assistance is well-conceived, well-led, and sufficiently resourced. We welcome the Secretary-General’s personal commitment to ensuring an improved UN response in post-conflict situations.
The United States strongly supports the report’s recommendations on strategy, leadership, and accountability, which are essential to delivering critical support to national authorities. And we agree that effective civilian capacity and response should be at the core of international efforts to support sustainable peace.
We welcome the report’s emphasis on the need for rapid deployment of high-quality leadership and multi-disciplinary teams to backstop it. And we particularly welcome the emphasis on southern capacity, an under-tapped and invaluable resource.
Mr. President, let me also underscore the important contribution of women to post-conflict recovery and the need to involve women more actively in the essential tasks of rebuilding communities and lives.
The Secretary-General’s report also makes a number of observations regarding financing post-conflict activities. The United States agrees that early and flexible assistance is crucial. We also support the call to revitalize efforts to strengthen cooperation in peacebuilding between the United Nations and international financial institutions.
The division of labor within the UN system and between the UN and other key partners continues to be a high priority for us, and we stress the need to make progress in this area.
Mr. President, efforts to build national capacity must start early. Capacity building cannot be delayed until the day an international security presence departs.
Early and sustained attention to the requirements of peacebuilding must occur alongside peacekeeping in order to ensure successful transition to a durable peace. To this end, we welcome early dialogue with the Peacebuilding Commission.
The United States will work to ensure that the Council takes earlier account of peacebuilding in decision-making on peace operations and in reviewing mandates. We have already expressed our intention to consider critical peacebuilding requirements when we review peacekeeping missions in Liberia and Haiti this fall.
Council Members will soon have had the opportunity to consider questions related to mediation, peacebuilding, and peacekeeping, including the UN’s “New Horizons” initiative. The United States believes that now is the time to move forward on these issues in a more integrated way.
Finally, we also are fully supportive of the draft presidential statement submitted by the delegation of Uganda.
Thank you Mr. President.
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