Remarks on Agenda Item 132: Review of Efficiency Civilian Capacity in the Aftermath of Conflict

Stephen Lieberman
Minister Counselor for UN Management and Reform 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
March 13, 2014


At the outset, I would like to thank, Ms. Sarah Cliffe, Assistant Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Civilian Capacity, for introducing the final report of the Secretary-General on civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict, and Mr. Carlos Ruis Massieu, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for introducing the related report of the Advisory Committee.

Mr. Chairman, the report we are considering today is the culmination of years of work by the Secretariat going back to the 2009 report of the Secretary-General on peacebuilding in the aftermath of conflict. A Senior Advisory Group chaired by former Under-Secretary-General Jean-Marie Guéhenno issued an extremely ambitious report to tackle the issue of civilian capacity in a holistic manner, looking not only at the administrative hurdles within the United Nations, but also on ways to improve coordination within the broader United Nations system as well as modalities for leveraging external sources of capacity including through greater South-South cooperation, while at the same time ensuring that national ownership remained the guiding principle behind post-conflict peacebuilding.

The process of implementing these far-reaching recommendations has not been the easiest process, but—as the report of the Secretary-General demonstrates—much has been accomplished, and there are many lessons-learned from the initiative that should be applied in future peacebuilding efforts. The Secretariat undertook this effort in very close consultation with Member States through processes ranging from briefings to regional consultations; it should be commended for the transparent and inclusive manner in which it proceeded with the civilian capacity initiative.

Mr. Chairman, this agenda item is highly unusual in terms of the large number of intergovernmental bodies that consider this issue, including the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, the General Assembly in plenary, the Peacebuilding Commission, and the Security Council. My delegation believes that the input of each intergovernmental body is important for providing this issue the holistic consideration it is warranted. At the same time, however, it is important for each body to confine its consideration to the areas within its specific remit. As such, my delegation looks forward to examining the administrative and budgetary aspects of the agenda item in the weeks ahead, while also noting that there are some issues raised in the report of the Secretary-General that will be discussed in greater detail during the second part of the resumed session.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.


PRN: 2014/048