Statement by Ambassador Kenzo Oshima
Permanent Representative of Japan
Open Debate on the Post-Conflict Peacebuilding
31 January 2007
Thank you, Mr. President.
The Japanese delegation expresses its appreciation to you for the timely initiative to organize this important open debate. This meeting, together with the upcoming General Assembly debate on the same subject scheduled for 6 February, will mark the first significant step towards setting the agenda of peacebuilding in the broader UN system-wide context, which will in turn certainly contribute to improving the work of the Peacebuilding Commission itself.
The PBC has been established as an "inter-governmental advisory body", to address issues which encompass the mandates of the principal organs, such as the Security Council, the General Assembly and the ECOSOC, as well as of the other numerous bodies within the UN system. This means obviously that there must be ways to ensure meaningful interfacing and interaction between the PBC on the one hand, and these relevant principal organs and bodies on the other, if the work of the PBC is to be useful and effective. As a sitting member of the PBC and a past member of the Security Council through the end of last year, Japan has emphasized this point, advocating the importance of improving the cooperation among UN organs, especially between the PBC and the Security Council, and presenting some practical suggestions to that end.
That said, Mr. President, the core task of the PBC is to bring together, under one roof, a post-conflict country under consideration and its international partners, to discuss and bring into being an integrated peacebuilding strategy appropriate to that country that is sensible, coherent and workable. Through this process, the PBC is expected to contribute to effective peace consolidation in the country in question, by bridging the gap between the post-conflict recovery phase and the development phase. When it comes to matters related to the maintenance of international peace and security, the Security Council bears primary responsibility in supporting peace consolidation through actions which fall under its purview, for example, by deploying UN PKOs and Integrated Offices. In this process, it is important to ensure ways in which both substantive and procedural aspects of cooperation between the PBC and the Council can be developed. In more specific terms, here are some ideas for consideration:
First of all, the PBC has done some good work in identifying the specific needs in peacebuilding in Sierra Leone and Burundi. It has established the priority areas which are essential to sustain peace in these two post-conflict countries, and further efforts in this area of work will need to be strengthened. However, the key task of formulating an integrated peacebuilding strategy for the two countries has yet to be tackled. The PBC should accelerate its work on developing an integrated strategy, in consultation with the host governments and involving all the relevant stakeholders, such as bilateral donors, the UN country team, the World Bank, IMF and civil society.
Second, any peacebuilding strategy to be developed will be useful only if it is implemented and delivered effectively on the ground. To that end, the establishment of an on-site coordination and monitoring mechanism would significantly contribute to the implementation of the strategy and should be considered.
In this regard, although Afghanistan has not been selected as a target country for the purposes of the PBC, the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB) in Afghanistan offers an interesting model. The JCMB consists of 28 members and is co-chaired at high level by the SRSG and Special Advisor of President Karzai. The members include the major financial and military contributors, neighboring countries, international organizations, as well as key ministers of the Afghan Government. The JCMB is a political body that provides strategic advices and coordinates international and national efforts for the effective implementation of the Afghanistan Compact, which is, in effect, the living, comprehensive peacebuilding strategy for Afghanistan. During the visit of the Security Council mission to Afghanistan last November, which I had the honor to lead, we had the opportunity to observe the functioning of this body, and I believe the replication of such a model in other country situations, as appropriate, will serve a very useful coordination and monitoring function on the ground, involving all players in the peacebuilding effort.
Thirdly, if the integrated peacebuilding strategy is to contribute to promoting a transition from conflict to stability, it will have to ensure the seamless transfer of responsibilities from the post-conflict phase to the reconstruction and development phase. One of the model processes may be transition from a PKO to an Integrated Office and eventually to the UN country team, as we foresee in the cases of Sierra Leone and Burundi. In other words, we believe that the peacebuilding strategy of the PBC, if it is properly formulated, should incorporate the exit strategies of PKOs and Integrated Offices. It is the Council's mandate to decide on the timing of withdrawal of such missions. My delegation hopes that, through the consideration and implementation of an integrated strategy, the PBC will provide valuable advice to the Council on when and how to exit these missions and hand over the tasks to the follow-up UN teams.
Before concluding, I wish to touch upon some procedural aspects. It is important to find ways to enhance synergy between the PBC and the Council by systematically streamlining the flow of information between them. Several steps will need to be considered for this purpose:
First, the Chairs of the PBC's Organizational Committee and/or those of the its country-specific meetings should make a timely report on their deliberations to the Council in the form of a letter or a briefing to the Council.
Second, the President of the Council and the Chairs of the PBC should have regular meetings among them.
Third, the Chair of the Organizational Committee or that of the country-specific meeting should be invited to the public meeting of the Council on the situation in the country under consideration.
Fourth, the Council should consider issuing, after receiving reports from the PBC, its reaction in the form of a PRST or other statements, as appropriate, to encourage synergy and interaction, in the process of formulating and implementing an integrated strategy.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate Japan's strong commitment to contribute to the work of the PBC and the relevant discussion in the Council as a member of the Organizational Committee of the PBC. I am also happy to announce Japan's intention to hold a peacebuilding seminar on Timor-Leste in Tokyo this March. I hope that the PBC and the Security Council will further advance the deliberations on the issue we have discussed today.
I thank you, Mr. President.
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