Security Council Presidential Statement Stresses Critical Importance of Institution-Building in Post-Conflict Countries

21 January 2011
Security CouncilSC/10160
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

6472nd Meeting (AM)

Security Council Presidential Statement Stresses Critical Importance


of Institution-Building in Post-Conflict Countries


‘We Can Do Better,’ Says Secretary-General as Delegates

Underline Need for National Ownership, Aid Coherence in Day-Long Debate

Stressing that institution-building was a critical part of peacebuilding in countries emerging from conflict, the Security Council acknowledged today the need to continue improving its support for those countries in order to sustain peace by creating national bodies that would promote democratic processes and socio-economic development.

In a statement read out by Ivan Barbalić (Bosnia and Herzegovina), its President for January, the Council emphasized the need for the United Nations and the wider international community to better coordinate and more effectively help nations stabilize in the aftermath of conflict, and to make better use of existing national capacities to ensure their Governments could perform such core functions as providing security and protecting civilians, in addition to ensuring respect for the rule of law, economic revitalization and the delivery of basic services.

Also by the statement, the Council stressed the need to mainstream support for national capacity-development in all United Nations peacekeeping activities, as a matter of priority, and to consider peacebuilding strategies and institution-building in the context of each country.  It also stressed its willingness to better use the advisory role of the Peacebuilding Commission to help achieve critical peacebuilding objectives such as the development of viable, accountable institutions in countries on its agenda.

Opening the Council’s day-long debate on post-conflict institution-building, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said there was a mixed track record of international support for that activity, adding: “We can do better.”  International efforts often failed to recognize that building effective institutions was a long-term effort, even in relatively stable conditions, he added.  While some progress could be made in three to five years after the end of a conflict, expectations, including those of the Council, and the increasing number of institution-building mandates for the peacekeeping operations and political missions that it authorized, must be realistic, he said.

“We must do more to ensure, right from the start, a strong engagement with other international actors,” he continued, underlining the need for closer partnerships with other United Nations bodies as well as with international financial institutions and regional organizations to ensure a smooth transition of power to other actors when Council-mandated missions ended.  Much could be done to improve efforts, reduce fragmentation and promote a coherent approach among the various United Nations actors, he added.  Emphasizing the equal importance of greater coherence and coordination among donors, he said: “Our success depends on whether we can deploy the right expertise and resources at the right time, how well we work with our national and international partners and whether we actually apply the lessons we have learned.”

He said experience pointed to three major lessons, including the benefit of reinforcing national ownership and leadership, rather than replacing it, while building and capitalizing on existing national and local institutions and their knowledge of the context and the root causes of conflicts, rather than employing a one-size-fits-all approach.  There was a need for more nimble and agile systems, including stronger partnerships that could provide the most appropriate civilian capacity, particularly from developing countries and among women.

In the short term, he said, early and tangible progress was needed in a few priority areas — such as providing security, increasing access to justice systems or expanding health and education services — to restore confidence and increase the legitimacy of national institutions.  However, he cautioned against pushing ahead with reform too early, particularly under a short-term transitional Government and before a first post-conflict electoral process, saying it was critical to strike the right balance between short- and long-term efforts.

Peter Wittig (Germany), Chairperson of the Peacebuilding Commission, said institution-building went beyond creating organizational structures.  It involved rebuilding on the basis of “new rules of the game”, from power-sharing and rotation and women’s active participation in decision-making to fair distribution of wealth and economic opportunities.  Communities and their organizations, as well as the private sector and civil society, must also be rebuilt.  In that regard, the Peacebuilding Commission’s role could be expanded to encourage the identification of crucial institutions and mechanisms that could make post-conflict societies more resilient and better able to address tensions and challenges through non-violent means.

Speaking in his national capacity, he cited the involvement of international judges and prosecutors in the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a positive example of how to design international support for national institution-building in such a way as to encourage national ownership.  Institution-building should also involve a society’s entire social fabric and many sectors, he said, citing the nationally owned institution building plan of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, which focused on good governance, social issues, infrastructure and economic revitalization.

Belgium’s representative, speaking on behalf of the representatives of Brazil, Canada, Jordan and Switzerland, in their respective capacities as Chairs of the Peacebuilding Commission’s country-specific configurations for the Central African Republic, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Burundi, said it was evident from all five post-conflict situations on the Commission’s agenda that local capacity was too often overwhelmed by daunting challenges.  For example, the Central African Republic had only 91 magistrates available to deliver public administration services, and Liberia had only 13 with proper legal training, he said.  Burundi’s justice system was struggling to manage the 60 per cent of inmates awaiting trial in overcrowded prisons and Sierra Leone’s police force lacked transportation.  In those cases, as in all others, institution-building was about ensuring the sustainable, equitable and effective delivery of security and basic services to national populations.

Timor-Leste’s Vice Prime Minister also delivered a statement.  Also addressing the Council were representatives of the United States, France, South Africa, Russian Federation, Colombia, Brazil, Lebanon, Nigeria, India, Gabon, Portugal, China, United Kingdom, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Turkey, Croatia, Afghanistan, Costa Rica, Uganda, Morocco, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, Nepal, Australia, Peru, Ukraine, Bangladesh (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), Armenia, Slovenia, Serbia, Pakistan, United Republic of Tanzania, Benin, Botswana and Argentina.

Other speakers today were the Deputy Head of the European Union delegation and the Charge d’Affaires at the Permanent Observer Mission of the African Union.

The meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and suspended at 1:09 p.m.  Resuming at 3:10 p.m., it ended at 5:35 p.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2011/2 reads as follows:

“The Security Council recalls the previous statements of its President on post-conflict peacebuilding.  The Council stresses the importance of institution-building as a critical component of peacebuilding and emphasizes the importance of a more effective and coherent national and international response to it, so that countries emerging from conflict can deliver core Government functions, including managing political disputes peacefully, providing security and maintaining stability, protecting their population, ensuring respect for the rule of law, revitalizing the economy and providing basic services, which are essential to achieving durable peace.  The Council emphasizes the importance of national ownership in this regard.

“The Security Council underlines that the primary responsibility for successful peacebuilding lies with Governments and relevant national actors, including civil society, in countries emerging from conflict, and that the United Nations can play a critical role in support of building their national institutions.  The Council acknowledges the need for continued improvement in the delivery of support in the immediate aftermath of conflict in order to help stabilize the situation, whilst at the same time starting the longer-term process of institution-building, including those institutions that promote democratic processes and foster economic and social development, with a view to sustainable peace.

“The Security Council emphasizes that the United Nations and the international community need to be more effective and coordinated in assessing needs and planning for effective institution-building, including how to make better use of existing national capacities and perspectives in order to ensure national ownership.  The Council stresses the need for mainstreaming support to national capacity-development in all United Nations peacebuilding activities as a system-wide priority, and underscores that peacebuilding strategies and institution-building should be considered in a country-specific context.

“The Security Council stresses the need for greater integration of effort, as well as predictability and accountability within the United Nations, in helping build institutions in countries emerging from conflict.  The Council highlights the importance of coordinated, sector-wide and context-driven approaches in governance, economic stability, enhancing the rule of law and strengthening the security sector that must be nationally owned.

“The Security Council stresses its willingness to make greater use of the advisory role of the Peacebuilding Commission.  The Council notes the potential role the Peacebuilding Commission can play in helping achieve critical peacebuilding objectives, including the development of viable and accountable institutions in the countries on its agenda.  The Council also stresses the importance of focused and well-defined partnerships among the United Nations, development agencies, bilateral partners and all other relevant actors, in particular regional and subregional organizations and the international financial institutions, to implement national strategies aimed at effective institution-building, which are based on the achievement of results and mutual accountability.

“The Security Council reaffirms the critical importance of timely, flexible and predictable funding for peacebuilding, including institution- and capacity-building, and urges Member States and other partners to increase efforts towards achieving this goal, including through the replenishment of the Peacebuilding Fund and through multidonor trust funds, acknowledging contributions already made.

“The Security Council expresses its commitment to continuing to improve its consideration and reflection of early peacebuilding tasks related to institution-building in the mandates and composition of peacekeeping operations, special political missions and integrated peacebuilding offices, with a view to making the necessary adjustments, where appropriate, according to progress achieved, lessons learned or changing circumstances on the ground.  In this context, the Council notes with appreciation the contribution that peacekeepers and peacekeeping missions make to early peacebuilding and recognizes the need to integrate mission expertise and experience into the development of peacebuilding strategies.

“The Security Council looks forward to the report of the international review of civilian capacity in early 2011, recognizing the need for improved mechanisms for timely deployment of skilled civilian experts in support of national institution-building needs in post-conflict countries.  The Council requests the Secretary-General to include in the next follow-up report on peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict an assessment of the impact that his agenda for action has had in contributing to building viable institutions in post-conflict countries, as well as additional recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the United Nations contribution to more effective, stable and sustainable institutions that can help prevent a relapse into conflict.”


The Security Council had before it a letter dated 10 January 2011 from the Permanent Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Secretary-General (document S/2011/16), conveying a concept paper for its debate on institution-building as part of a comprehensive approach to peacebuilding.

According to the paper, the destruction of institutional capacity during conflict greatly hinders a society’s ability to restore and maintain peace, which may be one of the main reasons why the majority of post-conflict countries relapse into conflict within 10 years in spite of all efforts to promote peace.  For that reason, an increasing emphasis has been placed on the crucial role of institutional development in preventing the renewal of conflict.

To prevent relapse, it is important to begin institution-building efforts in the immediate post-conflict phase and not leave it to a later stage, the paper states.  However, it is important to remember that building institutional capacity is always a difficult undertaking, especially in post-conflict situations.  Tensions as well as a lack of resources and human capital add to the difficulties of a process involving multiple stakeholders and the need to strike the right balance between short-term results (such as providing basic services) and long-term capacity development, including institutional reform.

The paper maintains that institutions that are crucial to consolidating peace are those carrying out political functions, such as those implementing peace agreements or organizing elections, those in charge of security and the rule of law, public finance institutions and those entrusted with economic recovery and service delivery.  Since some of those functions can be carried out by civil society, effective oversight and accountability mechanisms are central to the legitimacy and credibility of both State and non-State actors.

While international organizations have a role, it must be remembered that the purpose of institution-building is progressively to reduce dependence on them, the paper says.  For that purpose, national ownership is a sine qua non for the establishment of effective institutions and securing sustainable peace, which in turn requires a basic level of consensus and political will among leading national stakeholders.

In that context, the paper states, the best way for international organizations to work with domestic decision-making institutions is through reliable, timely and flexible funding, using a pool of civilian experts, particularly in the areas of justice, security-sector reform, governance and economic recovery.  It is also important to coordinate the efforts of all external actors, primarily through mechanisms of the United Nations.  International institutions should help ensure that local professionals have incentives to remain within domestic structures so as to prevent brain drain.

Welcoming the progress presented in the Secretary-General’s last report on the issue (document A/64/866-S/2010/386), the paper supports his recommendation that the United Nations, international financial institutions, Member States, regional organizations and civil society reach agreement on how to work together more effectively to address the continuing challenges of peacebuilding, including institution-building.

Today’s debate was expected to focus on how effectively the Security Council considers the process of institution-building when preparing for all stages of a peacekeeping mission, and on the need to consider how the United Nations and the international community can help build on existing national capacities in a more efficient and coordinated manner, bearing in mind the importance of national ownership.  It was also expected to discuss how the partnership between international actors can be better defined and coordinated, what role the Security Council could play in enhancing this partnership, and how the Peacebuilding Commission can be more effectively used to enable the United Nations system to establish an integrated approach to institution-building while addressing gaps in transitions.


BAN KI-MOON, Secretary-General of the United Nations, noted that in its own considerable transition, Bosnia and Herzegovina had transformed rapidly from an international aid recipient in a conflict and post-conflict environment into a contributor to international peace and security as a member of the Security Council.  He applauded its readiness to create a platform for sharing experiences in institution-building and strengthening common efforts.  Building effective and legitimate institutions was difficult, even under the most favourable conditions, and presented even greater challenges in post-conflict situations, he said.  “Unfortunately, the track record of international support to institution-building is mixed.  We can do better.”

Institutions could be critical in sustaining peace and reducing the risk of relapse into violence, he continued, adding: “Building legitimate and effective institutions that respect and promote human rights therefore must be a central element of the overall peacebuilding effort.”  Experience pointed to three major lessons, the first of which was reinforcing national ownership and leadership while building on existing institutions at the national and local levels, including affiliated bodies, communities, the private sector, women’s groups and other civil society actors.  Effective institutions could only be built by national actors, using their knowledge of the context, existing institutions and the root causes of conflicts.

International assistance must build on what was already there, and could help by identifying, protecting and nurturing latent national capacities, he said, noting that the ongoing Review of International Civilian Capacities for Peacebuilding was guided by that principle.  International capacity assistance should mentor, not replace, national capacities.  More nimble and agile systems were needed, including stronger partnerships that could provide the most appropriate civilian capacity, particularly from developing countries and among women.  Access to reliable, early and flexible funding would also advance that goal, he said.

“We must avoid one-size-fits-all solutions,” the Secretary-General said, emphasizing that trying to impose an outside model on a post-conflict country could do more harm than good.  National institutions developed at their own pace and should be allowed to do so incrementally and with a certain level of experimentation to learn and change.  Similarly, institutional change should not be approached as a technical exercise, but pursued within the broader context of national political processes, development and social change.

Citing Guinea-Bissau, he said weak institutions at multiple levels remained one of the main causes of the country’s political instability and lack of socio-economic development.  Institutions were not just “bricks and mortar”; they were also about informal norms and values, trust and social cohesion, he said, adding that public confidence in the police, for example, was required for reformed police forces to be effective and regain authority.  Shared norms were necessary for enabling legal systems to apply the law equally to all, including different ethnic groups, minorities and women.

Respect for international standards, including human rights law, would support public trust in institutions, he continued.  Building those intangible qualities and capacities, and addressing public perceptions was very important in post-conflict societies, he said, pointing out that international aid could only facilitate change if it was highly sensitive to political and social dynamics and how they evolved over time.  Institution-building should start early and be sustained not only for years, but for decades.

In the short term, early and tangible progress was needed in a few priority areas to restore confidence and increase the legitimacy of national institutions, he said.  Such gains could include providing security in key areas, increasing access to justice systems, or expanding health and education services.  Quick and focused capacity development could enable key institutions to begin functioning again, with peacekeepers, development and humanitarian actors playing an important role in that regard.  At the same time, premature reform efforts could be risky, particularly if they took place under a short-term transitional Government and before a first post-conflict electoral process, he cautioned.  It was critical to strike the right balance between short- and long-term efforts.

He went on to note that international efforts often failed to recognize that building effective institutions was a long-term effort, even in relatively stable conditions.  Some progress could be made in three to five years, but expectations must be realistic, a factor with implications for the Council and the missions it authorized.  In recent years, there had been a marked increase in the Council’s institution-building mandates for peacekeeping operations and political missions, he said.  “Where missions are mandated to support institution-building, including rule-of-law and security institutions, we must do more to ensure, right from the start, a strong engagement with other international actors.”

That required stronger partnerships and coordination among the Council, the Secretariat, United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, international financial institutions, regional organizations and others, he said.  As the Council reviewed its mandates and planned for transitions, it could engage those partners more frequently and directly, in order to ensure a smooth transition to other actors when United Nations missions left.  The Peacebuilding Commission provided an important political platform for countries on its agenda, which could help focus attention on long-term institution-building priorities while mobilizing resources for them, sharing lessons learned and sustaining international engagement.

Much could be done to improve efforts, reduce fragmentation and promote a coherent approach, he continued.  A big part of the peacebuilding and integration agendas was strengthening coherence within the United Nations system, including integrated strategic frameworks that now brought the missions and United Nations country teams together around shared strategic objectives.  But the active support of Member States was needed to achieve greater coherence, he said, calling for greater consistency across mandating authorities to facilitate more effective cooperation and smoother transitions.

Greater coherence and coordination among donors was equally important and must start from the earliest stages, he said.  The Council, for its part, should provide clear and achievable mandates while carefully considering the role of a range of actors within and beyond the United Nations system.  The Council and the missions it mandated played a crucial role in building some of the most important institutions in post-conflict countries, he noted.  “Our success depends on whether we can deploy the right expertise and resources at the right time, how well we work with our national and international partners, and whether we actually apply the lessons we have learned.”

JOSÉ LUÍS GUTERRES, Vice Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, said the budget process was an important area of focus for institution-building, but the process must be transparent.  It was crucial to establish budgeting priorities, which were security and stability in Timor-Leste’s case.  He thanked the United Nations for having responded to those national priorities by providing assistance after the country’s crisis in 2006.  That assistance and focus on national priorities had enabled Timor‑Leste to overcome the challenges of displacement in two years, he said.

To establish trust in its institutions, Timor-Leste had taken ownership of the institution-building process, starting with security-sector reform through ensuring professionalism and better oversight, he said.  The recognition of veterans by providing them with pensions was also crucial, he said, adding that a third priority was accounting for the needs of elderly and female-headed households.  Through the success of such efforts, the national motto had become “goodbye to conflict and hello to development”, he said.

Timor-Leste was now well placed to share lessons learned with regard to the manner in which aid was used in post-conflict peacebuilding, he continued.  That sharing of experiences had been made easier by a dialogue forum recently instituted at the United Nations with the aim of amplifying the voices of countries emerging from conflict.  The forum had become known as the “G-7 Plus” and drew on the wisdom of the 350 million citizens of the countries involved.  Among the lessons Timor-Leste had learned was that international partners must work within national institutions for more effective institution-building.

He went on to underline that international actors must appreciate the importance of historical context, culture, regional diversities, linguistic complexities, social differences, ongoing political dissonance and the national mentality.  The purpose of the institutions being built must be absolutely clear, he stressed, adding that sustained political dialogue within States, between the men and women who made up communities and Governments was crucial in order to strengthen democracy and encourage buy-in, as well for turning state-building into a nationwide endeavour involving all the people.

PETER WITTIG (Germany), Chairperson of the Peacebuilding Commission, said that, from a peacebuilding perspective, the principle of national ownership should stand at the beginning of any effort to rebuild national institutions in a country emerging from conflict.  All situations were unique, he said, adding that in many cases, most notably Bosnia and Herzegovina, it should not be assumed that the institutions and capacities needed to transform and rebuild State and society were completely absent.  Existing national institutions should therefore be mapped.  Thorough analysis and dialogue with national stakeholders was crucial for setting priorities within a broader national peacebuilding vision, he said.

Emphasizing that institution-building went beyond establishing and nurturing organizational structures, he said it was important to rebuild on the basis of “new rules of the game” from power-sharing and rotation, and the active participation of women in decision-making processes, to fair distribution of wealth and economic opportunities.  It was also important to remember that communities and community organizations, as well as the private sector and civil society, also represented forms of institutions that must be rebuilt.

He said the role of the Peacebuilding Commission could evolve further in that area by encouraging the identification of crucial institutions and the mechanisms needed to make post-conflict societies more resilient and capable of addressing tensions and challenges through non-violent means.  In addition, the development and monitoring of instruments of engagement allowed the Commission to sustain its focus on institution-building, promote integration and coherence of efforts among United Nations and non-United Nations actors, and to help address funding gaps where they existed.

Speaking in his national capacity and endorsing the statement to be delivered by the European Union delegation, he cited the phased out involvement of international judges and prosecutors in the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a positive example of how international support to national institution-building could be designed in such a way as to encourage national ownership.  Citing Timor-Leste, he noted that while the development of national capacity had gone very well, the early withdrawal of international judges, prosecutors and investigators had possibly been premature, in hindsight.

Institution-building should be understood in the broad sense, involving a society’s entire social fabric, and involving many sectors, he said.  One good example of that was the nationally owned institution-building plan of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, which focused on good governance, social issues, infrastructure and economic revitalization.  Institution-building efforts should be combined with efforts to build national capacity to fight impunity, he said, citing the German-funded International Legal Foundation’s expert day-to-day mentoring of local lawyers in Afghanistan and the West Bank.  The Security Council should address the issue of institution-building as early as possible, especially when mandating, extending or downsizing existing peacekeeping operations, he emphasized.

SUSAN RICE (United States) said it was fitting that Bosnia and Herzegovina speak of its post-conflict peacebuilding experience since countries that had themselves endured and overcome the horrors of war were particularly suited to provide leadership in that regard.  Through more than 15 years of dedicated effort, Bosnia and Herzegovina had built up such national institutions as the Ministry of Defence, the tax agency and the Central Bank, she said, noting that the United Nations and other actors had been involved in helping other post-conflict countries to rebuild national institutions through effective international aid, she noted.  Important lessons had been learned over the past two decades, but there was work to do in putting those into practice, she said.

Renewing national ownership of peacebuilding processes was essential, she said, adding that women must play a more active role, since they still lacked an equitable say in decision-making.  It was still a struggle to mobilize assistance in the rule-of-law and security sectors.  The Peacebuilding Commission had helped the democratically elected Government of Liberia by setting up regional hubs.  It had set up new mechanisms and pledged considerable financial aid to help Haiti, which, however, would continue to face steep challenges unless international aid for recovery remained strong.  A country’s recovery depended on its ability to tackle complex challenges, she said, expressing hope that the forthcoming international review of civilian capacities would focus on core national capacities in post-conflict States.  Civilian capacities must become more timely, relevant and flexible, and United Nations field missions must be more effective, she stressed.

GÉRARD ARAUD ( France), describing peacekeeping and peacebuilding as two sides of the same coin, emphasized the importance of national ownership, defining priorities as early as possible and securing long-term funding for new institutions.  Building national institutions, the rule of law and democratic governance was essential for peace, he said, adding that national political will, validated by popular referendum, was crucial in enabling institutions to gain legitimacy.  National ownership made it possible to ensure that a country’s intellectual and human resources were used appropriately, paving the way for development, he said, urging careful monitoring of the situation in Southern Sudan.

He stressed the need to stamp out corruption, which compromised lasting development and the rule of law, by designing strategies and oversight mechanisms.  In the immediate aftermath of conflict, the focus must be on creating representative democratic bodies and a security sector, he said, citing Guinea as a good example.  That country’s President had stated his desire to make security-sector reform a priority and his plan for the participation of military engineers in public works was an interesting way to clean up institutions and put the engineers at the service of their Government.  Long-term funding for newly created institutions must be addressed at the outset, he said, adding that the international community must lend support.  The role of United Nations Radio in promoting effective institution-building in the Great Lakes region must be acknowledged and the question of its funding after the United Nations left must be addressed, he said.

BASO SANGQU ( South Africa) said people in post-conflict situations should be given the opportunity to identify their priorities, even if they could not articulate them.  National human resources and institutional capacities were needed to sustain peacebuilding efforts, he said, stressing the importance of building local capacity and training to enhance existing capacity.  South Africa had played a significant part in post-conflict capacity and institution-building in Africa, through multilateral, bilateral and trilateral mechanisms in Sudan, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone and elsewhere, he noted.  Encouraged by the Peacebuilding Commission’s progress in strengthening partnerships with regional organizations, particularly the African Union, to build capacity for post-conflict reconstruction and development, he said the Council should make optimal use of the Commission’s advice.  It should also ensure that peacebuilding tasks relating to institution-building were included in all its peacekeeping mandates.

VITALY CHURKIN (Russian Federation) said that only by taking up their responsibilities could national leaders bring about the sustainable strengthening of institutions.  Prolonged mentoring relationships should be avoided, and artificially keeping patronage in place should not be a brake on the State’s shouldering of its responsibilities.  Successful institution-building efforts took seriously the interests and priorities of host States and their specific conditions, he said.  In order to enhance coordination among all actors, the Secretariat’s organizational toolbox must be strengthened, he said.  Although planning for peacebuilding and exit strategies should begin at the start of any peacekeeping mission, it would be rational to entrust peacekeepers only with the initial peacekeeping tasks, he said.

NÉSTOR OSORIO (Colombia) said peacebuilding was primarily a national responsibility, but countries emerging from conflict needed assistance to strengthen their capacity.  However, the leadership of the State involved was paramount at all stages, and the specificities of each case should be considered at all times, he stressed.  The use of national capacities and existing institutions was crucial, and regenerating sustainable economic activity was also needed for institution-building.  The Peacebuilding Commission was destined to play a pivotal role in that area and should promote the strengthening of institutions, but the Security Council must avail itself of the tools at its disposal, he said, adding that the experiences and lessons learned by countries emerging from conflict should be utilized in all peacebuilding efforts.

MARIA LUIZA RIBEIRO VIOTTI ( Brazil) said international efforts should be focused not only on supporting institutions in the justice and security fields, but also on enhancing the capacity of economic revitalization, public administration and social service institutions.  The latter were indispensable for reducing poverty and a powerful tool in addressing the root causes of social strife as well as building lasting peace.  Social policies should positively influence the political process so as to empower groups previously excluded from decision-making, she said, adding that the role of women in Government institutions must be continuously stressed.

National ownership was vital in peacebuilding, she said, emphasizing that international support must be aligned fully with the interests of the countries concerned.  That was particularly relevant in places where the United Nations deployed missions.  Tapping into and helping to build national capacity should be a guiding principle for properly assisting civilian capacity, thereby avoiding the damaging consequences of “brain-drain” and dependency on foreign expertise.  Partnerships with Member States, particularly South-South cooperation, were important for achieving that goal, she said, expressing confidence that the Review of International Civilian Capacities would submit concrete recommendations to ensure that principle was translated into practical arrangements.

NAWAF SALAM ( Lebanon) said the scale of institution-building required in the post-conflict phase varied from one country to another, depending largely on the degree of institutionalization that had existed prior to the eruption of conflict.  It was easier to resuscitate institutional memory than to establish it from scratch, he said, cautioning, however, that peacebuilding was not only about rebuilding since pre-conflict structures might have been among the root causes of the violence.  The goal of any peacebuilding operation, therefore, must be to establish stable and accountable institutions while providing security, reconciliation, good governance as well as social and economic well-being.  Thus, institution-building should not only encompass organizational reforms, but also instil a value system that would promote the peaceful settlement of disputes over the long term, he said, adding that early engagement by civil society was also important for promoting greater transparency and accountability.

Institution-building was both a goal and a means to an end in complex peacebuilding processes, he continued.  It should serve as a framework, bringing together peace, security, and development.  A successful strategy must strike a balance between the need to produce quick impacts and dividends on the ground on the one hand, and the overarching goals of transforming the causes of the conflict while laying the foundations for social justice and sustainable peace on the other.  The greatest lesson to be learned from previous efforts was that there was no one-size-fits-all approach, he stressed, adding that institution-building involved leveraging existing capacities, which first required accurate assessment.  The United Nations and donors should, therefore, seek out local initiatives, however nascent, and encourage their growth, he said.  As important to institution-building as national ownership from the outset was sustained attention and financial resources for long-term tasks, he said.

U. JOY OGWU ( Nigeria) said that institution-building, an integral part of peacebuilding, encompassed more than establishing and nurturing organizational structures.  It included the value systems or rules underpinning such organizations.  Indeed, many civil conflicts erupted or recurred not for lack of organizational structures such as courts, police and other security services, but because of strong disagreements over the sharing of political power and economic resources, she pointed out.  The task of post-conflict institution-building revolved as much around rehabilitating organizational structures as around restoring the norms and values that guided the effective functioning of the economy, society and politics.

Emphasizing that the restoration of core institutions could not be outsourced, she said it was imperative for the United Nations to be mindful of its role as facilitator.  Every post-conflict society “must be the author of its own destiny”, she said, adding that any peacebuilding project not rooted in local knowledge or engagement was doomed to fail after the “Blue Helmets” departed.  More predictable long-term financing for institution-building must remain high on the agenda, she said, noting that the Organization’s two new funding facilities and the revised funding ceiling for urgent support from the Peacebuilding Fund were very welcome innovations.  Nigeria encouraged donor participation and supported fully the role of regional actors, she said, adding that the international community could be invaluable in rebuilding institutions, particularly in the security and rule-of-law sectors.

HARDEEP SINGH PURI (India), stressing that institutions of governance worked best when rooted organically to the ground, said the principles of national ownership and bottom-up approach therefore remained the touchstones of any project undertaken in that regard.  Noting that India had contributed more peacekeepers to more operations than any other nation over the past 60 years, he said they were early peacebuilders who gave their country much experience in the subject.  India’s experience in transforming from a colonial State into a modern, dynamic, democratic nation enabled its peacekeepers instinctively to understand that no peace could be effective when unaccompanied by the growth of local institutions.

Indian peacekeepers therefore attempted to restore administrative processes, strengthen local policing and activate judicial mechanisms, he continued.  They had always attempted to work through indigenous conflict-resolution mechanisms, tried to get educational institutions functioning and provided services such as livestock clinics to help local economies get going.  In the experience of Indian peacekeeping, political and administrative institutions that decentralized governance were the key to national building, he said, adding that the key to their success was inclusiveness.  That worked in interesting ways, including the fielding of the first all-female formed police unit of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).  He stressed the importance of adequate and predictable funding for institution-building efforts, as well as the timely provision of the appropriate expertise.  Given that the Secretariat could take 200 days to fill positions in the field, serious consideration should be given to the idea of expanding the number of staff seconded to the United Nations, he said.

ALFRED ALEXIS MOUNGARA MOUSSOTSI (Gabon) said international assistance should not eclipse the responsibility of national players in rebuilding the national institutions.  The cohesiveness and coordination of actors was crucial, he stressed, citing the unified programmes in Sierra Leone and welcoming the efforts of the Peacebuilding Commission in that area.  He encouraged the Commission to enhance further its cooperation with international financial institutions and all other actors, adding that the Security Council could benefit from consulting with the Commission in all phases of an operation.  He urged financial partners to adequately finance reconstruction efforts, as well.

JOSÉ FILIPE MORAES CABRAL (Portugal) recalled that in the early stages of the United Nations reform process, Mozambique and Portugal had jointly proposed the creation of a framework within the system to help bridge the gap between the necessity of security and the need to rebuild stable institutions — what would later become the Peacebuilding Commission.  Peacebuilding had since become a part of mainstream United Nations activities, and peacekeepers were increasingly conscious of their peacebuilding responsibilities, he said.  Nevertheless, the Organization must enhance its capacity to coordinate the activities of the different actors on the ground, including those in charge of security as well as development agencies, non-governmental organizations, and regional and subregional organizations involved in the operation.

In turn, the Security Council must continue its efforts to define clear mandates for United Nations missions and to make adequate capacities available to them, while enhancing interaction with all relevant stakeholders, he said.  While each country was a different and specific case, two elements were common and equally important in all peacebuilding strategies: economic and social development and national ownership.  Regarding the former, it was essential to address unemployment — especially youth unemployment — early in peacebuilding efforts through concrete, focused initiatives, taking into account national economic, social and even cultural realities.  As for the latter, the partnership between the State and its international partners must be based on a shared strategic understanding of national objectives and the way forward.  Additionally, gender issues and the instrumental role that women played in economic recovery, social cohesion and political legitimacy was of particular importance, he said, adding that the aim of international assistance must be to become redundant, upon having contributed to the capacity of national authorities autonomously to fulfil their responsibilities.

WANG MIN (China) said peacebuilding was one of the important ways through which the international community could prevent a recurrence of conflict in post-conflict societies.  It was imperative that countries emerging from conflict had primary responsibility for institution-building and that all countries respected their sovereign will in full, he said, emphasizing that the role of the international community was to assist only.  The United Nations and the international community must prioritize such tasks as peacebuilding, in line with each post-conflict country’s circumstances, and provide timely and tailored technical support.

The international community must focus first on helping the post-conflict nation with basic security, he continued.  It must also provide basic services, promote the political process and support core Government functions.  The international community’s main role in institution-building was to consolidate peace and revive the rule of law, among other tasks, adding that full consideration must be given to the priority needs of the countries concerned.  The United Nations and the international community must enhance coherence and coordination so that peacebuilding and development occurred in tandem, he said.  They must set up comprehensive peacebuilding strategies to avoid duplicating efforts and wasting resources, he stressed.

MARK LYALL GRANT ( United Kingdom) said the building of institutions was not solely a technical exercise, but also a complex political one.  It was often a core part of a peace agreement and a prerequisite for broader conflict prevention.  The year ahead would again be very challenging for the United Nations, entailing support for the needs of post-referendum Sudan, extending the protection of civilians and the rule of law in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and expanding protection and access to justice in Liberia outside the capital.  Blockages in peacebuilding were all too often due to failures or delays in institution-building, frequently owing to continuing weaknesses in the ability of the United Nations to provide assistance, he pointed out.

Citing five critical issues upon which to focus in the coming year, he said the first must be the political and bureaucratic will to deliver on time and with sufficient scale to meet the volume of needs.  Secondly, the Organization’s support for the reform of justice and security sectors must be much more effective.  Third was the genuine integration of planning between peacekeeping missions and United Nations funds and programmes, avoiding the involvement of peacekeeping troops in institution-building activities for which they were neither trained nor mandated.  Fourth was the need for better quality and more speed in civilian deployments, and finally, the international community must give much greater focus to the perspectives and experiences of the post-conflict country concerned.  In that vein, the United Kingdom welcomed the formation of the 17 fragile and conflict affected countries — the so-called “G-7 plus”, chaired by Timor-Leste — to provide the voice for and feed into the international dialogue on peacebuilding and state-building, he said.

Council President IVAN BARBALIĆ (Bosnia and Herzegovina), speaking in his national capacity, said the creation of accountable, legitimate and resilient institutions should be a strategic objective from the early stages of peacebuilding, while the immediate post-conflict period offered the greatest opportunity to strengthen the institutional capacities needed for that task.  All international and domestic actors should respect fully the Constitution, internal legal order, international agreements and rights of a post-conflict country, including the peace agreement that had ended the conflict and other applicable norms.

He went on to say that success depended on the goals shared by the country and the international community, with the latter initially setting up transitional institutions and then gradually helping to create viable, stable and responsive domestic institutions.  There was a need to improve assessments of the institution-building process in the regular reports of Council-mandated missions, and to take them into account when drafting resolutions for renewing peacekeeping mandates or peacebuilding configurations.  The Council should make greater use of the Peacebuilding Commission’s advisory role when helping to develop institutions, support domestic stakeholders, identify priorities and determine existing capacity gaps.

Reform of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s defence sector in 2003 had led to the creation of unified, modern armed forces operating under civilian command and democratic oversight, in line with commonly adopted standards, he said.  That success was due to political will and domestic consensus, followed by extensive consultations, the involvement of all relevant stakeholders, well-executed strategies, clear standards, good timing and adequate funding.  He said that his country’s electoral process had initially been organized with extensive support from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and responsibility had gradually been transferred to the national authorities.  Today, Bosnia and Herzegovina had full ownership and was able to conduct fair, transparent and credible elections, he said.

JAN GRAULS (Belgium), speaking on behalf of the representatives of Brazil, Canada, Jordan and Switzerland, in their respective capacities as Chairs of the Peacebuilding Commission’s country-specific configurations for the Central African Republic, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Burundi, associated his remarks with those of the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission.  He affirmed that the building, rebuilding and strengthening of core State functions was the sine qua non condition for overcoming conflict.

He said it was evident from all five post-conflict situations on the Commission’s agenda that local capacity was too often overwhelmed by daunting challenges.  For example, the Central African Republic had only 91 magistrates available to deliver public administration services, and Liberia had only 13 with proper legal training.  Burundi’s justice system was struggling to manage the 60 per cent of inmates awaiting trial in overcrowded prisons and Sierra Leone’s police force lacked transportation.  In those cases, as in all others, institution-building was about ensuring the sustainable, equitable and effective delivery of security and basic services to national populations, he said.

In the experience of the country-specific configurations, he continued, institution-building efforts could not be imposed; they must be built and sustained by the individuals concerned, and international assistance must involve national actors from the outset.  In that respect, the participation of civil society, including women, was critical, he said.  Sustained and predictable international support, including flexible financing, was also critical.  Competing objectives must be negotiated and imperfect outcomes must be accepted.  A comprehensive approach must be taken, and for that purpose, it might be useful to increase the availability of experts in social and economic policy with enhanced emphasis on South-South expertise and greater participation by developing countries, he said.

The United Nations system could improve its institution-building performance by devoting greater as well as more timely and in-depth attention to the task, he said.  The Council should focus on core stabilization priorities and rely on the comparative advantages of other actors.  It should also continue to authorize integrated missions to ensure a comprehensive approach to peace consolidation.  For partners, regional institutions were of particular importance, he said, adding that the coordination of aid was crucial for avoiding conflicting strategies, overlapping activities, critical gaps and inconsistent financing.  The roles and responsibilities of all actors should be clearly defined, he said, noting the need for a wide range of specialized civilian expertise.

He said the United Nations peacebuilding architecture could be better used to foster and monitor institution-building efforts and improve coordination.  The Council should increasingly draw on the Peacebuilding Commission’s advisory role for those purposes, he said, pointing out that it could benefit from the knowledge of the country-specific configurations by inviting their respective Chairs to brief regularly on the progress in institution-building, by consulting with the Chairs when renewing or amending mandates and by considering their participation in Council missions to countries on the Commission’s agenda.  For other post-conflict countries, the Council could consider establishing regular coordination mechanisms with other international and regional actors, including the World Bank, he suggested.

MAGED ABDELFATTAH ABDELAZIZ (Egypt), associating his remarks with those to be made on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, emphasized that in no case, even at the stage of conflict, should the international community provide services that could otherwise be provided by national or transitional Governments.  There was a need for innovative approaches based on analysis of local conditions and aimed at a broad range of sectors.  Such strategies should be shaped in the early stages of peacekeeping operations and supported by multipronged partnerships, both within and outside the United Nations system.  They should include international financial institutions and regional organizations, drawing on their vast pool of international expertise and resources.  He suggested the convening of an annual pledging conference for the Peacebuilding Fund to provide adequate, predictable and flexible funding.

ERTUĞRUL APAKAN (Turkey) said his country had placed particular emphasis on peacebuilding during its membership of the Security Council and was now working, with Finland and the Group of Friends, on mediation mechanisms.  Stressing the importance of national ownership and the engagement of all local stakeholders in institution-building efforts, he said support and coordination efforts by regional actors, particularly neighbouring countries, was another essential element, as was an integrated, coherent and comprehensive approach.  It was also important to bear in mind local conditions, needs, opportunities and limitations, in order to develop country-specific activities.  The strategic planning of peacebuilding activities should be flexible, he said, noting in conclusion that the United Nations had an important role to play in coordinating all actors.

RANKO VILOVIĆ (Croatia) said that relying on and strengthening local capacities during the post-conflict period was fundamental for successful peacebuilding.  It not only introduced a unique, insider perspective, it also consolidated necessary governing structures and policies, and paved the way for greater acceptance of peacebuilding missions among local populations.  It also offered the greatest hope for the even and sustainable distribution of the peace dividend, he said.  Timely, flexible and predictable funding was crucial in any peacebuilding effort, he emphasized, expressing support for the strategic partnership between the United Nations and the World Bank.  Croatia expected “with special interest” the Bank’s 2011 Conflict, Security and Development Report.  He said his country supported the Council’s intention to strengthen coherence in peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, as well as the practice of transforming some peacekeeping missions into integrated peacebuilding missions.  Croatia supported the Secretary-General’s report on women’s participation in peacebuilding and his seven-point action plan introducing practical suggestions for their engagement in peacebuilding processes.  It also supported efforts to mobilize resources for initiatives addressing women’s peacebuilding needs and fostered gender equality.

ZAHIR TANIN (Afghanistan) said: “Let us not underestimate the time it takes to surpass the challenges of history,” pointing out that an environment such as that of Afghanistan, which had faced decades of complex conflicts, power struggles and ongoing violence, could not be changed overnight.  That context must be kept in mind during every discussion on the training of the Afghan army and police, the timeline for military engagement, or international partnerships.

Recalling that his country had been considered “the most failed State in the world” in 2001, he said the fall of the Taliban had left a weakly governed State with no professional police or army to quell the fighting.  Afghanistan had lacked State institutions and its budget had stood at a mere $27 million.  Many Government institutions had been non-functional because basic staffing and resourcing needs had gone unmet.  Given the magnitude of destruction, stabilization efforts in Afghanistan had produced impressive results, he said, adding that, despite its uphill climb from Taliban rule, it had since experienced political transformation and development.

The political process for continued growth was in place, he said, noting that the role of women in politics had increased steadily and civil society had emerged triumphant, among other gains.  Many areas of the country were seeing governance “for the first time in decades” and infrastructure development had been among the most rapid of any post-conflict nation.  Security institutions had developed, supporting the emergence of Afghan national ownership, he said, adding that the biggest challenge now was the sustainability of peace, for which the functionality of institutions was essential.  However, a country must have the resources, human capital and capacity to stop the threat of insurgency or relapse into conflict, he emphasized, adding that capacity-building was essential if State institutions were to operate effectively.  Empowering them meant enabling the national Government to provide services for its citizens, he said.

EDUARDO ULIBARRI (Costa Rica), recalling the bloody wars in Central America during the 1980s, said the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations had been able to coordinate their efforts to safeguard implementation of the peace accords that had ended the conflicts.  Since the deep causes of conflict must be relieved in order for peace agreements to succeed, the accords required political, institutional and socio-economic components.  That was why a decision had been made to set up local monitoring mechanisms with international support.  The situation in Central America taught that when challenges were not dealt with in a timely fashion, they weakened peace processes, endangering democracy and good relations among neighbouring countries, he said.

Among the lessons learned was that policies must be designed to provide stability and economic development as well as foster social inclusion, he said.  In countries with large youth populations, it was imperative to increase educational, recreational and employment opportunities for young people.  Institutions must have good political practices in order to avoid corruption and authoritarianism.  A country’s judiciary must be effective and independent in order to prevent impunity.  Since it was more difficult to create a culture of democracy and peace than to create institutions, education for peace and democracy was vital, he stressed, adding that fostering an independent civil society, a free and honest press and a culture of accountability would also markedly increase the chances for peace.

BENEDICT LAWRENCE LUKWIYA (Uganda) said that, on the basis of his own country’s experience, building national institutions required identifying key priorities in accordance with specific needs, followed by the creation of national strategies to address them and the mobilization of the requisite political, financial and technical support and resources to do so.  The most urgent priorities — notably guaranteeing the security of life and property, national reconciliation and adherence to the rule of law, as well as promoting democratic governance — should be addressed first, particularly when resources were scarce.  It was also important to create a national economic recovery programme, he said.

Post-conflict national institutions must enjoy the popular support and legitimacy to overcome distrust and suspicion following conflict, he emphasized.  That could be achieved by ensuring that institutions were responsive to the population’s needs and that decision-making was consultative and participatory.  It was also necessary to ensure the delivery of basic services and to improve standards of living, he said, adding that those responsible for gross human rights violations must be held to account.  The lack of financing and technical expertise was the main obstacle to post-conflict national institution-building, he noted, expressing support for international efforts to better mobilize resources in that regard.  The best and most sustainable approach was to build on existing national human resources and capacities, he added.

LOTFI BOUCHAARA (Morocco) said the consistency and coordination of international partners, prioritizing the host-country ownership, was crucial for institution-building efforts.  Restoring the rule of law and rebuilding the security sector and judiciary were areas that must be addressed immediately after the end of conflict.  An integrated approach was needed for those efforts to succeed, he said, adding that such an approach could benefit from the involvement of the Peacebuilding Commission.  If stability was to be consolidated for the long term, Governments must be enabled to boost economic development, youth employment and basic services.  For those purposes, closer coordination was needed between the Commission and the World Bank, he said, stressing the need to develop human resources for a range of sectors.

TSUNEO NISHIDA ( Japan) said institution-building was a primary aim, and national ownership a primary principle, of his country’s reconstruction assistance.  Japan’s experience showed that the Security Council should make more proactive use of the Peacebuilding Commission, following on the 2010 Japanese facilitation of an informal dialogue between the two bodies.  The Commission could be used, in particular, as a forum in which to discuss exit strategies for peacekeeping missions, with Liberia regarded as a test case.  In addition, the Commission was a valuable forum for raising international attention and mobilizing resources, he said.

The Security Council should take into account upcoming proposals on fostering greater civilian capacity for institution-building, of which there was currently a global shortage, he said.  The Council must promote strong leadership on the ground to better engender an effective partnership between United Nations representatives and the Governments concerned.  In that regard, Japan looked forward to the appointment of strong representatives of the Secretary-General, giving particular consideration to female candidates.

PETER SCHWAIGER, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union, said it was incumbent upon the United Nations to deploy stronger leadership teams on the ground given its responsibility for rallying all international actors around a common institution-building effort, based on a country-owned strategy.  Such coordination required a clearer, more rational division of labour, he said, encouraging the Secretariat and United Nations funds and programmes to press on with reforms towards those ends.  The Peacebuilding Commission’s links with the field and the Security Council should also be strengthened for that purpose.

He emphasized the need for a more demand-driven, dynamic and flexible civilian deployment, built on existing national capacity, exhibiting a strong South-South character and providing the opportunity for adequate women’s participation.  Much of the European Union’s institution-building efforts around the world focused on bolstering the oversight mechanisms and organizations of civil society in post-conflict situations, he said, adding that, in Timor-Leste, it was working to strengthen parliamentary and media capacity.  It had recently funded extensive research on participatory approaches to justice and security-sector reform in a number of countries, he said, adding that the European Union would be happy to share the lessons learned with interested partners.  At the same time, it was important to remember that each situation was unique and that institutional development must be home grown, one of the reasons why national actors should take the lead.

KIM BONG-HYUN (Republic of Korea) said it was imperative to seize the short-lived window of opportunity in post-conflict situations to prevent a recurrence of violence.  Peacekeeping, peacebuilding and sustainable development must be pursued in parallel and take future institution-building challenges into account.  Entry and exit strategies must be calculated from the outset, and peacebuilding operations executed in such a way as to further strengthen and ensure respect for recipient countries’ national ownership and priorities, he said.

The partnership among stakeholders should be strengthened, with the Peacebuilding Commission playing the role of facilitator, he said, adding that relations among the Commission, the Council and the General Assembly must be further defined in a more strategic, coordinated way.  Closer links and coordination between the Council and the Commission were crucial for carrying out peacebuilding mandates and helping countries meet multifaceted post-conflict demands in the field, he said, noting that his country contributed regularly to the Peacebuilding Fund and had become a member of the Peacebuilding Commission’s Organizational Committee.

BERNADETTE CAVANAGH ( New Zealand) said her country had been a key contributor to numerous peacebuilding operations, including successive missions in Timor-Leste and operations in Bougainville, Afghanistan and the Solomon Islands.  New Zealand was actively engaged in efforts by the Development Assistance Committee of OECD to develop and monitor principles for international engagement in fragile States, in addition to providing bilateral peacebuilding assistance within its own region and beyond.

She said effective institution-building required a clear definition of specific objectives from the very earliest stages of mission planning, as well as a determination of how responsibility would be transferred from the mission to traditional development partners after the objectives were met.  That was essential for missions such as the one in Timor-Leste, she said, noting that recent experience of domestically led annual and medium-term national development planning in that country showed what was possible when host Governments were given adequate space to articulate their own needs and priorities.

YANERIT CRISTINA MORGAN SOTOMAYOR (Mexico) said it was important for all parties in post-conflict countries to reach a consensus on building improved institutions, which must occur soon after the end of hostilities.  Civil society capacity was a key element of strengthening the rule of law and laying the groundwork for lasting peace.  Noting her country’s efforts to place institution-building on the peacebuilding agenda, she welcomed the Security Council’s increasing consideration of institution-building in its deliberations.  For its part, the Peacebuilding Commission must consult with all stakeholders and contribute to the coordination of all actors, she said, emphasizing that in institution-building efforts, as in all peacebuilding priorities, it was important to use the capacities of developing countries and women.

GYAN CHANDRA ACHARYA (Nepal) said that from its experience of emerging from conflict, his country had learned the importance of giving due consideration to institution-building in planning United Nations missions, in order to facilitate both short-term and long-term goals.  Very much depended upon ensuring the provision of basic services to the people, and institutions were important bridges in restoring trust between the State and its citizens.  However institution-building could not be done in a political vacuum, he said, stressing that there must be a minimum level of political will, as well as dialogue between all parties, for it to succeed.

Regarding international assistance, he underscored the importance of sustained attention and long-term, predictable and flexible financing, adding that the involvement of the World Bank and the Peacebuilding Commission was crucial in that regard.  The latter was also important for the coordination of all actors with national priorities.  It was evident that a strong sense of partnership among United Nations missions and agencies, Member States, regional organizations, international financial institutions and national stakeholders must be developed, he said.

GARY QUINLAN (Australia), noting his country’s pride in supporting the “G-7 Plus” group, said that through Australia’s experience in supporting post-conflict institution-building in Timor-Leste, Solomon Islands and Bougainville, it had learned that national leadership and ownership was fundamental to success.  Careful consideration must be given to how assistance could best foster national capacities and avoid stifling them.  The institution-building process must be timely, flexible, sustainable and responsive to local needs.  It was also important to ensure strong coordination between international actors and to seek available expertise in a coherent manner.

He went on to emphasize that assistance should be extended beyond capital cities, civil society and the private sector.  The fabric of stable and prosperous communities must be strengthened through political, security and economic institutions as well as those for service delivery.  In that effort, the role of women must be recognized and promoted, he said.  The Council should consider institution-building when setting mandates, but should also give consideration to the roles of other actors.  The Peacebuilding Commission could play a stronger role, particularly in monitoring progress, assisting coordination and providing expert guidance to the Council.  The availability of civilian expertise should increase and in that effort, Australia stood ready to contribute through the recently established Australian Civilian Corps, he said.

GONZALO GUTIÉRREZ (Peru) stressed the crucial need for a needs- and demand-driven approach, as well as preventing the resurgence of conflict in designing a comprehensive strategy, saying the specific situation and needs of each country must be taken into account.  The Secretary-General’s report on peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict pointed to priority areas that should be developed in tandem, he noted.  It highlighted the importance of cross-cutting and holistic strategies, including in early peacebuilding efforts.  Institution-building must be based on national ownership and a prior assessment of existing national capacity so that national support and cooperation could fill in the gaps.  Implementation of the poverty reduction strategy in Sierra Leone could serve as useful lesson, he said.  To implement such a strategy, it was imperative to create a mechanism for ensuring greater development and involvement of society in order to mend the social and political fabric.

YURIY SERGEYEV (Ukraine), associating himself with the European Union, said the purpose of institution-building was to reduce the dependence of post-conflict Governments on the international community and to promote self-reliance.  Yet, the fact that the majority of post-conflict countries relapsed into conflict within 10 years left no doubt about the need for extreme prudence in planning the transition of responsibilities from the international community to national authorities, especially in the security sector.  Consensus on a broad peacebuilding agenda between domestic and international stakeholders was a sine qua non of successful institution-building efforts and peacebuilding as a whole, he said, pointing out that a lack of understanding on either side meant no “chemistry” between them and, ultimately, no tangible progress.  The Peacebuilding Commission was ideally placed to bring together external State and non-State actors in post-conflict countries, and should play a leading role in enabling the United Nations system to establish an integrated approach to institution-building.  Ukraine, with its long and solid record of contributing to peacebuilding under United Nations auspices, could be instrumental in advancing the institution-building agenda, he said.

NOJIBUR RAHMAN (Bangladesh), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said sustainable peace could only be achieved when the process was shared and owned by the ultimate users of the peace dividend — national actors.  That required broader political will on the part of the international community and a minimum of willingness among the different factions in post-conflict situations, he said, warning that efforts skewed towards unduly benefiting one group at the cost of others could exacerbate the situation.  The active participation of civil society might contribute significantly to ensuring national ownership while the full and effective participation of women could further strengthen the process, he said.

Institutional capacity-building in a post-conflict country was difficult but not impossible, he said, adding that it required coordinated efforts, constructive willingness and appropriate needs assessments.  The post-conflict environment was largely defined by a lack of resources, technical expertise and institutional skills, he said, emphasizing that the provision of adequate and timely resources was indispensable.  Post-conflict institution-building activities must be based on national ownership, effective partnership and gender mainstreaming.

The General Assembly must play a key role in formulating and implementing institution-building activities and the Peacebuilding Commission should play a central role in providing policy guidance and strategies, he said, emphasizing that peacebuilding activities should be conducted through intense consultations among the Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Security Council.  There was a need for South-South as well as North-South and triangular cooperation, he said, adding that the international community must provide assistance in the institutional, technical, financial, human resource and other fields.  Institution-building must forge the effective participation of all stakeholders, including women, civil society and marginalized groups, in addressing the root causes of conflict.

GAREN NAZARIAN (Armenia) said institution-building must be done at all levels of society, through national consensus and agreed-upon governing frameworks.  It was important for assistance programmes to be country-specific, needs-based and target-oriented.  Coordination must be strengthened between the Peacebuilding Commission and all actors, including the international financial institutions, United Nations entities, regional organizations and civil society, with the participation of women, local experts and other stakeholders.  The Commission must work closely with the Security Council as well, with both bodies acting as flexibly as possible to address the conflicts in a timely and efficient manner.  Building political will among the international community would also enhance the capabilities of the United Nations and other intergovernmental actors to support institution-building in post-conflict countries.

SANJA ŠTIGLIC (Slovenia) stressed the importance of providing support for basic safety and security.  Peacekeepers should be able to contribute in the early stages of peacebuilding.  A secure environment was crucial to implementing peacebuilding tasks by national and international actors alike.  As societies emerging from conflict faced a high risk of relapse into violence, it was essential that international efforts facilitated and supported their transition from short-term stabilization to long-term security.  It was imperative that national ownership focused on capacity-building in core Government functions.

She said that peacebuilding required coherent, comprehensive and consistent efforts by many actors working together.  She supported the strengthening of institutional arrangements between various United Nations actors, as well as closer cooperation between the Council and the Peacebuilding Commission.  It was crucial to prevent violence and discrimination against women and to encourage their participation and full involvement in post-conflict recovery and development.  She welcomed the 2010 report of the Secretary-General on women’s participation in peacebuilding.  Last year, Slovenia had adopted a national action plan to implement Council resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008) for the 2010-2015 period, which aimed, among other things, to increase women’s involvement in peacebuilding and peacekeeping missions.

FEODOR STARČEVIĆ (Serbia) urged all actors in the international community to contribute to post-conflict institution-building: the United Nations, regional organizations and Member States, with the United Nations system at the forefront of all activities.  Serbia was part of a region that had passed through a very difficult period, beginning two decades ago, and it was well aware of the needs and caveats of peacebuilding.  All countries of a region engulfed in conflict should engage actively, and Serbia made every effort to contribute fully to post-conflict peacebuilding through its policy of promoting good neighbourly relations.  His country was a signatory party and guarantor of the implementation of the Dayton-Paris Peace Agreement.  It gave unwavering support to the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina and was supportive of all decisions based on the agreement of the three constitutive peoples of that State.  It also cooperated actively with the international processes in Kosovo, which was clear evidence of its resolve to contribute to peace and stability in the Western Balkan region.

He said that full reconciliation in the region would be greatly helped if justice was fully served through national and international institutions to all individuals who had committed crimes during the conflict.  Serbia supported the proposal to strengthen the consultative role of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission.  His country would remain active in supporting United Nations activities to build institutions in conflict-affected areas, as well as in peacekeeping missions.  Finally, Serbia agreed that there must be at least a basic level of consensus and political will among the leading national stakeholders in order for institutional development to succeed.  In that vein, he noted that countries emerging from conflict needed “enlightened leaders and enlightened institutions” if they cared about their future and the future of their children.

TAHIR HUSSAIN ANDRABI (Pakistan) said institution-building was vital to preventing the relapse of conflict and should be pursued from the beginning.  The international community should focus its efforts on institution-building in conformity with the priorities of the country concerned, ensuring national ownership.  The approach must be people-centred, tailored to specific needs, and should not be seen as outside interference.  Institution-building should be part of a peacekeeping mission’s mandate from its inception and focus on security sector reform and strengthening national capacity to manage inter-community conflicts.  The role of peacekeepers in post-conflict institution-building could not be ignored.

He said institution-building in a post-conflict situation could be greatly facilitated by a focus on development, including youth and women employment, private sector engagement, economic revitalization and the development of a service-based infrastructure.  Organizational coordination within the United Nations would be essential to avoid duplication.  The Integration Steering Group, which included peace and security, humanitarian and development actors across the Organization, could enhance the Secretariat’s responsiveness to peacebuilding needs.  The Peacebuilding Commission was ideally placed to establish an integrated approach to institution-building and to address gaps in transition.  He proposed in that regard that the Commission’s Organizational Committee create a working group on institution-building.

JUSTIN SERUHERE (United Republic of Tanzania) said it was critical that institutions be built in a manner that was directly connected to improving living standards in post-conflict countries.  In that way, the Millennium Development Goals could also be attained.  From his country’s experience in the Great Lakes region and elsewhere, local wars affected other countries near and far.  Preventing the recurrence of conflicts, therefore, was beneficial to all humankind.  The international community must provide support of every kind to institution-building in post-conflict societies and their neighbours to establish, consolidate and promote good governance and democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights, security and stability and economic development.  Where that could not be done by supporting individual States, it should be done through subregional and regional approaches.

ALICE AGHENEBIT MUNGWA, Permanent Observer Mission of the African Union to the United Nations, said the Union’s Framework on post-conflict reconstruction and development addressed the need for building national institutions that could drive the peacebuilding process.  She described a number of concrete steps towards translating that policy framework into concrete actions at the level of concerned member States, and she commended the work of the Peacebuilding Commission in the African countries on its agenda.  She underscored the importance of strengthening various institutional and inter-agency frameworks of cooperation between the Union and the United Nations for effective institution-building. 

She said she looked forward to the implementation of the outcome of the review of the Peacebuilding Commission, the review of the strengthening of civilian capacities as well as the review of the United Nations Ten-Year Capacity-Building Programme for the African Union, all of which were to be considered this year and which should all contribute towards enhancing institution-building for effective and lasting post-conflict reconstruction and development.  She also looked forward to the continuing support of the Security Council on those issues, particularly for the related initiatives launched last year within the context of the Year of Peace and Security in Africa.

JEAN-FRANCIS RÉGIS ZINSOU (Benin) said institution-building was crucial to sustain peace in post-conflict countries.  A key challenge was to prevent a relapse of violence.  National ownership of the process was essential, with the help of the international community.  When designing different plans, the focus should be on building national capacities and public trust in their legitimacy.  The United Nations should focus on transferring knowledge when recruiting experts.  For each foreign expert recruited in Benin, the local Government had put forward a national counterpart to work with them.  Institution-building’s success involved analysing capacity and designing national strategies.  Identification of needs required creation of a hierarchy of real priorities on the ground.

He said that laying the groundwork, in cooperation with national stakeholders, could help to identify the number one priority on the ground.  That, in turn, would help identify the most vulnerable populations and facilitate development of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes.  Local procurement contracts were useful.  The mandates of peacekeeping operations must incorporate national aspects of institution-building early on.  That would help cut the duration of those operations and alleviate their financial burdens.

PHOLOGO GAUMAKWE (Botswana) said the promotion of positive values such as tolerance, consultation, democracy, effective governance and the rule of law were of vital importance in rebuilding institutions and post-conflict reconstruction.  Investing in reconstruction and the rehabilitation of physical infrastructure as well as in social and economic programmes was vital, he said, adding that it was equally vital to rebuild a credible judicial and law-enforcement system.  The rule of law was a necessary ingredient in promoting durable peace and preventing relapse into conflict.

He said post-conflict peacebuilding could only be successful if a high premium was placed on national ownership, not only of actual reconstruction activities, but also in terms of determining development priorities and controlling resource allocation.  Since it was important to “strike the iron while it was still hot”, short-term humanitarian relief should be accompanied by efforts to build schools, water-reticulation and primary health-care facilities, and related services as well.  Revitalizing key economic sectors was also important.  Africa’s regional economic and social integration could not succeed as long as pockets of instability and lawlessness disrupted the establishment of stable and effective administrations, he said.

JORGE ARGÜELLO (Argentina) said a major challenge of the international community was to support countries recovering from conflict.  An effective United Nations response required a comprehensive and coordinated strategy based on local needs and priorities to provide humanitarian, political and security assistance as well as promotion of the rule of law and human rights protection.  Peacebuilding was primarily a national responsibility in the aftermath of conflict.  He underscored the importance of the participation of national authorities in countries emerging from conflict to ensure a united response, so as to tackle the conflict’s root causes more effectively.  There was no one-size-fits-all approach.  Institutional capacity plans must be developed in the immediate wake of conflict.

In Haiti, he said, the international community must work towards peacebuilding, bearing in mind that the United Nations and international community’s presence was essential.  Seeing local authorities shoulder the responsibility for institution-building would be the measure of success.  He underscored the important role of regional and subregional organizations in line with Chapter VIII of the Charter and the need to strengthen the capacity of regional assistance.  

* *** *

For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.