Governments Reflect on Key Elements of Peacebuilding, Sustaining Peace
UN Photo/Manuel Elias
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Côte d’Ivoire’s President described the importance of “holistic strategies for economic recovery and development”.

The UN Secretary-General emphasized a focus on prevention and building local capacities to prevent and respond to conflicts.

Several delegates underscored the importance of predictable and sustainable financing for peacekeeping.

5 December 2018: The UN Security Council (UNSC) discussed peacebuilding and sustaining peace in the context of post-conflict reconstruction, security and stability, in a debate on 5 December 2018. Participants underscored the importance of inclusive, holistic and nationally-driven reconstruction processes, and recognized linkages between the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and sustaining peace.

President of Côte d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, whose country holds the UNSC presidency for December, described how “holistic strategies for economic recovery and development—implemented from the very start of the post-conflict phase” helped avert a relapse of conflict and instability in Côte d’Ivoire. Ouattara highlighted the role of the private sector in transforming his country’s economy, describing how some 65,000 former combatants were disarmed, demobilized and reintegrated into society and provided with decent jobs, alongside anti-corruption measures, governance reforms and efforts to enhance social cohesion. Ouattara underscored that his country’s citizens now live “in peace and in tolerance” and can serve as a case study for the UNSC.

France and other speakers also recognized Côte d’Ivoire’s progress towards peace. African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat observed that “Côte d’Ivoire’s experience is an eloquent demonstration that peace is within reach” when actors are determined to turn commitments into action. The UK also praised Côte d’Ivoire’s ongoing reforms, reflecting that meaningful institutional change requires patience and time.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres emphasized the importance of a focus on prevention, saying “peace cannot be sustainable without development, and lasting peace is essential for the preservation of development gains.” He said a holistic, inclusive approach is necessary to fight potential factors in instability, such as climate change-related competition for resources, inequality and corruption. He also underscored the importance of peace and development activities that “are owned, and led by national local actors,” including women, youth, the elderly, minority groups and those with disabilities. Guterres called for: building local capacities to prevent and respond to conflicts; forging partnerships to safeguard development gains, including partnerships with regional and sub-regional organizations and international financial institutions (IFIs); and ensuring adequate resources for peacebuilding and development during conflict, including by mobilizing foreign investment and supporting the UN Peacebuilding Fund. He concluded by saying the 2030 Agenda and the sustaining peace agenda “are complementary and mutually reinforcing” and encouraged Member States to embrace these frameworks “as our best guarantees against instability and insecurity.”

France called to integrate the 2030 Agenda into post-conflict development and reconstruction.

Other speakers called for integrated approaches to post-conflict recovery, including the AUC Chairperson and Sweden. Rwanda shared three core pillars from her country’s reconstruction period: the importance of security, peace and stability; institution building; and the development dividend. She further stressed the importance of inclusive reconstruction efforts, underscoring the importance of engaging women in the entire process. The Netherlands, for instance, stressed “environmental sustainability is no longer optional in economic development” and underscored the need to protect agriculture-based livelihoods to ensure food security during conflicts, saying such an approach requires innovative partnerships among the private sector, financial institutions and other key stakeholders.

Several delegates underscored the importance of predictable and sustainable financing for peacekeeping, including Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal. Equatorial Guinea said his delegation is participating in negotiations on a draft resolution that aims to provide financing for peacekeeping operations in Africa through the UN regular budget. The US called for voluntary contributions to the Peacebuilding Fund and emphasized the need to pair mandates with achievable exist strategies.

Several delegates supported nationally-led reconstruction processes. Kuwait said national ownership and “sincere political will for reconciliation” are necessary to avoid relapses. Poland highlighted the role of respect for human rights and social cohesion in contributing to stability, describing the participation of women and youth as critical in effective implementation of peacebuilding and sustaining peace. France said the 2030 Agenda should be integrated into post-conflict development and reconstruction, including as part of restoring the rule of law.

Additional concerns raised by delegates include: the potential of terrorist threats in West Africa and the Sahel to jeopardize efforts to recover from conflict; and the need to ensure justice for victims to address desires for revenge; and the importance. Burkina Faso said recurrent terrorist attacks has hindered his country’s progress and called for stronger UN coordination with and support for the Group of Five (G-5) Sahel joint force to combat terrorism. [UN Meeting Summary] [UN News on Secretary-General Statement] [Secretary-General Statement]

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