GA President’s statement on Peacebuilding Commission draft resolution – 14 December 2005

I welcome you to this meeting – on this dark but clear winter afternoon.

I hope that you have all received and read the text of the draft resolution which has just been circulated.

It is time for us to come to a conclusion on the Peacebuilding Commission. We need to comply with the first major specific timeline our leaders tasked us to meet.

To begin with I would like to thank my two co-chairs Ambassadors Løj and Mahiga. They have conducted these negotiations with commitment and efficiency and have been the driving force behind the creation of the Peacebuilding Commission ever since the proposal was first presented.

You have provided the co-chairs with many thoughtful inputs and comments. I thank you for this. They have listened to you, they have discussed with you, they have tried to find compromise solutions and they have produced several drafts.

I have assessed what I have heard from my co-chairs and from you. I have consulted you individually or in your groups. We have all heard the representatives from the field and observers of the UN calling for the Peacebuilding Commission to commence its work. The text of a draft resolution that I am presenting today is my best attempt to strike the middle ground without giving up the important principles related to the Peacebuilding Commission. No one in this room will get everything he or she has aimed for, but we will together create a body that is functional, and can be of concrete assistance in conflict and post-conflict situations in a number of our Member States. I know how keenly so many of you want the Peacebuilding Commission to start its work, and this gives me the hope that we will all be able to unite around this objective. We will also give the reform process in our organization new momentum and new life.

I have carefully weighed the different parts of the draft resolution I present today and made some very tough choices in this process. I have worked towards reflecting the institutional realities and at the same time creating a dynamic advisory body. The Security Council must and does already play a central role in peace-keeping and peacebuilding, given its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. I do not think anyone would dispute the importance of the advice of the Peacebuilding Commission to the Security Council on conflict situations on its agenda.

Likewise I think all of you would join me in acknowledging the role that the Peacebuilding Commission can play advising ECOSOC as it gives sustained attention to countries moving to recovery and sustainable development. The ad hoc post conflict groups under ECOSOC have been valuable fora to perform these functions. It is important that we now conclude the work to strengthen ECOSOC through the plenary consultations so ably led by Ambassadors Verbeke and Diarra as quickly as possible. ECOSOC must play its rightful role as stated in the Outcome Document as a principal body for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on issues of economic and social development.

And of course the role of the General Assembly is assured by its annual review of the Peacebuilding Commission.

We all want a Peacebuilding Commission that is efficient and brings together the real actors in peacebuilding. Our leaders have indicated who these actors should be. But I have listened to those claiming that not all regions will be sufficiently represented in the organizational committee of the Peacebuilding Commission. I take this argument seriously, since it touches the questions of the legitimacy of the Commission. I am therefore proposing that we enhance the representativeness of the organizational committee by allowing the General Assembly to elect additional members from regions not sufficiently represented, paying particular attention to those countries that have themselves experienced post conflict recovery.

Given this increased representation from all regional groups I hope that we can agree that the other members can be selected or elected in each category by the respective organ or group.

You are familiar with much of the text in front of you. I have built my draft resolution to a large extent on the co-chairs draft of 18 November. Based on your amendments we have improved it. Many of you have had many and far reaching amendments. I have incorporated what I believe would improve the text both in the preambular and the operative parts. But my main objective has been to keep a balanced text.

It is my sincere hope that this text will meet with your approval. We have six working-days to finish our work in the GA. I hope that we are ready to move to a conclusion, to a decision to adopt the resolution on the Peacebuilding Commission early next week. It is my conviction that this text will not improve through extended negotiations. Your important contributions through the negotiation process have made this key issue of the Outcome Document ripe for decision.

Your decision would not only be important in improving the conflict and post-conflict management work of the United Nations, it will also send a positive message that our intergovernmental work is producing results. This is an historic opportunity for the General Assembly to prove itself, to prove its relevance. A decision will also be an important foundation for further balanced progress in the entire reform process. You have worked so hard for this, let us reap what we have sown. Let us show our leaders and those with expectations of practical results from the Peacebuilding Commission what the General Assembly of the United Nations can do.