On Tuesday, 20 December, the Security Council and General Assembly approved resolutions establishing the new UN Peacebuilding Commission, an inter-governmental body designed to prevent countries emerging from conflict from falling back into conflict. R2PCS is very pleased that Member States were able to come together and take the next step in moving forward on the Commission, which was mandated by Member States at the UN Summit in September. The Peacebuilding Commission has the potential to provide states and the international community with the opportunity to enact their responsibilities to rebuild war-torn societies, as well as their responsibilities to prevent the re-emergence of conflict in these areas.
You will find below excerpts of several news articles on the establishment of the Commission, followed by UN Press Releases and Member States statements and the Resolution text. Please find below the following:
- An article on the establishment of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC);
- An article on the establishment of the PBC, with details on the composition;
- The text of Security Council Resolution 1645;
- The text of Security Council Resolution 1646 (adopted immediately following 1645, on the Organizational Committee)
UN Press Releases and Member States Statements
- The General Assembly (GA) press release, with Member States statements during the GA debates;
- The Security Council (SC) press release, with Member States statements during the SC debates;
- The General Assembly Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) press release regarding budgetary concerns of the PBC, with Member States statements;
- UN Secretary-General Kofi Annans statement on the creation of the PBC.
U.N. Creates Commission to Assist Nations Recovering From Wars
The New York Times
December 21, 2005
By Warren Hoge
The General Assembly and Security Council passed resolutions on Tuesday founding a Peacebuilding Commission to help stabilize and rebuild societies emerging from war.
Creation of the commission represented the first concrete achievement of a session dedicated to adopting proposals for major institutional and management changes, which were showcased this fall in the largest meeting of heads of state and government in the United Nations' 60-year history.
Jan Eliasson of Sweden, president of the General Assembly, said the commission was critical for keeping war-torn countries from reverting to hostilities, which he said had occurred in half the cases over the past 20 years where conflicts had ended.
The commission is intended to pick up the international effort in such countries when peacekeeping missions are completing their tasks of bringing fighting to an end and monitoring cease-fires.
Secretary General Kofi Annan told the General Assembly that while many parts of the United Nations had traditionally been involved in helping countries in longer-term recovery after protracted conflicts, there had never been an entity to coordinate those activities, develop expertise and strategy and focus attention on reconstruction and the building of institutions.
''Too often,'' he said, ''a fragile peace has been allowed to crumble into renewed conflict.''
The new commission will have 31 members. Seven, including the 5 veto-holding permanent members, will come from the 15-member Security Council; 7 from the 54-nation Economic and Social Council; 5 from the 10 top contributors to the United Nations; 5 from the 10 nations that supply the most troops for peacekeeping missions; and 7 chosen to assure geographical balance by regional groupings.
Representatives of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other institutional donors will be expected to attend meetings.
U.N. OKs New Peacebuilding Commission
Associated Press Online
December 20, 2005
By Edith M. Lederer
At the U.N. summit in September, world leaders decided to create the commission but the resolutions were needed to launch it and spell out its exact role, composition and operation which were the subject of intense debate.
The General Assembly approved the resolution by consensus with a bang of the gavel by Eliasson after Venezuela objected that the commission was a mechanism "for intervention by states through a perverted and bogus multilateralism, serving the will of the United States and its allies."
The Security Council approved a nearly identical resolution by a unanimous 15-0 vote.
The Security Council then voted on a separate resolution that would give the five permanent council members the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China membership on the permanent Organizational Committee that will oversee the commission's operations. That would leave just two seats for the council's 10 non-permanent members.
That resolution was approved 13-0 with non-permanent members Brazil and Argentina abstaining.
The Peacebuilding Commission as envisioned in the resolutions will bring together all the key international players involved in ending conflicts and promoting reconstruction and economic development of countries emerging from war.
Adoption of the resolutions ended a lengthy dispute about the size of the Organizational Committee that will oversee the new commission and who it should report to the Security Council, the General Assembly, or the Economic and Social Council which is responsible for development issues.
The commission will submit an annual report to the General Assembly. But the resolution states that its main purpose will be to provide advice to the Security Council at its request on post-conflict situations on its agenda, and underlines that its advice will be "of particular relevance" to the Economic and Social Council.
Under the provisions, a 31-member Organizational Committee will serve for two years.
Annan said the commission will bring all the relevant actors together to share information, develop a common strategy, advise on recovery, focus attention on reconstruction and institution building and "improve coordination both within and beyond the U.N. system."
The secretary-general wanted 21 new posts to staff the new commission but the U.N. budget committee objected, insisting that the U.N. stick with the world leaders' request that it must use existing U.N. staff.
It asks Annan to establish a voluntary fund for post-conflict peacebuilding.
Resolution 1645 (2005)
Adopted by the Security Council at its 5335th meeting, on 20 December 2005
The Security Council,
Guided by the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations,
Reaffirming the 2005 World Summit Outcome,
Recalling in particular paragraphs 97 to 105 of that resolution,
Recognizing that development, peace and security and human rights are interlinked and mutually reinforcing,
Emphasizing the need for a coordinated, coherent and integrated approach to post-conflict peacebuilding and reconciliation with a view to achieving sustainable peace,
Recognizing the need for a dedicated institutional mechanism to address the special needs of countries emerging from conflict towards recovery, reintegration and reconstruction and to assist them in laying the foundation for sustainable development,
Recognizing also the vital role of the United Nations in preventing conflicts, assisting parties to conflicts to end hostilities and emerge towards recovery, reconstruction and development and in mobilizing sustained international attention and assistance,
Reaffirming the respective responsibilities and functions of the organs of the United Nations as defined in the Charter and the need to enhance coordination among them,
Affirming the primary responsibility of national and transitional Governments and authorities of countries emerging from conflict or at risk of relapsing into conflict, where they are established, in identifying their priorities and strategies for post-conflict peacebuilding, with a view to ensuring national ownership,
Emphasizing, in that regard, the importance of supporting national efforts to establish, redevelop or reform institutions for effective administration of countries emerging from conflict, including capacity-building efforts,
Recognizing the important role of regional and subregional organizations in carrying out post-conflict peacebuilding activities in their regions, and stressing the need for sustained international support for their efforts and capacity-building to that end,
Recognizing also that countries that have experienced recent post-conflict recovery would make valuable contributions to the work of the Peacebuilding Commission,
Recognizing further the role of Member States supporting the peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts of the United Nations through financial, troop and civilian police contributions,
Recognizing the important contribution of civil society and non-governmental organizations, including womens organizations, to peacebuilding efforts,
Reaffirming the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peacebuilding, and stressing the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security and the need to increase their role in decision-making with regard to conflict prevention and resolution and peacebuilding,
1. Decides, acting concurrently with the General Assembly, in accordance with Articles 7, 22 and 29 of the Charter of the United Nations, with a view to operationalizing the decision by the World Summit, to establish the Peacebuilding Commission as an intergovernmental advisory body;
2. Also decides that the following shall be the main purposes of the Commission:
(a) To bring together all relevant actors to marshal resources and to advise on and propose integrated strategies for post-conflict peacebuilding and recovery;
(b) To focus attention on the reconstruction and institution-building efforts necessary for recovery from conflict and to support the development of integrated strategies in order to lay the foundation for sustainable development;
(c) To provide recommendations and information to improve the coordination of all relevant actors within and outside the United Nations, to develop best practices, to help to ensure predictable financing for early recovery activities and to extend the period of attention given by the international community to postconflict recovery;
3. Decides that the Commission shall meet in various configurations;
4. Also decides that the Commission shall have a standing Organizational
Committee, responsible for developing its own rules of procedure and working methods, comprising:
(a) Seven members of the Security Council, including permanent members, selected according to rules and procedures decided by the Council;
(b) Seven members of the Economic and Social Council, elected from regional groups according to rules and procedures decided by the Council and giving due consideration to those countries that have experienced post-conflict recovery;
(c) Five top providers of assessed contributions to United Nations budgets and of voluntary contributions to United Nations funds, programmes and agencies, including the standing peacebuilding fund, that are not among those selected in (a) or (b) above, selected by and among the ten top providers, giving due consideration to the size of their contributions, according to a list provided by the Secretary- General, based on the average annual contributions in the previous three calendar years for which statistical data are available;
(d) Five top providers of military personnel and civilian police to United Nations missions that are not among those selected in (a), (b) or (c) above selected by and among the ten top providers, giving due consideration to the size of their contributions, according to a list provided by the Secretary-General, based on the average monthly contributions in the previous three calendar years for which statistical data are available;
(e) Giving due consideration to representation from all regional groups in the overall composition of the Committee and to representation from countries that have experienced post-conflict recovery, seven additional members shall be elected according to rules and procedures decided by the General Assembly;
5. Emphasizes that a Member State can only be selected from one category set out in paragraph 4 above at any one time;
6. Decides that members of the Organizational Committee shall serve for renewable terms of two years, as applicable;
7. Also decides that country-specific meetings of the Commission, upon invitation of the Organizational Committee referred to in paragraph 4 above, shall include as members, in addition to members of the Committee, representatives from:
(a) The country under consideration;
(b) Countries in the region engaged in the post-conflict process and other countries that are involved in relief efforts and/or political dialogue, as well as relevant regional and subregional organizations;
(c) The major financial, troop and civilian police contributors involved in the recovery effort;
(d) The senior United Nations representative in the field and other relevant United Nations representatives;
(e) Such regional and international financial institutions as may be relevant;
8. Further decides that a representative of the Secretary-General shall be invited to participate in all meetings of the Commission;
9. Decides that representatives from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other institutional donors shall be invited to participate in all meetings of the Commission in a manner suitable to their governing arrangements;
10. Emphasizes that the Commission shall work in cooperation with national or transitional authorities, where possible, in the country under consideration with a view to ensuring national ownership of the peacebuilding process;
11. Also emphasizes that the Commission shall, where appropriate, work in close consultation with regional and subregional organizations to ensure their involvement in the peacebuilding process in accordance with Chapter VIII of the Charter;
12. Decides that the Organizational Committee shall, taking due consideration to maintaining a balance in addressing situations in countries in different regions in accordance with the main purposes of the Commission as stipulated above, establish the agenda of the Commission based on the following:
(a) Requests for advice from the Security Council;
(b) Requests for advice from the Economic and Social Council or the General Assembly with the consent of a concerned Member State in exceptional circumstances on the verge of lapsing or relapsing into conflict and with which the Security Council is not seized in accordance with Article 12 of the Charter;
(c) Requests for advice from Member States in exceptional circumstances on the verge of lapsing or relapsing into conflict and which are not on the agenda of the Security Council;
(d) Requests for advice from the Secretary-General;
13. Also decides that the Commission shall make the outcome of its discussions and recommendations publicly available as United Nations documents to all relevant bodies and actors, including the international financial institutions;
14. Invites all relevant United Nations bodies and other bodies and actors, including the international financial institutions, to take action on the advice of the Commission, as appropriate and in accordance with their respective mandates;
15. Notes that the Commission shall submit an annual report to the General Assembly and that the Assembly shall hold an annual debate to review the report;
16. Underlines that in post-conflict situations on the agenda of the Security Council with which it is actively seized, in particular when there is a United Nations-mandated peacekeeping mission on the ground or under way and given the primary responsibility of the Council for the maintenance of international peace and security in accordance with the Charter, the main purpose of the Commission will be to provide advice to the Council at its request;
17. Also underlines that the advice of the Commission to provide sustained attention as countries move from transitional recovery towards development will be of particular relevance to the Economic and Social Council, bearing in mind its role as a principal body for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on issues of economic and social development;
18. Decides that the Commission shall act in all matters on the basis of consensus of its members;
19. Notes the importance of participation of regional and local actors, and stresses the importance of adopting flexible working methods, including use of videoconferencing, meetings outside of New York and other modalities, in order to provide for the active participation of those most relevant to the deliberations of the
20. Calls upon the Commission to integrate a gender perspective into all its work;
21. Encourages the Commission to consult with civil society, nongovernmental organizations, including womens organizations, and the private sector engaged in peacebuilding activities, as appropriate;
22. Recommends that the Commission terminate its consideration of a country-specific situation when foundations for sustainable peace and development are established or upon the request by national authorities of the country under consideration;
23. Reaffirms its request to the Secretary-General to establish, within the Secretariat, from within existing resources, a small peacebuilding support office staffed by qualified experts to assist and support the Commission, and recognizes in that regard that such support could include gathering and analysing information relating to the availability of financial resources, relevant United Nations in-country planning activities, progress towards meeting short and medium-term recovery goals and best practices with respect to cross-cutting peacebuilding issues;
24. Also reaffirms its request to the Secretary-General to establish a multiyear standing peacebuilding fund for post-conflict peacebuilding, funded by voluntary contributions and taking due account of existing instruments, with the objective of ensuring the immediate release of resources needed to launch peacebuilding activities and the availability of appropriate financing for recovery;
25. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly on the arrangements for establishing the peacebuilding fund during its sixtieth session;
26. Calls on relevant bodies and Member States referred to in paragraph 4 above to communicate the names of members of the Organizational Committee to the Secretary-General to enable him to convene the first constituting meeting of the Committee as soon as possible following the adoption of the present resolution;
27. Decides that the arrangements set out above will be reviewed five years after the adoption of the present resolution to ensure that they are appropriate to fulfil the agreed functions of the Commission and that such a review and any changes as a result thereof will be decided following the same procedure as set out in paragraph 1 above;
28. Decides to remain seized of the matter.
1 Resolution 60/1.
Resolution 1646 (2005)
Adopted by the Security Council at its 5335th meeting, on 20 December 2005
The Security Council,
Recalling resolution 1645 (2005),
1. Decides pursuant to paragraph 4 (a) of resolution 1645 (2005) that the permanent members listed in article 23 (1) of the Charter shall be members of the
Organizational Committee of the Peacebuilding Commission and that, in addition, the Council shall select annually two of its elected members to participate in the
2. Decides that the annual report referred to in paragraph 15 of resolution 1645 (2005) shall also be submitted to the Security Council for an annual debate.
General Assembly, Acting Concurrently With Security Council Makes Peacebuilding Commission Operational
Also Approves Report of Credentials Committee, Resolution on Conflict Diamonds
Sixtieth General Assembly
66th Meeting (AM & PM)
20 December 2005
The General Assembly, acting concurrently with the Security Council, today operationalized a new United Nations peacebuilding body that will aim to prevent countries from falling back into violence -- through reconstruction, institution building and other assistance -- once fighting stops.
Adopting a historic measure, setting up a United Nations Peacebuilding Commission to help post-conflict countries manage the difficult transition from war to peace, the Assembly also established a support office within the Secretariat, to provide the Commission with the information and analysis it needs to coordinate the world bodys peacebuilding efforts.
Adopting identical resolutions, both the Assembly and the Security Council took a major step towards the renewed United Nations envisioned in Mr. Annans groundbreaking report, n Larger Freedom, and mandated by heads of State at the 2005 World Summit this past September. The bodies also recognized the need for a dedicated United Nations mechanism to address the pecial needs of countries emerging from conflictand to assist them in laying the foundation for sustainable development.
The decision was immediately welcomed by the Secretary-General and Assembly President Jan Eliasson. Mr. Annan, who was present at the adoption, said that while many parts of the United Nations have been involved in the peacebuilding process, the system lacked a dedicated entity to oversee the process, ensure its coherence, or sustain it through the long haul. The resolutions went a long way to bridging a critical gap that too often has seen "a fragile peacecrumble into renewed conflict".
he word, historic, is often over-used, but in this case, I have no doubt that it is merited, said Mr. Eliasson of Sweden, adding: his resolution would, for the first time in the history of the United Nations, create a mechanism which ensures that for countries emerging from conflict, post-conflict does not mean post-engagement of the international community.
Todays measure defined the new Commission as an intergovernmental advisory body that will make sure attention is maintained on the countries in question, setting its agenda at the request of the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Secretary-General, or Member States on the erge of lapsing or relapsing into conflict. The Assembly plans to hold a debate each year on the work of the Commission.
According to the resolution, the Commission will act only by consensus, proposing integrated strategies for stabilization, economic recovery and development, and providing recommendations for improving the coordination of the United Nations system in those efforts.
Although the text was adopted by consensus, with Member States agreeing in principle to the Commission and the general thrust of its proposed work, debate arose over the composition of an Organizational Committee and whether the Commission would report to the Security Council - seen as being run by an elite club of 15 countries -- or to the 191-member General Assembly, where developing countries play a larger role. Some believed the Commission should report directly to the Economic and Social Council, which is responsible for development issues.
The text prescribed that the Organizational Committee will consist of seven Security Council members, including permanent members, selected by the Council; seven members of ECOSOC elected from regional groups, five top contributors to United Nations budgets, funds, programmes and agencies; and five top providers of military personnel and civilian police to United Nations missions. The General Assembly would elect seven additional members, with special consideration for States that have experienced post-conflict recovery.
Another issue that emerged during the debate was that the World Summit, officially a High-Level plenary meeting of the General Assembly, had already established the Peacebuilding Commission in its Outcome Document, and that todays action in the Security Council was, as one delegation saw it, an attempt not only to ensure the permanent control of the new Commission by rich, powerful countries, but also to slip the Security Councils veto into the Assembly hall hrough the back door. With the opening for nequal and unfair membership in the Organizational Committee, another said that the Commission would never be accepted by the world community. There was no unanimity and no consensus on it.
But Assembly President Eliasson recognized that while one of you have got everything you wanted", the overall goal must be to reduce the number of countries falling back into conflict. ou have worked so hard for this, he said, e have a chance to prove ourselves, to prove the relevance of the United Nations to the problems of the world.
The General Assembly met today to consider the establishment of a Peacebuilding Commission in follow-up to the World Summit Outcome. Also, the Assembly was expected to consider the role of diamonds in fuelling conflict and a report by its Credentials Committee.
Before the Assembly is a draft resolution on The Peacebuilding Commission (document A/60/L.40). By that draft, the Assembly would decide to establish the Commission and would set up its composition, modalities and functioning.
A report on programme budget implications of establishing the Peacebuilding Commission was also before the Assembly (document A/60/598). It states that no additional budgetary requirements would be needed at this stage to set up the Commission. Any additional resources for conference-servicing by the Peacebuilding support office would be reported in the first performance report.
Statement by General Assembly President
JAN ELIASSON ( Sweden), President of the General Assembly, said the resolution, if adopted today would be truly historic. And while that term was often overused, there was no doubt that it was appropriate today, because for the first time in the history of the United Nations, the Assembly would create a mechanism that would ensure that for countries emerging from conflict, ost conflict did not mean ost-engagement of the international community. Indeed, adopting the text would be the best chance to reverse the trend over the past few years that had seen so many postar countries lapse back into conflict within five years. That had largely been because the support for the healing process had been missing.
The Commission would mean much for the hopes and aspirations of millions of people around the world. The Assembly had the Secretary General to thank, as well as political leaders at the 2005 World Summit, who had proposed that the Commission be operational by the end of the year. He also thanked the Ambassadors of Demark and the United Republic of Tanzania who had shepherded the negotiations. The wider Assembly should also be thanked for its commitment to such a landmark text, he said, recalling that he had often stressed the need to bring the worlds realities to the Assembly floor, and with the establishment of the Peacebuilding Commission, Member States had a real chance to make a difference for the better in years to come for a great number of men, women and children in conflict stricken countries.
Still, no one had gotten everything they had wanted in the resolution, he said. Indeed, for some, its adoption meant compromising on some points, on which they had felt - and still felt - strongly. Some had asked that language be changed to address their concerns, but that would have meant opening up the document to another lengthy round of negotiations. Some had commented on the role of the Commission and its effect on the roles of other organs and the wider United Nations system. The text set out how the General Assembly, Security Council and Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) should work. The Commission would act as the first-ever advisory body for those organs, and the Assembly would be charged with the overall review of its work. Most of countries under the Commissions agenda would also be on the Councils agenda.
He said that the Commission would work with ECOSOC to ensure that the international community and donors did not lose interest in a country once it was no longer making headlines. The three organs would be able to put countries on the Commissions agenda according to their individual mandates. Further, individual countries facing a relapse into conflict would be able to seek the Commissions advice. ur goal must be to reduce the number of countries falling back into conflict, he said. Other Members had concerns about the membership of the Commissions Organizational Committee, where difficult choices had been made. On that matter, it was important to emphasize that much of the Commissions important work would be done in country-specific settings. The Assembly would heave to make every effort to organize the work of the country-specific meetings in a manner conducive to effective action.
He went on to say that some delegations had also questioned the nature of the participation of international financial institutions, which, he stressed, would participate in an observer capacity. ou have worked so hard for this, so a decision today would send a message that our intergovernmental work was producing results. We have a chance to prove ourselves, to prove the relevance of the United Nations to the problems of the world. He also urged the Assembly to show all those people seeking to cast off the dark shadow of conflict, what the Assembly and the United Nations could do in support and solidarity.
Statement before Action on Peacebuilding Commission Draft
IMERIA NUNEZ DE ODREMAN ( Venezuela) said she would dissociate herself from the action adopting the text and that she rejected the draft itself. First, it was based on a flawed document and further, the concerns of many had been omitted. Negotiations had been restricted to 16 States. The document they had created was completely devoid of legal or political effect.
She said the term onflict prevention had been introduced as an attempt to legitimise intervention in the internal affairs of others at any time. Conflicts in the wording of various paragraphs would only confuse peacekeeping efforts. Overall, the document was a supranational decision that gave certain countries the power to make decisions for others as to how they should rebuild and develop. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank should not be involved, since language belied the Commissions supposed advisory nature and set up conditions for conflicts of competence and interest, particularly with the opening for unequal and unfair membership in the organizational committee, with provision for selections and elections. The organizational committee should not include any entities that were involved in the conflict in any way. Those involved in conflicts must not be decision-makers on behalf of those countries.
In short, the Commission would never be accepted by the world community, she stated. There was no unanimity and no consensus on it. The Commission was simply a mechanism of intervention by States serving the United States and its allies. The United Nations was turning its back on the world, but justice would prevail.
Action on the Draft
The Assembly adopted the draft resolution on the Peacebuilding Commission without a vote.
Statement by Secretary-General
KOFI ANNAN, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, said the adoption of the resolution on the Commission, combined with adoption of the Central Emergency Response Fund last week, was an important step towards the renewed United Nations he had envisioned. The work of the United Nations in building peace had intensified in recent years, but now a critical gap had been filled. Now there was a dedicated entity to oversee the process, ensure its coherence and sustain it over the long haul. Peacebuilding would no longer be fractured. There would be a single forum for actors to gather and share information towards a common strategy. A fragile peace wouldnt be left to crumble into renewed conflict.
The Commissions purpose was to help countries make the transition from war to peace, he continued. It would advise on recovery, focus attention on reconstruction and institution-building, improve coordination, develop best practices, ensure predictable funding and keep the international community engaged in long-term recovery.
He said the establishment of the Commission was a historic development, but it must be a beginning, not an end. The Commission must make a difference to the countries where it was needed. The utmost care must be exercised in establishing country-specific groups. The views and voices of main stakeholders must be reflected, and the Commission must have the reinforcement of a support office within the Secretariat to provide information and analysis.
In short, he said the momentum of the reform just achieved, must be sustained. Yet at the moment there was real reason to be satisfied.
Explanations of Position
JOHN BOLTON ( United States) said his country had supported the concurrent resolutions in the Security Council and the Assembly establishing the Peacebuilding Commission, and the Commission must now be able to realize its potential to build sustainable peace in the aftermath of immediate threats to international peace and security. The resolutions emphasized that the Commission must take into account the primary responsibility of the Council for the maintenance of international peace and security. The common imperative was to create a cost-effective, efficient advisory institution to ensure a successful transition from peacekeeping operations into peacebuilding, providing important advice, but not duplicating work. It could effectively help prevent nations from sliding back into conflict by ensuring that the Council would be aware of all the elements essential to achieving sustainable peace in a given nation.
He underlined that the Commissions main purpose would be to provide advice at the Councils request and noted that the Commission would meet in various configurations and would act in all matters on the basis of consensus. The consensus requirement applied to all of the various configurations in which the Commission might meet, including the Organizational Committee. He stressed that paragraph 27 provided that a review of the arrangements would take place after five years. The need for approval by both the Council and the Assembly for any changes in the Commissions governing arrangements was, of course, inherent in the manner in which it had been created, and was not limited to changes resulting from the five-year review. Progress on the Commission reminded delegates of the urgency of broader institutional reform regarding the budget. There was a collective interest in ensuring that reforms required to reduce cost and waste were successful.
MAGED ABDELFATTAH ABDELIZIZ (Egypt) said his delegation would never have supported the text if had not been for Egypts deep sense of belonging to Africa, and its conviction that millions of Africans in countries emerging from conflict were hopeful that the Commission would be operational as soon as possible. The peoples of Africa were looking forward to a mechanism aimed at mobilizing and coordinating international and regional efforts to assist post conflict countries, with rebuilding and rehabilitation of their national institutions, as well as with reconstruction and sustainable development.
Nevertheless, Egypt had some reservations about the resolution, including that the text asserted the central and authoritative role of the Security Council in addressing post-conflict peacebuilding, vis--vis the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). That had been particularly evident in some of the drafts out-of-context selections from the Charter. Egypt disagreed with any legal, political and institutional implications resulting from the misinterpretation of such language. He stressed that the focus on reinforcing the scope of the Security Councils role in driving the Commissions work, had overshadowed the vital role and the sovereign right of the country concerned to seek the Commissions advice directly. That ignored the principle of ational ownership and meant that the national priorities of post-conflict countries and their ability to terminate the Commissions involvement would be held hostage to the Security Councils prerogative.
He went on to say that the concurrent action taken by the Assembly and the Security Council was setting an incomprehensible precedent, unless the exercise was an attempt to redefine the roles and mandates of the principle organs of the United Nations in a manner that would provide the Council with absolute powers. Among such powers would be determining the role of the Assembly during the five-year review of the Commissions work. Such a precedent was particularly dangerous in that it did not place the Assembly on the same footing with the Council. Finally, he said, that although his delegation highly valued the role of the donor countries and institutions in supporting the development of reconstruction efforts in post conflict countries, the draft deepened the prerogatives of such countries and organizations outside the multilateral system.
BRUNO STANGO UGARTE ( Costa Rica) said there was no doubt that the decision on the Peacebuilding Commission had been taken in the Outcome Document of the 2005 World Summit. The texts adopted today, concurrently by the Assembly and the Security Council, were confined to operationalizing a body that had already been agreed upon. Indeed, the text adopted today could lead to confusion by suggesting that the Peacebuilding Commission had been established today. That was not the case -- it had been established on 16 September. The decision taken today might lead some to believe that decisions taken by the Assembly or the new Peacebuilding Commission would be subject to the Councils veto.
But Costa Rica would stress that the decision taken today was merely procedural. Costa Rica had repeatedly tried to bring this legal matter to the attention of the negotiators. It had also stressed that, in effect, the Assembly was perhaps allowing the Council veto into its halls through the back door, particularly since, under the text, any of the permanent members of the Council could veto the Assemblys five-year review of the Commissions work. The text also tended to weaken the prerogatives of the Assembly under the Charter.
EMYR JONES PARRY ( United Kingdom), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the Commission had a definite purpose. It had been set up to make things better for people in war-torn countries.
NIRUPAM SEN ( India) said the Commission was a historical step but it could have been more momentous had it been functionalized in the manner set out by the Summit Outcome Document, and established as an autonomous body without dependence on the Security Council. Waiting for the Council would only discourage countries from seeking recourse to the Commissions advisory function. Under the camouflage of setting up an independent body, there were conditionalities attached to the main purpose and limitations on who could access it. The decision to adopt the Commission as it was, had failed to revitalize the Assembly as it could have. But at least the timeline set by leaders at the Summit had been met.
MUNIR AKRAM ( Pakistan) said this was the first decision as a follow-up to the mandate of world leaders. The timeline had been met but at a price. The draft resolution was acceptable because it was adopted by consensus, which should be the principle applied to all aspects of the reform. The text was flawed but it must be kept in mind that the Summit had established the Commission, and the Councils concurrent action with that of the Assembly on the matter, was only a technical mechanism to operationalize it. The important point was to make representation on the Commissions both equitable and full. Operational paragraph 16 regarding the Council was out of character with the rest of the provisions, and with the spirit and letter of the Summit decision regarding the Commissions composition and organization.
The assumption concerning the Commission, he said, was that both permanent and non-permanent members would be included, along with ECOSOC and troop contributors. He had vehemently argued against permanent membership, but if the five permanent Council members were to be permanent on the Commission as well, then those who put their childrens lives on the line should be given the same consideration.
ENRIQUE BERRUGA ( Mexico) said his delegation recognized the need to have a Peacebuilding Commission up and running as soon as possible, but like others, it would express its concern about the overall makeup of the Organizational Committee, particularly the prominence given to the five permanent members of the Security Council.
PETER MAURER ( Switzerland) said his delegation welcomed the resolutions adoption. At the same time, Switzerland was concerned that the resolution gave such prominence to the Security Council and relegated ECOSOCs consideration to a later stage. His delegation had joined the consensus in order to press ahead with the overall reform of the United Nations. He added that only through the successful implementation of the Commissions mandate could Member States begin to consider whether the action taken today would turn out to be istoric.
RODRIGO MALMIERCA-DIAZ (Cuba) said that his delegation had associated itself with the adoption of the text, largely because it was aware of what such a Peacebuilding Commission would mean for the hopes and dreams of the African peoples who had long-suffered from conflict. Cuba was also concerned by the ambiguity of the Commissions powers and the scope of its work, particularly since the Commission was established by two bodies. Cuba feared that the Commission would become an extension of the Security Council. He stressed that his delegation believed that the Commission should report to, and its work be reviewed only by, the Assembly, which had representation of the Organizations widest membership. He also stressed that every organ of the United Nations system must adhere to the principles of State sovereignty and territorial integrity.
HOSSEIN MALEKI ( Iran) said he had joined consensus on the draft resolution with a number of understandings. First, the Commission was to be guided by the Assembly and was to assist countries emerging from conflict. In the country-specific situation, the Commissions work would be activated by a formal request of the Government concerned and would be guided by the principle of national ownership. Activities would focus on economic and reconstruction recovery and not at pre-conflict situations, including conflict resolution. The Organizational Committee would establish the agenda based on requests for advice from the relevant bodies and the consent of the State concerned. Finally, the principle of sovereignty and associated State rights would be paramount and strictly respected.
JANICE MILLER ( Jamaica) said the Commission was an important component in developing an approach for helping countries emerge from conflict, and thereby maintaining peace and stability. Great care should be exercised to safeguard the Assemblys role as set out in the Charter, without handing over mandates to the Council through the Commission. Certain paragraphs in the text gave the Council too much power in the Commission. The process of selection or election and the possibility of permanent membership were particularly delicate. However, early operationalization of the Commission was important, including for staying in line with the mandate established by heads of State at the Summit. Establishing the support office was part of that mandate.
JUAN ANTONIO YANEZ-BARNUEVO ( Spain) said the timeline set in the Outcome Document had been met. An institutionalized mechanism for helping countries emerge from conflict was overdue and was a big step towards revitalizing the United Nations. Making oral amendments to the Spanish text, he said the provisions for the Commission should be reviewed in five years to make sure it remained relevant. Nevertheless, for now, the role of the United Nations in recovery of countries emerging from conflict had been greatly strengthened.
JOHAN LOVALD ( Norway) said the United Nations had been strengthened by the decision just taken. Further, the Organization was now better-placed to address post-conflict situations. The success of the Commission would be measured by its capacity to deliver, and his Government was prepared to give some $30 million to the Peacebuilding Fund.
RONALDO MOTA SARDENBERG ( Brazil) said that his delegation had joined the consensus largely because it was convinced that peace would not last long in any country without addressing the root causes of conflict. He said that the interaction between the Commission and other United Nations organs, and the composition of the Organizational Committee raised many concerns. Too much weight had been placed on the role of the Security Council.
While there was no doubt of the Councils role in the maintenance of international peace and security, he said that when peacebuilding activities got under way in post-conflict countries, a greater role for the ECOSOC should have been expected and provided for in the text. Further, the text should have attempted to ensure geographical balance on the Organizational Committee. It also assured permanent representation of a small and predictable group, which would no doubt have some effect on the Commissions working methods.
JOHN DAUTH (Australia), also speaking on behalf of Canada and New Zealand, said his delegation was disappointed in the tone of the statements, which had been far less hopeful and enthusiastic than they ought to be in light of the action just taken. Canada, Australia, and New Zealand did not believe that the arping heard today was representative of the opinions of the wider Assembly or of civil society organizations worldwide. He reminded the Assembly that the Organizational Committee would be a largely administrative body and that the Commission would undertake much of its work in country-specific settings.
FRISNEL AZOR ( Haiti) said the Commission was a historic institution for going from war to peace. It was dedicated to lasting peace and to helping countries reintegrate and rebuild for sustainable development and political stability. Now the root causes of conflict must be addressed, and one profound cause was abject poverty. In recognition of the social element to crises, the international monetary institutions must be brought into play, and a Multiyear Fund for Peacebuilding must be established. Implementation must be key. His country would participate actively in the Commissions work, which included not only socio-economic assistance, but also the restoring of crumpling political institutions in line with principles of sustainable development.
KENZO OSHIMA ( Japan) said he had contributed to the text and had joined consensus with the hope of facilitating the spirit of compromise on the other important debates in the reform process. Japan would take an active and consistent role in the Commission.
DUMISANI SHADRACK KUMALO ( South Africa) said the Commission would be judged by results on the ground. It was disappointing that the support office would not be funded within the regular budget, and the fact that the permanent Council members wanted to make themselves permanent on the Commission was unexpected. But again, whatever happened at Headquarters was of little concern. The results would be evident with the people of Burduni, Kosovo or any others emerging from conflict and needing to avoid slipping back.
FIDELIS IDOKO ( Nigeria) said the resolutions adoption had been a testimony to the perseverance and good work of the Co-Chairs during the negotiations. The consensus adoption showed that the Assembly had kept faith with the wishes of Heads of State and Government, as expressed in the outcome of the 2005 World Summit. The task was now to get the Commission up and running, which, above all, meant ensuring its adequate funding and support for the Peacebuilding Fund.
CARMEN MARIA GALLARDO HERNANDEZ ( El Salvador) said her delegation applauded the historic action that had just taken place. The Commission should be based on the experience of countries that had moved from political agreement towards the establishment of lasting rehabilitation and development. El Salvador would stress broad participation in the work of the Commission in those countries that had successfully emerged from conflict. It also welcomed the inclusion in the text of language supporting gender perspective.
Mr. ELIASSON said that he could not respond to the comments and questions in detail, although they had all been extremely valuable. He thanked the Assembly for the support expressed for his work and that of the Co-Chairs during the negotiations. He hoped the Assembly would see the establishment of the Commission as an expression of the concept that the three organs -- Assembly, Security Council and ECOSOC - could work closely together. f we do it right, this could lead to better coordination.r He said he was particularly sensitive to the comments made on the role of the Assembly. But he recognized that they had perhaps come about as a consequence of the creation of a new United Nations body. But nevertheless, this was the beginning of the Commissions life and much work remained to be done. He would request that the Secretary-General to provide an updated list of top financial and troop contributing countries. He would also urge the other relevant organs to select their members of the Organizational Committee as soon as possible, so that the Secretary-General could convene the Committees first meeting as soon as possible. Finally, he stressed that the true test of the Commission would be its effect on peoples lives on the ground.
Security Council, Acting Concurrently With General Assembly, Establishes Peacebuilding Commission To Advise On Post-Conflict Situations
5335th Meeting (AM)
20 December 2005
The Security Council, acting concurrently with the General Assembly, today put into operation a major decision of the 2005 World Summit and established a Peacebuilding Commission as an intergovernmental advisory body to advise the Council at its request on post-conflict situations.
Through the unanimous adoption of resolution 1645 (2005), the Council decided that the main purposes of the Commission, which would act only on the basis of consensus, were: to advise on and propose integrated strategies for post-conflict peacebuilding and recovery; to focus attention on the reconstruction and institution-building efforts necessary for recovery and to support the development of integrated strategies for sustainable development; and to provide recommendations and information to improve United Nations coordination. The Commissions agenda will be set at the request of the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Secretary-General, or Member States on the erge of lapsing or relapsing into conflict.
The Council also decided that the Commission should have a 31-member Organizational Committee, comprising: seven Security Council members, including permanent members, seven members of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) elected from regional groups, with due consideration to those countries that have experienced post-conflict recovery; five top providers of assessed contributions to United Nations budgets and of voluntary contributions to United Nations funds, programmes and agencies; and five top providers of military personnel and civilian police to United Nations missions.
Giving due consideration to representation from all regional groups in the Committees overall composition and to representation from countries that ave experienced post-conflict recovery, the Assembly would elect seven additional members. A Member State, however, could only be selected from one of the above categories at any one time, and serve for renewable two-year terms.
The Council underlined that, in post-conflict situations on its agenda, particularly when there was a United Nations-mandated peacekeeping mission on the ground or under way, the Commissions main purpose was to advise the Council at its request. It recommended that the Commission terminate its consideration of a country-specific situation when foundations for sustainable peace and development were established or upon the request of the national authorities.
It also underlined that the advice of the Commission to provide sustained attention as countries moved from transitional recovery towards development would be of particular relevance to the ECOSOC, bearing in mind its role as a principal body for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on issues of economic and social development.
The Council also decided that country-specific meetings of the Commission should include as members of the Committee, representatives of: the country under consideration; countries in the region engaged in the post-conflict process; the major financial, troop and civilian police contributors involved in the recovery; the senior United Nations representative in the field, among others; and such regional and international financial institutions as might be relevant.
It was further decided that the Secretary-General would be invited to participate in all Commission meetings, as well as representatives from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other institutional donors.
In addition, the Commission will make the outcome of its discussions and recommendations publicly available as United Nations documents, and submit an annual report to the General Assembly, which would debate it yearly.
Immediately following adoption of that text, the Council voted 13 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions (Argentina, Brazil) on a second, related resolution, 1646 (2005).
By its terms, the Council decided that its permanent members would be members of the new organization committee, and the Council would select annually two of its elected members to that same body. It also decided by that text that the Organizational Committees annual report should be submitted to the Council for an annual debate.
Explaining his vote, Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg ( Brazil) said he firmly supported the Commissions establishment to fill the institutional gap between action to keep the peace and activities required to consolidate and sustain it. During his two-year term on the Security Council, his delegation had consistently called attention for action in the economic and social spheres in post-conflict situations to run parallel to peacekeeping. He remained committed to that view. The first resolution, however, showed an imbalance between the new Commission and the main organs of the United Nations. Undoubtedly, the maintenance of peace and security rested with the Security Council, in accordance with the Charter. However, when peacebuilding activities came into play, a greater role for ECOSOC should have been featured, especially a hoped-for reformed ECOSOC.
He said further that the new Commission should have been able to determine its own agenda and provide advice to any organ of the Organization, and it should not operate as a subsidiary body of the Security Council. The texts fourth operative paragraph was aimed at correcting geographical imbalances, but the composition should be subjected to a rotation and no permanent membership should be established. Despite those concerns, he had voted in favour of the first resolution in support of countries in post-conflict situations. He had abstained in the draft adopted immediately after the first because it departed from principles agreed in resolution 1645 (2005) on implementation of the Peacebuilding Commission.
Csar Mayoral ( Argentina) said his delegation had been very constructive throughout the negotiations for the creation of the Peacebuilding Commission. In that regard, he had supported its establishment, and he trusted it would be a positive body able to resolve post-conflict problems. Despite that, the establishment of that body and the composition and involvement of the Security Council, as referred to in the second resolution, was something he could not support. He supported the establishment of the Commission based on the legal balance among States and without any privileges granted to any.
Abdallah Baali ( Algeria) said he voted in favour of both drafts because he thought that the Commission was a necessity in this Organization and that it would play a crucial role by assisting countries emerging from conflict in the restoration of peace and stability. Regarding the second resolution, he voted in favour of it after much hesitation. Quite simply, the text was hardly in harmony with the first resolution, particularly with respect to the representation of members of the Security Council in that connection.
Emyr Jones Parry ( United Kingdom), Council President for December, notified members of the Council that in another place - the General Assembly -- a decision had just been taken by consensus, so there now was formally constituted a Peacebuilding Commission by both bodies.
Jean-Francis Regis Zinsou ( Benin) said he had voted in favour of resolution 1645 because he supported the institutions establishment and the resolution in its favour, in spirit and letter. However, he deemed it inappropriate to have had the draft put forward under the agenda item, ost-conflict peacebuilding. The Peacebuilding Commission was aimed at preventing conflicts, prior to conflict, as well as after conflict. Thus, the agenda item might prejudice implementation of paragraph 12 c of the resolution. (That provision concerned requests for advice from Member States in exceptional circumstances on the verge of lapsing or relapsing into conflict and which were not on the Security Councils agenda).
John Bolton ( United States) said he would circulate an explanation of his vote as a document of the Security Council.
The meeting in which both resolutions were adopted began at 11:31 a.m. and was adjourned at 11:40 a.m.
Fifth Committee Informs General Assembly Creation of Peacebuilding Commission Will Not Entail Additional Expenditures Under 2006-2007 Budget
Sixtieth General Assembly
With a draft resolution on the establishment of the Peacebuilding Commission, due to come before the General Assembly plenary and Security Council today, the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) this morning decided to inform the Assembly that, at the present stage, the adoption of the text would not give rise to any additional requirements under the proposed budget for 2006-2007.
Approving, without a vote, a draft decision on the matter, the Committee decided that any additional resources, as may be necessary for the conference servicing of the new body, should be presented in the performance report next year. Further, in view of the requirement - contained in the September Summit Outcome -- that the support office to assist the Commission be staffed from within existing resources, the Committee concluded that there should be no additional appropriation for that purpose at this stage. The Assembly should request the Secretary-General to report back to it pursuant to the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions.
Following action on the draft, the representative of Rwanda, speaking on behalf of the African Group, expressed regret that ue to non-provision of resources, the Secretary-General would not be able to establish the peacebuilding support office. While congratulating themselves on the milestone that would be achieved today, members of the Committee had a responsibility to reflect further on the resource requirements of the support office. The Group did not accept the concept of operating within existing resources for that crucial activity, and he trusted that in March the Committee would be able to address the Secretariats report on the matter.
Following that action, the representative of Rwanda, speaking on behalf of the African Group, said that, today, the Assembly would adopt the resolution on the Peacebuilding Commission, which had been authorized by heads of State and government in September. The Fifth Committee had agreed on the decision, which was meant to reflect that decision. However, on the support office, unfortunately, the statement of programme budget implications had provided the nascent office with no other resources than a P-5 post deployed to the unit. When agreement was reached on the establishment of the Commission, it had also been recognized that it would be provided with backstopping. Hence, the provision for the support office. Regrettably, due to non-provision of resources, the Secretary-General would not be able to establish it.
While congratulating themselves on the milestone that would be achieved today, members of the Committee had a responsibility to reflect further on the resource requirements of the support office. He trusted that, in March, the Secretariat would come back with a report on the matter. He added that the Group did not accept the concept of operating within existing resources for that crucial activity, and asked when the Secretariat would submit the report on the matter to the Assembly.
Nigeria s representative said she was pleased that the draft had been approved by the Committee. Today was a historic day. The Assembly had demonstrated that it could act quickly on the decisions of the heads of State and government. That was proof of the fact that where there was a will, there was a way. She appreciated the efforts of all those who had made todays landmark event possible.
She aligned herself with the position of the African Group and said that, given the historic nature of the event, she had joined the consensus on the budget implications, which contained no resources on a support office, as a clear demonstration of the importance she attached to the matter. However, she took full cognisance of the appeal by the coordinator of the consultations on the matter, who had implored the delegates o take a leap of faith to pave a way for the Peacebuilding Commission. It was important to make good on the commitments by Member States and assure that the Commission could accomplish everything that had been envisioned for it. She also took note of the comments by the ACABQ that it was incumbent on the Secretary-General to fully justify the resources for the support office, and echoed the request to ascertain how soon that submission could be placed before the Committee.
Responding to questions, United Nations Controller, WARREN SACH, said that the Secretariat would produce a report early in the year, whic