Statement by Reed Fendrick, Minister Counselor for Political Affairs, on Conflict Prevention and Recovery, in the Security Council:
Today's subject really involves the UN institutional gap identified by the Secretary General's High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change. As the Panel has noted, "there is no place in the United Nations system explicitly designed to avoid State collapse and the slide to war or to assist countries in their transition from war to peace." The High Level Panel wanted to help the international community address the spectrum of problems many states confront today, from pre-conflict through conflict itself and then into post-conflict or recovery.
The international community often has had to play a role across this continuum and properly so. For most of the United Nations' history, conflicts almost invariably wind up threatening regional if not global peace and security, whatever their causesIt is therefore entirely appropriate that the Security Council consider lessons learned from helping societies emerge from conflict. And, in light of this history, the High Level Panel's recommendation that the Security Council establish a Peacebuilding Commission makes eminent sense No one foresees the day when the international community will be out of the business of helping post-conflict societies; therefore, we owe it to ourselves to try to learn from experience and apply the lessons to conflict prevention.
In our view, a stable society with a successful economy necessarily is rooted in the rule of law and has representative institutions that operate predictably according to law. The economy also is framed and governed by law. As a society heads over the cliff into conflict, the rule of law breaks or is weakened. In recent cases, hostilities often have eroded respect for the most basic norms, including those set forth in international humanitarian law. And afterward, confidence in the rule of law must be rebuilt if a society is to avoid slipping backward
To build or rebuild security takes great effort, and security institutions must be tied into the overall program of social reconstruction. Thus, training is indispensable. But it is not training only in conflict management or control. It is also training in support of the rule of law.
Thank you, Mr. President.