New York, 26 February 2016
At the UN Security Council, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi called for prioritizing peace-building by financially strengthening the U.N. Peace-building Commission saying that it would boost the peace efforts in countries emerging from conflict.
Speaking in the Security Council open debate on ‘Post-Conflict Peace-building: review of the peace-building architecture’, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative said that strengthened peace-building was in the interest of all.
Ambassador Lodhi pointed out that failure to prioritize peace-building leads to tragic cycles of relapse into turmoil and conflict. She called for addressing the root causes of conflict, saying that it was extremely important to avoid its recurrence. “But this requires long-term commitment and adequate and predictable financing”, she added.
The Peace-building Commission, an intergovernmental body established in 2005, is tasked with making recommendations on post-conflict recovery, reconstruction and development.
Ambassador Lodhi recalled that Pakistan had first proposed in 2004 the idea of an ad hoc arrangement to draw different United Nations bodies together in addressing complex crises. Peace-building, she said, works best as an integral part of a continuum from conflict prevention, to peacekeeping, to post-conflict reconstruction.
She regretted that the international community’s focus remained on the conflict phase alone, to the detriment of the two other phases. "The support of the international community wanes with the departure of TV crews in the aftermath of conflict, which leaves the country with weak state institutions, a power vacuum, weak economy and lack of financial resources – the confluence of which is a recipe for a descent into chaos."
Ambassador Lodhi said that the international community should prioritize prevention, take a holistic approach to sustaining peace, attach due importance to domestic resource mobilization while working on enhanced international support, encourage greater collaboration between the United Nations and the World Bank Group, as well as other regional and international partners, and ensure inclusive national ownership.
Ambassador Lodhi urged the Peace-building Commission to present the Security Council with concise, realistic and context-specific recommendations and benchmarks.
Pakistani envoy concluded by saying that the countries emerging from conflict face imposing challenges as they seek to overcome the legacy of war and find a durable path to peace and security. She added, “What was needed was revitalization of the peace-building mechanism to better assist states and societies to recover from conflict and avoid a calamitous return to violence”.