Remarks by H.E. Mr Sven Jürgenson Permanent Representative of Estonia at the Security Council Open Debate on Post-conflict Peacebuilding: Review of the Peacebuilding Architecture, 23 February 2016
I would like to thank the Venezuelan presidency for organizing this timely debate on the Review of the Peacebuilding Architecture. Estonia aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union, and would like to make the following remarks in its national capacity.
International community still witnesses too many countries relapsing into conflict within short periods of time. While there have been notable successes in peacebuilding, it is important to note that ten years from the inception of the Peacebuilding Architecture and five years from the previous review, we are yet to realize its full potential. This underlies the importance to focus on concrete steps how to make this Peacebuilding Review lead to concrete results. Estonia would like to highlight the following aspects that are crucial for bringing peacebuilding's full potential to the fore.
We must put prevention of conflict at the center if we are serious about sustaining peace. This was one core message that came out from last year’s reviews - UN system needs to strengthen its ability to prevent conflicts from reoccurring. Peacebuilding is primarily a political process that requires long-term engagement. It should address the structural causes of conflicts as well as contemporary risks of recurrence. One of the most effective ways to sustain peace and prevent conflicts is by building national capacity, strengthening domestic institutions and supporting good governance. In that context, I would also like to highlight that sustainable development is crucial for sustainable peace.
Peacebuilding should no longer be viewed as merely a post-conflict activity but rather the challenge to sustain peace throughout the complete cycle of our engagement. In this regard, Estonia would like to underscore the importance of linking the Peacebuilding Review to the UNSG's review of peace operations, the review of UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. This holistic approach of addressing the interdependence between peace, security and development should include protection of human rights including attention to women’s rights, whose meaningful participation in peace consolidation can significantly improve the results.
Better co-ordination is needed if we are to strengthen peacebuilding. Effective national, regional and international partnerships enable to jointly develop more relevant approaches to targeting the specific peacebuilding needs. The UN system – both at country level and headquarters level – needs to work in a more coordinated fashion. To this end, Estonia, in its capacity as the Vice-President of the ECOSOC, has participated in discussions with the Peacebuilding Commission, on finding ways how to strengthen co-operation between the two bodies.
Lastly, more predictable and sustained funding is required to achieve the full potential of the Peacebuilding Architecture. Estonia has supported the PBF since 2013, as we believe that the PBF is an effective peacebuilding instrument for providing catalytic, fast and flexible assistance. However, since the PBF remains a relatively small-scale strategic fund, it has to be complemented by longer-term commitments from other financing sources, such as multilateral and regional development banks.
The increasing number of violent conflicts across the globe, serves as a strong reminder why we need to attach greater importance to peacebuilding, as it is an important avenue for conflict prevention. Estonia believes that we need to use this opportunity that the Peacebuilding Review offers, to produce bold, concrete and significant outcomes for reinvigorating the Peacebuilding Architecture.