Summary: EU Presidency Statement - Peacebuilding Commission (2 November 2005: New York)
UK Statement on Behalf of the European Union BY H.E. Sir Emyr Jones Parry, Permanent Representative, United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations, at the Informal Consultations of the Plenary on the Peacebuilding Commission, General Assembly, New York
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey and Croatia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this declaration.
Co-chairs, the European Union would like to thank you for the latest excellent paper you have provided to us, and for the open, transparent and inclusive manner in which you are taking forward this process. Your efforts are helping us through the issues that remain outstanding and the EU believe we have already seen some good progress. We are fully committed to finalising the details of the Peacebuilding Commission as soon as possible in the month of November so that it can be established well before the end of the year.
Co-Chairs, let me now run through your paper, which the EU is glad to accept as a basis for working towards resolutions that establish the PBC. I shall focus in particular on the five original outstanding issues.
But I can say that on a first reading the EU is already broadly content with your proposed preambular language and particularly welcomes the language on protection of civilians and on the role of women. We would also want one operative paragraph on the role of women.
The resolutions establishing the PBC should also make clear, perhaps in the preambular section, that a gender perspective should be integrated into its recommendations, reports, activities, strategies and best practice analyses, in conformity with the provisions of SCR 1325. Gender advice should be included in PBC consideration of all country situations.
Also, the EU considers that the resolutions should reflect, again perhaps in preambular language, that the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence must be respected for provision of humanitarian assistance, as part of peacebuilding efforts.
I now turn to the issues highlighted in your paper for the main body of the resolution.
On your first paragraph, our leaders decided in September to establish a Peacebuilding Commission. We need now to implement that decision by finalising the detailed arrangements. We believe that the Peacebuilding Commission should be the object of concurrent resolutions of the General Assembly and Security Council, as you have proposed. We can therefore accept the formulation in paragraph one your paper.
The European Union supports the functions as set out in paragraph 2 and the procedure as set out in paragraphs 3-6 of your paper.
Specifically, on involvement of the country under consideration, the European Union believes that the language contained in paragraphs 4 and 5 of your paper strikes the right balance. The Peacebuilding Commission should always act in co-operation with national or transitional authorities where that is possible. But we also need to recognise that in certain circumstances, there may be no national or transitional authority to deal with. So from a practical perspective, the European Union agrees on the inclusion of the phrase "where possible" and on the goal of promoting national ownership of the process. We are pleased that both aspects are reflected in paragraph 4 of your paper. We also welcome the reference in paragraph 5 to the involvement of regional and sub-regional actors.
Turning to agenda setting, as set out in paragraph 7 of your paper, the European Union agrees with the provisions that the Security Council can bring situations before the PBC and that the Secretary-General can request its advice. We support the idea that a member state in an exceptionally difficult situation should be able to apply direct to the PBC for advice, rather than needing to submit its application via ECOSOC or the GA. For the EU it is important that the direct route is preserved in the final outcome.
On mechanisms for interaction with other bodies, which, in our view, is covered in paras 8 to 12 of your paper, as the European Union has stated before, peacebuilding is a multifaceted task requiring the involvement of many different actors. The European Union believes that the establishment of the Peacebuilding Commission should promote coherent and complementary action by UN bodies and other actors involved in operational activities in the field.
It will thus be important that the PBC contributes to the exercise of operationally effective peacebuilding. For this to happen, in the EU view, the PBC's interaction with other UN bodies needs to respect the multi-dimensional nature of peacebuilding and for action to be taken in parallel by a range of bodies. It also needs to respect fully and be consistent with those bodies' Charter responsibilities, and other relevant Charter provisions, especially when the UN is operating on the ground.
Co-Chairs, the European Union agrees that the provisions and options set out in paragraphs 8 to 12 of your paper should constitute the general framework for our consideration of these issues.
In our view, the following reflects the key elements: