Statement by H.E. Mr. Shigeki Sumi
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
Open ended meeting
17 February 2010
1. I would like to thank the Facilitators (Ireland, Mexico and South Africa), President of General Assembly and President of the Security Council (France) for convening this important meeting for PBC review today.
2. Since its establishment in 2005, PBC has made a steady progress. It has taken four countries under its consideration and advocated for peacebuilding agenda by building strategic relationship with relevant actors. Notwithstanding its achievements, we believe PBC has not fulfilled its potential as an intergovernmental body which is uniquely placed to purse peacebuilding efforts. Therefore, this review is important, not only because it is foreseen in the founding resolution but also because it is timely and appropriate for PBC to gear up to meet the demands of post conflict countries, without losing positive gains.
3. We strongly believe that this review should focus on strategic issues for PBC and should not be dominated by organizational rearrangement. The strengths of the current PBC structure are its flexibility, concise but representative membership, and personal commitments by chairs of CSM. These strengths should not be lost.
In this regard, we would like to propose the following points to be considered.
4. First, during the review, we should elaborate on the three purposes of PBC as stipulated in the resolution. We do not need to redefine them, but we should measure PBC’s past performance against its purposes and analyze how PBC can function more effectively. We should break down the discussion by three overarching purposes, namely, marshalling resources, focusing on reconstruction, and improving coordination. The end result of the review should enable PBC to make tangible differences on the ground.
5. Second, we should explore how PBC can take up new agenda. PBC can diversify the way it considers agenda. In addition to the present country specific configuration, it may also be useful to consider second-tier (multi-tier) approach, by monitoring regional issues or countries that receive PBF allocation. Monitoring can be at lighter level of engagement, by considering options for light-foot approach.
6. Third, related to the second point is the referral mechanism, particularly by the Security Council. One option might be to examine when and how the Council can refer cases to PBC. The case to be referred may not be one country as has been the practice, but we may want to consider various possibilities, such as regional issues if deemed appropriate. To strengthen the interaction, a regular (monthly) consultation between the President of the Security Council PBC chair can be established and examine potential agenda for PBC.
7. Forth, we should look into the relationship between PBC and PBF. As PBF TOR has been revised, it is not wise to revisit its allocation mechanism. However, we feel that strategic discussion on PBF can be enhanced. PBC is not placed to decide its allocation, but it can give strategic guidance for PBF and see if PBF is contributing to peacebuilding efforts.
8. Fifth, the engagement of PBC in early phase of peacebuilding should be examined. PBC does not need to, and probably can not, be involved in every post-conflict country. However, early engagement of PBC should be discussed in the context of emerging peacebuilding needs where peacekeeping missions are at work. An enhanced coordination between PBC and PKO missions may contribute to smooth transition towards durable peace and orderly exit of PKO missions. As indicated in the Secretary General’s report issued last year, it is helpful to explore potential roles that PBC can play in early recovery phase.
9. It is not wise for the review to rush to conclusions, but we should devote enough time how PBC can be effective substantively. We are committed to playing a constructive role throughout the review.