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Holy See at UN: Integrated Approach to Peace

Statements at Plenary Session on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace

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On April 25 and 26, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations gave a statement during the Plenary Session of the High-Level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace and another statement during the fourth interactive session of the Meeting that was dedicated to the “UN’s Comprehensive and Integrated Approach to Peace.”
In its remarks at the Plenary Session, the Holy See said that peacebuilding is one of the most important activities of the United Nations and underlined five priorities: that the UN should recommit itself and scale up its peacebuilding efforts; focus on institutional and capacity building in situations of potential or impending conflicts; address effectively the illicit flow and accumulation of weapons; involve all sectors of the society,  particularly men, in conflict resolution and peacebuilding processes; and ensure justice and accountability for those responsible for atrocity crimes.
In its remarks at the fourth interactive session, the Holy See said that there is a mutual relationship between sustainable development and sustainable peace. It stressed the need to develop a practical, comprehensive and integrated strategy to promote peace internationally while accounting for the primary responsibility of States; address the deep roots of conflict; eliminate extreme poverty and address economic regression; promote governance, democracy and building of State institutions; disarm, demobilize and reintegrate former combatants; promote the role of women in peacebuilding and mediation; apportion and coordinate responsibilities among all active parties; engage in preventive diplomacy; initiate consultations among active parties before initiating peacekeeping missions; and promote sustainable and continuous international partnerships in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. In war, it said, everyone loses, and that’s why everyone must commit to being artisans of
The Remarks Follow:
 Statement by H.E. Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations at the Plenary of the High-Level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace, New York, 24-25 April 2018
Mr. President,
I would like to commend the President of the General Assembly for having convened at such a crucial time this High-Level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace.
Peacebuilding is one of the most important activities of the United Nations and thus it deserves the full attention of the international community. The Holy See, therefore, believes that the concept of “Sustaining Peace” should be at the core of our efforts at the United Nations to prevent conflicts and sustain peace. It encompasses all the dimensions of prevention and peace, namely, conflict prevention, effective peacebuilding, addressing the root causes of conflicts, and ensuring non-recurrence if conflict had erupted. If prevention is the priority, we must commit ourselves wholeheartedly to sustaining peace.
Mr. President,
The Holy See would like to underline five priorities in Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace:
First, the United Nations can and should recommit itself to, and scale up, its peacebuilding efforts, including through ensuring a unified, across-the-board delivery of action, developing effective transition and exit strategies, continuous analysis, stronger synergies and coherence, and constant adjustment of responses.
Second, as an integral part of preventive diplomacy, the international community should focus on institutional and capacity building in States where there are situations of potential or impending conflicts. This step is also key in safeguarding successful transitions from conflict to lasting peace. Strengthening the resilience of States, building legitimate, accountable and effective institutions, and consolidating the rule of law are long-term endeavors, which require national leadership and responsibility and sustained international support. They likewise call for holistic approaches and the identification of specific destabilizing factors, such as a lack of accountability, corruption, and unaddressed grievances and disputes, including those regarding property, land ownership and access to vital resources.
Third, to build and sustain peace, the illicit flow and accumulation of weapons must be firmly addressed. Ending arms trafficking and illicit financing that directly or indirectly contribute to corruption and to the commission of atrocity crimes are essential elements to sustaining peace. In addition, demobilization and reintegration programs and assistance in security sector reform not only create a safer and more conducive environment for sustaining peace but also offer incentives to former combatants to become a part of a peaceful solution.  As former combatants are reintegrated, it is essential that they be properly vetted and re-trained so that their former victims do not feel threatened by their new roles in the community. Without these steps, their reintegration will undercut trust in the institutions, as well as in justice itself, with inevitable negative consequences for building a lasting peace.
Fourth, inclusivity is a crucial aspect of sustainable peace. Conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peacebuilding processes and efforts must involve all sectors of society. Women must play an active role through the whole spectrum of conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and post-conflict peacebuilding. Broad consultations and participative mechanisms that exclude no group or segment of the society consolidate the legitimacy of the State and foster trust among all its citizens. Conversely, the absence of inclusivity threatens peace and reconciliation processes and the stability of the State itself. By supporting the establishment of inclusive partnerships at the national level, the Peacebuilding Commission can strengthen the full involvement of marginalized and excluded persons and groups. The participation of all citizens in peacebuilding helps lead to inclusive agreements and lasting peace and stability.
Fifth and finally, the success of the transition from conflict to building and sustaining peace demands that justice and accountability be most seriously addressed. Justice and legal accountability are essential vectors of reconciliation, not its opposite. National Governments clearly have the primary responsibility to prosecute and punish those responsible for atrocities. If they fail to do so, however or are unable to fulfill their responsibilities, the International Criminal Court must play its full role. Failure to ensure justice and to put an end to impunity could sabotage post-conflict peacebuilding efforts and eventually rekindle conflicts, arresting development and violating human rights.
Mr. President,
My Delegation would like to express its appreciation for the accomplishments of UN missions in preventing or ending conflicts that afflict many regions of the world, thereby greatly contributing to building sustainable peace and stability that allows development and respect for human rights to flourish. The Holy See reiterates its commitment to collaborate, wherever possible, in the work of conflict prevention, conflict resolution and building sustainable peace.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Statement by H.E. Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations at Interactive Dialogue IV on “UN Comprehensive and Integrated Approach to Peace” of the High-Level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace, New York, 25 April 2018
Mr. Moderator,
Distinguished participants,
My Delegation wishes to congratulate the President of the General Assembly for introducing this initiative that focuses our attention on the need to adopt a coordinated, coherent and integrated approach towards achieving our development objectives.
As is recognized in the 2030 Agenda, “Sustainable development cannot be realized without peace and security; and peace and security will be at risk without sustainable development.” Indeed, societies cannot thrive if they are torn by conflict and strife and citizens cannot realize their potential if they are engulfed by instability and insecurity.
My Delegation wishes to emphasize the need:
* to develop a common approach among the United Nations and all participating actors that features a practical, comprehensive and integrated strategy to promote peace and takes into account the primary responsibility of the State concerned;
* to address the deep roots of conflicts, since development, security, and human rights are tightly interrelated;
* to take collective international responsibility to eliminate extreme poverty and develop an innovative approach and mechanism to address economic regression;
* and to focus on governance, democracy and the building of State institutions as essential ingredients for promoting peace.
Beyond these needs, my Delegation would also like to underline the importance of:
* the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of former combatants, with special attention to children and youth;
* the promotion of the role of women in mediation processes and peacebuilding;
* the coordination among all active parties and apportionment of responsibilities in peacebuilding, especially with respect to the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council;
* the particular role of the Security Council in mobilizing international political will, because of its special responsibility for international peace and security and the close relationship that exists between the maintenance of peace and security, conflict prevention and peacebuilding;
* the fundamental need of preventive diplomacy to prevent tensions from blowing into open conflicts;
* the value of initiating consultations among all active parties before establishing any peacekeeping mission, for better preparation and coordination towards that goal;
* and the promotion of sustainable and continuous international partnerships in all phases of conflict prevention and peacebuilding.
Mr. Chair,
The unprecedented scope of the 2030 Agenda testifies to our common commitment to a peaceful and prosperous world. The Holy See strongly believes that measures to prevent the outbreak, escalation, continuation and recurrence of conflicts, to be successful, require a coherent, integrated and coordinated approach. In this regard, the 2015 Review of the Architecture of the Peacebuilding Commission provides an opportunity to strengthen coordination. The Commission must continue to catalyze goodwill and to enhance its impact in the field.
In most conflicts, there are no winners and everyone loses. As Pope Francis has said: “In war, everyone loses, including the victors”.[1] That is why we must commit ourselves to being artisans of peace, working collectively to build sustainable peace and development by together addressing the root causes of conflicts.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
1. Pope Francis, Address during the World Day of Prayer for Peace (Assisi), 20 September 2016.
Copyright © 2018 Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, All rights reserved.

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