Bosnia and Herzegovina wishes to align itself with the statement to be made by the acting head of the European Union delegation to the United Nations, Mr. Pedro Serrano.
We would finally like to reiterate our gratitude to the personnel of United Nations missions for their dedicated work and daily commitment to advancing peace and security.
As a police- and troop-contributing country — a country, moreover, with critical experience of United Nations peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts — Bosnia and Herzegovina is particularly cognizant of the vital importance of this debate. Allow me to make a few brief remarks.
It is a long road from an initial peace agreement to sustainable peace. Travelling this road to the endpoint requires clear and adequate mandates, strategic planning and coherent implementation, as well as the commitment of the host country. Only through all this can the transition to peacebuilding succeed.
This process begins with mandate design. To achieve a successful transition, it is vital for mandates to be clear, appropriate and sufficient to addressing both immediate and long-term needs. A key part of that mandate design is the definition of a desired outcome that, as the draft presidential statement recognizes, reflects the need to create conditions favourable to sustainable peace. Appropriate and sufficient mandates allow the United Nations mission to take full advantage of the narrow window of opportunity to effect rapid change in the immediate post-conflict environment.
Furthermore, mandate renewal should not be automatic, but rather sensitive to and conditioned upon the evolution of in-country circumstances. This presupposes a sustained focus by the United Nations on cognitive capacity, that is, the ability to collate, examine and interpret all the necessary data to assess the mission’s impact. The Security Council would benefit from the availability of clear and precise recommendations from the Secretariat, as referred to in the draft presidential statement, at least one month prior to mandate renewal.
At the same time, Bosnia and Herzegovina attaches the utmost importance to defining exit strategies for United Nations peacebuilding missions. A clear exit strategy must be founded on a thorough evaluation of the situation on the ground and an accurate assessment of whether peacebuilding processes have reached a lasting, irreversible stage.
We should not allow inaccurate assessments to prevail and lead to the premature termination of missions. Mandates must be matched from the start by sufficient resources. It is widely recognized — and the trials of our own experience bear this out — that early investments are effective investments. Bosnia and Herzegovina consequently endorses the precedents relating to resources and achievable goals expressed in the presidential statement of 5 August 2009 (S/PRST/2009/24) and the Secretary-General’s report of 20 April 2001 (S/2001/394).
Bosnia and Herzegovina stresses the significance of including, wherever possible, integrated strategic planning and benchmarks. Clear and carefully calibrated benchmarks can help improve the Security Council’s strategic oversight of a mission’s progress towards sustainable peace. Such benchmarks will be meaningful in direct proportion to the cognitive capacity of the United Nations. We endorse the further development of existing benchmarks for the UnitedNations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the creation of a strategic integrated plan for the United Nations Mission in Liberia.
To achieve a successful transition, coordination among various actors and the coherence of complex, integrated missions are of vital importance. Bosnia and Herzegovina shares the common belief that regional organizations, such as the European Union and the African Union, can play a constructive role in transitions. Most peacekeeping and peacebuilding environments will involve an extensive array of stakeholders. Drawing upon their best abilities is essential to the success of the peacebuilding missions. The peacebuilding initiatives that worked in Bosnia and Herzegovina were marked by synergy between multiple actors and, most important, between civilian and military endeavours.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is of the belief that the quality of dialogue among stakeholders can be further improved. The Security Council, its Working Group of the Whole on Peacekeeping Operations, the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly, the Peacebuilding Commission and the police- and troop-contributing countries are all salient in planning and implementing United Nations missions. In particular, the Security Council could rely more upon the advice of the Peacebuilding Commission.
Finally, it has been exactly 18 years since the United Nations Protection Force was deployed at the very outset of the post-cold war period of peacekeeping. Since that disastrous beginning, the United Nations has notably improved the effectiveness of its peacekeeping. It has entered into a new phase of peacebuilding operations, which has had greater success in achieving objectives, such as the sustained peace in El Salvador.
Facing the challenges of an unprecedented degree of global deployment of United Nations missions will require further improvements, with particular reference to mandate design, strategic planning, cognitive capacity and coherence. The task will continue to demand the political will of host countries and Member States alike as an ineluctable prerequisite for successful transitions and exit strategies. Bosnia and Herzegovina stands ready to share its experiences and looks forward to contributing fully to post-conflict peacebuilding processes.