New York, 11 February 2011

Statement by H.E. Mr. Sven Alkalaj, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina
at the UN Security Council Open Debate
on Maintenance of international peace and security: the interdependence between security and development

I would like to commend you, Minister Patriota, for convening this meeting to discuss such an important topic. My appreciation also goes to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Ms. Sarah Cliffe for their insightful remarks.

Mr. President,

It is our view that the objectives of security and development go hand in hand, which implies that security is considered to be a prerequisite for development. Discussions about security, therefore, lead us inevitably towards discussions on development, indicating an inherent link between these two issues. Improvements in one area, enhance the chances of progress in the other, while failure to provide either security or development could jeopardize success in both fields.

Various dimensions of development and security are interconnected and mutually reinforcing, which suggests that the link between them requires a co-ordinated approach. Hence, it is important to have a clear understanding of the mechanisms that govern the security-development nexus. This nexus also calls for a reassessment of the boundaries between these two issues. At the core of the matter is the ability to contribute on the ground to conflict prevention and the creation of an atmosphere conducive to sustainable peace.

Mr. President,

The peacebuilding process entails overlapping agendas for peace and development aimed at preventing and managing conflicts and encouraging post conflict reconstruction. The UN has a central role in promoting such agendas. In order to address the deep-rooted causes of violent conflicts, new and innovative approaches must be found to generate resources for conflict prevention and peacebuilding. In addition, the various actors within the UN system must seek out the best possible ways to contribute to their common purpose of development and security.

It is crucial to extend assistance to countries in a wide range of sectors, including governance, human rights, justice, reconciliation, demilitarization, demobilization and reintegration as well as security sector reform. Programs of assistance in these areas should be sensitive to the connection between development and security agendas. It is also important that strategies regarding security and development are integrated and implemented alongside other priorities in a coherent peacebuilding framework.

Security sector reform (SSR) and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) as parts of comprehensive peacebuilding strategies can be successfully implemented only in an environment that offers economic opportunity and favors development. When early peace dividends are evident and accepted, the security sector well managed and democratic norms in place, opportunities for development are present in the true sense.

Weak national institutions, whether they are in the political, security or development domain, can increase the risk of relapsing into conflict. Bosnia and Herzegovina believes that one way of addressing the security-development link is to focus on building and strengthening institutions indispensable to security and development. This issue was the topic of our thematic debate held in the Security Council last month.

Governments and societies need proper funding and assistance in consolidating their efforts to provide security for their population and improve economic conditions. Much has been achieved through the UN peacebuilding architecture, the activities of the Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund, yet more remains to be done.

With regard to the donor community, it is essential to establish better cooperation between donors and international financial institutions. UN agencies and international organizations need more specialized expertise in areas such as natural resource management or wealth-sharing. They must also coordinate their efforts towards achieving meaningful results and adjust their response to the specific situation in a given country. A well implemented and integrated strategy on the parts of agencies, funds and international financial institutions can significantly increase prospects for the success of efforts to ensure peace and security.

With all the above in mind, Bosnia and Herzegovina emphasizes the importance of an integrated, comprehensive and coordinated approach which includes the establishment of good governance, the rule of law, the promotion of human rights, institution-building, security sector reform, economic reconstruction and development in order to achieve sustainable and irreversible peace.

Furthermore, we firmly believe that particular emphasis should be placed on empowering women and their greater involvement in peacebuilding efforts, including in development processes.

Finally, Mr. President,

We are fully aware that the Security Council is not responsible for bringing decisions directly related to the issue of development. However, we believe that the Council can and should contribute through its work towards the transformation of post conflict settings into environments that foster long-term development. Given the correlation between security and development and the Council’s primary role in maintaining international peace and security, it is safe to say that this body already invests significant efforts to that end. Nevertheless, in the course of its deliberations, the Security Council should also endeavor to address development issues with the attention they warrant, in order to ensure a smooth and effective transition to a lasting and sustainable peace.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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