“Ensuring the Security Council an Effective Role in the Maintenance of International Peace and Security”
President Abdullah Gül, of the Republic of Turkey, Mr. Secretary-General,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to congratulate President Gül on his initiative to hold this high-level meeting.
Sixty-five years ago, the United Nations was founded to prevent another war of great proportions. For many, however, real peace has never come about. Millions still live in a world where conflict and poverty nurture each other.
International efforts to promote stability have been hindered by a narrow view, in which peace was only seen as the absence of armed conflict.
Today it is clear that peace, security, development, human rights and the rule of law are interrelated. Peace can never flourish where there is hunger and poverty.
As much as an “exit strategy”, peacekeeping operations must have a “strategy of sustainability”. A strategy that would deliver the real dividends of peace – stability, development and strong national institutions.
Peacekeeping and peacebuilding should, to the extent possible, go hand in hand.
Let me be clear: we are not advocating that the Security Council be given a mandate to promote development. But, in most cases, the Security Council would benefit from the advice of the Peacebuilding Commission.
Other bodies of the UN system must also be involved. The coordination between the Security Council and ECOSOC, foreseen in Article 65 of the UN Charter, should be fully exercised.
Let me give you a couple of examples. In Haiti, where Brazil is proud to have contributed to the UN-led stabilization efforts, it is clear that there will be no lasting peace if extreme poverty and deprivation are not adequately addressed, and that was true even before the earthquake.
Real stability will only prevail if the window of opportunity created by MINUSTAH is seized to strengthen institutions and to improve the living conditions of the Haitian people.
This will require a deep involvement of the different bodies dealing with economic and social matters, as well as of the international financial institutions – all under appropriate coordination by the UN.
Guinea Bissau is another situation in which poverty and institutional instability hamper peace. The reforms needed by that country, especially of its armed forces, will require courageous decisions on the part of its authorities, but cannot dispense with substantial international cooperation.
In order to achieve these combined goals, proper attention by this Council may be needed.
Interaction with other UN bodies and the ability to cope with complex situations are indispensable to make the Security Council more effective. But this is not enough. The Council needs to be more representative and legitimate. The Council’s working methods must be more transparent.
Security issues that concern the whole of the international community cannot be dealt with as the private domain of a limited number of powers.
Improving the effectiveness of the Security Council depends also on the role of the non-permanent members.
They must fully participate in the decision-making process. Non-permanent members can bring a diversity of views and regional experiences to the Council. It is not appropriate to call upon them only to ratify decisions already taken by the permanent members.
It is also impossible to discuss the Council’s effectiveness without addressing the question of the veto. We are realistic. We are not proposing to abolish the veto. However, imaginative formulas that make its use more difficult or encourage self-restraint are necessary.
All of the measures listed above – a holistic approach the crises, the reform of the Council’s composition, increasing the role of the non-permanent members, and restraining the use of the veto – should contribute to make the international community more engaged in the Council’s decisions.
Finally, one word on sanctions. Sanctions, in particular economic sanctions, are foreseen in the UN Charter for especially intractable situations. Therefore, there should be nothing illegitimate about them in principle.
But more often than not the imposition of sanctions brings about unintended effects and impacts negatively on the civilian population, especially on its more vulnerable sectors.
So they constitute an instrument to be used with great caution, and only when all avenues of dialogue and understanding have been exhausted.