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CIVILIAN CAPACITY IN THE AFTERMATH OF CONFLICT
AND THE ROLE OF INDONESIA

BACKGROUND

In May 2008 the Security Council invited the Secretary-General to provide advice on how the United Nations could better support national efforts to secure sustainable peace more rapidly and effectively, including in the areas of coordination, civilian deployment and financing. The Secretary-General’s report that followed in 2009 entitled “Peacebuidling in the immediate aftermath of conflict” (A/63/881 – S/2009/304) reflected on past peacebuilding experiences; emphasized the challenges that post-conflict countries face in the immediate aftermath of conflict; emphasized the importance of national ownership; and proposed a review that would analyze how the United Nations and the international community can help to broaden and deepen the pool of civilian experts to support the immediate capacity development needs of countries emerging from conflict.

In March 2010 the Secretary-General appointed a Senior Advisory Group to undertake such a review. The Group, chaired by Jean-Marie Guéhenno, consulted broadly within the UN system, with Member States, regional organizations and civil society. The Group published its report in March 2011.

 

THE KEY RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE REPORT:

The report produced a number of recommendations aimed to strengthen the capacity of countries emerging from conflict to undertake a successful transition to sustainable peace. Those recommendations were placed within a framework called OPEN: Ownership, Partnerships, Expertise and Nimble, with the view to:

  • Strengthen national ownership of peace processes by supporting core government functions, nurturing national capacities and improving the economic impact of international interventions.
     
  • Encourage and enable the United Nations to look beyond its own staff and draw on the full range of global capacities, in particular from the Global South, working closely with Member States and civil society through a new mechanism for civilian partnerships.
     
  • Deliver the required expertise, among others, by leveraging the success of the cluster system in the humanitarian sphere – while learning from its limitations – to provide clarity on the core capacities of the United Nations and stronger accountability to Member States.
     
  • Use available resources more effectively and efficiently and thus increase the United Nations responsiveness to changing circumstances in the field.

The Senior Advisory Group also examined the United Nations human resource management systems. It made recommendations to improve the rapid deployment of right people in fast-moving field operations.

The Secretary-General submitted the report of the Senior Advisory Group to the General Assembly and the Security Council on 22 February 2011. He subsequently appointed a Steering Committee, chaired by the former Under-Secretary-General for Department of Field Support, whose members represent entities from across the United Nations system, to consider how the Group’s recommendations should be taken forward.

 

THE ROLE OF INDONESIA:

Since the beginning of the review in 2008, as the non-permanent Member of the UN Security Council, Indonesia took active part in and presented its views and inputs on this issue, working closely with other Members of the Council.

Indonesia together with Czech Republic held a regional workshop on “The Role of the United Nations in Multidimensional Peacekeeping Operations and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding: Towards an ASEAN Perspective” on 29-30 March 2010 in Jakarta Indonesia. Through this initiative, Indonesia further encouraged the discussion on this issue in South East Asia region. Indonesia also encouraged and contributed, in that, the outcome of the workshop be reflected, as appropriate, in the follow-up discussion at the United Nations.

Indonesia together with Canada established a consultative group of cross-regional Member States, which have been actively involved in the Civilian Capacities follow-up process. The Permanent Missions of Indonesia and Canada have hosted a series of events and meetings to encourage broad and open discussion about the report as well as the global civilian capacity agenda among the Member States, the United Nations and other partners.

Prior to the informal debate on Civilian Capacities review convened by the President of the General Assembly on 11 May 2012, and the briefing on the issue by the Security Council on 12 May 2012, Indonesia and Canada co-convened an informal briefing on the independent report by the Senior Advisory Group on April 11, 2012. Therein, the Chair of the Group, Jean-Marie Guéhenno, as well as the former USG DFS, Ms. Susana Malcorra, briefed the UN Member-States.

In his report on Civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict (A/66/311-S/2011/527), issued on 16 September 2012, the Secretary-General sets out his vision on the challenges faced by the United Nations and its partners in finding and deploying the right civilian capacities, and expresses how the United Nations should respond and what it should do in partnership with other stakeholders.

To energize discussion at the regional level, Indonesia together with Norway and supported by the United Nations Civilian Capacity team, organized the first regional consultation on strengthening partnership for civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict in Bali on 1-2 March 2012. Approximately 100 participants attended, representing 29 countries, including ASEAN Member States, representatives of the UN, regional organizations, non-governmental organizations and national think-tanks. The conference was opened by H.E. Ambassador Hasan Kleib, Director-General for Multilateral Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia and H.E. Mona Juul, Director-General of the Department for Security, Policy and the High North in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Norway. Ms. Susana Malcorra, the UN USG for Field Support and Chair of the UN Steering Committee on Civilian Capacities also addressed on the occasion.

The objectives of the conference were, among others, to identify countries’ respective specialized capacities, discuss how countries can deploy those capacities in post-conflict countries, including good practices by countries that have developed or are developing civilian capacities and from countries that have received such assistance, and to get update on ongoing work in the UN on strengthening partnerships, including on partnership modalities and online platform to match capacities and needs. The aim was to also examine how triangular cooperation, South-South cooperation, joint training initiatives and information exchanges can help provide more effective civilian capacity support. The conference also adopted a co-hosts summary (link to the summary).

Indonesia together with Canada also tabled a draft resolution on civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict, which was adopted by consensus at the General Assembly on March 16, 2012. It was the first resolution on the issue, and it was widely supported by Member States with 70 countries co-sponsoring it.

The resolution affirmed the fundamental principle of national ownership, and stressed the importance of supporting national civilian capacity development and institution building, including through peacekeeping operations in accordance with their mandates, as well as enhanced regional, South-South and triangular cooperation, and requested the Secretary-General to continue holding regular consultation on the review of civilian capacity so that close collaboration with Member States, including through the Peacebuilding Commission could be maintained. The resolution also requested the Secretary-General to submit a report in 2012 on the measures outlined in his report on civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict (link to SG’s report A/67/232).

The report of the Secretary-General on the subject was issued in August 2012. It will be discussed at the pertinent General Assembly fora, namely the plenary, Fourth Committee, Fifth Committee and the Sub-Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C-34) as well as the Peacebuilding Commission.

Indonesia has also submitted information on its civilian capacities to the first phase of the UN online platform CapMatch.

Indonesia will continue to work with all UN Member States and other actors both within and outside the UN system and facilitate an open and transparent discussion on the global civilian capacity review in order to support countries emerging from conflict and those requiring their national capacity development, through enhanced regional, South-South and triangular Cooperation.

 

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