February 5, 2014
1 I have the pleasure to deliver these remarks on behalf of Cyprus, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates. We would like to thank the UN Technical Support Team (TST) for putting together comprehensive issues brief on conflict prevention, post-conflict peacebuilding and the promotion of durable peace, rule of law and governance.
2 Conflict prevention, post-conflict peacebuilding and the promotion of durable peace, rule of law and governance are all inter-related issues. An important foundation for this debate lies in the existing commitments to the Principles of the UN Charter made by Member States to “settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered”. (UN Charter, Chapter 1, Article 2)’. Undoubtedly, peace between states and within states creates conditions to spur sustainable development. Without peace, states’ efforts to implement sustainable development policies would be distracted. The TST brief gives some good examples of how peace enabled development, such as tripling access to improved water sources by Ethiopia since the end of the civil war in 1991. Further, economic prosperity of the people and welfare of society and its youth is essential for conflict prevention, post conflict peacebuilding and the promotion of durable peace, rule of law and governance.
3 To have peace, there must be an adherence to the rule of law and governance. This adherence similarly creates conditions for sustainable development to take place. As the conditions are an enabler for sustainable development, the troika is of the view that a multipronged approach could be adopted. Some of these issues under peace, rule of law and governance could be viewed as potential cross cutting targets, while some of them could be mainstreamed into different sustainable development goals (SDGs). The selected issues should be practical and balanced by what member states can achieve at the implementation level, taking the political, economic, social and cultural sensitivities into account. They could perhaps include taking steps to reduce bribery and corruption, ensure independence of judiciary, and reduce inequalities across social groups.
4 Given member states have vastly different views on peace, rule of law and governance, the troika envisages difficulties in reaching broad consensus on what approach could best tackle these issues, such as whether they should be SDGs, targets or mainstreamed in other SDGs. But we remain hopeful that the Open Working Group can work out a way ahead.