Speech by President Jonathan At The Security Council



By H.E (Dr) Goodluck Jonathan, Gcfr President Of The Federal Republic Of Nigeria

At The Security Council

On Maintenance Of International Peace And Security – Conflict Prevention

Thursday, 22 September 2011

New York

Mr. President,

I wish to express, on behalf of the Government and people of Nigeria, my appreciation to you for convening this crucial meeting, to review the United Nations’ efforts in the area of Conflict Prevention. Nigeria considers it a subject of critical importance to all humanity. I want also to commend the Secretary-General for his tireless efforts in this regard and for the incisive and comprehensive report (S/2011/552), which has been invaluable in presenting a persuasive case in all ramifications for Preventive Diplomacy.

Mr. President,

When Nigeria convened the open debate on Preventive Diplomacy in July 2010, we were motivated by a profound concern that the nature of conflict was out-pacing our collective ability to respond effectively to it. For so long, the international community has accorded little attention to mediation and Preventive Diplomacy. We have placed far too much emphasis and resources on the military dimensions of peace and security, without addressing the root causes of conflicts. The report before us today indicates that this trend was not strictly as a result of failure to utilize preventive strategies, but principally due to inadequate resourcing and coordination. The immediate challenge before us must be how to address these key questions.

Africa has, over the years, placed a great deal of political weight on the application of Preventive Diplomacy strategies, by putting in place, early warning and mediation mechanisms. The African Union made strident steps to develop a framework for Preventive Diplomacy through the efforts of the African Union Peace and Security Council. At the sub-regional level, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has also made great strides in this area, primarily through the steady implementation of its conflict prevention framework encompassing diplomacy, fact- finding and early warning system. It is imperative, therefore, that these efforts at regional and sub-regional levels must be supported both financially and technically by the international community and the United Nations system.

Mr. President,

Today, a number of effective contact points have been developed within the United Nations system for these collaborative arrangements, especially through the Secretary-General’s special envoys, the Department of Political Affairs (DPA), UN regional offices and the Peace Building Commission (PBC). As the Secretary-General aptly observed, working with relevant partners have created enabling environments in easing tensions, building capacities for skilled interventions and fostering dialogue.

Indeed, Nigeria has invested resources to support the campaign for Preventive Diplomacy especially within our sub-region. We have adopted the use of Preventive Diplomacy in addressing complex questions arising from armed conflicts.

It is, therefore, encouraging to note that the Secretary-General has established a steering committee to consider measures for enhancing cooperation across the network of Preventive Diplomacy actors. In real terms, Preventive Diplomacy is often most effective when conducted behind the scenes, certainly well before tensions rise to boiling point. We believe we can foster the growth of conflict prevention at both normative and practical levels; we can standardize our approach to political and peacekeeping missions to reflect the strategic importance of Preventive Diplomacy.

If indeed our primary responsibility in this Council is to maintain international peace and security, the work of this Council in managing international peace and security should be viewed through the lens of Preventive Diplomacy. If we are able to assist nations and communities in restoring their social and institutional fabric; if we can also apply ourselves to the ongoing task of providing opportunities for people in their livelihood, we can go a long way in reducing opportunities for conflicts; we can directly and indirectly prevent conflicts.

I thank you.



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