Statement delivered by Permanent Representative of Pakistan at the Open Debate in the UN Security Council on "The Role of Reconciliation in Maintaining International Peace and Security" (19th November 2019)

Mr. President,

Let me congratulate the United Kingdom on assuming the Presidency of the Security Council for this month and on organizing this debate.

Reconciliation is an important thematic area in post-conflict peacebuilding. I recall participating in a debate on National Reconciliation in this august chamber back in 2004. It is welcome to revive consideration of this important issue.

We would also like to thank Secretary General Guterres and Professor Ozerdem for their briefings.

Mr. President,

As we approach the 75th anniversary of the UN next year, we should not forget that this organization is itself a symbol of reconciliation. It is an organization that was born from the conviction that animosity and discord can indeed be put to rest and nations can rise above their differences to build a shared future. The development of peace and cooperation in Europe following two devastating world wars is an illustration and example of the benefits of political reconciliation. I must add that I am sure Brexit will not reverse that.

We have made some progress over the years in reconciling conflicts, as in Cote d’ Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Pakistani peacekeepers have contributed to bringing protracted wars and conflicts to an end. Such efforts should be maintained, avoiding, however, a one-size fits all approach.

Mr. President,

Besides being a leading troop contributor to UN peacekeeping, Pakistan is also a member of the Peacebuilding Commission since its inception in 2005. I would like share some key points based on our experience:

Mr. President,

Pakistan has supported an Afghan led and Afghan owned peace process. With mutual release of hostages and prisoners yesterday, we hope that the peace process will be quickly revived. We also host 3 million Afghan refugees. They should return back and have a voice in the intra-Afghan reconciliation process that we hope will start soon. The international community must support the early and honourable return of the Afghan refugees.

Mr. President,

As conflicts continue across the globe, reconciliation will remain a relevant mechanism in post conflict peacebuilding.

However, the central purpose of UN is to prevent conflicts and resolve them to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.

Unfortunately, the Security Council has had an uneven record in resolving threats to and breaches of international peace and security, which is its primary mandate. Both its endeavours and their outcomes have been inconsistent. We have witnessed prolonged inaction and silence in some cases. In particular, Pakistan is deeply concerned at the absence of action by the Security Council to halt India’s violations of human rights and Security Council resolutions in the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir. In contrast, the Council has been propelled in other instances towards a rapid resort to sanctions and enforcement action.

Mr. President,

This requires political will and commitment on part of the international community. Given that an amount which is less than one-half (0.5%) percent of global defense expenditure is invested in peace; this is a telling commentary on the commitment that is required to build peace in the world.

I thank you Mr. President.