“The United Nations needs to improve the way it does peacebuilding because it will soon be called on to build peace in a number of countries, including Libya, South Sudan, Somalia, and maybe Syria,” said IPI President Terje Rød-Larsen at the European Forum Alpbach, which took place in the Tyrolian Alps from August 28-30th.
The theme of the forum was “Justice – Responsibility for the Future.”
Mr. Rød-Larsen was speaking on a panel about Peacebuilding and Development Cooperation together with Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations; Lazarous Kapambwe, Permanent Representative of Zambia to the UN; and Michael von der Schulenburg, Executive Representative of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL). The panel was chaired by Thomas Mayr-Harting, Permanent Representative of Austria to the UN.
Mr. Rød-Larsen said that security and development are essential elements for building peace, together with justice. “Without justice, there is no rule of law, no integrity, no legitimacy,” he said.
The IPI President noted that peacebuilding efforts within the UN have not yet achieved a horizontal, integrated, “whole of system” approach and should be enhanced, particularly in the field. “In my view, Special Representatives and Special Coordinators of the Secretary-General should be given an over-arching peacebuilding responsibility on the ground,” he said.
He also underlined the need for long-term international engagement in countries emerging from conflict. “Assisting and then abandoning fragile states is a recipe for fueling, rather than preventing, future conflicts,” he said. “We must stay the course and avoid giving into the temptation of being driven by political fads.”
While in Alpbach, the President of IPI met with a number of senior officials including Danielo Türk, President of Slovenia; Michael Spindelegger, Foreign Minister of Austria; Luis Moreno Ocampo, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court; Kandeh Yumkella, Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO); Amr Moussa, Foreign Secretary-General of the Arab League; and Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland.
Mr. Rød-Larsen also taught a week-long seminar with Francesco Mancini, IPI’s Director of Research, Ambassador Mayr-Harting, and Mr. von der Schulenburg. Participants included more than 100 graduate students from 25 countries.