Rice Remarks at Open Security Council Debate on Post-Conflict Peacebuilding and Institution-Building
Remarks by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at an Open Security Council Debate on Post-Conflict Peacebuilding and Institution-Building, January 21, 2012Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. Secretary-General, Deputy Prime Minister Guterres, and Ambassador Wittig, thank you all for your very thoughtful briefings today.Mr. President, the only way to truly end a war is to successfully build a peace. Old embers left to smolder can ignite into new flames. Old weaknesses left to languish can summon new risks. So we face an important challenge here today: to sharpen all the tools at our disposal to do an essential job better.We meet today at the initiative of our colleague from Bosnia and Herzegovina, who has rightly drawn this Council's attention to our topic today. This is fitting: countries that have themselves endured and overcome the horrors of war are particularly suited to provide leadership—leadership that rests on hard-won wisdom. In 1995, the Dayton Peace Accords ended a shattering conflict that claimed more than 100,000 lives and drove more than 2 million people from their homes. Through more than 15 years of dedicated effort, Bosnia and Herzegovina has built up national governmental institutions one by one and made them stronger and more effective, from the Ministry of Defense to the customs service, the tax agency, and the Central Bank.The UN, together with a wide range of other actors, has been involved with helping post-conflict countries grapple with their most pressing needs for more than 20 years now. And virtually every conflict-wracked country currently on the agenda of this Council—from Haiti to Liberia to Sudan to Afghanistan—seeks effective international assistance to rebuild its institutions. We have learned important lessons over the past two decades in this field, but we also have work to do in putting them into practice.For full text, click here.