“Good Bye Conflict and Welcome Development” was the theme of The Second International Dialogue on Peace Building and State Building, co-chaired by Timor-Leste and the United Kingdom, held in Monrovia, Liberia on 15-16 June 2011. Thirty Five missions with delegates from countries around the globe participated in the two day dialogue which also included fourteen representatives from the g7+ countries. Development partners, multilateral and bilateral organizations, United Nations, World Bank, African Development Bank and Civil Society Organizations were also in attendance to contribute to the Dialogue.
The main topic; not one fragile or conflict affected country has met a single Millennium Development Goal. In order to meet the long term goals articulated in the MDG’s, an interim set of objectives is necessary first. Peace is a precordia to sustainable development and building the State for good governance and service delivery is vital to meet the needs of citizens and sustain peace. Interconnected and interdependent, peacebuilding and statebuilding must be the focus for countries emerging from conflict and fragility and international engagement must be aligned to these priorities to stop cycles of conflict and further fragility. Once peacebuilding and statebuilding has been consolidated, countries and development assistance can strive to reach the goals articulated in the MDG’s with higher success rates.
Political legitimacy and good leadership, Citizen Security and Safety, Jobs for all and Economic foundations, Access to fair justice, and Resource management were the five objectives agreed by delegates as the mandatory objectives in fragile and conflict affected countries to consolidate peacebuilding and statebuilding efforts.
Minister Emília Pires, co-chair of the Dialogue, emphasized the importance of these five objectives which will be presented at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness held in late November in Busan, South Korea. Attended by 100 Ministers from around the world, these objectives, once endorsed at Busan, will be used as a guideline for countries and development partners in planning financial assistance to fragile states. A concrete list of commitments between donors and recipient countries is also being devised to ensure the objectives and goals can be met. It was also agreed that the g7+ countries themselves, not international partners, would define their own level of fragility and establish their own national plans, with development partners aligning accordingly; similar to the way Timor-Leste has consolidated aid effectiveness and ownership of country strategy.
President Madame Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia closed the Dialogue by praising Timor-Leste’s leadership; noting as a newly independent country, it is leading fragile states and international dialogues demonstrating the intellectual capacity and foresight of its leaders. Madame President Ellen also congratulated Minister Pires for her extraordinary dedication in chairing the dialogue since the First Dialogue in Peacebuilding and Statebuilding held in Díli.
Member of Parliament Rui Menezes who also participated in the dialogue expressed his feelings of pride that the 10-year-old independent Timor Leste has shown to the world its remarkable accomplishment in leadership by co-chairing the International Dialogue. He noted the Asian and African countries now entrust Timor-Leste, the Government led by PM Xanana Gusmão, and in particular Minister Emília Pires, for their amazing capacity to lead an international forum.
Rui found that despite Timor-Leste’s young state, Timor-Leste is even better organized as compared to Liberia that is more than 100 years old where the poverty is still so high. Moreover, Liberia is expected to have its first national police of 4,000 and its first military force of 2,000, both trained by the UN. This is real evidence that Timor–Leste has made significant changes as compared to other countries, clear evidence of the Fourth Constitutional Government’s successes in progress post conflict as compared to other nations emerging from fragility.
Nevertheless, Liberia has also achieved great success over the past five years under the current leadership, and expects to emerge from fragility-partially due to properly managed mineral resources which will feed the economy in coming years.
Like Timor-Leste last year, Liberia felt proud to host the Second International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding. The output of the dialogue will serve as a road map for Busan (South Korea) high level forum in November this year.