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YK:n turvallisuusneuvoston avoin keskustelu: Oikeusvaltioperiaatteen edistäminen ja vahvistaminen kansainvälisen rauhan ja turvallisuuden säilyttämisessä: pysyvän edustajan, suurlähettiläs Jarmo Viinasen puhe New Yorkissa 29.6.2010 - Suomen pysyvä edustusto, YK : Ajankohtaista

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Puheet, 29.6.2010

YK:n turvallisuusneuvoston avoin keskustelu: Oikeusvaltioperiaatteen edistäminen ja vahvistaminen kansainvälisen rauhan ja turvallisuuden säilyttämisessä: pysyvän edustajan, suurlähettiläs Jarmo Viinasen puhe New Yorkissa 29.6.2010

Mr. President,

At the outset let me congratulate Mexico for taking up the topic of strengthening of the rule of law in the maintenance of international peace and security. Enhancing the rule of law is a pertinent part of the work of the Security Council in several ways: injustice and weak rule of law can be consequences of conflicts, but also reasons why conflicts persist or break out in the first place. Sustainable peace is built on foundations of justice and strong rule of law. They also help to prevent conflicts.

We are therefore encouraged to see that the Security Council is discussing the Secretary General’s report of December 2006. This topic should remain high on the Council’s agenda.

Finland of course fully aligns herself with the statement of the European Union.

Mr. President,

The concept paper you have provided outlines a wide range of issues for discussion today. I would like to concentrate my remarks on two aspects which we feel are particularly central in fostering the rule of law, and thereby eradicating impunity: the relationship between justice and sustainable peace and strengthening the rule of law at the national level.

Mr. President,

It has become almost a slogan to say “there is no sustainable peace without justice”. I would like to break this argument into two and ask: what makes peace sustainable and what do we mean with justice in the aftermath of the often quite total breakdown of the rule of law during a conflict?

Looking back, it must be noted that we have come a long way since 2004, when the Secretary-General articulated what he called “a common language of justice for the United Nations”. The concepts and notions of rule of law, justice and transitional justice have become part of our basic vocabulary and, although not explicitly defined, they are largely understood in a common way.

In trying to bring a conflict to an end, the parties around the table are traditionally the ones who also have the means to destroy a peace agreement: the warring parties, those who carried out or commanded armed violence, or financed it for their own benefit. Reaching a peace agreement is the first step toward a “negative peace” which is defined as absence of violence. The next steps towards “positive and sustainable peace” cannot be taken without a holistic approach – and a much more inclusive group of people: women who sustained the communities and villages while men were fighting; political parties which did not engage in violence but have a legitimate interest in how the country should be run; those who had to flee; and all those who were victims, rather than perpetrators, of violence. There must be an inclusive ownership of the peace agreement and reconstruction plans, for the peace to stick and not unfold in a new conflict.

Justice, as well, can take many different forms, but it is ultimately also about inclusion.

Impunity violates the fundamental notion of justice which is why it is important to see justice in the form of a trial taking place, and a sentence being handed.  In some cases even reparations may be awarded.

Here I would like to emphasize the importance of the International Criminal Court in the evolution of international criminal justice. In Finland’s view, the ICC and the Rome Statute system clearly demonstrate that impunity for the most serious crimes is no longer an acceptable option. We must also remember that the ICC is a court of last resort. The system created through the Rome Statute is based on complementarity. The States have the primary responsibility to nationally investigate and prosecute the most serious crimes of international concern. This is why the system has been instrumental in strengthening rule of law at the national level.

However, as recently stated by President Robinson of the ICTY in this Council, in order to contribute to a lasting peace, justice must not only be retributive – it must also be restorative. For victims of a conflict or long lasting social exclusion, it can be more important to have an opportunity to tell their story from an equal footing with other members of the society, or to hear an official recognition of the wrongs committed. An essential element of restorative justice is that victims’ and their communities’ voice are heard. Here we must not overlook traditional dispute resolution mechanisms.

Most importantly, for the future of a society recovering from war, there must be a re-establishment of the “ground rules” which had been broken down during the war: equal rights for all citizens, mechanisms for the protection and promotion of those rights, and for settling differing interests by peaceful means.

Mr. President,

This brings me to my second point: strengthening the rule of law at the national level is the most effective way to bring about a more just society and to prevent a (re)lapse into a conflict.

Reform of the rule of law and security institutions is essential in re-building the trust of people in the government.  This has to start already before a conflict ends. Rule of law as narrowly defined has to be seen as encompassing the whole chain from police to justice institutions and to the enforcement of sentences. Finland has been a strong advocate for strengthening the UN’s resources to support national rule of law authorities in the immediate aftermath of a conflict as well as in the later stages of development. We are pleased that DPKO’s Standing Police Capacity is now complemented with justice and corrections professionals ready to deploy in a short notice. We also hope that the rule of law team foreseen in the Security Council Resolution 1888 (2009), aimed at helping national authorities to respond to acute situations of sexual violence, will shortly become operational.

Finland implements this comprehensive approach in its own crisis management and development activities. In Afghanistan, for example, Finland actively participates in the work of the European Union’s Police Mission and has been keen to ensure that gender aspects as well as wider human rights concerns are fully taken into account. In order to complement the work undertaken by the Mission, Finland has a bilateral programme aimed at strengthening the cooperation between the Afghan police and prosecutors.

In its wider definition, rule of law is more than a functioning system of criminal justice. It is reinforced through processes of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and security sector reform. It also encompasses a sound body of laws, accountable and transparent forms of governance and a vibrant civil society. These are some of the aspects in which reform of the rule of law institutions can be used to proactively promote positive social change, such as gender equality, better management of land rights and natural resources or a more responsive system of governance, thereby serving the wider goals of peacebuilding. These wider aspects of rule of law are also inherently political which is why the genuine commitment of the national stakeholders is a key.

Finland is supportive of aligning donor support behind national strategies and of strengthening the donor-coordination mechanisms. Coordination and coherence of different United Nations actors, between the United Nations and the World Bank and with various bilateral actors should be our aim. We have been particularly happy to see the UN Rule of Law Resource and Coordination Group develop into a mechanism where roles and responsibilities of different entities and agencies can be decided upon. It has also been able to outline the UN’s guiding principles and best practices in such crucial areas as transitional justice or juvenile justice. We look forward to further work of the Group and think that it would be useful to have an assessment in the future on what has been its impact on the capacity of the UN to respond to the acute rule of law challenges at the country level.

Mr. President,

As I noted in the beginning, the concept note covered a wide range of issues and we would need many debates of this kind to discuss all of them in detail. For example, the use of targeted sanctions by the Security Council raises important questions concerning the guarantees of due process and the rule of law. Finland welcomes the progress achieved in this field, in particular Resolution 1904 and the recent appointment of Ms. Kimberly Prost as Ombudsperson of the Al Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee. We call upon the Security Council to continue its work in this regard.

Finally, Mr. President, we have come a long way in strengthening the rule of law. The Security Council has been instrumental in the fight against impunity and has taken remarkable steps in ensuring that due process guarantees are in place also in its own functioning. We should, however, tirelessly look at new ways to integrate the wider notion of the rule of law into the Security Council’s agenda and in its daily decisions in the maintenance of international peace and security.

I thank you, Mr. President.


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