NEW YORK, 29 November— The Secretary General’s Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) held its second high-level stakeholders meeting in New York, where the Member States of the United Nations endorsed the importance of the PBF as an innovative, fast and catalytic instrument to support countries emerging from conflict.
“PBF is no longer an experiment but a success,” said Dan Smith, the Chair of the UN Secretary-General’s independent Advisory Group for the Fund and the Secretary-General of the International Alert NGO. “During my time with the PBF, I have seen the Fund increase its impact on the ground, particularly during key transition periods. Resources are required to continue with this important work.”
The Fund has supported peacebuilding efforts in 22 countries since 2007 in areas such as national dialogue, security sector reform, rule of law, support to women and civil society, and economic revitalization.
A DFID-commissioned, multi-donor review has called the Peacebuilding Fund “a critical funding instrument in difficult transition contexts.”
One of the countries receiving support from the PBF is Kyrgyzstan. The Fund in 2010 responded rapidly by providing $10 million of quick-disbursing finance to support critical confidence and trust-building measures following a wave of inter-ethnic violence that jeopardized the democratic transition in this Central Asian country. This was highlighted repeatedly by Ms. Roza Otunbayeva, the President of Kyrgyzstan, who was the keynote speaker at the PBF stakeholders meeting.
Member states have already provided over $70 million dollars for peacebuilding initiatives in 2011 with additional commitments in place for 2012. Other major donors, while expressing continued support for the Fund, said that they hoped to finalize their contributions in the coming months.
“Let me assure you that the Peacebuilding Fund will continue to take timely and strategic risks in identifying peacebuilding opportunities and priorities in countries facing post-conflict challenges,” said Judy Cheng-Hopkins, the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support. “At today’s meetings we heard member states recognizing the value of the PBF and what needs to be improved. We will continue to work hard to meet these joint goals”
As part of the stakeholder’s meeting, the Peacebuilding Fund also organized a roundtable with focus on the management of Natural Resources in relation to peacebuilding. The keynote speaker Clare Lockhart, the Co-founder and CEO of the Institute for State Effectiveness, led the discussions aimed at identifying ways to better include lessons learned in the UN peacebuilding response in support of resource-rich countries emerging from conflict.
The discussion on natural resources emphasized the role of the UN as a catalyst to increase the convergence of the existing projects in order to increase their effectiveness. In follow-up to the roundtable, PBSO aims to work with eligible country partners to increase significantly the support for initiatives related to natural resources, focusing on innovative and catalytic projects.
For more information on the Peacebuilding Fund, please visit www.unpbf.org