New Peacebuilding Commission Chairman Pledges to Pursue ‘Path of Inclusion’ as Election Sets Stage for Sixth Session

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Peacebuilding Commission
Organizational Committee
1st Meeting (AM)

Members also Approve 2011 Report, Proposed ‘Road Map of Actions for 2012’

The new Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission pledged today that he would pursue “the path of inclusion” throughout 2012 to enhance the six-year-old body’s ability to mobilize resources and align key actors in assisting the populations of countries emerging from conflict.

“The Commission is heading forward, but we have yet to reach our destination,” said Abulkalam Abdul Momen ( Bangladesh) upon his election, acknowledging that while the multi-stakeholder body had charted solid successes since its establishment in 2005, countless post-conflict societies were still bogged down by social, economic and governance challenges. Indeed, since no fragile or conflict-affected country had achieved a single Millennium Development Goal, it was clear that much remained to be done, he added.

While aware that such situations could not be reversed overnight, Mr. Momen said that under his Chairmanship, the Commission would work to bolster its “field-centric” approach to mobilizing resources, while encouraging flexible and adaptable instruments of post-conflict engagement. Grounded in national ownership, local capacity-building and the gender dimension, the Commission would target employment generation, infrastructure development and the management of natural resources — sectors considered key to speeding the delivery of peace dividends.

He said he would also work throughout the year to bring global and regional stakeholders together for a more coherent approach to achieving the objective of sustainable peacebuilding. He would “narrow gaps” and promote better coordinated responses with the aim of improving the way in which the Commission did business so that it could take the global peacebuilding agenda forward.

Mr. Momen’s address set the stage for the opening of the Commission’s sixth session, during which its Organizational Committee also elected Ranko Vilović ( Croatia) as Vice-Chair. Looking ahead to 2013, the Commission also decided, following consultations, that its next Chairperson would be elected from among the Group of Eastern European States. The remaining Vice-Chair, as well as the heads of the Commission’s country-specific configurations, would be elected at a later date.

Adopting its 2011 report (document PBC/5/OC/L.1), the Commission also approved a “road map of actions for 2012”, proposed by its previous Chairman, which would include actions aimed at enabling each country-specific configuration to spell out its expected deliverables, drawing on relevant indicators and mutual commitments, and to indicate how it would measure its achievements.

Eugène-Richard Gasana (Rwanda), outgoing Commission Chairman, recapped the body’s efforts in 2011 to further refine its work, both with the countries on its agenda — Burundi, Central African Republic, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone and Liberia — and in its interaction with a wider variety of partners and other stakeholders. “The [Commission] has tremendous potential to redefine the Organization’s role in post-conflict peacebuilding and reconstruction,” he said, urging the Organizational Committee to work in the coming year towards furthering the elaboration of the Commission’s rules and procedures so as to ensure that informal or ad hoc mechanisms were formalized.

He went on to emphasize that the international community could not afford to fail in shouldering its responsibility towards peoples in countries affected by and emerging from conflict. “Let us insist that the reversal of such failure will start from here: the Peacebuilding Commission,” he said, calling on delegations to rededicate themselves to making sure that the body served not the interests of its own members, but those of the countries and peoples it was meant to help.

Judy Cheng-Hopkins, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, said her Office had worked hard in 2011 to increase and improve its capacity to provide support for the Commission, including by enhancing the expertise available to the Organizational Committee. To that end, the Peacebuilding Support Office had appointed experts on security-sector reform, resource mobilization and natural resource management, she said, acknowledging the help of partners within the United Nations system and throughout the non-governmental organization community.

Also making remarks were representatives of Indonesia, India, France, Brazil, Ukraine, Chile, Tunisia, El Salvador, Japan, Nigeria and Croatia.

For information media • not an official record