Mr. President, Excellencies,
I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the invitation to brief on lessons learned from the Peacebuilding Commission’s strategic, long-term and comprehensive engagement with conflict-affected countries on its agenda, particularly with the African countries, that are relevant for addressing the economic and social challenges of peacebuilding and sustainable development and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PBC welcomes this Council’s increasing interest in drawing upon the bridging and advisory role of the PBC, as demonstrated by the first time invitation to the PBC to participate, earlier this month, in the High-level Political Forum session on “SDGs in Focus: How do we get on track for building more peaceful, equal and inclusive societies?” These steps, and frequent bilaterals between the President and me, have taken us further towards strengthening ECOSOCPBC partnership to build and sustain peace, and address the root causes of conflict and promote sustainable development in a number of conflict-affected countries under its consideration, while respecting national priorities and inclusivity of peacebuilding processes.
In 2020, out of the 15 national and regional contexts that the Commission covered, 12 were in Africa. Enhanced PBC partnerships with regional and subregional organizations in Africa was demonstrated in increased participation of African Union (AU) and other regional representatives in PBC discussions. During the informal consultative meeting held between the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) and the PBC in October 2020, the two bodies recognized the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in the countries and regions under the consideration of the PBC. They called for stronger support for AU-owned and –led Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) efforts, including the AU Centre for PCRD.
My participation in the 2021 “Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development”, followed consistent efforts of the Commission in support of policy issues that are important for individual African countries. The Forum recognized the destabilizing impacts of the pandemic, and highlighted the importance of integrating crisis preparedness into national policies and systems. In line with the notion of national ownership, governments must invest in building responsive and viable institutions at the national and local levels while promoting inclusive governance through a whole-of-government approach.
Through its various briefings and engagements such as this, the PBC has endeavored to mobilize attention and commitment from all relevant stakeholders and partners for peacebuilding needs of conflict affected countries. Peacebuilding and Sustaining peace require coherence and coordination among the UN bodies consistent with their mandates as set out in the Charter of the United Nations.
Similarly, to strengthen coherence and coordination, the PBC has used its platform to overcome the current UN system limitations in dealing with the compound and complex set of challenges, forging a common understanding and analysis of causes of conflicts in Africa to better inform peacebuilding efforts. The PBC has also strengthened synergies with the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) in supporting peacebuilding efforts in conflict-affected countries.
The PBC advanced complementarity of the external support to the local priorities through mobilization of technical and financial support for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and its first 10-year implementation plan (2014–2023), including in partnership with international financial institutions, with a view to strengthening national ownership and capacity to prevent conflict.
Mandated by the twin resolutions, which recognized the issue of financing as a critical challenge, the Commission is convening relevant stakeholders with a view to generating actionoriented recommendations for the GA high-level meeting at the 76th session to advance, explore and consider options for ensuring adequate, predictable and sustained financing for peacebuilding.
At a time when there is broader recognition of the need for scaled-up and comprehensive peacebuilding responses to increasingly complex crises and conflict-affected situations, in all its engagements the PBC has:
continued to promote global solidarity and regional and South-South and triangular cooperation to enhance capacities and pool resources peacebuilding activities, including through sharing of experiences and good practices and innovative solutions.
promoted a comprehensive approach to peacebuilding and sustaining peace to address peacebuilding needs in Africa, an approach that appreciates linkages between Agenda 2063 and the SDGs. This requires promoting joint analyses and effective strategic planning among all relevant stakeholders for the delivery of prioritized support aimed at addressing the root causes of conflict, consistent with the country’s specific peacebuilding needs and priorities;
recognized the importance of the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and youth in peacebuilding, the PBC has recently adopted action strategies to strengthen its implementation of the women, peace and security and youth, peace and security agendas;
advanced the need for regional approaches to peacebuilding in Africa in light of the cross-border nature of the challenges facing the continent;
promoted institution building in conflict-affected countries in line with their priorities, particularly in view of negative impact by the COVID-19 pandemic;
supported national, regional and international measures towards sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, including facilitating equitable access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in the African region, and enhancing national capacities to tackle future pandemics.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate the commitment of the Commission to stepping up to the plate by continuing to bring Member States and partners together to ensure adequate responses to pressing and multidimensional challenges, particularly in conflict-affected contexts.
I assure you that Africa can continue to count on the PBC as a valuable partner at its disposal. As an African Chairpersonship of the PBC, I fully commit to ensuring that the UN peacebuilding architecture’s engagement in support of peacebuilding and sustaining peace in Africa will continue to receive the requisite attention.