Sixty-seventh General Assembly
70th Meeting (AM)
As the General Assembly today concluded its consideration of the Peacebuilding Commission’s annual progress report, delegates praised the document’s analytical approach and urged the Commission, as well as the Peacebuilding Fund, to reach out to development banks, regional organizations and other partners to mobilize resources.
The Commission — an intergovernmental advisory body that supports peace efforts in countries emerging from conflict — currently has six countries on its agenda: Burundi; Central African Republic; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Liberia; and Sierra Leone.
Sweden’s representative lauded the Commission’s report for its focus on country-specific challenges and experiences, which could guide its activities in other nations. Sweden’s own experience as chair of the Commission’s Liberia configuration had provided valuable insights into the roadblocks to and prospects for building peace in that country. Closer cooperation between the Commission and global financial institutions and regional organizations like the African Development Bank and the Manu River Union was crucial for supporting regional initiatives in youth employment, natural resource management and economic governance.
The United States representative, stressing that the tools and resources of multilateral development banks were essential for post-conflict transitions, encouraged the Commission to strengthen partnerships with those bodies and explore greater collaboration with the private sector, as well as initiatives like the g7+ and the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States.
Several delegates urged the Commission’s companion body, the Peacebuilding Fund, to also look beyond its traditional donor base. Norway’s representative touted the multi-year standing trust fund for its role in rapid and flexible assistance to countries in the early stages of peacebuilding and for its willingness to take risks. He encouraged it to engage emerging economies and explore taxation and other ways to enhance domestic resource mobilization in the countries on the Commission’s agenda.
South Africa’s representative warned that disruption of the Fund’s work risked unravelling peace gains. He looked forward to the early resumption of the Fund’s activities in Guinea-Bissau, which was plagued by political instability following a military coup in April 2012.
Backing that statement, other delegates heralded the Fund’s vital role in peacebuilding in their respective countries. For example, Kyrgyzstan’s representative said the Fund’s response to his country’s inter-ethic violence in 2010 had been timely and important. Initial stabilization measures had helped Kyrgyzstan recover from the violence and create the first parliamentary democracy in the region. The fund had since allocated $10 million to his nation under the Immediate Response Facility, enabling the Government to engage women and youth in the peacebuilding process, rebuild confidence in public institutions, and launch innovative approaches to community reconciliation, such as sharing of water supplies.
Guinea’s representative credited the Fund with helping his nation to reform its security sector and retire 3,928 troops, and identify the steps needed to restructure its army and police force. He also lauded the Fund’s consistent support to Guinea to promote national reconciliation and create jobs for women and youth. Further, the Commission should consider creating a permanent consultation framework among subregional organizations, such as the Mano River Union.
Also speaking today were the representatives of Nepal, Portugal, Russian Federation, Ethiopia, Senegal and Pakistan.
The Assembly will reconvene at a time and date to be announced.
The General Assembly met today to conclude its debate on peacebuilding. (For background, see Press Release GA/11351.)