Ban urges continued support for UN’s ‘invaluable’ peacebuilding tools


17 February - The instruments used by the United Nations to support countries emerging from conflict to build lasting peace have proved invaluable since they were created over five years ago, Secretary-General said today, urging continued support and resources for this vital pillar of the world body's work.

“In its short existence, the peacebuilding architecture has shown its worth,” Mr. Ban said in remarks to the informal consultation on the 2010 review of the UN peacebuilding architecture, held at UN Headquarters.

Mr. Ban recalled that the leaders who established the UN Peacebuilding Commission at the 2005 World Summit had a very clear goal – to help countries emerging from conflict make an irreversible transition from war to sustainable peace.

“The new instruments were designed to bring all key stakeholders to the table, and to keep them engaged for as long as it took to set a country on the path towards peace and prosperity,” he stated.

“As we look ahead, Member States must consider how to make the Commission's impact even more tangible, especially at the country level.”

The Commission currently has four countries on its agenda – Burundi, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau and the Central African Republic (CAR). Its efforts are supported by the UN Peacebuilding Support Office, headed by Assistant-Secretary General Judy Cheng-Hopkins.

In addition to support from the Commission, countries can also avail themselves of financial assistance from the Peacebuilding Fund to jump-start rebuilding projects.

Mr. Ban told the gathering that the review that it should consider in what specific areas the Commission has made the most significant contribution, and how these results can be consolidated and applied to other countries.

It should also examine how to redress any weaknesses and challenges that have emerged, as well as how the Commission can enhance its partnership and working methods with other actors.

“Strengthening peacebuilding will better enable us to keep countries from relapsing into conflict, and sustain peace beyond the life of a peacekeeping mission,” said the Secretary-General.

“It will help ensure that the enormous investments that Member States make in peacekeeping will achieve their intended result.”

Mr. Ban urged the participants to explore how to promote national ownership; how to monitor progress; to how to better link security and development actors; how to strengthen mutual accountability between the countries emerging from conflict and their partners; and how to promote greater coherence and synergies between the different parts of the UN system and relevant outside actors.

“The peacebuilding architecture is an invaluable platform; let us ensure it has the tools and political support to perform its vital functions,” he stated.

General Assembly President Ali Treki noted that there have been gains in the countries on the Peacebuilding Commission's agenda. “However, there is a general feeling that more should have been accomplished in the time so far, especially in terms of tangible results on the ground,” he said.

“Too much time has been spent on procedure and process. I have heard from many of you that interest has faded and the performance and impact of the Commission have been mixed.”

In addition to assessing the work of the Commission, he called on Member States to make concrete recommendations on how best to improve the Peacebuilding Commission to make it a “useful and central” body.

“We must seize this opportunity to reform and strengthen the Commission, and more importantly to enable it to provide more effective and sustained support to countries emerging from conflict.”