General Assembly Adopts Resolution on Improving United Nations Peacekeeping Architecture Ahead of Day-long Debate

Stressing that sustaining peace was an inherently political process requiring coherent, international coordination and support, the General Assembly adopted a wide-ranging resolution today aimed at improving the United Nations peacebuilding architecture before holding a day-long debate on the subject.

By that text, adopted without a vote, as orally revised, the Assembly stressed the importance of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission in bridging gaps among the Organization’s principal organs and relevant entities, and as a platform enabling all actors to develop and share good practices on peacebuilding needs and priorities.  The Assembly encouraged the Commission to diversify its working methods in order to make them more efficient and flexible, to integrate a gender perspective into its programming, and to promote a more meaningful peacebuilding role for young people.

Acknowledging the importance of strong cooperation between the Commission and the Security Council, the Assembly noted the Council’s intention to regularly request and draw upon the Commission’s strategic advice, including on forming a longer-term peacebuilding perspective in establishing, reviewing and drawing down peacekeeping operations and special political missions.

Emphasizing the need for predictable, sustained financing for peacebuilding activities, the Assembly welcomed the valuable input of the advisory expert group appointed to review the architecture, and urged all Member States, including non-traditional donors and other partners, to consider making voluntary contributions to the Peacebuilding Fund.

The Assembly asked the Secretary-General to explore ways to strengthen collaboration with the World Bank in conflict-affected countries in order to help them create an environment conducive to economic growth, foreign investment and job creation, while supporting the creation of enlarged funding platforms that would pool resources and share risk with multilateral and bilateral donors as well as regional actors.

General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft (Denmark) said the Security Council would simultaneously adopt a substantially identical resolution.  “Through these resolutions, you are building on the aspirations of the decisions of 2005 that created the peacebuilding architecture,” he said, adding that the texts reflected “important developments in our common understanding of how best to approach peacebuilding and conflict prevention”.  Furthermore, they sought to reduce fragmentation in the United Nations system while underlining the importance of partnerships, national ownership and inclusivity, he said.

Peacebuilding Commission Chair Macharia Kamau (Kenya) presented the Secretary-General’s report on the Peacebuilding Fund (document A/70/715), saying that, working with its Organizational Committee and Member States, the Commission would begin immediately to implement the aims of the new peacebuilding architecture.  Detailing priorities for 2016, he said that he intended to visit Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea — the three countries affected by Ebola — to assess the outbreak’s impact on peacebuilding; finalize implementation of the gender perspective in the Commission’s country-specific engagement; continue efforts to highlight the role of young people in peaceful societies; and prepare for the 2016 annual session.

Former Chair Olof Skoog (Sweden) presented the Commission’s annual report on its ninth session (documentA/70/714-S/2016/115), described the newly adopted text as the most comprehensive to date on peacebuilding and conflict-resolution.  He noted that over the past year, the Peacebuilding Commission had instituted more transparent and strategic working methods, a more flexible agenda, greater inclusivity, and better partnerships with regional and subregional organizations.  It had also convened discussions on situations beyond its agenda, such as the peace process in Papua New Guinea, the elections in Burkina Faso and financing for peacebuilding in Somalia.  Those and other activities and strategies were detailed in the forward agenda for the report’s tenth session, he said.

Joining the discussion, delegates emphasized the important link connecting peace, security and development, and said partnerships with regional organizations and other relevant actors must be considered, especially as the world entered the implementation phase of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Speakers generally concurred on the need to improve the Peacebuilding Commission’s working methods and to strengthen its advisory and bridging role in relation to the Security Council and General Assembly.  Agreeing on the inherently political nature of peacebuilding, they called for increased space for women and youth.

Many speakers expressed concern over the lack of sustained, predictable funding for the Peacebuilding Fund, with the United Kingdom’s representative saying that his country would co-host a pledging event for the Fund in September, alongside Kenya and Sweden.  The United Kingdom had committed an extra $20 million aimed at strengthening the Commission’s work in 2016 alone, he added.

Japan’s representative said that having contributed a total of $46 million to the Fund, including $3.5 million last month, his Government called on other Member States to consider making their own voluntary contributions.

Sierra Leone’s representative, speaking for the African Caucus, pointed to gaps in financing for the Ebola recovery, noting that the three worst-hit countries had experienced political instability or conflict and were still fragile.  As such, there was a critical need to focus sharply on long-term recovery efforts because health crises could have political, humanitarian, economic and social consequences in the subregion.

Also speaking today were representatives of Australia, Angola, Brazil, Jordan, Pakistan, China, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Indonesia, Luxembourg, Russian Federation, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Italy, United States, Canada, Morocco, Germany, Republic of Korea, Egypt, Senegal, Spain, India, Argentina, Burundi, Switzerland, Nigeria, Belgium, Colombia, Portugal, Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay, Guatemala, Cameroon, Malaysia and Venezuela, as well as the European Union.

In a separate action today, the Assembly adopted, again without a vote, a draft resolution by which it decided to include a sub-item titled “cooperation between the United Nations and the International Organization for Migration” under its agenda item “cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations”, in the provisional agenda of its seventy-first session.

The General Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Friday, 6 May, to hold a High-level Conversation on Religions for Peace.

Action on Draft Resolution

MOGENS LYKKETOFT (Denmark), President of the General Assembly, said that improving the capacity of the United Nations to build peace was fundamental to its ability to mitigate crises and pursue attainment of the new Sustainable Development Goals while bearing a moral responsibility to the millions denied life’s most basic rights and opportunities.  As the Assembly took up the draft “review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture” (document A/70/L.43), the Security Council would simultaneously adopt a substantially identical resolution.  “Through these resolutions, you are building on the aspirations of the decisions of 2005 that created the peacebuilding architecture,” he said.  “These draft resolutions reflect important developments in our common understanding of how best to approach peacebuilding and conflict prevention.”  Furthermore, they sought to reduce fragmentation, including by enhancing the Peacebuilding Commission’s role as a bridge between the Assembly and the Council, he noted.  They also underlined the importance of partnerships and stressed the vital need for national ownership and inclusivity, including the strengthening of participation by women and other stakeholders.

An official from the Secretariat then read out a statement indicating that the adoption of draft resolution “L.43” would not give rise to any budgetary implications under the 2016-2017 programme budget.

The Assembly then adopted draft resolution “L.43” without a vote, as orally revised.

The representative of Thailand, speaking in explanation of vote, noted that today’s twin adoption of peacebuilding resolutions was of both symbolic and practical significance in that both organs had acted together with a unified voice.  The resolution was a well-balanced text reflecting the Advisory Group’s input on sustaining peace, which was both a goal and a process, with the twin objectives of building lasting peace and fostering sustainable development, he said.

Opening Remarks

OLOF SKOOG (Sweden), former Chair of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, said the text just adopted was the most comprehensive to date on peacebuilding and conflict-resolution.  He then presented the Commission’s annual report on its ninth session (document A/70/714-S/2016/115), noting that the session had coincided with the first phase of the review of the peacebuilding architecture.  Over the past year, the Commission had adopted more transparent and strategic working methods, a more flexible agenda and greater inclusivity, as well as better partnerships with regional and subregional organizations.  It had also convened regional and country-specific discussions on situations beyond its agenda, such as the peace process in Papua New Guinea, the elections in Burkina Faso and financing for peacebuilding in Somalia.

He said that, in calling attention to peacebuilding needs within the Ebola recovery process, he had visited West Africa, participated in the World Bank’s spring session and held a regional discussion on trends and threats to peacebuilding in West Africa.  A gender strategy had been drafted to put women’s empowerment at the core of the Commission’s work, and a special session had been organized to advance the youth, peace and security agenda, and champion youth participation for sustainable peace.  Those and other activities and strategies were detailed in the report’s forward agenda for its tenth session, he said.  Speaking in his national capacity, he emphasized the importance of adequate funding for the Commission and of strengthening partnerships, adding that Sweden would co-host a high-level pledging event for the Peacebuilding Fund on the sidelines of the General Assembly’s seventy-first session.

MACHARIA KAMAU (Kenya), Chair of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, introduced the report of the Secretary-General on the Peacebuilding Fund (document A/70/715), saying he intended to build on the 2016 forward agenda and the report of the Working Group on Lessons Learned.  Working with its Organizational Committee and Member States, the Commission would begin immediately to implement the aims of the new peacebuilding architecture.  They called for a new mind-set reflecting current realities and expectations and for the integration of the concept of “sustaining peace” into all stages of peacebuilding — including when addressing the root causes of conflict and preventing recurring outbreaks.  They also called for a focus on peacebuilding as a political process — while striving to avoid the use of force or military intervention — and on inclusive participation by women and young people.

He went on to emphasize that the Commission must become more flexible and available to all countries seeking support for peacebuilding; strengthen engagement with the Security Council and other principal United Nations organs; build strong links with international financial institutions and regional organizations; and explore ways to improve communications and visibility outside the United Nations system.  Detailing priorities for 2016, as set forth in the forward agenda, he said that he intended to visit Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea — the three countries affected by Ebola — to assess the outbreak’s impact on peacebuilding; finalize implementation of the gender perspective in the Commission’s country-specific engagement; continue efforts to highlight the role of young people in peaceful societies; and prepare for the 2016 annual session.

Statements

IOANNIS VRAILAS, Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation, emphasized that the United Nations system should work in a more integrated, flexible and coordinated way, with greater weight given to prevention and early-warning tools.  Peacebuilding, an inherently political process, required a long-term vision and a holistic approach promoting inclusive national ownership and a bottom-up approach, he said, stressing also the need for partnerships between the United Nations and international, regional and subregional organizations as well as international financial institutions.

The Peacebuilding Commission must be able to respond better to challenges identified by special representatives of the Secretary-General, among others, he said.  Doing so would contribute significantly to the vision of “One UN”.  The Commission’s country-specific configurations had made some good progress over the past year, but a negative turn in Burundi demonstrated the need for more preventative measures, political attention and engagement, he said.  While the Peacebuilding Fund had achieved significant results, it was a small-scale entity requiring longer-term commitments from other sources.

GILLIAN BIRD (Australia) commended the Commission’s innovative activities undertaken in 2015, including its adoption of more flexible work methods, focus on inclusivity, and engagement with Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka.  Highlighting its key achievements, including as part of the Ebola recovery response, she also acknowledged the Peacebuilding Fund’s accomplishments during 2015 in the areas of gender equality and regional partnerships.  “Time and again, the world has borne witness to the difficulties of achieving lasting peace,” she noted.  “The need for a new international approach to sustaining peace is clear and the adoption of today’s resolutions commits the United Nations system to putting sustaining peace at the centre of its peace and security efforts.”

ISMAEL ABRAÃO GASPAR MARTINS (Angola) said the text changed the dynamics of peacebuilding by training the focus on the three phases of a conflict cycle:  preventing outbreaks; avoiding escalation, prolongation and recurrence; and encouraging Member States and the United Nations to develop synergies in sustaining peace.  The resolution adopted today reaffirmed the roles of national authorities and the Peacebuilding Commission and provided guidance on persistent funding challenges, he noted.  By adopting it, the General Assembly and the Security Council were building “the foundations of a new commitment and mind-set on the way to address conflict prevention and resolution”, which must be supported at the national and individual levels, taking into account that “we are all accountable to the future generations to build peaceful societies and sustain peace”, he said.

ANTONIO DE AGUIAR PATRIOTA (Brazil) said the assumption that poverty led to conflict was incorrect, pointing out that the most violent and destructive conflicts had historically occurred in well-developed societies.  Still, United Nations engagement with conflict-affected countries should go beyond providing relief assistance to include activities for promoting sustainable development and eradicating poverty, as well as for ensuring gender equality, respect for human rights and access to justice.  Brazil welcomed the Secretary-General’s intention to report on options for increasing, restructuring and better prioritizing the financing of peacebuilding, including through assessed contributions and the focus on cooperation with multilateral financial institutions to sustain financing, he said.

SONIA ISHAQ AHMAD SUGHAYAR (Jordan) described the resolution just adopted as a cornerstone of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture for the coming years.  More responsibility was needed from among Member States to sustain peace because grave humanitarian and financial losses were no longer bearable.  The root causes of conflict must be addressed, and concrete steps on the ground were needed to strengthen the links among stability, human rights and development.  While emphasizing the need to learn from the past, she said Jordan had called for the inclusion of a focus on youth in the resolution, pointing to the paragraph in the text that demanded the viable participation of youth in sustaining peace.

VANDI CHIDI MINAH (Sierra Leone), speaking on behalf of the Commission’s African Caucus, said peacebuilding should be seen as “everyone’s business” and must remain at the core of the work of the United Nations.  Emphasizing the important link connecting peace, security and development, he said partnerships with regional organizations and other relevant actors must be considered, especially as the world entered the implementation phase of the Sustainable Development Goals.  Turning to the Ebola outbreak, he said the three most affected countries had experienced political instability or conflict and were still fragile.  As such, there was a critical need to focus sharply on long-term recovery efforts because health crises could have political, humanitarian, economic and social consequences in the subregion.  Gaps in financing for the recovery remained and the international community must consolidate coordination, he said, stressing also the need for predictable financial contributions to the Peacebuilding Fund.

PETER WILSON (United Kingdom) welcomed the resolution’s focus on “sustainable peace” as a concept and on the need to engage earlier and sustain financial assistance for peacekeeping.  The United Kingdom strongly agreed that the Commission must be more flexible and agile in its structures, and improve coherence with the work of other bodies, notably regional and international organizations, and with the Security Council.  It also agreed that peacebuilding was an inherently political process and that greater funding was needed for the Peacebuilding Fund, he said, emphasizing the vital need to capitalize on the momentum for increased funding.  The United Kingdom would join Kenya and Sweden in co-hosting a pledging event for the Fund in September, he said, adding that the country had committed an extra $20 million in 2016 alone to various voluntary contributions aimed at strengthening the Commission’s work.  It was ready to help turn the resolution into swift, practical action.

MOTOHIDE YOSHIKAWA (Japan) said he was pleased by the importance that the resolution placed on institution-building and welcomed the Security Council’s intention to draw regularly on the Peacebuilding Commission’s advice.  He said that, during Japan’s upcoming Council presidency in July, the Chairs of the Commission’s country-specific configurations would be invited to brief Council members.  Japan recognized the usefulness of the Peacebuilding Fund, as well as its current difficulties, he said, emphasizing the need to maintain its ability to respond swiftly and flexibly.  Having contributed a total of $46 million to the Fund, including $3.5 million last month, Japan called on other Member States to consider making their own voluntary contributions.  He said that his delegation planned an open debate on peacebuilding in Africa during its Council presidency in July.

MALEEHA LODHI (Pakistan) said that despite the many silos in the United Nations system, Member States must strive to better utilize the Peacebuilding Commission’s work and to enhance its interaction with and advisory role to the principal United Nations organs.  The Ebola crisis had exposed the challenges of consolidating peace, but the Commission’s nimble and flexible response had brought coherence to its efforts, providing valuable lessons to absorb.  Yet, the Peacebuilding Fund was languishing as a result of unpredictable funding, she noted.  That must be addressed.  The review process should “breathe new life” into the Commission, making it more responsive and effective.

LIU JIEYI (China) said the newly adopted resolution had set out a path for peace.  Member States had achieved positive outcomes in the review process and had considered lessons learned for the future.  Peacebuilding was an innovative endeavour and, since its creation a decade ago, the Commission’s efforts had played an important role in pursuing broad United Nations goals, in keeping with the Charter.  Going forward, host countries must take ownership of peace efforts, he said.  It was imperative to design and implement policies based on the situation on the ground, as well as to adapt and match overall national development objectives and policies to enhance positive results.  Equally important was strengthening the Commission’s integrated approaches broaching political, economic and other areas of development, he said.  Root causes must also be addressed to help countries establish lasting peace while pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals.

BARLYBAY SADYKOV (Kazakhstan) said peacebuilding should be integrated beyond the post-conflict phases and into all United Nations efforts, from the start of prevention to resolution mechanisms.  Such an investment would prevent the outbreak, escalation and recurrence of conflicts, amounting to less expensive and more sustainable results than those resulting from merely reacting to crises.  The peacebuilding review called for more effective cooperation, greater synergy among mandates and system-wide coherence across the peace and security sectors, he noted, stressing that sustained funding was just as important.

JUDITH MARCIA ARRIETA MUNGUIA (Mexico) said a true dialogue was needed between the Commission and the main United Nations organs to enhance the Commission’s effectiveness as an advisory body.  Its working methods should be more flexible and agile, and requests for it to do more must be accompanied by the necessary funding, she emphasized.  Welcoming the Secretary-General’s intention to present new options for increasing, restructuring and better prioritizing funding for peacebuilding activities, she said her delegation was ready to support efforts to that end, adding that she acknowledged the work of the Advisory Group of Experts and supported the concept of “sustaining peace”.

DIAN TRIANSYAH DJANI (Indonesia) called for full implementation of the resolution and welcomed its focus on the need to diversify the Commission’s working methods and to ensure strong coordination between the Council and the Commission as well as predictable, sustained financing for peacebuilding activities.  It was to be hoped that the Secretary-General would, with support from Member States, establish more effective, predictable funding arrangements, he said.  He noted the intention stated in the Secretary-General’s report to introduce new management procedures for the Peacebuilding Fund in 2016 so as to maximize the use of available resources and give decision-makers the requisite information to make the case for sufficient, predictable funding.

SYLVIE LUCAS (Luxembourg) said the twin resolutions outlined priorities and confirmed trends that had been seen in the Peacebuilding Commission.  Sustaining peace required an integrated approach hinged on national and international engagement in the form of a long-term political process addressing the root causes of conflict.  To optimize the added valued that the Commission could provide, resources must be provided to enable it to address a range of issues, she said.

ALEXANDR V. REPKIN (Russian Federation) said United Nations peacekeeping was an important instrument for preventing and resolving conflict, and the simultaneous adoptions by the Assembly and the Council had helped to increase the effectiveness of approaches to sustaining peace.  National stakeholders must lead the way, with the United Nations and its partners providing assistance and inclusive political processes paving the way, he said.  The resolutions specified the Commission’s functions, and its Organizational Committee should review its working methods to ensure optimal performance.  Indeed, increasing the effectiveness of peacebuilding efforts was the foundation of a broad appeal to strengthen the architecture and should be done strictly within the framework of its mandates, he said, emphasizing that duplication must be avoided.

SADIA FAIZUNNESA (Bangladesh) said that, with the resolution’s adoption today, the clear definition of sustaining peace had justifiably broadened the traditional and rather restrictive notion of peacebuilding while underscoring the importance of sustained political accompaniment through the entire conflict spectrum.  If all stakeholders acknowledged that notion, peacebuilding would receive a real chance to deliver on its potential in national, regional and multilateral contexts.  Outlining critical issues that should be considered, she said they included recognizing the centrality of national ownership and leadership in peacebuilding, breaking down United Nations system-wide silos to enhance credibility and efficiency, and bolstering partnerships with regional entities.  Also of importance was a focus on the participation of women and young people and ensuring funding predictability.

AMRITH ROHAN PERERA (Sri Lanka) described peacebuilding as an inherently political process that was also essentially nationally owned, saying that, in his country, which was emerging from a 30-year conflict, peacebuilding was almost synonymous with reconciliation.  Noting how the Peacebuilding Fund had supported Sri Lanka’s transitional justice process and resettlement of internally displaced persons, he emphasized the importance of adequate, predictable and sustained financing for United Nations peacebuilding efforts.  The proposed donor pledging conference for the Peacebuilding Fund, to be held as the seventy-first General Assembly session opened in September, would help increase the level of contributions, the number of donors and the predictability of funding, he said, adding that Sri Lanka would co-host that event.

INIGO LAMBERTINI (Italy) said the change in mind-set and the new concept of sustaining peace had profound implications for the manner in which the Commission’s work was carried out.  An integrated strategy must be established to address the root causes of and prevent cross-regional threats, including violent extremism, terrorism and the smuggling of migrants.  Being the main global enabler of partnerships for sustaining peace, the United Nations must bolster cooperation with regional and subregional organizations, multilateral institutions and civil society groups.  Women must be involved in peace efforts, and predictable funding was needed to ensure successful results, he said.

STEFANIE AMADEO (United States) said the twin-adoptions of identical resolutions reflected the importance of 2016 for the future of the peacebuilding architecture.  She expressed hope that United Nations efforts would become more strategic and effective and operate outside their current “silos”. She emphasized that improving partnerships with regional organizations and entities was also essential, as was including women in peace processes.  Turning to the Commission’s report, she noted that progress had been made in addressing pressing issues in conflict-affected countries.  Indeed, the Commission had been a main actor in the Central African Republic in terms of sustaining peace, she said, citing several other examples of successful endeavours, including its response to the Ebola crisis.  Applauding the work of the Peacebuilding Fund, she stressed that the broad review process must ensure that words would be turned into action.

MICHAEL DOUGLAS GRANT (Canada) said that, through the resolution, the Assembly had affirmed for the first time that peacebuilding and conflict prevention were two sides of the same coin.  He emphasized the importance of a coordinated plan of action for implementing the resolution, and of a change in mind-set, both within the United Nations system and in the way Member States approached their work in the Organization.  Canada was happy to put its shoulder to the wheel in helping to institute a more coherent and effective approach to peacebuilding.

ABDERRAZZAK LAASSEL (Morocco) said 2015 had been an exceptional year for progress, particularly the three review processes on the peacebuilding apparatus.  Citing the review’s recommendations, he emphasized that it was essential to include women in peace processes and to ensure predictable financing.  Welcoming the Fund’s commitment to reinforce its cooperation with international financial institutions and to implement gender strategies, he said persistent funding challenges should be addressed through the newly adopted text, which represented a new phase in the development of peacebuilding.

HEIKO THOMS (Germany), associating himself with the European Union, noted that, unlike previous failed attempts, today’s adoption advanced an integrated approach to conflict prevention.  Citing the migrant crisis as an example of human tragedy resulting from failure to prevent conflict, he emphasized that the United Nations peacebuilding architecture must evolve to a phase whereby it addressed all types, aspects and stages of conflict prevention.  To that end, the resolution must be implemented immediately, he said, adding that his delegation would welcome a prompt start to negotiations on the Organizational Committee’s rules of procedure.  Germany would contribute €10 million to the Peacebuilding Fund, he added.

HAHN CHOONGHEE (Republic of Korea) said the Commission played a unique and critical role in many processes by proactively and flexibly responding to various threats at all stages of conflict.  The Assembly and Council must support its efforts to better bridge all relevant actors, mobilize resources and advise on integrated strategies for post-conflict recovery.  As revealed by all three reviews, efforts to create and sustain peace should be aimed at ensuring prevention in a comprehensive and coherent manner, he said.  Member States must support the recommendations of the review process, reversing the trend of declining contributions from major donors at a time when needs were increasing, he emphasized.

OSAMA ABDELKHALEK MAHMOUD (Egypt) said an effective, genuine change was needed in the approach to crisis and conflict in order to make the best use of political, human and financial resources.  Egypt called for national ownership of peacebuilding efforts, as well as effective coordination with the African Union and other regional organizations.  Comprehensive strategies were needed to address and prevent terrorism, piracy and illegal immigration.  It was important to focus United Nations and regional efforts on programmes that could build national and regional capacity, he said, emphasizing the need for predictable, sustained financing, and the important role of women and youth in peacebuilding.

GORGUI CISS (Senegal) said the cycle of violence in Africa had led to a dearth of analysis on the root causes of conflict on that continent.  Senegal, as a long-term strategic partner of Guinea-Bissau, had pledged €1.2 billion for that country and had participated with other partners in a Brussels conference on 15 March relating to Guinea-Bissau’s 10-year development strategy.  He commended United Nations efforts to support post-election development and Ebola recovery in Guinea-Bissau, and said that 1 per cent of the Organization’s peacekeeping budget should be spent on the Peacebuilding Commission’s work.

JUAN MANUEL GONZÁLEZ DE LINARES PALOU (Spain) said greater coherence was needed throughout the United Nations system, and better cooperation was required among regional and subregional actors.  Helping countries to establish effective institutions and address the root causes of conflict must be a priority, and it was necessary to refine early-warning and conflict-analysis systems.  Spain had just promoted the creation of an informal Security Council working group on women, peace and security, he said, adding that his country intended to increase its contribution to the Peacebuilding Fund in order to become one of its top 10 donors.

TANMAYA LAL (India), noting that his country had been a member of the Commission since its inception, said the impact of peacebuilding efforts had been limited, primarily because of very inadequate funding and less-than-optimum coordination with the Security Council and other United Nations organs.  Such challenges could be overcome given genuine political will, he said.  There was need to remedy the limited focus on peacebuilding, given the changing nature of conflict and the fact that, in a globalized world, peoples’ destinies were interlinked.  More predictable and sustained financing would help make the Commission more effective, he said, emphasizing that peacebuilding efforts must be aligned with national priorities in order to be sustainable.

RAFAEL HÉCTOR DALO (Argentina) said his country supported the concept of sustaining peace, which was a continuing process that must consider root causes of conflict and bolstering good governance, among other things.  Peacebuilding strategies must unfold coherently and take the role of women into account, he said, noting, however, that funding was a challenge.  He expressed support for the Advisory Group’s recommendation on cementing an annual minimum financial commitment to ensure that resource needs were met.  Preventing conflict was the best long-term investment when compared to total global military expenditures, he said.

ALBERT SHINGIRO (Burundi) emphasized that national ownership was necessary for the success of peacebuilding efforts, adding that post-conflict efforts must also strengthen institutions.  Based on efforts in Burundi, it was essential to continue mainstreaming regional and subregional perspectives into the Commission’s work.  The Security Council should consider inviting the heads of the Commission’s country-specific configurations in order to better generate ideas and share experiences.  Turning to gender equality, he said the participation of women in politics warranted sustained attention.

JÜRG LAUBER (Switzerland) welcomed the notion of “sustaining peace” and a more holistic perspective of peacebuilding, noting that the peacebuilding architecture should help prevent lapses and relapses into armed conflict.  The resolution set down a solid foundation for stronger coherence, coordination and cooperation among the United Nations, regional and international actors, and civil society.  It also recognized that peace, poverty reduction and good governance could only come about through justice and the rule of law.  Looking forward to the Secretary-General’s recommendations on more predictable financing for peacebuilding, he said that stronger peacebuilding architecture should remain the backbone of United Nations peacebuilding efforts.

CYPRIAN TERSEER HEEN (Nigeria) said peacebuilding was essentially about enhancing the capacities of affected countries, and the Commission must ensure that its efforts were aimed at strengthening their national goals.  The resolution adopted today would facilitate the achievement of that objective, he noted, adding that, going forward, the Commission must strengthen partnerships with regional organizations.  Effective peace initiatives, however, must be nationally driven.

PASCAL BUFFIN (Belgium) said the Peacebuilding Fund had enabled the rapid financing of initiatives to support political processes and should become an integral part of cooperative programmes, including those involving the United Nations, the World Bank and other partners.  Calling attention to recent events on peacebuilding and State-building, he voiced complete support for the resolution adopted today, saying his delegation would extend all efforts to ensure its full implementation.

CARLOS ARTURO MORALES LÓPEZ (Colombia) emphasized the crucial importance of prevention, saying it must be among the Commission’s central tasks.  The Commission should be flexible in order to meet its objectives.  The harmonizing of complementary roles within the entire peacebuilding architecture had been seen in positive results on the ground, he said, noting that such endeavours required the mobilization of both financial and political support.  Despite challenges, it was possible to achieve peace, he said, noting that Colombia hoped to be at peace soon, after half a century of conflict.

CRISTINA MARIA CERQUEIRA PUCARINHO (Portugal) said the United Nations must adapt to remain relevant, and emphasized that the concept of peacebuilding could not be confined to post-conflict situations.  Recognition of the concept of “sustaining peace” was a step in the right direction, and the role of women and young people in peacebuilding processes must be enhanced, she said.  The resolution set the stage for better conflict resolution, but the Commission was far from fulfilling its potential as a vehicle for strategic prevention.  As an active member of the Commission’s Guinea-Bissau configuration, Portugal had consistently played a role in supporting peace and stability in that country, he said.

CRISTIÁN BARROS MELET (Chile) welcomed the implementation of the first phase of the 2015 strategy to mainstream a gender perspective into the Commission’s work.  However, implementation had been uneven, with some areas receiving more attention than others, he noted, adding that there was a need to conclude the second phase.  Pointing out that more than 15 per cent of the Peacebuilding Fund’s resources were dedicated to women’s empowerment, he said the United Nations should earmark the same percentage of its peacekeeping budget for gender equality and women’s empowerment activities.

HELENA YÁNEZ (Ecuador) said peacebuilding required action throughout the entire United Nations system, yet fragmentation was evident throughout the Secretariat.  New threats to peace implied inequality and exacerbated attempts to resolve conflict.  Ecuador trusted that the Council would help to strengthen the Commission’s advisory role by regularly seeking, and following, its advice on mandates for peacekeeping operations and special political missions, she said.

CRISTINA CARRIÓN (Uruguay) said the new resolution optimized the Commission’s role and the new view of peacebuilding generated new institutional synergies, making it possible to address challenges in a holistic manner.  Uruguay supported the contributions of peacekeepers to the early work of peacebuilding, but also greater funding predictability in those and related efforts.  National ownership and inclusion must be part of the process in order to ensure a sustainable peaceful future.  Uruguay would continue to support and strengthen the empowerment of women, she said, emphasizing that peacebuilding efforts must connect with initiatives aimed at achieving all the Sustainable Development Goals.

JOSÉ ALBERTO ANTONIO SANDOVAL COJULÚN (Guatemala) said the peacebuilding structure must be maintained, with the Commission acting as a bridge between the principal United Nations organs and stakeholders.  In that regard, partners must focus on the needs of countries in need of peacebuilding initiatives, which should aim, above all, at avoiding conflict.  Peacebuilding also encompassed development activities, he said, emphasizing that Member States must ensure that appropriate funding was available to provide the resources needed to prevent conflicts from erupting or recurring.  Pointing out the absence of references to human rights in the resolution, he said the Human Rights Council should be involved at every level of peacebuilding activities.

MICHEL TOMMO MONTHE (Cameroon) said the enthusiasm seen today had only previously been seen at the Commission’s creation in 2006.  More than 10 years later, implementation of the initial pledges and aspirations remained unfulfilled, with some countries having relapsed into conflict.  Today, the decade-old enthusiasm had been revived through by the relevant recommendations and the newly adopted resolution.  Cameroon commended those responsible for the quality and quantity of the work carried out in order to achieve those goals, which had revived hope for a new start and a more promising Peacebuilding Commission.  To avoid the same errors and disappointments of the past, several strategic factors must be considered.  The Commission must more robustly ensure the overall coordination of efforts, predictable funding must be secured, initiatives must be nationally owned and capacity-building must target the strengthening of institutions.  Together, those elements would constitute the nerve centre from which action would be taken in implementation of the new resolution, he said.

RAJA REZA BIN RAJA ZAIB SHAH (Malaysia) expressed confidence that implementation of the resolutions adopted today would provide a significant, positive shift in the Commission’s approach, particularly its advisory role.  As a member, Malaysia was encouraged by the Commission’s involvement in addressing the situation in States not on its agenda.  The outcome of the peacebuilding architecture review recognized that the Commission’s role should be enhanced as appropriate, and the review’s conclusion provided the opportunity for the United Nations to better address fragmentation.  The outcome must be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals by increasing the revenue-generating capacity of countries in transition, he said.

RAFAEL DARIO RAMIREZ CARREÑO (Venezuela) recalled that his delegation had organized an open debate on the role of peacebuilding on 23 February, during its presidency of the Security Council.  Peacebuilding was an inherently political process, he said, noting that peace could only arise from within societies.  Sustaining peace meant a broad process of building a common vision of society and resuming sustainable development in post-conflict countries.  The Ebola crisis had revealed the challenges linked to peacebuilding, notably mobilizing resources and alliances among partners.  Financing from the Peacebuilding Fund was instrumental in alleviating political and social tensions in the three most conflict-affected countries, he said, stressing the need for predictable, sustained funding.

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