UN peacebuilding arm should work with more countries, Security Council told

Security Council

17 October 2007 – The United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, set up a year ago to help countries emerging from conflict avoid the slide back into war, should now start adding more States to its agenda, the Commission’s chair told the Security Council today.

Briefing the Council on the first year of the Commission’s work, Ambassador Yukio Takasu said “it may be appropriate” to include other nations – aside from Burundi and Sierra Leone, which are already on its agenda – to its country-specific workload.

Mr. Takasu called for the establishment of closer working relationships between the Commission and the UN’s principal bodies, particularly the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

In addition, he said there should be greater cooperation with regional and sub-regional organizations, international financial institutions and civil society so that the Commission can “bring real beneficial change and impact to the countries in post-conflict situations.”

Mr. Takasu added: “Exploring thematic issues relevant to peacebuilding is also a matter of great importance.”

Nearly two dozen speakers addressed the Council today during its open debate on the Commission, brings together key players, including international donors, international financial institutions, national governments from focus countries, troop contributing countries, UN bodies and civil society representatives, to promote a common approach to helping a country emerge from conflict.

The speakers discussed the work undertaken so far in Burundi and Sierra Leone, which both experienced lengthy and brutal civil wars during the 1990s.

The Commission’s work is backed up by the Peacebuilding Fund, a multi-year standing trust fund that has so far collected deposits worth almost $144 million from donor countries. Its target is $250 million.

Last week General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim said the Commission had “made a good start,” and Mr. Takasu echoed those remarks today, stressing that it had contributed significantly to the recent gains made by Burundi and Sierra Leone.

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