3 September 2008 The United Nations Peacebuilding Fund has swiftly become a unique and dynamic tool to help countries emerging from conflict avoid slipping back into war, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a report published today.
Launched in October 2006, “the Fund has been supporting countries to build sustainable peace and security while making positive strides to prevent the recurrence of violence in post-conflict countries, it has achieved this by helping countries to address some of the causes and effects of conflicts through reconciliation, institution-building, political and economic reforms,” Mr. Ban wrote.
Currently, it is supporting projects in the four countries on the Peacebuilding Commission’s agenda – Burundi, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea-Bissau – and 37 emergency schemes in nine post-conflict nations.
Nearly $270 million has been contributed to the Fund by dozens of nations and groups, surpassing its $250 million funding target.
“The Peacebuilding Fund approach is based on the recognition that stable peace must be built on social, economic and political foundations that serve the needs of the population,” the report noted.
It focuses on areas such as the rule of law, security sector reform, human rights, youth employment, addressing property disputes, refugee resettlement, and the promotion of inclusive national political dialogue.
The report highlighted that the Fund targets areas – such as supporting the negotiation of peace agreements and reconciliation in Burundi and the Central African Republic (CAR) – typically not covered by official development assistance (ODA) criteria because donors see such projects as too high-risk.
Additionally, it promotes countries’ ownership of peacebuilding efforts, Mr. Ban said.
But he cautioned that for the Fund to be successful, greater investment and reforms are essential. “The concept of peacebuilding is not well understood by all actors and more in-country training is needed prior to setting up the Peacebuilding Fund infrastructure.”
To ensure longer-term support from donors for the Fund, the Secretary-General called for an annual pledging conference.
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