Session on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace

Statement by H.E. Peter Thomson, President of the UN General Assembly delivered by Vice-President at Session on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace

20 April 2017


Excellencies, distinguished delegates,

I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of His Excellency Mr Peter Thomson who is unable to attend today’s meeting due to commitments at the World Bank Spring meetings, in Washington DC.

Excellencies, in April 2016, just shy of one year ago, the General Assembly and Security Council adopted ground-breaking parallel resolutions on the Review of the peacebuilding architecture.

The resolutions on sustaining peace are a comprehensive statement on the role of the United Nations in peacebuilding and prevention; connecting our efforts for peace and security, sustainable development and human rights.

The resolutions call for the dissolution of silos and the advancement of a strongly integrated approach. They place “sustaining peace” at the core of United Nations actions. The vital role of women and youth in building and sustaining peace is underscored throughout.

Sustaining peace underlines the “comprehensive, far-reaching and people-centered” vision of the transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the connections between the Sustaining Peace and the Sustainable Development Goals are both highlighted in the Resolutions which recognize that “development, peace and security, and human rights are interlinked and mutually reinforcing.”

On 24 January, I convened a High-level Dialogue on Building Sustainable Peace for all. That meeting focused on the synergies between sustainable development and sustaining peace – focusing on sub themes relating to gender equality and youth; on natural resources; and on inclusive and accountable institutions.

Member States soundly and broadly affirmed the mutually reinforcing relationship between the two, noting that the best means of prevention and of sustaining peace is inclusive and sustainable development and of course that sustainable development cannot be achieved in the absence of the conditions for sustainable peace.

The resolutions on sustaining peace also recognize the importance of the Peacebuilding Commission in serving as a bridge among the principal organs and relevant entities of the United Nations and as a platform to convene all relevant actors within and outside the United Nations. The PBC is empowered to be more effective, flexible and innovative.

Today we welcome the Annual report of the Peacebuilding Commission. The Commission has taken significant steps in the implementation of the resolutions on sustaining peace.

I welcome the improved PBC working methods, as encouraged by the resolutions, from which has emerged a more flexible platform, available to all countries seeking sustained international attention and support to their sustaining peace efforts.

I welcome also the PBC’s ongoing efforts to strengthen its synergies with principal organs, including by enhancing its advisory role to the General Assembly, ECOSOC and the Security Council. This was a key objective of my January event where the Secretary-General; the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission; the then President of the Security Council and the President of the Economic and Social Council joined me in addressing Member States.

This morning I also welcome the Report of the Secretary-General on the Peacebuilding Fund, and its commitment to providing catalytic, rapid-response and flexible support to sustaining peace.

In 2016, the Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund approved $70.9 million to 17 countries integrating UN strategies in support of sustaining peace. I am pleased to note that the Fund exceeded the United Nations-wide commitment to allocate at least 15 per cent of resources to women’s empowerment by reaching 20% of its total investments.

Against these achievements, I note that the resolutions on sustaining peace call on the Secretary-General to provide options for securing adequate, sustainable financing for peacebuilding in his upcoming report on sustaining peace in 2018 .

This matter will be considered further during the 72ndsession as we work together to address the urgent needs to invest in prevention and in creating the conditions required to sustain peace.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you for your attention.


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