– As delivered –

Statement by H.E. Mrs. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly

26 March 2019

Excellencies,

This has been a very rich discussion – thanks to the excellent contributions from our speakers and your interventions.

It was extremely useful to hear about the progress being made towards greater operational and policy coherence, and towards fostering a cross-pillar approach for effective peacebuilding and sustaining peace. I would like to commend the Peacebuilding Commission for the work done to date.

You have also underscored the importance of conflict prevention to peacebuilding and sustaining peace – that cannot be overemphasized.

But clearly, more needs to be done, Mr. Chair – on securing political solutions; on increasing coherence and coordination; and on enhancing national ownership, which Member States have identified as an essential ingredient for success. “Ownership” is perhaps one of the key words today.

On the issue of financing, I really appreciate the frank exchanges we heard today. It is vital that we identify funding priorities, and ways to support efforts in the field.

This is an area where the General Assembly has a crucial role to play, including through the Fifth Committee.

As I said this morning: we must make progress towards adequate, predictable and sustained funding so that we can support truly effective peacebuilding on the ground.

Our discussions today also emphasized the importance of partnerships. We must use all tools at our disposal – including, of course, the Peacebuilding Fund – to enhance strategic engagement and to mobilize partners: regional and sub-regional organizations, International Financial Institutions, business and civil society – especially women and youth. They are crucial actors when it comes to fostering local ownership. They help to build confidence in peace agreements, and to re-build trust and social cohesion.

This might be a good moment to offer my warm congratulations to Lieutenant Commander Marcia Andrade Braga, who has just been named UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year. I understand there will be an award ceremony this Friday and I congratulate her once again.

She is a Brazilian naval officer, currently serving as the Military Gender Advisor to MINUSCA – and a fantastic example of why we urgently need more women in peacekeeping, and in peace operations more broadly.

Excellencies,

This was the first informal interactive dialogue between the General Assembly and Peacebuilding Commission. But it won’t be the last.

The need – and desire – for future dialogue as we head towards the 2020 review of the peacebuilding architecture has been loud and clear throughout the day. As co-chairs, we will circulate a summary of the key messages and issues from this dialogue. But we should consider institutionalizing this engagement between the General Assembly and the Peacebuilding Commission.

It was extremely useful to hear about the progress being made towards greater operational and policy coherence, and towards fostering a cross-pillar approach for effective peacebuilding and sustaining peace. I would like to commend the Peacebuilding Commission for the work done to date.

María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés

President of the UN General Assembly

Please also be reminded that in June I will convene a formal plenary of the General Assembly on the Secretary-General’s interim report on peacebuilding and sustaining peace.

I would like to sincerely thank all our speakers for their presentations. And I would like to thank all of you for your contributions.

Thank you.