Secretary-General, at High-level Meeting of Stakeholders, Spells Out Lessons, Insights Learned from Engagement in Peacebuilding

22 November 2011

Secretary-General, at High-level Meeting of Stakeholders, Spells Out Lessons, Insights Learned from Engagement in Peacebuilding

22 November 2011
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General, at High-level Meeting of Stakeholders, Spells out Lessons,

Insights Learned from Engagement in Peacebuilding


Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks to the Peacebuilding Fund high-level stakeholders meeting in New York on 22 November:

This second annual stakeholders’ meeting of the Peacebuilding Fund takes place following a year of momentous changes that will influence the way we build peace across the globe.

Throughout these events, the United Nations has demonstrated its capacity to play a variety of critically important roles.  These have differed, depending on the circumstances.  But, they have shared an overarching aim to support local stakeholders in preventing any relapse into violence and nurturing sustainable democracy and peace.  Against this backdrop, this gathering is a timely opportunity to re-commit to peacebuilding by highlighting the role of — and generously replenishing — the Peacebuilding Fund.

As the United Nations peacebuilding agenda continues to take shape, our engagements have brought a number of valuable lessons and insights.  First, we are learning that peacebuilding is just as important after a political transition as it is in a post-war period.  It is, therefore, vital for the United Nations to mobilize rapidly, as the cases of Guinea and Kyrgyzstan illustrate.  In those early, delicate moments after a crisis has ebbed, when a society’s new direction may not be clear, peacebuilding can contribute in many ways, including through supporting inclusive political processes and dialogues.

Second, peacebuilding is a process that can take a generation, continuing after long-established United Nations peacekeeping and political missions draw down their presences, and thus, helping to preserve the investments made by those engagements.  In Liberia, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste and elsewhere, the United Nations and the host Governments face the challenge of ensuring that national institutions are capable of providing security and the rule of law, managing conflict and carrying on other functions that are now played by the missions.

Third, all actors, including peacekeepers, political missions and humanitarian and development organizations, need to come together behind a coherent peacebuilding strategy.  This has become even more important as violent conflicts have become more diffuse, with a variety of armed groups, often with cross-border linkages, driven by complex political, economic, social and environmental factors.

Fourth, peacebuilding needs to be incorporated more fully into development cooperation.  One week from now, I will attend the fourth High-level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, Korea.  One of the main topics of discussion will be peacebuilding as it relates to a group of fragile and conflict-affected States known as the G-7+.

Working with donors, they have forged a mutual commitment that they are calling a “new deal”: on their side, greater transparency and accountability; and for donors, a commitment to greater risk-taking and timely and predictable aid.  The new deal also contains a set of peacebuilding and State-building goals, which, building on the Millennium Declaration, represent priorities for countries emerging from conflict.  Our challenge is to ensure that these priorities — justice, security, credible political processes, jobs and equitable social services — are supported by sustained development cooperation.  We must also consider whether and how to incorporate these goals into the post-2015 development framework.

Fifth, we need to ensure that proper management of natural resources is a key element in the implementation of peacebuilding strategies.  Towards that end, as part of this Stakeholders’ event, my Peacebuilding Support Office has organized a round-table discussion to help us identify priorities for the years ahead.

The Peacebuilding Fund is well placed to help us respond to these challenges and this ever-changing landscape.  I want to thank all donors, new and old alike, for their generosity.  Some of you have now committed to multi-year contributions.  That is a welcome vote of confidence.  I hope others will do the same.

For my part, I will continue to ensure that the Fund retains its high rating as a globally acknowledged financing instrument, an instrument for managing risk in fragile countries, a critical mechanism for supporting countries in transition, working closely with the Peacebuilding Commission, and a platform for cooperation within the United Nations system, including the World Bank.

Building on the good work of the outgoing Advisory Group, I will appoint a new high-level group to ensure the Fund’s effectiveness and relevance.  This has been a good year for the Fund.  Following our inaugural Stakeholders’ meeting last year, there has been a welcome upswing in fundraising.  So far this year, we have received $67 million in new pledges and contributions, double the level of 2010.

On the programming side, we are on track to meet the $100 million target for this year, with more than $86 million allocated to date.  New commitments were made in 2011 to support peacebuilding processes in Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan and the Sudan.

However, more resources are required if we are to meet our targets for 2012 and beyond.  And demand continues to rise, as we have seen throughout this extraordinary year.  Our request — $100 million per year — may sound like a lot of money.  But, consider what this funding makes possible.

In Burundi, the Fund supported efforts to transform the last of the armed rebel groups into a political party before the election.  In Sierra Leone, emergency outlays by the Fund helped mediate a crisis between feuding political parties, enabling the process of peace consolidation to continue.  In Guinea, the Fund helped promote a return to constitutional order following the coup in 2008 and the violent events the following year.  And in Kyrgyzstan, when a wave of inter-ethnic violence jeopardized the democratic transition, the Fund responded rapidly to support confidence- and trust-building measures.

Madam President [Roza Otunbayeva of Kyrgyzstan], I hope you agree that that support was timely and effective.

In short, the Fund delivers value for money.  But it needs your support.  I call on all of you to contribute.  Help us ensure the long-term sustainability of the Fund.

Help us help the many people throughout the world who look to the United Nations for assistance in realizing their aspirations to build lasting peace and put violence behind them once and for all.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.