|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
High-level Meeting (PM)
Declaration Adopted at High-Level Peacebuilding Event Reaffirms Commitment
to Shore Up Stability of Post-Conflict Nations to Avoid Backslide to War
Secretary-General Says Peacebuilding Is Bridge from Devastation to Prosperity;
Global Pledge to Support Peacebuilding Commission, Says Chair, Yet to Bear Fruit
Heads of State and Government and other high officials of the nations that made up the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission this afternoon reaffirmed their commitment to bolstering the stability of countries emerging from conflict through reinvigorated international efforts, in a special event coinciding with the start of the sixty-seventh General Assembly session.
Adopting a declaration titled, “Peacebuilding: the way towards sustainable peace and security”, with the attendance of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, the officials recognized the importance of the Commission, which had been set up in 2005 to help struggling States avoid slipping back into war and chaos by providing strategic advice and harnessing expertise and financing from around the world.
The Commission currently has six post-conflict countries on its agenda — Burundi, Central African Republic, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia and Sierra Leone — and its efforts are bolstered by the Peacebuilding Support Office. Countries can also avail themselves of financial assistance from the Peacebuilding Fund.
Through today’s declaration, the officials emphasized “the need for a comprehensive, effective and coordinated response to the security, institution-building and socio-economic challenges facing States and societies as they recover from conflict and pursue their aspirations for sustainable peace and development”.
They reaffirmed their commitment to reinforce national ownership of such efforts and empower national actors, especially in their efforts to rebuild national institutions for security, governance, basic services and economic revitalization. They recognized the importance of inclusive national political processes, of women’s empowerment and the increase of youth employment. They pledged to strive for a sustained, coherent and coordinated effort in those areas through international and regional mechanisms aligned with national strategies.
They also recommitted themselves to marshalling adequate resources in support of peacebuilding priorities, and acknowledged the value of sharing expertise, through regional, South/South and other kinds of cooperation arrangements. They expressed appreciation for the contributions of all stakeholders, including peacekeepers and United Nations country teams, recognizing the importance of an integrated approach to peacekeeping, peacebuilding and development efforts.
Finally, they affirmed the need to continue efforts to ensure that the United Nations was adequately equipped to support national peacebuilding efforts and committed themselves to the commemoration of a Peacebuilding Day on 23 June of each year.
“Peacebuilding is the bridge from devastation to prosperity, from fear to confidence, from turmoil to security. Let us build the strongest possible bridge to this better future for all,” Secretary-General Ban said ahead of the adoption of the declaration.
Describing the efforts of the United Nations to strengthen peacebuilding, Mr. Ban encouraged Member States and international financial institutions to increase funding for global and national peacebuilding priorities. “These are solid investments that reap great rewards over time by preventing a relapse into conflict and allowing societies to flourish,” he said.
Mr. Ban also emphasized the importance of coordinated efforts on the parts of international institutions, national partners and donors. “When Governments have coherent policies, that coherence is reflected in their representation across different multilateral institutions. This strengthens our common sense of purpose and our effectiveness”, he said.
In her introduction, the Prime Minister, who also chairs the Peacebuilding Commission, said that a recommitment to the Commission’s goals and efforts was needed because, although its establishment had been a statement of mankind’s aspirations for sustainable peace, the necessary global commitment to support it had yet to come to fruition. None of the low-income countries emerging from or affected by conflict had achieved a single Millennium Development Goal.
From her country’s experience as a founding member of the Commission and as a major troop contributor for United Nations peacekeeping mission, she emphasized the need for a renewed application of the peacebuilding principles affirmed in today’s declaration, including the core principle of national ownership and the need to strengthen coordination of all efforts, the enhancement of South-South cooperation and the promotion of inclusive political processes.
Following her statement, high-level representatives of other Commission members took the floor to affirm their recommitment to the body’s work and underline their priorities. President Michael Chilufya Sata of Zambia, Vice-Chair of the Commission, emphasized the importance of resource mobilization and strong partnerships between Governments, their partners and civil society. Croatia’s Prime Minister and Commission Vice-Chair, Zoran Milanović, said that realistic expectations should be set based on the body’s core mandate, with the heads of country-specific configurations taking on more responsibility.
In the ensuing presentations, speakers emphasized the need for improved coordination, clear division of labour between key stakeholders; timely and predictable financing, including funding from non-traditional donors and other new sources; more effective partnerships with Governments of countries on the agenda; and greater attention to the “spoilers” who fomented corruption, organized crime, insurgencies and terrorism. Many speakers described their cooperation programmes, with some announcing contributions to the Peacebuilding Fund. Most said that the United Nations had the central role to play in all areas of peacebuilding, particularly in coordination and mobilization of resources.
Countries emerging from conflict and those partnering with them imparted lessons they had learned. The Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, noting her country’s extensive partnerships with countries in Asia and the Pacific, emphasized the importance of the facilitation of South-South cooperation by partnerships with developed countries — so-called triangular cooperation.
The Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmão, thanked those who had contributed to both peacekeeping and peacebuilding in his country, including Bangladesh and Australia, and described the 24-year struggle for stability, punctuated by occasional outbreaks of violence. It was necessary to sustain efforts in reconciliation, institution-building, security reform and addressing root causes of the problems. Little by little, through nationally-owned efforts supported by the international community, peace was consolidated and aid organizations were leaving. “Our success was also the success of our partners,” he said.
Also speaking this afternoon were ministerial-level representatives of Liberia, Japan, Guinea, Egypt, Nigeria, Denmark, Morocco, Norway, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania and Benin.
The Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) also spoke.
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