Delegates Praise Expansion of Efforts to Build, Sustain Peace as General Assembly Considers Commission’s Report

GA/12019
24 May 2018
Seventy-second Session, 90th Meeting (AM)

Delegates Praise Expansion of Efforts to Build, Sustain Peace as General Assembly Considers Commission’s Report

Speakers Urge More Predictable Funding, Better Coordination with Parent Organs

While the Peacebuilding Commission had become more adaptive — expanding its work to the Gambia, Solomon Islands and the Sahel — it must do more to coordinate its efforts, particularly with the Security Council, delegates in the General Assembly stressed today, as they explored how the advisory body could foster coherence among United Nations endeavours in building and sustaining peace around the world.

In opening remarks, Assembly President Miroslav Lajčák (Slovakia) said that while much progress had been made, more must be done, especially in the area of conflict prevention.  The Assembly’s high-level meeting on peacebuilding and sustaining peace had outlined a framework for follow-up and produced a resolution mandating the Secretary-General to continue reporting on progress, he said.

Outlining priorities, Commission Chair Ion Jinga (Romania) described its efforts to expand its work beyond the five country-specific configurations on its agenda with a view to creating deeper partnerships in the Sahel, helping Gambia engage with the international community, and fostering relationships with the Economic and Social Council through a joint event on building and sustaining peace.

Holding their annual debate, delegates praised the Commission for having improved its advice to its parent organs — the Assembly and the Security Council — strengthened its partnerships, upgraded its work methods and built synergies, both within and beyond the United Nations system.  The advisory body’s eleventh session, many said, had been characterized by efforts to implement recommendations in the twin “sustaining peace” resolutions adopted by the Assembly and the Council in 2016.

Canada’s delegate, speaking also on behalf of Australia and New Zealand, emphasized that the Security Council must make greater use of the Commission’s convening role to provide strategic and actionable advice on a range of country and regional situations.

In similar vein, India’s representative welcomed the Commission’s expanded support to the Solomon Islands, Colombia, and Sri Lanka, as well as the Sahel, Lake Chad Basin, and Great Lakes regions, in addition to its five country-specific configurations.  However, the financing available through the Peacebuilding Fund was not even 1 per cent of the annual peacekeeping budget, he noted.

Nonetheless, said the Gambia’s delegate, “the Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Support Office played a critical role in supporting a peaceful and democratic transition in the Gambia”.  Through policy advice and immediate financial support, he added, his country had embarked on transitional justice, rule of law and security sector reform.

Liberia’s representative agreed that the Peacebuilding Fund was an important tool for sustaining peace, emphasizing:  “We must continue to explore creative ways to invest in preventing conflict.”  Thanks to the Fund and the resilience of Liberians, the country would continue to deepen democracy, he said.

Pakistan’s delegate said the Commission could provide a vital advisory link in pursuing “the primacy of politics”, both during transition and after the withdrawal of peacekeeping missions.  It could advise the Security Council on socioeconomic issues to encourage countries to find political solutions.  It could also be a critical player during and following peace operations, she added.

In other business, the Assembly took note of Sierra Leone’s appointment to the Committee on Conferences for a term beginning today and expiring on 31 December 2020.  It also appointed Argentina, Azerbaijan, Colombia, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Nigeria and Switzerland to the board of the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns for terms beginning on 16 September 2017 and ending on 15 September 2019, after having decided that Kenya and Nigeria could be re-nominated.

Also speaking today were representatives of Brazil, Indonesia, Colombia, Germany, United Kingdom, China, El Salvador, Italy, Kenya, Sweden, Morocco, Japan, Ethiopia, Portugal, Estonia, United States, Guatemala, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Norway.

Also speaking was the former Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission.

The General Assembly will reconvene at a time and date to be announced.

Opening Remarks

MIROSLAV LAJČÁK (Slovakia), President of the General Assembly, recalled that world leaders had gathered more than 15 years ago to change the way in which they dealt with post-conflict situations.  “We had the tools to deal with conflicts that break out but not with what to do after.”  The Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund had been created to deal with the aftermath of war, and while there had been much progress since then, more remained to be done, particularly in the area of conflict prevention.  Last month’s meeting on peacebuilding, having attracted the highest levels of attendance, had outlined a framework for follow-up and produced a resolution giving the Secretary-General the mandate to continue his reporting on the progress of sustaining peace.

Recalling that he had heard horrifying stories shared by survivors of conflict, he stressed the need to hear more from women, adding that another challenge was chronic underfunding of the Peacebuilding Commission.  “Inclusion is still an exception and not the norm,” he continued, noting that women and young people continued to be blocked from participating in peacebuilding.  While the Peacebuilding Commission had become more flexible and adaptive — as demonstrated through its work in the Gambia, Solomon Islands and the Sahel — it must do more to coordinate its work, particularly by engaging with the Security Council, he emphasized, while reminding Member States that they had signed on to the United Nations Charter as a promise to protect future generations from the scourge of war.

CHO TAE-YUL (Republic of Korea), former Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, presented that body’s annual report on its eleventh session (document A/72/721-S/2018/83), noting that, in implementing the twin resolutions on the peacebuilding architecture, adopted in 2016, the Commission had carried out a number of activities to assist countries and regions with their peacebuilding priorities.  First, the Commission had continued to improve the quality of its advice to enrich the deliberations of its parent organs, the General Assembly and the Security Council, while strengthening its bridging role among intergovernmental bodies in pursuit of a coherent, integrated approach to building and sustaining peace.  As a result, its interaction with the Security Council had grown more active around the country-specific situations on the agendas of both organs — Burundi, Liberia, Central African Republic and Guinea Bissau.

In the area of partnerships, he said, the United Nations should take advantage of a growing interest among international financial institutions and the private sector in working with the Organization.  For its part, the Commission continued to strengthen its partnerships with key stakeholders, he said, recalling that he had led a delegation of the Commission to Washington, D.C., last June to discuss with World Bank officials the ways in which they could enhance their collaboration.  He encouraged greater use of such meetings with the World Bank to help mobilize resources for the countries supported by the Commission.

He went on to state that the Commission had also been improving its working methods to become more efficient and flexible.  Beyond the work on its country‑specific configurations, it had considered other countries and regions, upon their request.  Most notably, it had assisted the Gambia at its critical time of political transition by sustaining global attention on the country after the Security Council had stopped its deliberations on the situation.  Also, for the first time, the Commission had deliberated on situations in the Solomon Islands, Colombia and Sri Lanka at their request.  Those meetings had demonstrated how countries eligible for assistance from the Peacebuilding Fund could use the Commission as a platform to secure global political support for their peacebuilding priorities.  Other discussions on thematic issues had been held on gender, youth, financing, institution-building and national ownership, he said.

ION JINGA (Romania), current Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, said the body continued to support efforts to sustain peace at the country and regional levels.  One priority was its focus on the Sahel, specifically creating deeper partnerships with the countries of that region with a view to advancing implementation of the Integrated Strategy for the Sahel.  He said the Commission’s annual session on 26 June would focus on the Sahel, bringing together Member States, United Nations officials — including the Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General — regional organizations, international financial institutions and civil society to discuss how to deepen partnerships for building and sustaining peace in the Sahel, with a focus on national ownership.  Partnerships, including with the private sector, could be explored further, he said.

He said the Commission would convene a joint event with the Economic and Social Council on peacebuilding and sustaining peace, bringing together the Commission’s role with that Council’s expertise in building partnerships with the private sector.  Another priority area was the Commission’s engagement with the Gambia, where it had provided a forum for that country to engage with the international community.  A high-level meeting had provided an opportunity for the Gambia to present its peacebuilding priorities ahead of a conference on that country’s situation held in Brussels two days ago.  Regarding the Peacebuilding Fund, he said Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands had approached it to share their challenges and experiences, adding that he looked forward to continuing such efforts with a view to raising the profile of peacebuilding experiences around the world.

Statements

MICHAEL BONSER (Canada), speaking on behalf of Australia and New Zealand, highlighted the Peacebuilding Commission’s recent work, recalling that it had provided a platform for the new Government in the Gambia to share its priorities for peace in the wake of the 2017 post-election crisis.  He emphasized that the Security Council must make greater use of the Commission’s flexibility and convening role to provide strategic and actionable advice on a range of country and regional situations.  Regarding the Peacebuilding Fund, he said that its annual report demonstrated another year of innovative action.  He commended the Fund for having exceeded the Secretary-General’s 15 per cent target for women’s empowerment projects.  Emphasizing that donors had a key role to play in addressing the fragmentation of financing for peacebuilding and sustaining peace, he said that by requesting joint analysis and contributing to pooled and earmarked funds, donors could powerfully incentivize coordinated and coherent United Nations peacebuilding efforts.  Sustaining peace could not be seen as the work of just one part of the United Nations architecture, he said, adding that, while the Fund and the Peacebuilding Commission had a pivotal role to play, the peacebuilding and sustaining peace agenda would fail if it was relegated to a single office.

FREDERICO S. DUQUE ESTRADA MEYER (Brazil) said it was important to bear in mind that the existing country-specific configurations continued to bring added value to the Peacebuilding Commission.  The configuration chairs devoted significant amounts of work to follow closely the situations in the field and to engage with national stakeholders.  They also benefitted from important historical, cultural and diplomatic ties between the countries chairing the configurations and those receiving their support.  Noting that his own country and Guinea-Bissau were both members of the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries, he said that, since 2007, Brazil had been engaged in supporting the African nation’s peacebuilding efforts as Chair of it’s the country-specific configuration on Guinea-Bissau.  More recently, Brazil was assisting the efforts of the Bissau‑Guineans to overcome a political impasse, he said, stressing the need to prepare for upcoming elections.  That would require adequate resources from the international community.  He welcomed the Secretary-General’s declaration in 2017 that Chad, Colombia and the Solomon Islands were eligible for peacebuilding funding.

DIAN TRIANSYAH DJANI (Indonesia) commended the Commission’s work in espousing transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding in various countries.  More must be done to capitalize on the Commission’s role in advocacy and mobilization of resources, he added, calling on the Commission and the Fund to explore additional ways to facilitate much-needed financial resources for affected countries.  It could do so by focusing on the wider avenues of trade, as well as domestic and international investment.  For its own part, Indonesia would continue to facilitate tangible pathways to generate resources for conflict-affected countries, he said.  He also underscored the benefits of South-South and triangular cooperation for peacebuilding and the Commission’s role as an advisory body to the Security Council.

MALEEHA LODHI (Pakistan) said the Commission had a unique role to play in advancing intergovernmental coherence because it dealt with an array of issues, from cross-border and regional issues in the Great Lakes region and the Sahel, to the adoption of a gender strategy.  Pakistan had seen first-hand the outcome of its work, both as a member and as one of the top troop contributors in countries where much of its work took place.  The Commission could provide a vital advisory link in pursuing “the primacy of politics”, both during transition and after the withdrawal of peacekeeping missions.  Recalling that the Secretary-General’s “Action for Peacekeeping” plan emphasized the need for political solutions to support peacekeeping, she said the Commission could advise the Security Council on socioeconomic and development issues to encourage countries to find political solutions.  It could also be a critical player during and following peace operations, she said, adding that the Peacebuilding Fund’s role as a catalyst for peacebuilding would be enhanced in the coming years.

MARÍA EMMA MEJÍA VÉLEZ (Colombia) said that, as a member of the Commission, her country looked forward to the culmination of its work.  “We can prevent conflicts and build a peace that will last,” she said, noting that Colombia was an example of the work that the Commission and the Fund could do.  The peace agreement had been signed, and as the President of Colombia had stated in April, “peace is a cathedral built stone by stone” and everyone made an important contribution.  The mobilization of resources also facilitated the active involvement of the private sector and civil society as direct participants in the peacebuilding process, she noted.

JUERGEN SHULZ (Germany) said prevention was the foundation of building and sustaining peace, adding that shifting from reaction towards prevention could save lives and reduce costs provided action was taken early and in an inclusive and collective manner.  The Peacebuilding Commission could be the political forum to put prevention into practice by convening relevant stakeholders and proposing targeted efforts to tackle root causes while preventing the outbreak of crises.  Scarce resources should not be wasted and duplication of efforts must be avoided, particularly within the United Nations system, he said, emphasizing that, in order to become fit for purpose, the Peacebuilding Support Office must fulfil its role in support of the Peacebuilding Commission.

JONATHAN GUY ALLEN (United Kingdom) said that the Peacebuilding Commission’s overall goal should be to drive the implementation of the sustaining peace agenda.  Since its creation in 2006, the United Kingdom had committed $170 million to the Peacebuilding Fund, making it the largest cumulative donor to date.  The Fund had driven United Nations coherence and led the way on conflict prevention, including by dedicating resources to women’s empowerment.  While the United Kingdom supported the Secretary-General’s proposal to see the Peacebuilding Fund grow, a quantum leap in the number and size of peacebuilding projects would not, on its own, deliver the scale of change required, he said.  The Peacebuilding Commission must become a forum in which the United Nations would be able to engage and forge partnerships with a variety of partners he added, stressing:  “We should not pretend that the United Nations can do everything, but it has the legitimacy to help ensure that the wider international community gets everything done.”

WU HAITAO (China) said the United Nations peacebuilding architecture had collaborated closely to implement the mandates of the Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacekeeping Fund in support of reconstruction in post-conflict countries.  The Organization and its peacebuilding partners must uphold the principles of the United Nations Charter, respect the interests of the countries concerned, and provide leadership, he emphasized.  The international community, more specifically the peacebuilding mechanisms, must focus on empowering the countries concerned to eventually achieve self-sustaining peace.  The United Nations must continue to play its role as a unifying platform that strengthened all stakeholders so that they could complement each other and avoid duplication.  Underscoring the role of regional organizations, he urged the international community to support the African Union in implementing Agenda 2063 in order to help the continent achieve lasting peace and development.

LEWIS GARSEEDAH BROWN II (Liberia) said his country agreed that the Peacebuilding Fund was proving to be a useful and important tool in sustaining peace.  “We must continue to explore creative ways to invest in preventing conflict and sustaining peace,” he added.  The Peacebuilding Fund could never substitute that, but it had proven successful in bringing partners and important national stakeholder together to ensure continued commitment.  Liberia was heartened to learn that the Fund was on track to meet its targets, he said, emphasizing that it must never be used as a substitute for development assistance.  Each Member State must take responsibility for its own development, he said, stressing that the Fund must be able to adjust to the changing needs of the country in which it was engaging.  Thanks to the Fund and the resilience of Liberia’s people, he said, the country would continue on the path to consolidating peace and deepening democracy.

SANDEEP KUMAR BAYYAPU (India) said the Peacebuilding Commission’s efforts to expand its support to the Solomon Islands, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Sahel, Lake Chad Basin region and the Great Lakes region, in addition to its five country-specific configurations, was notable.  Welcoming its efforts to build partnerships with the World Bank and the African Development Bank, among others, he said the Commission’s role as a bridge among the General Assembly, Security Council and Economic and Social Council was also important and must be strengthened.  However, the concept of peacebuilding, now extended to post-conflict situations, continued to struggle due to a lack of funding.  While high donor contributions to the Peacebuilding Fund in 2017 were a clear sign of confidence in United Nations peacebuilding, the funds available were not even 1 per cent of the annual peacekeeping budget, he noted.  The financing options presented in the Secretary‑General’s report must be given serious consideration, he emphasized, adding that the fact that more than one third of the funds allocated in 2017 to support gender equality and women’s empowerment was worth noting.

RUBÉN ARMANDO ESCALANTE HASBÚN (El Salvador) said peacebuilding was not a transitional stage in a country’s development; it was ongoing.  Emphasizing the importance of strengthening public institutions and building awareness of peacebuilding, he highlighted the Commission’s 2017 thematic priorities, especially national ownership.  “We must support women and young people in decision-making processes,” he added.  Only through innovative financing would it be possible to meet overall objectives.  El Salvador advocated building a close link between Sustainable Development Goal 16 and the sustaining peace agenda, he said, encouraging interaction with countries not on the Commission’s agenda, as well as coordination with countries that requested it, as in the case of Colombia, Solomon Islands and Sri Lanka.  El Salvador was among the 31 countries that benefitted from the Fund, and with that support, it had begun cross-border initiatives with Guatemala, he said.

LAMIN FAATI (Gambia) said his country had come a long way in its democratic transition from the political crisis of December 2016, adding that, today, it enjoyed peace.  “The Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Support Office played a critical role in supporting a peaceful and democratic transition in the Gambia,” he said.  Through policy advice and immediate financial support, the country had embarked on transitional justice, rule of law and security sector reform, he said.  Two days ago, the Gambia and the European Union, alongside bilateral, multilateral and regional partners, had convened a donors’ round table in Brussels, where the Commission had made a substantial financial commitment.

He said that his country’s new development plan hinged on consolidating peace, as well as promoting democracy, good governance and respect for the rule of law.  Outlining lessons learned, he said the early mobilization and timely intervention by the United Nations and the Commission had made a critical difference in the support they had provided to the new Government.  By responding to its specific needs, a platform for national ownership had been created.  The engagement of regional actors had been critical to finding the right partners to solve transitional challenges, he said, adding that it had also allowed for burden-sharing and better coordination between the Government and various actors.  As the Gambia consolidated its democratic gains, it would count on the support of the United Nations while calling on bilateral, multilateral and regional partners to support its national development plan.

INIGO LAMBERTINI (Italy) said that, as a non-permanent member of the Security Council in 2017, Italy had witnessed the important added value of the Peacebuilding Commission.  The Fund had also proven to be an unparalleled tool for addressing multiple challenges in a rapid and meaningful way.  Participants in last month’s high-level meeting on peacebuilding and sustaining peace had repeatedly referred to the strengthening the Commission and the Fund as essential to realizing the peace continuum enshrined in the concept of sustaining peace, he recalled.  Reaffirming Italy’s strong support for the Secretary-General’s efforts to put a vision of sustaining peace into practice, he said that vision linked prevention and mediation, the promotion of and respect for human rights, and development.

KOKI MULI GRIGNON (Kenya) said her country attached great importance to peace support operations, including prevention, conflict resolution and national recovery, all of which required proper financing.  “We can do more,” she emphasized, adding that assessed contributions for sustaining peace remained the optimal financing option.  Welcoming the memorandum of understanding signed by the African Union and the United Nations on providing a framework for sustaining peace efforts in Africa, she said that building strategic and meaningful partnerships was critical to ensuring genuine participation by national Governments.  She also underlined the importance of stronger, results-oriented collaboration among the Commission, Security Council, Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly in implementation of resolutions pertaining to the peacebuilding architecture.

IRINA SCHOULGIN NYONI (Sweden) said that the rest of the United Nations system would view the Peacebuilding Commission as champions of the sustaining peace agenda, particularly given its unique structure and flexibility.  The Commission’s advisory role with the Security Council could be further developed to become even more relevant, she said, underscoring that there was great scope for the Commission to keep evolving.  This year was one of action and continued implementation, and the sustaining peace agenda must become a core task of the entire United Nations system.  Noting that the agenda would be implemented in a complex and resource-scarce environment, she said commitment to its implementation must be supported by sufficient investment in peacebuilding.  Sustaining peace and avoiding a relapse into conflict entailed reaching inclusive political solutions and addressing the root causes of conflict, she added.

OMAR KADIRI (Morocco) said the Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund had demonstrated their ability to adapt quickly.  The Secretary-General’s report refocused on the need to grapple with the deep-rooted causes of conflict and underscored the importance of revising the peace architecture in that context.  Turning to the Central African Republic configuration, of which Morocco was the Chair, he said the Commission had helped the Government there to carry out its national recovery and peacebuilding plan.  Progress had also been made on investments during 2017, as well on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, and on combating impunity.  Following the Chair’s visit in July 2017, an agreement had been reached to increase the troop ceiling of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), he noted.

YASUHISA KAWAMURA (Japan) shared an example of effective support on the ground by locally led, community-driven and internationally supported interventions, saying Japan’s project in Somalia sought to improve basic social services in communities affected by conflict and the inflow of internally displaced persons.  It was jointly funded by the Peacebuilding Fund and the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security, he said, adding that, by combining those resources, the implementing agencies could apply the dual “protection and empowerment approach” to finding durable solutions.  Stressing the importance of flexibility in the use of donor resources, he said it was crucial to discuss how to strengthen the Fund’s budget while enhancing transparency and accountability.  Since State resources were limited, it was important to enhance partnerships with non-governmental bodies, the private sector and international financial institutions, he noted.

MAHLET HAIU (Ethiopia) said that during its eleventh session, the Peacebuilding Commission had carried out significant tasks with a view to implementing recommendations from the 2016 sustaining peace resolutions.  The concept of sustaining peace was aligned with the priority of conflict prevention, and had brought about a paradigm shift in how States should address peace and security issues.  She emphasized the need to make full use of the Commission’s convening, bridging and advisory roles with relevant United Nations organs, as well as scaling up its contributions in that regard.  She applauded the Commission’s recent advice to the Security Council on a number of regional and country-specific issues, underscoring more broadly the need to enhance partnerships with regional and subregional organizations, international financial institutions, Governments and civil society across the spectrum of the conflict cycle.  Ultimately, sustaining peace was a national endeavour requiring national ownership and inclusivity.  What was required of the United Nations was assistance in building national and local capacities for sustaining peace, which must be well‑explained and understood by all in order to avoid misunderstanding.

FRANCISCO DUARTE LOPES (Portugal) said that the idea of sustaining peace could only be attained on the understanding that it was a process built on partnerships involving all relevant actors at the international, regional, national and local levels.  To realize peace and prevent relapse into conflict, the international community must rely on joint effort with the concerned countries.  The principle of national ownership must also draw attention to the role of local communities in peacebuilding efforts and its direct link to inclusivity, particularly in terms of the empowerment and participation of women and young people.  The engagement of local communities in the peacebuilding process helped its legitimization, making it far more likely to succeed, he said, adding that 2017 had been a year of growing demands, necessitating the mobilization of additional funding for the peacebuilding and sustaining peace agenda.

MINNA-LIINA LIND (Estonia) said that conflict prevention should be at the heart of the work of the United Nations, stressing:  “Peace will only be sustainable if we make progress in development and address the root causes of conflict”.  Democratic governance, the rule of law, protection of human rights and transparent, accountable State institutions were essential for stability and peace, she said, drawing attention to the need to empower women and youth.  It was clear that the United Nations system must work in a more flexible, integrated and coordinated manner, both at the country level and at Headquarters.  In that connection, the Peacebuilding Commission was a central actor, especially through its convening power.  Yet, the sustaining peace agenda was the primary responsibility of Member States, particularly given the need for predictable funding for support countries in transition and those likely to relapse into conflict.

DAVID ASHLEY BAGWELL (United States) said that, although peacekeeping missions had long helped to create space for peace, alone they could not produce lasting peace.  To sustain peace called for a focus on prevention, and not only on the consequences of conflict.  Sustaining peace must also involve a larger, multidimensional strategy in which national Governments and other stakeholders did their part to fulfil responsibilities and commitments on the ground.  The Peacebuilding Commission had an important role to play in ensuring that the entire United Nations system recognized the inextricable links between sustainable development and sustainable peace.  The United States recognized the important work of the Peacebuilding Fund, including its engagement with civil society organizations to promote gender and youth initiatives, he said.  “Peacebuilding provides a space for partnerships and cooperation and it is in this space — where everyone is brought to the table and all voices are heard – that effective and lasting transitions to peace are made possible,” he added.

JORGE SKINNER-KLEÉ ARENALES (Guatemala), recalling that his country had presented an initiative at the Organization of American States on sustaining peace and creating closer links between regional organizations and the Peacebuilding Commission, called on other regional bodies to adopt peacebuilding to ensure that the peacebuilding could be more widely known and applied in effective ways.  He also underscored the need to meet important challenges relating to violence against women.  He reiterated his delegation’s support for the Secretary-General’s proposed reforms of the peace and security sectors, saying they must lead to strengthening prevention.

SAMSON S. ITEGBOJE (Nigeria) called for the annual peacebuilding session to generate stronger partnerships and cooperation, champion the cause of inclusive national ownership and ensure that women and young people took their rightful places in the quest for lasting peace.  The Peacebuilding Fund was invaluable in dealing with such issues as food security, poverty, climate change, terrorism and transnational organized crime.  A culture of safeguarding peace, keeping peace, restoring peace, building peace and sustaining peace must be entrenched, he stressed, adding:  “This is the cardinal value of the United Nations.”

MASUD BIN MOMEN (Bangladesh) welcomed the Security Council’s recognition of the growing relevance of the Peacebuilding Commission’s recommendations.  Additionally, testimonies about the efficiency of the Peacebuilding Fund had validated its commitment to promoting national ownership and addressing root causes of conflict in an inclusive manner.  Noting that the Secretary-General’s proposals on peace and security reform recognized the Commission’s critical role, he said the Peacebuilding Support Office could open the doors for enhanced coordination across the three pillars of United Nations, a hinge function that could only be delivered through measures that reinforced the human resources of that Office.  He proposed that the Secretary-General assume responsibility for following up on the resolution adopted after last month’s high-level meeting, and stressed that review of the Commission’s work methods should be an ongoing process.  Bangladesh recognized the need for a “quantum leap” in financing for the Peacebuilding Fund, while maintaining its rapid response, and recommended discussion of the Secretary-General’s proposals in that regard.

MAY-ELIN STENER (Norway) said the Peacebuilding Commission had become more dynamic and flexible and called for building on those gains.  It had contributed to positive developments in the Gambia, Liberia and Sierra Leone, offering a model for “how we should work” — firmly led by the countries themselves but supported in a coherent manner by the United Nations, in partnership with regional and subregional organizations.  Stressing that Norway fully supported the Chair’s emphasis on the Sahel region, she said the Commission had improved the quality of its advice and strengthened its bridging role.  The joint “Pathways for Peace” study made a strong case for greater partnership between the United Nations and the World Bank at headquarters level, and States must ensure that such efforts explored the comparative advantages of those bodies, she said.  Underscoring the need to ensure adequate, predictable and sustained financing for peacebuilding, she pointed out that Norway was among the largest donors to the Fund and pledged to increase substantially its contribution for 2018.

For information media. Not an official record.