Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to open the inaugural annual stakeholders meeting of the Peacebuilding Fund, one of the pillars of the United Nations family's vital work in peacebuilding.
Today's meeting is an opportunity to consider how far the Fund has travelled in its first years, and how we can strengthen its contribution.
And of course, for the Fund to continue its work, it must be replenished. So today I am also asking for your financial support.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Building peace in a post-conflict setting is easy to wish for, but hard to do.
It means addressing some of the most sensitive issues facing a given society –issues that, indeed, have previously proved so charged and intractable that they led to armed conflict.
It means national ownership, leadership, and a spirit of compromise and reconciliation to avoid a recurrence of violence.
And it means commitment and common vision at the global level, since the international community has a clear role and interest in helping countries move towards sustainable peace and development.
The Peacebuilding Fund is managed by the Peacebuilding Support Office but relies on the strengths of the entire UN system, and on the strategic guidance of my representatives, UN missions and country teams in the field.
It can also draw on the political weight of the Peacebuilding Commission to help identify priority issues and accompany states through post-conflict reconstruction.
The very prospect of funding offers a tangible incentive for actors at the country level to think creatively about what more can be done to build lasting peace.
And indeed, much has been done to date.
The peacebuilding agenda is taking shape, through the agenda for action contained in my report on peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict, and the plan of action in my report on women's participation in peacebuilding. The ongoing review of civilian capacity is another key part of this picture.
Our peacebuilding engagements continue to highlight the importance of the nexus between security, development and human rights.
All the relevant entities within the broad UN family are working towards a common objective: timely and integrated responses to the needs and priorities of the countries concerned. Here the Peacebuilding Fund has a vital role to play, and is playing that role in an increasingly dynamic and innovative way, with the support of many of you here today.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
To date, the Fund has received $342 million, far exceeding the initial target of $250 million.
Forty-six countries have contributed -- a wide spectrum, testifying to the urgency that Member States attach to the critical task of peacebuilding.
I thank all donors for their generosity and for the trust and confidence they have placed in the United Nations in managing and delivering this essential support.
Independent country-level evaluations, the multi-donor study on global peacebuilding funding instruments and the five-year donors' review, all indicate that the Fund is now globally acknowledged as a valuable and responsive standing instrument for providing post-conflict support.
Looking ahead, we want to do even more to improve efficiency and to expand our allocations.
The Fund has new terms of reference.
It has streamlined its procedures to make peacebuilding financing more flexible and tolerant of risk.
We have regularized mechanisms of cooperation with the other parts of the UN system that are critical peacebuilding players, and plan to increase collaboration with the World Bank.
The Fund has recognized the need to increase its focus on programme quality. That means better tracking outputs and outcomes, and engaging the necessary capacity for programme design.
And as the 2010 review of our new peacebuilding instruments pointed out, we are seeking to improve synergy between the political work of the Commission and the Fund.
The Fund is engaged in 18 countries.
More than 60 per cent of the $206 million that has been allocated has gone to the five countries on the Peacebuilding Commission's agenda.
Our goal now is to raise, allocate and spend $100 million per year for the next three-year period, from 2011 to 2013.
This is an ambitious but feasible target, consistent with the trend line of our first years of experience. This funding will allow us to engage at a significant level in a focused number of countries.
I call upon all of you to contribute generously to the Peacebuilding Fund.
And I invite new donors to join in this effort.
Be a peacebuilding partner.
Be an investor in peace.
Help countries put violence behind them, once and for all.
Thank you very much for your support.