New York

25 September 2012

Secretary-General's remarks at High-level Event on "Peacebuilding: Way towards Sustainable Peace and Security" [as delivered]

I am pleased to join you for this important event.

The Government of Bangladesh has provided excellent leadership of the Peacebuilding Commission this year. Madame Prime Minister, I thank you for bringing us together today – and for successfully finding consensus on the declaration that will soon be adopted.

To build peace, we need priorities, patience and partners.

From the start, we have to involve political, security and development officials working together.

Our colleagues in the field are at the forefront of global peacebuilding efforts, working for our missions and a broad range of UN agencies.  They are supported by dedicated institutions here in New York.  The Peacebuilding Fund provides quick and catalytic resources.  The Peacebuilding Support Office has an important convening role across the UN system.  And the Peacebuilding Commission provides essential political support.

Our success also depends on strong and sustained commitment from Member States. The Peacebuilding Commission can make a major contribution by developing into a valuable United Nations platform to mobilize political support and financial resources.

The Commission can sharpen our focus on national priorities for peacebuilding. It can galvanize international commitment after United Nations missions end their mandates. It can help us forge partnerships to reach long-term goals. And the Commission can enable countries facing similar peacebuilding challenges to share experiences.

Our civilian capacities review initiative is also helping countries that have gone through conflict, crisis or transition to more widely share their experiences.

We know that developing resilient national institutions is the best defence against relapse into conflict.  That is why national ownership of institution-building is at the heart of the civilian capacities initiative.

After the guns fall silent, leaders have to make tough political choices and take bold measures to improve inclusiveness, transparency and the fight against corruption. 

We have an excellent model for cooperation between conflict-affected countries and development partners: The New Deal on Engagement in Fragile States, which was endorsed at the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan last year. Several pilot countries are moving forward to carry out this New Deal, starting with a self-assessment of their own level of fragility. 

The Peacebuilding Fund has proven that it can quickly finance early action. This should prompt others to provide longer-term funding so that we do not lose any gains.

I encourage 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.

Two years ago, I recommended that all United Nations-managed funds should allocate 15 per cent of their portfolio to projects that promote gender equality and women’s empowerment. The Peacebuilding Fund is doing its part, including through a $5 million Gender Promotion Initiative.

Women and youth are crucial to helping societies emerging from conflict. When we help meet their needs and tap into their potential, we can establish secure and lasting peace – which can only endure if it is inclusive. 

The United Nations is striving to act as one across the political, security and development spectrum. When governments have coherent policies, that coherence is reflected in their representation across the different multilateral institutions. This strengthens our common sense of purpose and our effectiveness.

As we discuss how to strengthen peacebuilding, let us remember the child soldier who has been demobilized but remains traumatized … the widow who struggles to feed her family … the jobless man who wants a new skill besides fighting in war.

Peacebuilding is their 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.

Thank you very much.