Statement by Pakistan at the Annual Debate of the General Assembly on the Report of the Peace-building Commission and the Peace-building Fund (26 March 2014)

Mr. President,

Pakistan associates itself with the statement delivered by the distinguished Permanent Representative of Tunisia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Let me also thank Ambassador Drobnjak of Croatia, former Chair, and Ambassador Patriota of Brazil, current Chair, for their statements and contribution to the work of the Peace-building Commission. We would also like to place on record our appreciation for the dedicated support provided by the PBSO for our work.

The Report before us provides a useful overview of the work of the Peace-building Commission during its 7th Session. It also recommends an actionable agenda going forward.

Pakistan welcomes the Report’s focus on the three key functions – advocacy and sustaining attention; resource mobilization; and forging coherence.

As we prepare for the first Annual Session of the Commission to be held in June this year, and in the run-up to the comprehensive review of the peace-building architecture in 2015, today’s discussion provides a good opportunity for stocktaking. I would like to make a few points in this regard.

It is clear that there is growing consensus around the concept of peacebuilding as an enabler of sustainable peace and development in conflict and post-conflict situations. Consequently, the rationale for the Peace-building Commission remains valid and strong. The question is whether we have exploited the full potential of this unique body.

Mr. President,

The composition and the objectives of the Commission were recognition of the fact that peace-building was a complex exercise involving political, security, humanitarian and development dimensions, and that a broader representation and involvement of actors and stakeholders was required to pursue the coveted comprehensive approach.

That is the context in which we can evaluate results and impact, and assess how the Commission has approached and carried out its core functions in assisting the countries on its agenda.

Mr. President,

Peacebuilding is not only a long-term and complex task - it is also an expensive one. It requires resources, both human and financial. Failure to provide the adequate resources, and at the right time, may jeopardize the entire effort.

The general sense is that expectations with regard to marshaling of external sources have not been met, for various reasons. On the other hand, mobilization of internal resources does not seem to have gained the required attention. This aspect is crucial if we are to succeed in making peace sustainable, and enabling the countries concerned to stand on their own feet. It may be right that resource mobilization is not fund raising per se in the context of the PBC. Besides, natural resource rich countries could actually have more than what they might expect to receive from the Peace-building Fund and other mechanisms. In such cases, the Commission’s added value is in supporting the formulation of national resource mobilization strategies, and helping strengthen institutions to pursue those strategies.

On the whole, PBC’s engagement should strategize resource mobilization in its various dimensions and in line with the specific requirements of the countries concerned. We need to do better in aligning the funding streams with the national peacebuilding priorities. Funding mechanisms that are more flexible, and better directed towards peace and security objectives, would definitely help. That many of the PBC members are also the major donors should in fact facilitate these goals.

It is also important to see peacebuilding in a continuum – from conflict prevention to peacekeeping to post-conflict. Multidimensional peacekeeping missions, where they are deployed, implement critical peacebuilding tasks in their integrated mandates. There, peacekeepers as early peace-builders help lay the foundations of durable peace. Today, the bulk of peacekeeping resources is deployed in multidimensional missions, hence the need to make them even more effective. Resolution 2086 adopted during Pakistan’s Presidency of the Security Council in January 2013 was a landmark in this regard. It reinforced the strategic attention to peacekeeping and peacebuilding, as others have also noted. As the leading troop contributing country, and as a member of the Security Council and the Peace-building Commission, Pakistan is proud to have contributed to that effort.

Mr. President,

The essence of forging coherence among the various actors including members of the Commission is to channel attention and resources to the nationally identified priorities. There is also room to enhance synergy and coordination among the various mechanisms within the Commission including the country-specific configurations and the Organizational Committee. We need to engender concerted collective efforts, and institutional actions to maximize the potential of all the relevant actors around the table and on the ground.

In that the PBC was created primarily as an advisory body, we need to see how this advisory role can be made more relevant, vis-à-vis the Security Council on peace and security issues, and vis-à-vis the General Assembly on the larger development and peacebuilding issues.

As other speakers have noted, significant progress has been achieved over the last years. Sierra Leone is a classic example. However, considerable challenges remain in the wider peacebuilding arena. Recent setbacks in some other situations have shown that the risk of relapse remains real, and that more needs to be done to address the root causes.

Mr. President,

Last but not the least, our work at the Commission and the forthcoming review should be guided by the positions and feedback of the countries on the agenda, and we would have liked to benefit from this aspect also during today’s debate. As compared to the Security Council, a major advantage of the Peace-building Commission is its ability to directly engage the countries concerned in all stages of its work. Fully exploiting this advantage is the key to success, for effective peacebuilding essentially results from genuine national ownership and committed international partnership.

In the final analysis, PBC’s success is to be gauged by the tangible results on ground - the improvement in the lives of the ordinary people affected by conflict. That should continue to be the yardstick as we work together to strengthen the peacebuilding architecture and advance the peacebuilding agenda.

Thank you.