Report of the Secretary General on the Peacebuilding

Statement by Ambassador Farukh Amil Acting Permanent Representative of Pakistan in the Joint Debate of the General Assembly on the Report of the Peacebuilding Commission and the Report of the Secretary General on the Peacebuilding Fund 9 October 2008

Mr. President,

  1. We welcome this debate which offers a good opportunity to the general membership to take stock of the United Nations peace-building agenda, which has assumed priority and greater prominence ever since the 2005 World Summit.
  2. As reflected in the Peace-building Commissionís annual report, the new peace-building architecture has made appreciable progress both in further developing system-wide institutional linkages and in promoting substantive work in the countries under consideration. As a member of the Commission, Pakistan is fully committed to its success. We appreciate the contribution of all members of the Commission, in particular the Chairman, the Vice-Chairs and Chairs of the country specific configurations. We shall continue to contribute to this collective effort through our active participation in the work of the Commission, as well as by providing assistance to the countries concerned to the best of our ability.
  3. The expansion of the Commissionís agenda which now includes four countries is an indication of the growing confidence in its work. This has increased expectations, and rightly so, especially of the governments and the peoples of the countries under consideration. It also entails better organization of the Commissionís work especially increased coherence and prioritization among its various formats, and dedication of appropriate time and resources to the different situations on the agenda.
  4. At the strategic level, the experience gained by the Peace-building Commission should guide the evolution of a common vision of peace-building. In our view, the following are the key to success: first, greater convergence between the perspectives of the partners and the host countries, based primarily on the priorities and national ownership of the latter; second, genuine political will and flexibility by all stakeholders; third, involvement of the Commission from the initial phase of UNís engagement in countries emerging from conflict. A comprehensive approach based on inter-linkage between peace and development should traverse all stages from conflict prevention to peacekeeping to peace-building.
  5. Sustainable development and utilization of national capacities is essential to ensure national ownership of peace-building priorities. Strategies based on objective and comprehensive diagnosis of the situation, including the root causes of conflict, are more likely to succeed. The integrated peace-building strategies and cooperation frameworks should be living plans of action, under constant review, and capable of adjustment as the situation demands. The Commissionís monitoring and tracking tools would need to be further refined to ensure identification of new gaps and timely and full implementation of the commitments undertaken by all sides.
  6. Provision of resources at the early stages for immediate peace-building priorities, quick impact and other projects with catalytic effect is extremely important. The utility of the Peace-building Fund is clear in that regard. It is important to keep the interests of the recipient countries paramount in the identification, design and prioritization of projects to be resourced from the Fund. Timely and effective disbursement of funds is equally important. In our view, increased coordination and coherence between the activities of the Fund and the Commission can yield better results in that regard. The Commissionís guidance would be extremely relevant in the review process of the terms of reference of the Fund.
  7. In the ultimate analysis, the success of the Commission would be gauged in terms of the concrete results for the people on ground. For effective prevention against relapse, the ultimate objective of peace-building should be to enable the countries emerging from conflict to stand on their own feet to achieve self-sustained peace and development. This involves fulfillment of commitments by national and international stakeholders and mobilization of resources - both internal and external. This is where the Commission, because of its unique composition and convening power, has immense potential to deliver. It needs to further strengthen its advocacy role to tap all avenues to marshal adequate and predictable resources from early stages to the extended period of international attention. Working on both sides, the Commission can also help address the issues of donor restrictions and conditionalities on the one hand, and of absorption capacity and mechanisms for effective and transparent disbursement and utilization of resources, on the other. The Commission can also promote the cause of the countries on its agenda more effectively before the IFIs which should be encouraged to show operational flexibility to address the special circumstances of the countries emerging from conflict.

Mr. President,

  1. The Commission would also need to focus attention on broader issues including aid effectiveness, trade, investment, ODA, debt relief, and development of private sector. The work facilitated by Indonesia on the role of the private sector should be taken forward. Many countries afflicted by complex conflicts continue to be deprived of revenues and earnings from their own resources, due to unequal trade regimes, industrial-country agricultural subsidies, and inability to process their raw materials. Therefore more attention has to be accorded to national and international mechanisms to halt the illegal exploitation of natural resources and to enable the concerned countries to make full use of their resources for the benefit of their own peoples.
  2. The Organizational Committee, the nucleus of the Commission, is best placed to discuss the above and several other cross-cutting and thematic issues. It is time to utilize its full potential. It should have a strategic oversight over the work of the Commission including country specific meetings and the Working Group on Lessons Learned. Energizing the Organizational Committee will also contribute to increased coordination between all stakeholders in particular the three principal organs, which is so essential for the success of our work.

Mr. President,

  1. The challenges of peace-building are complex and immense. They require a holistic approach based on sustained political attention and pooling of necessary resources. The Peace-building Commission can deliver only with the full support and commitment of the international community. In that regard, I would like to conclude on an encouraging note that notwithstanding the differences of opinion among the membership, the collective objective of bringing tangible benefit to the countries under consideration is becoming the rallying point for the Commissionís work.

Thank you.