General Assembly President calls for boosting UN’s peacebuilding capacity

9 October 2008
General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann

The President of the General Assembly today urged Member States to support the strengthening of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture, designed to help countries emerging from conflict to secure long-term peace and avoid slipping back into war or chaos.

In the wake of the 2005 World Summit, the Organization set up the 31-member Peacebuilding Commission, which currently has four countries on its agenda – Burundi, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau and Central African Republic (CAR).

Together with the Peacebuilding Fund and Peacebuilding Support Office, the Commission is playing a vital role in the UN’s efforts to provide post-conflict countries with the international support they need to build peace.

“Given the record of peace accords that have failed in their first years, these reform initiatives fill a long-standing gap in our peacemaking architecture,” Miguel D’Escoto told the General Assembly today as it met to discuss the work of these bodies.

“They are examples of the UN doing things differently and learning from past lessons of success and failure. They arise from efforts to find new ways to promote partnerships and solidarity in post-conflict situations that have been misunderstood and neglected in the past,” he added.

Mr. D’Escoto remarked that the relevance and credibility of the UN’s peacebuilding architecture will ultimately be measured by its ability to mobilize the international support that delivers tangible peace dividends for the people of Burundi, CAR, Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone. “These dividends are needed now – not two, three or five years from now.”

To ensure that this happens, he called on the international community to continue to strengthen the capacities of the Commission and the Fund, stressing that new and predictable financial and human resources must be channelled to address the critical priorities determined by the countries concerned.

Nearly $270 million has been contributed to the Fund, which is supporting projects in the four countries on the Commission’s agenda as well as 37 schemes in nine post-conflict nations, surpassing its $250 million funding target.

The Assembly President noted that this a testimony to the confidence vested in the UN. “It reflects the commitment of the international community to close a critical funding gap in the transition from violence to sustainable peace and development,” he stated.


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