Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson today appealed to Member States for continued support towards meeting the annual $100 million target of a United Nations fund that helps post-conflict countries build lasting peace.
“We wanted to be sure that the United Nations would act faster, intervene more effectively and help countries to move energetically from conflict to peace,” Mr. Eliasson said, recalling the original thinking behind the creation of the Peacebuilding Commission in 2005.
The Commission aims to help struggling States avoid slipping back into war and chaos by providing strategic advice and harnessing expertise and financing from around the world to aid with recovery projects. The UN Peacebuilding Fund, launched the following year, supports activities, actions, programmes and organizations that seek to build a lasting peace in countries emerging from conflict.
Addressing the fourth annual stakeholders’ meeting of the Fund, Mr. Eliasson highlighted the positive result from the first-ever global, independent review of the mechanism. It found that over the last three years, the Fund “has built ‘a much stronger platform’ and developed ‘substantial credibility’ with partners.”
He said that the Fund built such credibility “by being persistent, creative and focused,” citing examples of its work in countries on the Peacebuilding Commission’s agenda, including Burundi, the Central African Republic and Sierra Leone.
“This is exactly the kind of catalytic, hands-on action the Fund was set up to generate,” the senior official said. He added that the mechanism has strengthened UN collaboration with international financial institutions, including the World Bank; improved cooperation within the UN system; and is helping national partnership create strong and legitimate national institutions.
It also contributes to the UN’s Rights Up-Front initiative which places the promotion of respect for human rights at the core of the Organization’s agenda.
“I call on supporters of the Fund to renew their commitments, especially in the light of the positive findings of the global review, and I would add, the magnitude of crises that we see emerging around the world,” Mr. Eliasson told the stakeholders meeting, underscoring that the Fund is entering its second Business Plan cycle, covering 2014 to 2016, at an annual target of $100 million.
He also thanked the “impressive” donor base of more than 50 Member States “for your belief in the work and future work of the peacebuilding fund and the peacebuilding commission.”
The Fund has received over half a billion dollars since 2006, of which more than $490 million has been allocated, Mr. Eliasson said. It has made new commitments to Burundi, Central African Republic, Guinea, Somalia and Yemen, among others.
Also addressing today’s high-level meeting is Judy Cheng-Hopkins, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support.
“The Peacebuilding Fund has found an important niche and we are getting health funding from our donors year after year. I hope there’s no turning back,” Ms. Cheng-Hopkins said in an in-depth interview with the UN News Centre.
“Peacebuilding can’t wait. It’s not like building a bridge,” she noted. “If the opportunity for peacebuilding is there, and people are willing to lay down their arms and they’re ready to talk to the other party, that opportunity may not be there for months.”