Allow me to extend my sincere thanks to Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar Patriota of Brazil, former chair of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) for his presentation of the PBC’s report on its eighth session. I also wish to thank him for his dedication and strong commitment as he led the work of the Commission during the year 2014. I also thank Ambassador Olof Skoog of Sweden, Chair of PBC, for his statement.
Rwanda would like to join others to note with appreciation reports of the PBC and the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF), which provide a comprehensive analysis of progress made so far in the implementation of the recommendations of the 2010 review, as well as the continuing challenges that the Commission must address as it accompanies countries emerging from conflict.
The topics covered by the report before the Assembly today reflects the scope of these challenges. The Commission has thus emerged as the voice of our conscience calling for greater commitment and collective efforts to ensure that we live up to the expectations of peoples and societies aspiring for sustained peace and development.
My delegation would like to highlight the importance of building on the important areas of focus identified in 2014, namely: (1) the preparation for and convening of its first ever annual session in June this year; (2) the advance preparation for the 2015 review of the peacebuilding architecture; and (3) the mainstreaming of regional perspectives into the work of the Commission. We also note particular engagement of country-specific configurations through a continued focus on its three core functions.
We note with appreciation the Commission’s focus on, and engagement in countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. While the outbreak has had an impact on peace, security and development, the Commission has contributed to sustain international attention, which curtailed the spread of the outbreak, and minimized its impact, especially on peacebuilding-related gains in the affected countries. Stakeholders, including the United Nations and international financial institutions, should maintain this momentum in order to sustain the recent gains towards a lasting solution to the crisis.
On resource mobilization, we call for the continued advocacy on behalf of the countries on the agenda and help underscore political and socio-economic progress to attract assistance and investments; as well as identify entry points to tap into the potentials of foundations, private sector and other non-traditional donors.
On country-specific configurations, we welcome the configuration’s engagement in Burundi, which oversaw the planning for the transfer of responsibilities from the United Nations Office in Burundi (BNUB) to the Government of Burundi and the United Nations country team; including intensified engagement with key regional partners, at a time when Burundi witnesses political tensions ahead of general elections. The visit undertaken in May last year by Ambassador Paul Seger of Switzerland, Chair of the Burundi configuration, to Rwanda and to the headquarters of the Economic Commission for Africa is commendable in this regard.
Mindful of the positive role of women in post-conflict reconstruction, Rwanda welcomed the Commission‘s consideration of the gender dimension in peacebuilding activities. We welcomed the recommendations from the special event held on 3rd September last year, under the theme “Women, everyday peacebuilders”. The Commission should promote regular events of that nature, not only in New York, but also in countries on its agenda, as well as with the relevant regional groupings.
On the working methods, we encourage the Commission to identify and document good practice of the past 10 years, including by encouraging cross-learning among configurations. We believe that, since 2005, the UN should have been able to identify a set of good practices and lessons learnt of how the support to national efforts to build and sustain peace can be more effective. Although there are positive developments in this regard, further progress is still needed.
We hope that the ongoing review will provide an opportunity to address the broader landscape of UN response in post-conflict situations, and how the PBC, the PBF and PBSO’s roles and responsibilities can be adapted to strengthen such response. We also hope that the review would help reinforce efforts to promote a more effective and complementary relationship between the PBC and the main organs of the UN, mainly the General Assembly, the Security Council and ECOSOC. We encourage the Commission to continue to explore ways to strengthen the advisory function to and improve interaction with the Security Council; especially by convening periodic stock-taking meetings, at the expert level; as well as informal interactive dialogue among members of the Council and the Commission’s group of chairs .
From Rwanda’s experience as former coordinator of this stock-taking exercise, during our 2013-2014 term in the Security Council, it has allowed the Council to examine the scope of the Commission’s advisory function and the modality of interaction when countries are on the agenda of both bodies. It also allowed us to receive regular update from countries on the agenda.
I will conclude by saying a word on the report of the Peacebuilding Fund. We noted that in 2014, there was a significant increase of contributions compared to the level of 2013; and we thank the Member States and donors that have made this valuable contribution. We welcomed the General Assembly-mandated periodic review of the Peacebuilding Fund to guide the revision of the Fund’s business plan in 2014, and we hope that the PBF will be able to grow in size and scope in order to further strengthen its contribution to greater and more coherent UN contribution to peacebuilding in countries emerging from conflicts.
I thank you.