[as prepared for delivery] (Note: as a UN leader long involved in UN Peacebuilding, DSG Jan Eliasson actually spoke on a more personal note during the conference; the gist of his remarks is similar to the speech as prepared for delivery)
Mr. Chair, Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have heard today from a broad array of participants who are engaged in sustaining peace through the work of the Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund. Among them are recipient Governments, contributors to the Fund and individual citizens.
They shared moving accounts of how lives and societies have been transformed by the Fund’s efforts to improve opportunities, equity and governance.
We have also heard how the Fund has offered many people the chance to meaningfully participate in activities to prevent violence or to rebuild communities after conflict.
The message today has been strong and unanimous: support for the Fund translates into tangible and sustainable support for peace.
The Fund’s value was recognized by all UN Member States in the concurrent resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council passed in April this year. We are grateful for this significant political support.
These resolutions set an agenda for a critical paradigm shift. We need to move from peacebuilding solely as a response to crisis and post-conflict work to investing in prevention and, in fact, sustaining peace before, during and after violent conflict.
Such an approach will save lives and prevent suffering. It is also the best way for us to seriously cut the huge costs of humanitarian and security operations.
Your interventions today recognize the Peacebuilding Fund as a central and unique financing instrument to sustain peace.
For this conference, we set a target of $100 million per year over three years, to achieve a minimum threshold of predictable financing and maintain the Fund’s current level of operations.
The Secretary-General is grateful to those Member States who have pledged contributions. This will ensure that the Fund can continue its catalytic, flexible and innovative work.
Despite the intensive efforts of our hosts, however, we have not achieved our target. We therefore hope that today’s demonstration of political support will progressively translate into more contributions from more countries.
Today’s pledging conference is not the end of this effort. We have been given a mandate by the resolutions to explore alternative and creative financing options for conflict prevention and peacebuilding. We will continue to work together with you to map a course that will lead to adequate and predictable funding.
In the weeks and months ahead, let us transform the political commitments made today into a tangible financial commitment to the Fund. Let us work together to make sure that the Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund has the resources it needs to continue to be a strong and reliable partner to countries and people striving to sustain peace. This is a task more critical than ever.