Closing remarks by H.E. Mr Peter Thomson, President of the 71st Session of the General Assembly
21 September 2016
Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you to the co-hosts for organizing today’s Sustaining Peace pledging conference for the Peacebuilding Fund.
It is a testament to the invaluable work of the Fund that so many beneficiaries of its activities, as well as donors, have teamed up to help ensure its long-term viability.
The critical role of the Peacebuilding Fund is well known.
As a niche, catalytic and pre-positioned pool of funds, it has time and again proven its importance as a quick and flexible source of finance for projects targeted at sustaining peace in conflict-affected countries.
To date, the Fund has undertaken over 400 peacebuilding projects, worth over $600 million.
Currently, however, the Fund faces serious financial challenges and risks being forced to scale back its work.
This is particularly troubling as it comes at a time when the UN General Assembly and UN Security Council have just agreed to the ambitious ‘sustaining peace’ agenda.
The sustaining peace agenda seeks to broaden the UN’s peacebuilding engagement beyond post-conflict settings, and to bring a ‘sustaining peace’ perspective to all the UN’s work across peace and security, human rights, and development.
I am pleased to hear that $151 million of new contributions to the UN’s Peacebuilding Fund have been announced today.
I wish to thank all of those Member States who have contributed to the Fund over the years, or have today pledged to do so.
Regrettably, this amount falls well short of the target of raising $300 million to cover the Fund’s activities for the next three years.
I call on other Member States to consider what more they can do.
Sustaining Peace calls on us all to do more.
Financing directed towards sustaining peace is, after all, a smart investment. It represents a fraction of the human and financial costs, that can result from inaction.
I have made the principal objective of the Presidency of the 71st General Assembly, to drive a universal push for meaningful progress in the implementation of all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Effective implementation of the UN’s sustaining peace agenda is fundamental to the attainment of this objective. As the Deputy Secretary-General has emphasized, there can, after all, be no sustainable development without sustainable peace.
While the need for UN peacebuilding to have adequate, predictable and sustained financing, until mechanisms to provide consistent funding for sustaining peace have been established, it is critical that voluntary contributions continue.
As President of the General Assembly, I am committed to fulfilling my role in taking the sustaining peace agenda forward during the 71st Session.
This includes on an ongoing basis to do what I can to encourage Member States to contribute further to the Peacebuilding Fund, until that $300 million target is reached.
Lets take this on joining together throughout the 71st session.