Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of all co-hosts, I would like to thank you for your support and, most importantly, your pledges to the UN Peacebuilding Fund today.
Thanks to your cooperation, the Fund will be able to continue to support critical projects in countries emerging from years of violent conflict, like Colombia, and in other countries where peace is fragile and needs to be sustained, such as in Mali, Somalia and my own country Sri Lanka.
We are also emboldened by the fact that so many of you pledged, making the Peacebuilding Fund one of the most broadly supported funds in the UN system. This surely sends a signal about the importance we as Member States attach to this Fund.
The pledges mean that the Fund can continue to do this critical work while we, as Member States, work out a long-term solution for funding the sustaining peace agenda we gave impetus to when we passed the resolutions on the UN Peacebuilding Architecture in the General Assembly and the Security Council on 27 April.
In your interventions today, you made clear your commitment to this agenda and to seeing it succeed. You underscored, and rightly so, the need for the United Nations system to put more emphasis on preventing violent conflict.
But despite your generosity today, we cannot overlook the fact that this Conference didn’t reach its target amount of $300 million over three years, the amount necessary to reach our objective to fund $100 million in projects each year.
As we all know, our Treasuries are under pressure from demands at home, a challenging world economy and a historically high demand on our resources for humanitarian intervention as a result of the very conflicts the sustaining peace agenda seeks to prevent.
But as we also know, the amount sought today was small compared to the billions of dollars we spend on responding to crises– let alone the $1.6 trillion we spend on armaments.
In this regard, this Conference is a wake-up call. Despite the challenges of intervention, we cannot succeed if we don’t give prevention a chance. By investing in preventing violent conflict, we will prevent untold suffering and save billions of dollars.
As the Resolutions pointed out, we can only make this work if prevention and peacebuilding have a solid financial basis, either through increased voluntary contributions, assessed contributions or other means of financing.
On behalf of my fellow co-hosts, I call on all who care about the sustaining peace agenda to make this the day that we start to seriously work on a long-term solution to guarantee that the UN system can fulfill the promise of the UN Charter and the reason why this organization was founded: to establish sustainable peace, complementary and mutually reinforcing with the Sustainable Development Goals.