New York, 21 September 2016 – The United Nations Peacebuilding Fund received $152 million in pledges from Member States at its Pledging Conference held Wednesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
The pledges cover the years 2017-2019 and will go toward projects the Fund underwrites in more than 20 countries with the aim of sustaining peace and preventing violent conflict. The event was co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The conference sought pledges totaling $300 million over three years.
“$300 million for the years 2017-2019 will only begin to redress the imbalance between what the world spends on warfare and crisis response, and what it devotes to preventing conflict and building peace,” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon told the Conference. “Without the Peacebuilding Fund, we will be forced to stand by as we witness the preventable loss of countless lives and the extinguishing of hope for millions more.”
The total amount pledged falls short of the Fund’s goal of a working capital of $100 million per year, but is enough to allow the PBF to continue its work in the short term while Member States and the UN seek solutions for long-term funding.
“In the weeks and months ahead, let us transform the political commitments made today into a tangible financial commitment to the Fund,’ said United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson in his closing remarks during the event. “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.”
More than 25 Member States pledged to the Fund, underscoring the broad support within the UN for the PBF.
The co-hosts underscored the importance of the Peacebuilding Fund and the UN combined focus on sustaining peace.
“A change of mind-set in how we go about doing the business of peace also requires a different kind of players, a different kind of willingness and commitment in how we invest in the peacebuilding complex, including prevention,” said Amina C. Mohamed, the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Kenya. “Today we saw a good initial step in that direction. There is still much work to be done.”
Claudia Ruiz Massieu Salinas, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, said: “It is imperative to create a new paradigm for peace: It is not only about a shift of terms, but a truly different way to understand, build, and practice peace.”
“A peace that is sustainable also implies a collective responsibility to provide the necessary financial resources to the initiatives that promote this approach,” she said.
“Peacebuilding is a core business for the UN and core business needs sustainable funding,” said Albert Koenders, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
“Our pledges today will lay a foundation for the path toward sustaining peace,” said Yun Byung-se, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea.
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström said: “Our commitment to the sustaining peace agenda must be backed by sufficient investments in conflict prevention and peacebuilding.”
“The Peacebuilding Fund provides fast, flexible finance to fragile states to enable vital peacebuilding activity to take place when it is needed the most,” said Baroness Anelay, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, United Kingdom. “I was delighted to attend this Conference and pledge the UK’s support, alongside so many other countries, so that the fund can continue its vital role in preventing conflict.”
The PBF was created in 2006 as a fast and flexible pre-positioned fund to help other UN agencies by funding peacebuilding efforts at a time when countries emerge from conflict and other funds are not – yet – available. The ‘Sustaining Peace Agenda, based on twin resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council in April, extended the role of the PBF to also include conflict prevention.
(note: an earlier version said 26 countries pledged $151 million; four countries pledged without speaking at the Conference)