In US dollars
|REPUBLIC OF ESTONIA||
|REPUBLIC of KOREA||
|UNITED STATES of AMERICA||
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.
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.
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.
[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.
Thank you, Minister for that introduction.
Mr. Secretary-General, Your Excellencies, Ladies, and Gentlemen:
It’s an honor to be here and to have the opportunity to connect with all of you today about this essential topic. I would like to thank the Secretary-General for his leadership in helping us transform the way we think about conflict and for guiding us toward a new model of peacebuilding where we shift our focus from stopping conflicts once they arise to preventing them before they begin. That, I believe, is the single most important change we can make if we want to create a world of enduring and sustainable peace for every man, woman, and child on this planet.
Our commitment to preventing conflict and armed violence is a promise that we will invest more in the world’s young people. Children and youth make up almost half of the global population. This means that young people are not only tomorrow’s leaders—they must also be today’s peacebuilders.
New York, 21 September 2016
I thank the Governments of Kenya, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sweden and the United Kingdom for co-hosting this pledging conference.
The Peacebuilding Fund faces enormous challenges.
Climate change, economic crises and financial shocks, growing inequalities and dangerously high youth unemployment are contributing to conflict and putting people under enormous stress. After a long decline, the number of violent conflicts is rising.
Although there are fewer wars between states, conflicts are taking place within countries, often with international involvement and involving non-state actors.
These trends are pushing the UN system to its limits.
We are failing to live up to the noble call that opens the UN charter, “To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”.