Today, the Secretary-General, António Guterres, co-chaired a High-Level Replenishment Conference for the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund together with H.E. Julius Maada Bio, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone; H.E. Abdalla Hamdok, Prime Minister of the Republic of Sudan; H.E. Marc Garneau, Foreign Minister of Canada, Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission and H.E. Heiko Maas, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Conference also featured Ms. Leymah Gbowee of Liberia, Nobel Peace Laureate, H.E. Annika Söder of Sweden, Independent Eminent Person for the UN Peacebuilding Architecture Review as well as local peacebuilding leaders from seven countries. 92 Member States joined the Conference.
The Conference took place at a time of unprecedented challenges and as the world contends with the tragic immediate effects of the pandemic and its alarming medium to long-term impacts. The unprecedented economic shocks and inadequate response strategies are entrenching social and economic inequalities and increasing risks for crisis, eroding peace and development gains along the way.
Deeply convinced by the need for a concerted push towards investing urgently in building back better and preventing a reversal of the seminal achievements made over the past years, the Co-Chairs convened a High-Level replenishment Conference for the PBF. Ensuring substantial resources for peacebuilding activities at this time is key in ensuring we are working together in sustaining peace and leaving no one behind.
For this purpose, the General Assembly will convene a high-level meeting on financing peace in its seventy-sixth session. Until then, the United Nations bodies and organs, including the Peacebuilding Commission, in accordance with respective mandates, will need to work with Member States and other partners to further advance realistic options for more sustained and predictable peacebuilding financing. There is a need to broaden the PBF donor base but also to move beyond voluntary short-term funding to more predictable solutions. This includes assessed contributions and innovative financing through new partnerships.
At today’s Conference, Member States reiterated the importance of investing in peace. Including funds received for 2020, 39 Member States have contributed or pledged over US$439 million for peacebuilding in support of the Fund’s 2020-2024 Strategy which set a target of US$1.5 billion. The Co-Chairs also welcomed the unanimous recognition of the Fund’s role and impact. They are grateful to all Member States who contributed, 9 for the first time during this cycle and 11 with multi-year contributions, which is critical for the Fund’s relevance and sustainability.
With today’s pledges, the Fund is poised to continue facilitating a multidimensional, integrated, coherent and a whole-of-society support to the many countries undergoing peace processes and complex transitions meeting today’s challenges and in leaving no one behind.
With the 2020-2024 strategy, the Fund will endeavor to place greater emphasis and support to areas that are of critical importance in facing today’s challenges and which are frequently underfunded : inclusion of women and youth in peacebuilding efforts; increased investments in socio-economic development, national cohesion and community resilience; facilitating transitions between UN configurations, and investing in cross-border and regional approaches.
Today’s Conference is an important step on the much longer path towards ensuring more sustained and predictable financing for peacebuilding activities and efforts.
Although the Conference mobilized significant support for the PBF, the considerable and mounting needs will require further efforts. We call on all Member States to continue to demonstrate their support for sustaining peace by contributing to the Fund. Investing in the Peacebuilding Fund is investing in multilateral solidarity and peace.