UN calls for enhancement of peace
Top officials of the United Nations (UN) have said that peace building tools should be enhanced as they hold tremendous potentials to help countries to transit from conflict to sustainable peace and development.
The officials told the Security Council in New York on Thursday that the cornerstone of the UN’s peace building architecture was the Peace Building Commission (PBC).
The commission was set up in 2005 to help struggling states avoid slipping back into war and chaos by providing strategic advice and harnessing expertise and aid for recovery projects.
It has six post-conflict countries on its agenda – Burundi, Central African Republic, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
They could also get financial assistance from the Peace building Fund to rebuild projects.
“These bodies were established to reinforce ongoing efforts in conflict-affected countries. Two years after the review of the peace building architecture, we are seeing signs that it has come of age and is making a difference particularly in those instances when the Peace building Commission, Fund and Support Office reinforced each other and work with the UN presence on the ground. Much remains to be done,” The UN Secretary told the meeting, chaired by Foreign Minister María Holguín of Colombia who is the Council's president for the month of July.
He, however, highlighted three areas in which the impact of the UN’s peace building tools could be enhanced.
He said the PBC should do more to leverage its unique membership and collective ability to mobilize resources.
He advised the commission to seek efforts of national actors, member States, and the UN family at the Headquarters and on the ground.
He urged the PBC to sustain the focus on longer-term peace building, as its contributions could be valuable in galvanizing international commitment beyond the limited life-spans of UN missions on the ground.
Ban urged the PBC to add significant value in some non-mission settings where national authorities and Resident Coordinators would benefit from the inter-governmental support of the commission.
“In order for the PBC to fully meet its potential, the Security Council should offer greater clarity on what type of advice it would like from the PBC in its deliberations and in the definition of mandates. This will help UN lead departments and actors in the field coordinate with the commission, and reduce the risk of duplication,” he said.
Ban who assured that the UN was committed to maximizing the potential of the Commission and the wider peace building architecture, noted that the Commission’s impact on the field could be further amplified by the Support Office.
The UN Scribe stressed that the support of member states was vital for the Peace building Fund which is a “timely and flexible financing instrument” available for early post-conflict interventions.
Amb. Abulkalam Momen of Bangladesh, who serves as Chair of the Peace building Commission, urged the countries on the commission’s agenda not to relapse into conflict but maintain the focus on enhancing the PBC’s impact on the field.
“This impact should be ideally manifested through empowering national actors to own and lead the peace building process, and through ensuring that the UN and other key actors are positioned to support the endeavour,'' he stated.