News Column

Peacebuilding Fund Receives Commitment of $73 Million for this Year

June 24, 2014

NEW YORK, June 24 -- The United Nations issued the following news release:

The United Nations Peacebuilding Fund expects to receive $73 million in contributions this year, after more than 20 donors earlier reaffirmed multi-year commitments and made new pledges at the fourth annual High-level Stakeholders Meeting of the Fund, held in New York today.

The pledges followed an appeal from United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, who asked Member States for their continued support of the Fund in his opening remarks. He highlighted that the Peacebuilding Fund had received half a billion dollars since 2006 and had allocated more than 490 million dollars since then. Mr. Eliasson stressed that the Secretary-General supported the Peacebuilding Support Office's efforts to use the Fund strategically: first, to empower United Nations leadership to develop strategies that take account of complex political realities; second, to advance progress in security sector reform, rule of law, reconciliation and national dialogue; third, to support economic and social peace dividends that help consolidate peace; fourth, to prioritize women's economic and political participation and empowerment; and fifth, to catalyse other partners to invest in these areas.

The Deputy Secretary-General lauded the Fund for its persistence, creativity and focus, which had strengthened its credibility and use as a critical tool in urgent peacebuilding efforts. In the Central African Republic, the Fund had supported peacebuilding efforts by the United Nations system as soon as political frameworks, however tentative, began to emerge, working with the World Bank, United Nations Development Programme, the European Union and the transitional authorities to provide four months' worth of salary payments to the police and gendarmerie.

Twelve out of the top 15 donors -- namely the United Kingdom, Japan, Sweden, Netherlands, Norway, Australia, Finland, Russian Federation, China, Denmark, Germany and Ireland -- reaffirmed their continued financial support. Malaysia will be a first-time donor in 2014. Egypt, Estonia, Luxembourg, Republic of Korea, Pakistan and Turkey committed to continuing contributions.

Peacebuilding Fund stakeholders also welcomed the Fund's new Business Plan for 2014-16, which Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support Judy Cheng-Hopkins launched at the meeting today. The plan calls for providing focused assistance to 20 countries in the areas of security sector reform, reconciliation and dialogue efforts, enhancement of women's role in peacebuilding, support for youth and employment and human rights, amongst other areas. "The Plan demonstrates the Fund's commitment to continuous learning and improvement," she said. She highlighted that, as part of the Plan, the Fund will undertake a second Gender Promotion Initiative later this year.

The Minister for Human Rights of the Republic of Guinea, Kalifa Gassama Diaby, said that 2013 had been particularly difficult in terms of peacebuilding and State-building for Guinea. In addition to ongoing security sector reform and national reconciliation projects, seven projects, to the tune of $8.8 million, had been elaborated and implemented to address widespread remnant tensions from the pre-electoral period during 2013. These projects, in the framework of the broader electoral assistance provided by the United Nations system, contributed significantly to ensuring inclusive and peaceful elections as well as the transparency and credibility of the process.

Ambassador Jan Knutsson, Chair of the Secretary-General's Advisory Group of the Peacebuilding Fund and Sweden's Permanent Representative in Geneva, said the peacebuilding field benefits from the Peacebuilding Fund's high level of ambition, both in terms of what it is able to accomplish directly, and in helping to push the boundaries of what can be achieved in peacebuilding more broadly. Knutsson highlighted the engagement of the Fund in the Central Africa Republic, together with the World Bank, as "an excellent example of such collaboration".

Judy Cheng-Hopkins, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support and head of the Peacebuilding Support Office, noted how far the Peacebuilding Fund had matured as an institution since it was created in 2005. She noted that the Fund had been able to programme $86 million dollars in 2013 and vowed to continue to mobilize resources this year in an effort to achieve the annual target of $100 million.

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Source: Targeted News Service

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