Seventy-seventh Session,
92nd & 93rd Meetings (AM & PM)

Peacebuilding Commission Should Advise More, Be Funded Properly, Speakers Stress in General Assembly While Spotlighting Its Successes

Organ also Adopts Resolutions on International Observances and Decision on Second Committee’s Work

As the General Assembly adopted two resolutions and one decision without a vote today, delegates also debated the annual report on the Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund, with a view to achieving sustainable peace, taking stock of successes in that regard, urging an enhanced advisory role for the body who helped notch them and ensuring that these efforts are sufficiently funded.

Through the first text adopted, the Assembly proclaimed 11 August as World Steelpan Day. Randall Mitchell, Minister for Tourism, Culture and the Arts of Trinidad and Tobago, introducing it, said that the “melodious sound of the steelpan is a true reflection” of his country’s dynamic culture, history and traditions that encapsulates its national aspirations for robust innovation and product development.

The Assembly also adopted a draft decision relating to revitalizing the work of the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) and a draft resolution proclaiming 29 October as the International Day of Care and Support.  Introducing the latter text, Ana Jimenez de la Hoz (Spain) observed:  “If care work were valued on the basis of a minimum wage per hour, it would amount to 9 per cent of world gross domestic product.” 

The bulk of the day’s meeting, however, focused on the Peacebuilding Commission’s role in building and sustaining peace — and on the Peacebuilding Fund’s ability to finance those endeavours.  Speakers, underlining the importance of the Commission, spotlighted the value of national experience and ownership, along with the need for adequate funding.

Csaba Kőrösi (Hungary), President of the General Assembly, underscoring the importance of joint efforts before conflict erupts, said:  “Peace cannot be kept by force.”  Unless Member States place conflict prevention at the core of their peace efforts, the 2030 promise for a safe, sustainable future “will slip beyond the reach of many”, he stressed.  Emphasizing that, 18 years after its creation, the Peacebuilding Commission is strategically placed to keep pace with evolving threats, he encouraged the entity to make greater use of its advisory functions. 

Muhammad Abdul Muhith (Bangladesh), the Commission’s former Chair, then presented that body’s report, noting that its engagement with the General Assembly, Security Council and Economic and Social Council enabled Member States to calibrate their support mechanisms for countries in need.  For the first time, in 2022 the Commission engaged with Timor-Leste and South Sudan in country-specific settings, and with Central Asian countries in a regional setting.  As well, it held its first-ever meeting with regional development banks and engaged with international and regional financial institutions.

Building on that, Irena Zubcevic (Croatia), current Chair of the Commission, said that the entity — while continuing to address cross-cutting issues — has promoted system-wide coherence and strengthened engagement with partners outside the United Nations. She also reported that Mozambique, Honduras, Canada and Norway have engaged voluntarily with the Commission, while a number of countries have shared their experience relating to peacebuilding, transitional justice, Indigenous Peoples and reconciliation.

Against that backdrop, New Zealand’s representative, also speaking for Canada and Australia, spotlighted the Commission’s pivotal role to deepen discussions on challenges with which other organs struggle to contend.  He said that Canada was proud to join Norway and Colombia in June to describe the difficult journey it is still undertaking to address historical injustices against First Nations, Métis and Inuit and to embrace reconciliation.

Colombia’s delegate noted that the Truth Commission — established in her country with support from the Peacebuilding Fund — delivered a complete report in 2022 on the events that transpired during the conflict in Colombia.  Further, the country’s transitional-justice system has been strengthened alongside the development of institutions such as the unit designed to search for missing persons.

The European Union’s representative recalled that the President of Mozambique presented his country’s peacebuilding experience while chairing a Security Council meeting on the Commission.  He observed that such meetings help to remove stigma of being “examined” by the Commission, setting an example for others to speak openly about their peacebuilding challenges.

In that vein, South Sudan’s representative said that her country is at a critical point in its peace process, having made notable progress towards peace and stability.  It has identified priorities to address remaining challenges but needs more support from the United Nations and other partners.  Voicing appreciation for the contributions of the international community and the Peacebuilding Fund, she called for predictable, sustainable financing aligned with her country’s national priorities.

Similarly, Niger’s delegate said that his country’s cooperation with the Peacebuilding Commission — which began in 2012 — comprises 13 projects with funding of $30 million.  Pointing to the Fund’s major achievements, he spotlighted the empowerment of youth, previously exposed to terrorist recruitment and migration, through vocational training.  Further, former terrorists have been reintegrated into 18 host communities — an experience being duplicated across the country.

The representative of Cambodia, underscoring the need to support the Peacebuilding Commission, stated that her country — having emerged from a tragic history of conflict and wishing to impart its experience of revival — has been contributing peacekeepers since 2006.  Many other delegates — including Ethiopia’s representative — underscored the need for financial support as well, calling for enhanced voluntary contributions and innovative modes of financing.  Ireland’s representative noted that without adequate, sustainable funding, Member States risk hindering their ability to create change in conflict-affected regions.  “Peace is a dividend worth investment,” he emphasized.

“Peacebuilding is a demanding, unending process,” Rwanda’s delegate added, stating that success also relies on the ability to rebuild trust between citizens and their institutions and shape political processes.  On this, Gambia’s delegate recalled that the Commission’s critical support was the “oxygen that sustained his country’s transitional-justice process” and underscored that a “debt of unforgettable gratitude” is owed to that entity for allowing his people to enjoy democratic dividends.

The General Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 25 July, to continue its work.

Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace

The General Assembly first considered the Report of the Peacebuilding Commission on its sixteenth session (document A/77/720) and the Report of the Secretary-General on the Peacebuilding Fund (documents A/77/756 and A/77/756/Corr.1).

CSABA KŐRÖSI (Hungary), President of the General Assembly, underscoring the importance of joint efforts before conflict erupts, said:  “Peace cannot be kept by force.”  Pointing to 27 armed conflicts that continue to devastate life today, he recalled that, two decades ago, about five countries each year suffered from more than one simultaneous war or insurgency.  Now 15 do, the number of conflict-related deaths has reached a 28-year high and over 1 million people have been forcibly displaced. Moreover, a 1°C increase in local temperature raises the chance of conflict by more than 10 per cent, he stressed, adding:  “Unless we place conflict prevention at the core of peace efforts, our 2030 promise of a safe, sustainable future will slip beyond the reach of many.”

Turning to the “New Agenda for Peace”, which emphasizes prevention, he said that — 18 years after its creation — the Peacebuilding Commission is strategically placed to keep pace with evolving threats.  Through various reviews, Member States have called for a more-effective, better-resourced form of peacebuilding that places stronger focus on prevention, and he encouraged the Commission to make greater use of its advisory functions.  In this regard, he suggested that the President of the General Assembly and the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission hold regular consultations.  Citing Eleanor Roosevelt, he stated:  “It isn’t enough to talk about peace.  One must believe in it.  And it isn’t enough to believe in it.  One must work at it.”

MUHAMMAD ABDUL MUHITH (Bangladesh), former Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, presented that body’s report, noting that many countries continued to seek more partnership opportunities to overcome challenges relating to the COVID‑19 pandemic and its socioeconomic consequences. Conforming to its annual work plan and with a focus on national ownership and inclusivity, the Commission held 27 ambassadorial-level meetings during its sixteenth session, including on 14 separate country- and region-specific settings.  In this context, the Commission sent 17 advisories to the Security Council in 2022 — almost double compared to the previous session. Additionally, the Commission’s annual work plan was formally shared with the General Assembly and the Security Council for the first time, while, also for the first time, it started receiving copies of certain reports of the Secretary-General.  This has enabled the entity to come up with more practical advisory suggestions.

The Commission’s engagement with the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council resulted in 65 outcome documents, which enabled Member States to calibrate their support mechanisms for countries in need, he continued.  For the first time, in 2022 the Commission engaged with Timor-Leste and South Sudan in country-specific settings, and with Central Asian countries in a regional setting. Further, guided by its gender strategy and action plan, the Commission continued to prioritize women, peace and security objectives and to enhance women’s participation in peacebuilding. To this end, it convened a meeting to explore complementarity between women peacekeepers and peacebuilders, also hearing from Central Asian women about how climate change has negatively impacted them.  The participation rate of women peacebuilders in the Commission’s meetings reached 87.5 per cent in 2022, an increase from 22 per cent in 2019 and 74 per cent in 2021.

He went on to say that, in 2022, 27 civil-society representatives participated in the Commission’s meetings, as it also held a dedicated meeting on youth, peace and security.  The Commission also heard from peacekeeping operations, special political missions and country teams.  As well, it held its first-ever meeting with regional development banks and engaged with international and regional financial institutions, while also holding a joint meeting with the African Union on 28 November 2022. Building on its previous sessions, the Commission issued advice to the General Assembly on peacebuilding financing, which resulted in the adoption of landmark resolution 76/305 in September 2022.  “The Peacebuilding Commission has come a long way since its inception in 2005,” he stressed, spotlighting the Commission’s potential for building and sustaining peace.

IRENA ZUBCEVIC (Croatia), Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, said that interlinked crises have shown the body’s value in connecting all relevant stakeholders and forging partnerships in achieving peace.  While the Commission continued to address cross-cutting issues, it has promoted system-wide coherence and strengthened engagement with partners outside the United Nations.  In addition, efforts have been made to enhance financing for peacebuilding.  She also reported that Mozambique, Honduras, Canada and Norway have engaged voluntarily with the Commission, and that a number of countries have shared their experience relating to peacebuilding, transitional justice, Indigenous Peoples and reconciliation.

She said the Commission continues to bring all relevant United Nations entities together while also exploring ways to increase outreach and interaction through informal coordinators for its relations with the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council.  In this regard, she reported that the Commission’s Chair holds meetings with the Economic and Social Council’s President every two months.

She went on to say that, as the United Nations discusses the “New Agenda for Peace” and prepares for the Summit of the Future, the Peacebuilding Commission’s ministerial-level meeting on 22 September will be an opportunity for ministers to provide their vision and political guidance on strengthening the Commission in the run-up to the 2025 review of peacebuilding architecture.  “We hope that all PBC [Peacebuilding Commission] members will participate at the ministerial level,” she underscored.


MARTIN BILLE HERMANN (Denmark), also speaking for Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, said the general reports of the Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund are a testament to United Nations efforts. Calling for prioritization of peacebuilding and prevention, including through adequate and predictable financing, he urged Member States to support assessed contributions to the Fund when negotiations resume in the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) later in 2023. The Fund enables agile, catalytic response when a crisis hits and when countries request support to sustain peacebuilding gains.  “While investment through Fund was highest ever in 2022, supporting 37 countries, the demand for support exceeded this,” he stated, affirming that the return on investment in peacebuilding is high, both in economic terms and human terms. 

“Investing in peacebuilding is, of course, a moral imperative because it saves human lives,” he stressed, adding it also saves money for other efforts.  With last year’s General Assembly resolution, he recalled that all Member States committed to enhance financing and recommended a more systematic engagement with international financial institutions, making financing more accessible for young people, women and grassroots organizations.  An expanded role of the Commission is a way to strengthen United Nations efforts in line with national ownership, while its engagement is a sign of interest the importance of its role.  He encouraged Member States to use their convening role to exchange on peacebuilding practices, further calling on the Assembly, Security Council, Human Rights Council and the Economic and Social Council to leverage their relationship with the Commission.

DANG HOANG GIANG (Viet Nam), speaking for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting has comprehensively discussed regional security issues and various initiatives to promote harmonious partnerships in the region.  Furthermore, the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus and the ASEAN Regional Forum foster cooperation through preventive diplomacy mechanisms so that any disputes and differences are addressed peacefully and constructively.  His bloc is committed to strengthening its engagement and cooperation with dialogue partners and external partners, including through existing ASEAN-led mechanisms, in promoting peace, stability, security, and development, he said. 

Peacebuilding efforts must have adequate, predictable and sustained financing, he continued, encouraging Member States to advance solutions and make commitments to address the financing gap.  Noting that ASEAN member States have individually and collectively addressed this call, he said his bloc will work constructively towards the conclusion of the deliberation on financing for peacebuilding.  Underscoring ASEAN’s commitment to advancing women, peace and security as a regional priority agenda, he said ASEAN women military and law enforcement officers have made a positive impact globally through their active participation in peacekeeping operations.  He encouraged the implementation of the women, peace and security and youth, peace and security agendas through ASEAN-led mechanisms, which are fundamental to sustaining global and regional peace.

ANTHONY SIMPSON (New Zealand), speaking also for Canada and Australia, said the Peacebuilding Commission has not been harnessed to its full potential. He spotlighted its pivotal role to deepen discussions on challenges which other organs struggle to contend with, including cross-pillar issues such as peace, development and human rights, as well as climate change and the inclusion of women, youth and Indigenous Persons.  Canada was proud to join Norway and Colombia in June to describe the difficult journey it is still undertaking to address historical injustices against First Nations, Métis, and Inuit and embrace reconciliation, he said, urging enhanced consultation by the Security Council, General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council with the Peacebuilding Commission.  Colombia’s progress in peacebuilding is an example of what can be achieved by engaging with both the Council and the Commission.

The Peacebuilding Fund offers critical support for peacebuilding activities, including preventing and responding to conflicts and fragile situations, he continued. Those include election monitoring in Latin America and mapping climate security threats in the Pacific, and supporting peacekeeping transitions in Africa, among others.  More than 67 countries from every region of the world have benefited from the Peacebuilding Fund’s investments.  However, demand continues to outstrip funding, he stressed, warning that the Fund’s cash balance is approaching zero in 2023.  Canada, Australia and New Zealand have collectively provided $90 million for the Fund’s 2020-2024 Strategy, he reported, urging all Member States to consider making and increasing voluntary contributions to the Fund, especially through multi-year agreements to increase predictability.  He also encouraged new donors to support the Fund and voiced support for assessed contributions for the Fund to supplement voluntary contributions and provide a baseline of predictable financing for peacebuilding.

THIBAULT CAMELLI, representative of the European Union, in its capacity as observer, said that as peacekeeping budget decreases, the resources should be channelled into the Peacebuilding Fund, which needs predictable and sustainable funding.  Recalling that, after the Fifth Committee’s deliberations, a small group of countries still refused to pay heed to funding the Peacebuilding Commission, he said the bloc is committed to bridge remaining gaps and find a consensual outcome.  The European Union has contributed more than 60 per cent of the Peacebuilding Fund’s revenues since its inception, he reported, noting that in 2022, the Fund approved a record $231 million for peacebuilding.  However, he expressed concern over a potential drop in contributions in 2023 unless Member States step up voluntary contributions.

Commending the expansion of the Commission’s geographical scope and the types of countries being examined, he spotlighted the recent meeting on Indigenous peoples, peace and reconciliation that examined Norway and Canada’s experience to that illustrated the universal need for building and sustaining peace, even in stable and prosperous democracies.  He also recalled that the President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, presented his country’s peacebuilding experience, while chairing a Security Council meeting on the Commission.  “These meetings help to remove the stigma of being ‘examined’ by the PBC [Peacebuilding Commission] and set an example for others to speak more openly about their peacebuilding challenges,” he noted.

KRZYSZTOF MARIA SZCZERSKI (Poland) noted that the general attitude towards the Peacebuilding Commission has changed.  A growing number of countries are seeking international assistance to address their peacebuilding needs, which means that the fear of being seen as a country of conflict has clearly subsided.  “As uncomfortable as it may be, there can be no reconciliation without truth,” he stressed, calling for redoubled efforts to help societies address the legacy of past conflicts.  This can be done primarily by supporting disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, as well as transitional justice.  For its part, Poland is assisting Ukrainian refugees and addressing the consequences of the Russian Federation’s war of aggression.  “Still, we have not forgotten about other countries in need, in particular by strengthening the humanitarian response to crises in sub-Saharan Africa and in the Middle East,” he stated.

SOPHEA EAT (Cambodia), associating herself with ASEAN, said it is necessary now more than ever to redouble support to the Peacebuilding Commission, adding that the Commission must continue to promote inclusiveness and coordination with other United Nations actors.  Stressing that peace operations would not be possible without support and money in kind, she thanked all donors for their generous contributions and voiced hope for their continued generosity.  As a nation that has gone through one of the most tragic histories of conflict, her country, with its strong aspirations to impart its experience of revival, has been contributing peacekeepers to peacekeeping missions since 2006, she said. As it aims to contribute even more constructively, Cambodia has decided to stand for membership of the Organizational Committee for the 2025-2026 term, she said, voicing hope for Member States’ support in that regard.

MARITZA CHAN VALVERDE (Costa Rica) underscored the importance of including civil society and the private sector to ensure the participation of women, girls and youth in decision-making.  Noting that the Commission should play a greater role in consultations with Security Council penholders during the formative stages of resolutions, she urged closer coordination between the Commission’s country visits and the Council’s discussions.  Underlining the importance of partnerships, she urged work with international financial institutions and the private sector to realize developed countries’ $100 billion pledge to combat the adverse effects of climate change. However, this has not been reflected in either the women, peace and security or the youth, peace and security agendas.  She also expressed hope that the Commission will transcend its structural and cultural limitations and be able to assess and address peacebuilding needs beyond the States “in configuration”.

TESFAYE YILMA SABO (Ethiopia) noted that 2022 was a productive year for peacebuilding, with the Peacebuilding Fund disbursing well over $250 billion in 37 countries for national and cross-border peacebuilding activities.  Additionally, the Commission continued to deliver relevant input for the work of the United Nations, which means that “the work of peacebuilding is on the right trajectory”, he observed.  However, it can be improved by ensuring adequate and predictable financing for peacebuilding, including through access to assessed contributions.  He further called for enhanced voluntary contributions and other innovative modes of financing.  It is important to foster the Commission’s work as a consensus-based body, setting a good example for other United Nations organs and efforts.  He also urged greater efficiency in the use of the Fund in conflict situations, including through more direct support of national peacebuilding efforts.

LEONOR ZALABATA TORRES (Colombia) said her Government has moved forward decisively towards peacebuilding under the total peace approach led by President Gustavo Petro.  Proof of this is the Council’s unanimous recognition of the progress her country has achieved towards the goal of a stable and lasting peace.  It is appropriate to establish dialogue and partnership channels between the Peacebuilding Commission and the Verification Mission deployed in her country, using the Secretary-General’s quarterly reports from which to draw good practices and positive lessons learned.  The Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund have contributed positively to the establishment of peace in her country, she emphasized, noting that the Truth Commission, which was established with the Peacebuilding Fund’s support, delivered a complete report in 2022 on the events in her country during the conflict.  The transitional justice system has been strengthened through the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, along with the development of institutional entities, such as the Unit for the Search for Missing Persons, she added.

MICHAEL KAPKIAI KIBOINO (Kenya) said that fostering partnerships must remain key.  In this regard, he said he looked forward to an ambitious annual statement of the Peacebuilding Commission and the African Union Security Council during the joint fifth informal consultative meeting.  Further, he welcomed the Chair’s initiative to meet with the President of the Economic and Social Council every two months, while calling for prioritizing recommendations from the joint Peacebuilding Commission and the Council’s meeting on “The Importance of SDGs in Linking Peace and Development on the Ground”, held on 29 June.  Pointing to the Commission’s engagement with South Sudan, Mozambique, Honduras, Canada and Norway, among others, he said it is critical to place a greater focus on localized peacebuilding, including the empowerment of women and youth. “Advocacy for adequate and predictable financing must be reinforced,” he stressed, while urging the Fifth Committee to unlock the impasse and operationalize its recommendations on financing for Peacebuilding Day. 

MATHU JOYINI (South Africa) spotlighted that, for the first time since its inception, the sixteenth session of the Peacebuilding Commission discussed Timor-Leste, South Sudan and Central Asia.  However, much of the Commission’s potential remains untapped and engagements like the annual joint debate should serve as a platform to strengthen peacebuilding architecture including its visibility within and outside the United Nations.  The Commission still has a lot to offer on a variety of peacebuilding activities including prevention of electoral violence, restoration of constitutional or democratic order and enhancing partnerships with regional and subregional organizations.  Welcoming the strengthening of monitoring and evaluation mechanisms relating to the Peacebuilding Fund, she stated that “ultimately, the impact of investments made should be measured against the peace dividends”.  Noting it is projected that national demand for peacebuilding support will increase in the future, she urged that assessed contributions are also used to ensure predictable and sustainable financing for peacebuilding activities. 

RUCHIRA KAMBOJ (India), noting her country’s crucial role in peacekeeping and peacebuilding, said that over 6,000 of its nationals are deployed across 10 peacekeeping missions.  Sadly, however, 177 Indian soldiers have made the ultimate sacrifice — the highest among all troop- and police-contributing countries, she underscored.  Further, the cumulative value of India’s developmental projects with the Global South now exceeds $40 billion, encompassing soft loans, grants and capacity-building programmes.  The India-UN Development Partnership Fund is a testament to India’s unwavering commitment to multilateralism and global welfare, and she noted that her country — in just five years — has supported 75 development projects in partnership with 56 developing countries.  She added that, amid the Ukraine conflict, her country has worked to mitigate disruptions in food and commodity supply chains and has extended financial and food assistance to countries in need.

CARLA MARIA RODRÍGUEZ MANCIA (Guatemala), recognizing the progress of the Fifth Committee on the funding of the Peacebuilding Commission, said that with every review — in 2005, 2015 and 2020 — the necessary consensus was achieved to strengthen the peacebuilding mandate. She spotlighted the Commission’s role in bringing together different areas under the principles of ownership of the States concerned, while recalling that Guatemala has been a part of the Commission on three occasions.  “We believe in the mandate of PBC [Peacebuilding Commission] and in the mandate of peacebuilding architecture,” she stressed, expressing her support for establishing regular consultations between the Commission’s Chair and the Security Council.  In addition, she noted that the New Agenda for Peace and the Summit of the Future will be an opportunity to review ways of addressing peace and security issues with a strong preventive approach.

HERNÁN PÉREZ LOOSE (Ecuador) affirmed that for the inherently political path towards sustained peace to be successful, it “must bear the distinctive stamp of national ownership”. For that reason, the main bodies of the United Nations system cannot work in silos and must build synergies by strengthening the Peacebuilding Commission, particularly in its advisory role to the Security Council.  He voiced agreement with focusing efforts on prevention and, therefore, on the root causes of the conflicts.  He also underlined the valuable contribution of the Peacebuilding Fund’s support for border areas suffering from the impact of crises and transition.  In his own country, for example, it helped strengthen institutional capacities for the protection of girls, boys, adolescents and young people in the Colombia-Ecuador cross-border area affected by violence and armed conflict.

YOKA BRANDT (Netherlands), associating herself with the European Union, said that her country is pleased to have been a member of the Peacebuilding Commission from 2021 to 2022, and to be one of the Peacebuilding Fund’s top donors for several years now.  Welcoming the participation of local peacebuilding organizations — and those led by women and youth — at Peacebuilding Commission meetings, she said their inclusion in peacebuilding efforts increases the impact of United Nations efforts on the ground.  Mental-health and psychosocial support are important prevention and peacebuilding tools that must be further integrated in peacebuilding efforts, she pointed out, stressing that the United Nations must have adequate resources to fulfil its peacebuilding mandate.  Voicing support for the use of assessed contributions in that regard, she urged Member States to come to an agreement on that matter soon.

MUNIR AKRAM (Pakistan), recognizing the increasing demands of the Peacebuilding Commission, said its financial resources are only half of what is required.  Noting that the Commission’s coverage is not universal, he pointed out that situations in Afghanistan and Jammu and Kashmir are not being addressed by this entity. The Commission must remain responsive to national priorities and enhance national ownership and regional cooperation, he stressed, while spotlighting its advisory role.  While the Commission advice must be substantive, it should receive bottom-up information and analysis from the Government, the resident coordinator and other stakeholders on country-specific situations.  Further, he expressed support for expanding finances through additional and innovative sources, while observing that a percentage of peacekeeping budget funds should be kept for peacebuilding towards the end of peacekeeping mandates.  In addition, the Peacekeeping Fund should be deployed for peacebuilding only; development funds should not be used for this purpose, he emphasized. 

ANTJE LEENDERTSE (Germany) commended the successful addition of new country and regional contexts, with Honduras, South Sudan, Timor-Leste, Norway and Central Asia illustrating the diversity of those willing to engage with the Peacebuilding Commission.  Its approach of looking at different thematic aspects, with a focus on particularly pressing geographic contexts, has shown to be very promising.  She recalled that looking at climate-related challenges to peace and stability in regional contexts, such as the Pacific Island States, the Sahel or Central Asia, upon the request of affected countries, has led to insightful, focused meetings and specific recommendations.  The Commission should hold dedicated meetings on the Sahel in view of the withdrawal of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and its effects and on the transition phase of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).

LUIS UGARELLI (Peru) said that to properly accompany political processes in countries affected by violence, it is crucial to have the recipient State’s consent, accompanied by civil society, private sector, international financial bodies, as well as women and youth organizations.  In that regard, he commended the approach, structure and assessment carried out by the Commission in its report.  He stressed the importance of strengthening mediation and prioritizing what is truly important for affected populations, as well as assessing the root causes of the conflict, such as poverty, inequality and exclusion. Noting the Fund's support for local peace structures to effectively resolve local conflicts, he underscored the importance of implementing Fund-supported subsidy mechanisms to build trust between communities and local governments and the importance of follow-up and assessment.

MARTIN GALLAGHER (Ireland), associating himself with the European Union, said that investing in peacebuilding and prevention makes sense politically, morally and financially.  “Peace is a dividend worth investment,” he stressed, noting that without adequate, sustainable funding, Member States risk hindering their ability to create change in conflict-affected regions.  In this regard, peacebuilding should be funded from assessed contributions, and he also spotlighted the importance of predictable funding for United Nations-authorized, African Union-led peace support operations.  Underlining the importance of the Commission’s advice for the Security Council, he said that listening to such advice is not about overstepping mandates but about using them to their full potential.  For peace to be sustainable, it must be inclusive and locally owned, he emphasized, calling for the amplification of marginalized voices, including those of women and youth.

ROBERT KAYINAMURA (Rwanda) stressed that, in the aftermath of conflict, the aspects of peace and reconciliation hold significant importance.  Such efforts aim to establish relationships marked by mutual respect and a collective cognizance of past harm, while understanding the causes and actively seeking preventative measures to mitigate future damage.  “Our shared objective should be the prevention of conflict reoccurrence, while simultaneously working to uncover and resolve the root causes to preclude further escalation,” he stated.  A successful long-term peacebuilding process mandates the involvement of everyone as stakeholders in the peacebuilding processes, ensuring that outcomes are genuinely owned by all societal stakeholders.  “Peacebuilding is a demanding, unending process that necessitates local political ownership,” he emphasized.  Success relies on the ability to rebuild trust between citizens and their institutions, shaping political processes that put citizens at the centre and facilitate the peaceful resolution of societal conflicts.

OUMAROU GANOU (Burkina Faso), noting the Commission’s recognition of his country’s progress in bolstering national institutions and promoting inclusive governance, said that it has indeed taken important steps to shore up the capacities of its security forces and to address underlying socioeconomic factors that perpetuate violence.  However, considerable challenges to the effective implementation of peacebuilding initiatives still lie ahead, he said, calling on the international community to respect its commitments and provide the necessary assistance, including financial resources, technical expertise and capacity-building support.  Noting the need for collective action, coordination and support from regional organizations, such as the Economic Community of West African States, in peacebuilding efforts, he affirmed his country’s commitment to working closely with its regional partners, the Peacebuilding Commission and other partners to advance peace and stability, including throughout the Sahel.

JASSIM SAYAR A. J. AL-MAAWDA (Qatar), underscoring the importance of coordination between stakeholders, spotlighted the pivotal role of South-South and triangular cooperation.  Qatar continues to provide development assistance for peacebuilding education and employment, while also providing funding for the Peacebuilding Fund. To this end, the country has signed an agreement this year to support peacebuilding and political affairs.  He also emphasized Qatar’s commitment to preventive diplomacy in peacebuilding and expressed support for the New Agenda for Peace. Highlighting the importance of youth engagement in peacebuilding, he recalled that in 2022 Qatar hosted an international high-level international conference on the pathways of peace that are comprehensive for youth and the participation of young women.  His country has also joined the membership of the Peacekeeping Commission this year, he reported, pointing to the entity’s enhanced role, broader geographical representation and its thematic consideration. 

KARLA MASSIEL TEJEDA VALDEZ (Dominican Republic) called for increased efforts to provide support, including financial support, for the initiatives of women peacebuilders, as well as meaningfully integrating such individuals in the planning, implementation and monitoring of those initiatives.  Closing the financial gap is a priority for the Dominican Republic, particularly through addressing how that gap affects youth-led initiatives so that this group can fully and equally participate in the design, implementation and monitoring of peacebuilding efforts at all levels.  She further called for increased coordination and collaboration between relevant actors to keep youth motivated and interested in the development and consolidation of peace in their countries and regions. “At the end of the line, it is one UN, one symbol, one humankind, and one objective:  to alleviate human suffering and lay the foundations for sustainable development,” she stressed.

NEVILLE MELVIN GERTZE (Namibia) said that his country has supported peacebuilding efforts in Africa, including through its leadership role in the African Union Peace and Security Council.  The African Peace and Security Architecture provides critical direction on the measures that must be employed to enhance conflict prevention and support peacebuilding, he added.  Emphasizing the primacy of coordination and coherence among all stakeholders involved in peacebuilding efforts, he stressed that effective collaboration fosters a unified response, pooling resources and expertise for maximum impact.  However, peacebuilding efforts without adequate, predictable and sustainable funding will amount to nought.  Voicing disappointment that additional budget support for African peace support operations was not sufficient, he reiterated Africa’s call for the Peacebuilding Fund to be supported by assessed contributions in line with Assembly resolution 76/305.

ANA PAULA ZACARIAS (Portugal), noting her country is a contributor to the Peacebuilding Fund, said:  “The countries that benefit from it know it very well.”  Calling for scaling up the Fund’s financial ability to meet the demands coming from the field, she said the international community has been “failing collectively” in this regard.  To this end, she underscored the importance of giving conflict prevention and peacebuilding the “financial muscle” it needs to be effective. She further expressed hope that the Fifth Committee will reach consensus on the use of assessed contributions.  As a member of the Peacebuilding Commission’s Organizational Committee in 2022, she spotlighted the expansion of the Committee’s geographical scope and welcomed the diversity in the countries engaged with it.  “We need a stronger PBC [Peacebuilding Commission] just as we need a stronger PBF [Peacebuilding Fund],” she emphasized. 

KARLITO NUNES (Timor-Leste) stated that in order to be effective, peacebuilding and sustaining peace must be directed towards activities aimed at the prevention of conflict and grounded in international human rights laws. Peacebuilding operations must focus on issues that present long-term risks of conflict, engage with parties that are on the verge of violence and negotiate for peace and assist countries to achieve reconciliation.  They must further help build resilient and inclusive societies, assist in security sector reform, and support inclusive political processes and democratic political culture.  As the sustainability of peace depends directly on the consistency of engagement of local actors in peace processes, he observed that United Nations peacekeepers must provide training to local security forces and civilians, based on assessment and coordinated engagement of all stakeholders.  He further called for increasing contributions to help boost the capacity of the local, national, and regional peacebuilding entities.

ANNA-LENA SILJA SCHLUCHTER (Switzerland) said she was encouraged that, for the sixth consecutive year, the Peacebuilding Fund exceeded its internal target of allocating 30 per cent to gender equality and achieved 47 per cent gender-responsive investments.  Expressing support for the Secretary-General’s proposal for partial financing of the Fund through assessed contributions, she voiced hope that Fifth Committee negotiations will soon lead to a compromise on the matter.  She recalled that during her country’s Council presidency in May, the Council was able to benefit from the Commission’s advice on the issue of “confidence-building for sustainable peace” and the situation in the Sahel.  She urged further development of such interactions.  Member States must take advantage of the momentum created by the “New Agenda for Peace”, she said, voicing support for the recommendation to strengthen the work of the Peacebuilding Commission and, in particular, to support Member States in the creation and implementation of national infrastructures for peace.

SHINO MITSUKO (Japan) reiterated her country’s commitment to promoting cooperation between the Peacebuilding Commission and the Security Council as a member of both bodies.  Underlining the importance of the quality and timing of the Commission’s advice, she said that Member States might need to re-assess their approach and include diverse viewpoints to deliver concrete suggestions when the Commission encounters difficulties in reaching consensus.  In this regard, she called for further expansion of the Commission’s geographic and thematic scope, while welcoming its meetings on climate impact in the Pacific Islands; institution-building in Timor-Leste; and peace and reconciliation for Indigenous Peoples in Canada, Colombia and Norway. This demonstrates that the Commission is a valuable platform for all countries and regions — regardless of their level of development — to share good practices and discuss national policies, she emphasized, underscoring the entity’s role in preventing conflict and violence.

KHALID LAHSAINI (Morocco) said that one of Member States’ main objectives is to ensure adequate, sustainable and predictable financing for the Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund through the United Nations regular budget.  As such, it is time to act through the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) to ensure more predictable financing for conflict prevention through assessed contributions.  As Chair of the Commission’s Central African Republic Configuration, Morocco closely follows developments in that country.  Despite persistent challenges — including pressure on the country’s public finances — he pointed to progress, including Bangui’s political will to implement the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in the Central African Republic, along with the Joint Roadmap for Peace.  As constructive engagement from all partners — including international financial institutions and regional development banks — is of great importance, he called on the same to pay close attention to the country.

STACY WELD-BLUNDELL (United Kingdom) emphasized that the Commission is the only dedicated global forum for supporting countries with their peacebuilding processes.  By deepening follow-up on the countries with which it engages, sharpening its advice to other United Nations bodies and rallying collective responses, the Commission will continue to grow in value.  The world can no longer afford the cost of conflict, he said, stressing the need to focus on prevention and encouraging all national and international actors to put peacebuilding at the centre of their policies.  This means more integrated and strategic policy approaches, smarter financing and wider cooperation.  The Peacebuilding Commission is a critical part of this equation, and the Peacebuilding Fund is the United Nations foremost financing instrument for strengthening the Organization’s peacebuilding work on the ground in partnership with host Governments, he added.

GHANSHYAM BHANDARI (Nepal), noting his country’s readiness to share its experience as a country emerging from armed conflict, said prevention and the people-centred focus in the Peacebuilding Commission’s work should continue.  Moreover, the level of coordination, coherence and cooperation between the Security Council and the Peacebuilding Commission must be further strengthened.  Consultation between these two bodies ahead of the formulation and renewal of mandates for peace operations can advance strategies to sustain peace on the ground.  Climate change has brought unparalleled challenges with both local and global ramifications, he said, stressing that the Peacebuilding Commission should partner with relevant international institutions and United Nations agencies to develop a framework for addressing climate change.  He joined others in calling for adequate, predictable and sustained financing for peacebuilding and expressed his country’s readiness to discuss all types of funding options for peacebuilding, including assessed contributions.

AHMED MOHAMED EZZAT AHMED ELSHANDAWILY (Egypt) underscored that more needs to be done to address the most pressing challenges facing United Nations peacebuilding architecture.  To this end, he called for concrete actions to realize adequate, predictable and sustained financing for peacebuilding.  Also, it is important to strengthen the interdependence between peacekeeping and peacebuilding activities, in a way that contributes to addressing the root causes of armed conflicts and strengthens peace, security and development systems.  Moreover, States’ efforts to build national institutions must be supported in a way that prevents them from slipping into conflicts.  The instability caused in recent years by rising inequalities, wars, conflicts and pandemics has made it clear that the focus should be on prevention and peacebuilding.  For peacebuilding to succeed, it is crucial to destigmatize prevention, he said, underlining the need to rally international support behind national peacebuilding priorities.

GERARDO PEÑALVER PORTAL (Cuba) said that it is necessary to eradicate the root causes of conflict, particularly the socioeconomic development issues that affect nations of the Global South because of the prevailing unfair international order.  Capacity-building, equal access to technology and respect for official development assistance (ODA) commitments will help to overcome those problems.  He also stressed the importance of engaging in peacebuilding activities at the earliest stages of peacekeeping operations.  While Governments have the main responsibility to implement strategies to build and sustain peace, the United Nations role is to support them in those efforts when requested.  Echoing calls for increased financing to support peacebuilding activities, he said that it is necessary to ensure financing is sufficient, predictable and long-lasting.

ALEXANDER MURUGASU (France) said the Peacebuilding Commission must focus its work on specific geographical situations.  In 2022, the Commission held interactive dialogues with Member States, civil society, regional organizations and the private sector, he recalled, noting that the Commission’s convening power is its strength.  Expressing support for the entity’s work in the context of transition, post-conflict and withdrawal of peacekeeping operations, he underscored the Commission’s importance in MONUSCO’s transition.  Noting that the Commission’s operational support must be de-coupled vis-à-vis the General Assembly and the Security Council, he welcomed that in 2022, the “Central African Republic configuration” made recommendations to the Council upstream of MONUSCO’s mandate renewal.  Moreover, the Peacebuilding Fund has proven its worth, he stressed, while announcing that France will provide €5.5 million to the Fund by coordinating its work with international financial institutions and mobilizing the private sector. 

GUI DAN (China) emphasized the importance of national ownership of peacebuilding, along with support for development paths best-suited to national conditions, needs and priorities.  She stressed that development is “the master key to solving all problems”, with the impetus placed on growing economies, improving livelihoods and providing access to education and public health.  She called on developed countries to earnestly uphold their ODA commitments and climate financing and make up for historical gaps.  Further, the Commission should continue its advisory role, she said, noting stronger engagements with the Assembly and the Economic and Social Council in 2022.  Spotlighting China’s support for conflict-affected and post-conflict countries, she cited the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative and her country’s multiple donations to the Peacebuilding Fund.

HEITOR FIGUEIREDO SOBRAL TORRES (Brazil) said that the Commission is well-suited to promote greater coordination among the relevant partners of a country at risk of lapsing or relapsing into conflict. Additionally, it can mobilize regional organizations and international financial institutions, along with fostering South-South and triangular cooperation arrangements to support national peacebuilding initiatives.  The Commission can also support the implementation of peacebuilding activities through peacekeeping operations and help mobilize political support to promote reconciliation; the women, peace and security agenda; institution-building; and other nationally defined peacebuilding priorities.  However, the Commission’s relations with the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly are yet to be fully explored, he added, emphasizing that the Assembly is by far the best venue in which to address the issue of stigmatization that still hinders the Commission’s outreach.

LILIANA VERÓNICA BAÑOS MÜLLER (El Salvador) underscored that synergies and coherence within the Organization must be bolstered for peacebuilding to be effective.  Emphasizing that the full, equal and meaningful participation of women is fundamental in initiatives to build and sustain peace, she commended the inclusion of the gender dimension in the Commission’s activities.  She encouraged the Commission to continue to advocate for its advisory role, to support youth and youth organizations in its work and to institutionalize the youth, peace and security agenda globally.  Looking ahead, she said that the Commission’s composition must be diverse and represent all regional groups, and that the body must remain a relevant platform for the contributions of countries that have recovered from conflict.  Turning to the Commission’s working methods, she echoed the importance of increasing its visibility by drafting a communications strategy in consultation with the Department of Global Communications.

KANISSON COULIBALY (Mali) said that since 2019 his country has benefited from the Peacebuilding Fund’s support through the funding of 38 projects and several cross-border initiatives.  The projects covered prevention and management of conflicts; empowerment of young people and women; and the negative effects of climate change, he said, while spotlighting their role in strengthening resilience to radicalization by terrorism groups.  However, since 2012, terrorist groups have been exploiting Mali’s vulnerabilities, with poverty remaining a breeding ground for manipulation and terrorist propaganda.  In this regard, the Government has undertaken various measures, he reported, while welcoming the cooperation with the Peacebuilding Fund in re-establishing peace and stability in Mali.  In the context of MINUSMA’s ongoing withdrawal, the Government remains available to continue its cooperation with the Fund, he said, calling for further financial support for this entity to enhance peace initiatives around the world. 

CECILIA A. M. ADENG (South Sudan), noting that her country is at a critical point in its peace process, said it has made notable progress towards peace and stability, including the formation of the unity Government, establishment of transitional justice mechanisms, security sector reforms, return and reintegration of displaced populations, local level social unity improvement and preparation for the general elections.  To address remaining challenges, it has identified priorities, such as promoting inclusive governance and participation, strengthening public financial management reform, enhancing disaster risk reduction strategies and building capacities for conflict prevention and early warning systems. Her country needs more support and assistance from the United Nations and other partners in the areas of mediation, capacity-building, financial resources and political supplement and advocacy.  Voicing appreciation for the contributions of the international community and the Peacebuilding Fund, she called for more predictable and sustainable financing aligned with her country’s national priorities and plans. 

GLORIYA A. AGARONOVA (Russian Federation) noted the expanded geographical coverage of the Peacebuilding Commission’s activities in 2022, a sign that international assistance for capacity-building in accordance with national priorities does not go unnoticed. As modalities for replenishing the Peacebuilding Fund from the United Nations budget are being considered, she underlined that Member States must define the mandate that will govern use of such funds.  At the same time, she noted that the Fund has always been considered a tool for accumulating voluntary contributions, making it a flexible resource that can respond as conflicts arise.  She emphasized that the work of the Commission — as well as all processes for building and maintaining peace — must always prioritize the sovereignty of the host country.  Experience confirms that international peacebuilding assistance is most effective when Governments determine and implement the most pressing objectives and strategies, she observed.  

LAMIN B. DIBBA (Gambia) said that partnership with the Peacebuilding Commission has enabled his country to learn useful lessons that resulted in success stories.  The Commission’s critical political awareness and support is the “oxygen that sustained our transitional justice process”, he said, emphasizing that his Government owes the “debt of unforgettable gratitude” to the Commission for providing the Gambia with a platform to raise political awareness and enjoy “democratic dividends”. The hope and aspirations of the people will serve to sustain peace, he stressed, while pointing out that the periodic briefings of the senior Government officials to the Commission are reported in the national news.  Noting that the Peacebuilding Fund has been instrumental in sustaining peace, he recalled that the Gambia was undergone a democratic transition and respective reforms. The Fund has been one of the initial “patrons” of this transition, providing early funding to address the needs, while also laying the foundation for transitional justice.

YAOU SANGARÉ BAKARY (Niger) noted that his country’s experience with the Peacebuilding Fund began in 2012 with the High Authority for Peacebuilding, a Government institution tasked with stabilizing conflict zones.  The cooperation programme for the period 2021-2025 focuses on four priorities:  prevention and management of local conflicts for access to natural resources;strengthening community resilience against radicalization and violent extremism; peacebuilding and security in border areas; and strengthening strategic partnerships.  Current cooperation comprises 13 projects including three cross-border ones, with funding of $30 million.  He pointed to major achievements of the Fund in Niger, including empowering youth  previously exposed to terrorist recruitment and migration, with professional vocational training.  Former terrorists have been reintegrated into 18 host communities, an experience being duplicated across the country.  Further, 202,120 community members, almost 50 per cent of them women and girls, participated in sociocultural and economic activities, contributing to a reduction in conflicts between migrants and host populations. 

EDWARD HEARTNEY (United States), noting the Peacebuilding Commission’s critical contribution to preventing conflict and sustaining peace, said its attention to institution-building, transitional justice and rule of law, as well as electoral processes, among others, creates opportunities to reflect on how best to support the core elements of lasting peace.  Voicing support for using assessed funding for peacebuilding, he said his delegation looks forward to actively engaging in the Fifth Committee in the fall to bridge differences on how peacebuilding funding can be assessed and administered.  Moreover, in the next decade, his country will work closely with the United Nations as a strategic partner in implementing its national strategy to prevent conflict and promote stability.  Its efforts under that strategy align with the priority windows identified by the Peacebuilding Fund, particularly the importance of regional approaches and fostering inclusion, he added.

Action on Draft Texts

RANDALL MITCHELL, Minister for Tourism, Culture and the Arts of Trinidad and Tobago, introducing the resolution “World Steelpan Day” (document A/77/L.80), said that, for the people of Trinidad and Tobago, the steelpan is emblematic of community empowerment, self-determination and national pride, among other things.  In response to the suppression of the use of other musical instruments, it emerged in the early 1900s from unprivileged Afro-Trinbagonian youth’s recycling milk cans, garbage-can-covers and oil drums in the annual Carnival parades.  The steelpan is the only acoustic musical instrument invented in the twentieth century.  Its industry is dependent on tourism, culture, trade and education and its manufacturing worldwide requires skilled and unskilled labour.  The National Steel Symphony Orchestra served to establish the viability of Trinidad and Tobago’s Genesis Pan — G-Pan, developed in 2006 by the University of the West Indies in collaboration with the Office of the Prime Minister.  The G-Pan is made from durable high-grade steel sheets because of the “integration” of arts, science, technology and engineering. Pan Trinbago is the premiere representative body for SteelBands that organized the annual SteelBand competition “Panorama”.

Some universities in Europe, Canada and the United States have academic programmes dedicated solely to steelpan music, he observed, noting that in Ontario, Canada, this tool has been used in his country’s multiculturalism programmes.  Further, in 2019, Porto of Spain — Trinidad and Tobago’s capital — was designated as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative City of Music for its creativity through steelpan for sustainable urban development.  “The melodious sound of the steelpan is a true reflection of Trinidad and Tobago’s dynamic culture, history and traditions and, in a sense, encapsulates its national aspirations for robust innovation and product development that is world class,” he emphasized, while calling on Member States to support the draft resolution. 

The General Assembly then adopted he resolution without a vote. 

By the text, the General Assembly decided to proclaim 11 August as World Steelpan Day, to be observed annually.  It also invited all Member States and United Nations organizations and entities, including the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, through its national commissions, civil society and academic institutions, to observe this day through awareness-raising activities of the steelpan cultural and historical significance and its link to sustainable development.  While encouraging Member States and relevant stakeholders to organize cultural and educational activities, such as performances, workshops and exhibitions to this end, the Assembly stressed that the cost of such activities should be met through voluntary contributions, including from the private sector.

Before the General Assembly was the draft decision “Revitalization of the work of the Second Committee”, contained in the report of the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) “Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly” (document A/77/451/Add. 1).  The General Assembly then adopted the draft decision without a vote. 

The General Assembly also took up the draft resolution titled “International Day of Care and Support” (document A/77/L.81).

ANA JIMENEZ DE LA HOZ (Spain), also speaking for Germany, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Philippines, United Kingdom and Tunisia, introduced the draft resolution, noting that the International Labour Organization (ILO) reported that if care work were valued on the basis of a minimum wage per hour, it would amount to 9 per cent of world gross domestic product (GDP).  The resolution, proclaiming 29 October as the International Day of Care and Support, underscores the importance of the care economy, promoting decent work for care workers, and guaranteeing their representation, social dialogue and collective bargaining. She emphasized that collaborating with the agencies of the United Nations System and all civil society organizations will be key in ensuring that care and support systems as a fundamental pillar of the protection and well-being of citizens will be comprehensive, inclusive and grounded in human rights. 

The Assembly then adopted “L.81” without a vote.

By the text, the General Assembly decided to proclaim 29 October as the International Day of Care and Support.  It invited Member States, regional and subregional organizations and other stakeholders to observe this day on an annual basis in an appropriate manner to raise awareness of care and support in achieving gender equality and sustainability, including the need for investing in resilient and inclusive care economy and developing strong and resilient care and support systems.  Further, the Assembly invited the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) to facilitate the observance of this day, while stressing that the costs of all relevant activities should be met from voluntary contributions and the private sector.

For information media. Not an official record.