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PBC: Report of the Peacebuilding Commission

Statement by Ambassador May-Elin Stener on 20 April 2017.

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Mr. President,

Thank you for convening this meeting, and for providing an opportunity to comment on the Peacebuilding Commission’s report on its tenth session, and the latest report from the Secretary-General on the Peacebuilding Fund.

First, allow me to say that Norway is very pleased to be back in the Commission. Long-term and comprehensive peacebuilding has always been a central part of Norwegian foreign policy.

We welcome the PBC-report’s focus on a more flexible Commission. In light of the sustaining peace resolutions and the Secretary-General’s clear leadership and prioritization of conflict prevention, the Peacebuilding Commission has an obvious role to play. The Commission should take advantage of this momentum, and build on its experience as a convening power.

The experience of country configurations is important, and we see clear signs of the comparative advantage of the PBC in for instance Liberia. It is however important for the Commission to increase its flexibility in terms of country situations.

We would like to commend the Chairmanship of the PBC for their ability to cooperate closely with the Security Council and the Secretariat, while showing the relevance of the Commission also for conflicts that are not formally on the agenda of the PBC.

The PBC-report proposes to establish focal points for certain central issues in the sustaining peace agenda. Norway is honored to – together with our good partner Indonesia – have been trusted with the focal point role of financing for peacebuilding.

We intend to work closely with the Chairmanship and other Member States. We will draw on the important discussions and experiences on financing made already in the Secretariat in cooperation with civil society and other actors, in preparation for the Secretary-General’s forthcoming report on sustaining peace.

As stated in the Advisory Group of Experts’ report on the peacebuilding architecture, peacebuilding for too long has been left as an afterthought: under-prioritized and under-resourced. Addressing the root causes of conflict requires long-term commitment and long-term access to regular, predictable and adequate funding. This responsibility rests heavily on us, the Member States of the UN.

The Secretary-General’s report on the Peacebuilding Fund shows us once again that the fund is a crucial player for UN peacebuilding. The fund has a strong record of delivering its relative narrow objectives, and should be recognized as addressing a ‘market failure’ in finance for peacebuilding, with a flexible, risk-taking approach.

The PBF is also contributing directly to SDG 16 on just, peaceful and inclusive societies. A number of independent evaluations proves this correct.

Norway will continue to be a strong supporter of the PBF. We encourage all Member States to look into possibilities for supporting the fund, given the harsh financial reality of the fund.

Last, but certainly not least, Norway would particularly commend the fund for its immense efforts to increase focus and funding on women’s role in peacebuilding.

The Peacebuilding Commission’s recently adopted gender strategy contributes to important synergies with the fund on this topic. Women constitute half of the population. If we do not involve women, we risk missing half the conflict analysis; we might overlook half of the problems and miss half of the potential solutions.

The fact that the fund is the first of the UN agencies to have reached the aim of 15% support to women’s empowerment – and now has reached even 20 %, is highly impressive, and should be an encouragement for the rest of the UN family.

Thank you.