PBC: Annual Session Opening

Statement by President of ECOSOC Ambassador Mona Juul in the opening segment of the UN Peacebuilding Commission Annual Session, 4 December 2019.




I would like to thank the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission for the invitation to join you today.

It is an honour to address the opening of the PBC’s Annual Session as ECOSOC President. I see this as an important part of further harmonising the complimentary work of our two bodies.


The Economic and Social Council and the Peacebuilding Commission have indeed strengthened their cooperation over the years.

The Chair of the PBC now regularly briefs ECOSOC on the agenda item of African countries emerging from conflict. And we have institutionalised very successful joint meetings, which are held annually on a topic of mutual interest.

Including yesterday’s ECOSOC and PBC joint meeting on: “The impact of cross-border transhumance to sustainable development and peace in West Africa and the Sahel”.

I would like to thank all participants for yesterday’s very interesting debate. The panelists who participated from the region, together with colleagues in New York, contributed to a rich discussion. I was particularly pleased with the many concrete suggestions and examples provided. Such as digging water holes along transhumance routes.  

Our discussion yesterday also raised several points relevant for today’s debate. It was pointed out that we must address the rights, and needs, of women and girls to achieve sustainable peace. As well as the importance of addressing the socio-economic and environmental root causes of conflict and instability. With population growth, and the effects of climate change, given as examples.

Colleagues also highlighted that ECOSOC and the PBC have important contributions to make to the work of Security Council. 



With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, the cooperation between ECOSOC and the PBC has become even more relevant.

The 2030 Agenda demonstrates our determination to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies, free from fear and violence. Achieving the SDGs is critically important to address the triggers, drivers, and root causes of conflict.

But regrettably, we are currently off track. Unless we succeed in breaking the silos of the peace, development and humanitarian architecture, our efforts to prevent conflict and respond to crisis will fail.

To be truly effective, implementation must take a “whole of society approach”.

We need the active participation of: government ministries, civil society groups, the business sector, and all other stakeholders. Including of course: women, young people, and vulnerable or marginalized groups. This is essential if we are to keep our promise to leave no one behind.


Dear Colleagues,

The upcoming review of the peacebuilding architecture- fifteen years after its creation- offers us a good opportunity to take stock, and explore ways to further invigorate it.

ECOSOC will contribute to this review. And we look forward to submitting proposals on how the relationship between our two bodies could be further strengthened.

After all, there can be no sustainable development without peace, and no peace without sustainable development.


Thank you.