AMBASSADOR RAYMOND WOLFE
THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF JAMAICA TO THE UNITED NATIONS
ON BEHALF OF THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT (NAM) TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
ON THE OCCASION OF THE ADOPTION OF THE PEACEBUILDING COMMISSION’S SECOND ANNUAL REPORT AND THE REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
ON THE PEACEBUILDING FUND
9TH OCTOBER 2008
As coordinator of the NAM Caucus, I am deeply honoured to address this august Assembly on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). I am particularly pleased and encouraged, owing to the commitment shown and the continued valuable contributions by Members of the Movement, to the on-going work of the Commission.
The NAM welcomes the second report of the Peacebuilding Commission as reflected in document A/63/92 – S/2008/417 and considers it an accurate account of the activities of the Commission, over the period. The Movement also welcomes the report of the Secretary-General on the Peacebuilding Fund.
Last year when we adopted the first report, the Commission was embarking upon unfamiliar territory. Twelve months later, the NAM is of the view that the Peacebuilding Commission is confidently on its way to creating the solid contribution envisioned by the founding mandate which emerged from the 2005 United Nations institutional reform package. The NAM considers that the advancements made in the period under review, points the Peacebuilding Commission in the right direction.
The Movement was particularly pleased with the programme of work established by the Commission, especially efforts geared towards the fulfillment of the mandate of the PBC. Pivotal in this regard were efforts made in accentuating the marshalling of resources and a genuine desire and commitment by Members of the Commission and other key players, to enhance coordination of all peacebuilding activities on the ground, in the countries on the Commission’s agenda.
The Non-Aligned Movement welcomes the adoption of Strategic Frameworks for Peacebuilding in Burundi, Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone. Each Framework is a document which describes the PBC’s engagement with the respective Governments and their partners. The principle of national ownership of the peacebuilding process by the Governments of the countries on the PBC’s agenda, a priority for the Movement, was a central feature of the work of the Commission in the development of each Framework.
The establishment of Monitoring and Tracking Mechanisms to check the progress of the implementation of the Framework is an indication of the respective Government’s, the PBC’s and other stakeholder’s commitment to success in the short to medium terms. The Monitoring and Tracking Mechanisms will act as tools to ensure that agreed targets are met and that the appropriate remedial action is taken, if and when such action becomes necessary.
In this context Mr. President, the Movement welcomes the decision to finance field missions by the Commission to the countries on the Commission’s agenda, the purpose of which is to equip the Commission with first hand information to produce accurate analysis with a view to assist the decision making process regarding situations in these countries.
The addition of Guinea-Bissau and the Central African Republic to the agenda of the PBC, at their request, should count among the highlights and the achievements of the PBC during the period. The impressive work already undertaken by the Commission, in such short time with the new countries, demonstrates that lessons learned from the PBC’s engagement with the first two countries on its agenda, now form a fundamental basis for effective interaction and development of integrated peacebuilding strategies between the Commission, the authorities of these countries and other key stakeholders.
Despite the tremendous successes of the PBC, much needs to be done to ensure that the overall gains are not eroded by instability or in a worse-case scenario, a relapse into conflict.
The Movement believes that one possible source of such a threat could come from the strict demands for peacebuilding strategies to be developed before PBF funds are allocated and that funds be linked to political commitments. This could backfire and severely hamper and undermine efforts towards consolidating the fragile peace in these societies.
Additionally Mr. President, the Non-Aligned Movement continues to call for urgent and greater focus to be placed on the development agenda of the countries on the Commission’s agenda, The Movement is convinced that a focus on the development dimension will provide the sustained peace dividend necessary to galvanize support, bolster confidence and strengthen the peacebuilding process, over a protracted period.
The NAM hereby encourages the Commission to consider the utilization of the diverse experience of countries within the Membership of the PBC to assist in the restructuring, upgrading and improvement of areas crucial to development: education and training; rural agricultural development and capacity building. Such assistance could be in the form of specific bilateral arrangements.
The NAM underlines the importance of the relations and coherence between the PBC and the PBF and advocates for closer strategic ties between both in furtherance of the aim for a coordinated approach to the work of the Commission and most importantly, to provide appropriate funding at the critical moment. In this connection also, the Movement looks forward to the total involvement of the Peacebuilding Commission in the General Assembly’s review of the terms of reference of the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF), in the not too distant future.
The Movement is appreciative of the confidence shown in the PBC and the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) in particular, as reflected in the recorded pledges which have exceeded the original target of the Fund. As the PBC becomes adept at fulfilling its mandate, so too will the demand for additional funding for peacebuilding projects. In this connection, the Movement takes this opportunity to call for the doubling of the target of the Fund to US$500 million, in anticipation of this demand and to prepare the PBC to be in a position to respond adequately to the needs.
In looking ahead, the Non-Aligned Movement considers the upcoming review of the overall work and the processes of the Commission to be of crucial importance, as this will determine to a large extent how the PBC conducts much of its work in the future. The Commission will need to ensure that best practices are further developed and maintained; that the provision of integrated peacebuilding strategies are tailor- made to fit each specific case; guarantee that collaboration and outreach with the main organs of the United Nations become standard practice and that the Organizational Committee finds its niche, as the focal-point of the Peacebuilding Commission.
The matter of the delay in the allocation of seats among the regional groups for the election of the members of the Organizational Committee is of serious concern. The Movement believes that a permanent long-term solution is the only answer to what could become a hindrance and therefore curtail the important work of the PBC. The Movement urges a quick solution to this problem.
Finally Mr. President,
The Non-Aligned Movement takes this opportunity to congratulate the Chair of the PBC for his leadership over the period. Permit me also to express our appreciation for work undertaken by the respective Chairs of country-specific meetings, particularly to Brazil and Belgium, the recent Chairs of the country-specific configurations of Guinea-Bissau and Central African Republic respectively.
Kindly permit me Mr. President, to express the NAM’s sincere appreciation to the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) for its excellent contributions during the session, without which the good work of the Peacebuilding Commission would not have been at all possible.
I thank you.