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Grossly inadequate funding the major constraint for...
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Mr. President,  


    Our debate today on the Peace Building Commission and the Peacebuilding fund is the first such annual review since the adoption last April, of the substantively identical resolutions by the General Assembly and the Security Council on the Review of the Peace Building Architecture. These resolutions had defined the concept of sustaining peace, besides calling for strengthening the work of the Peace Building Commission in various ways. 


2.    The Report of the Peace Building Commission provides a useful account of the activities of the Commission during the last one year. We thank the Secretary General for his Report on the Peace Building Fund that gives a good overview of the Fund's situation and projects. 


Mr. President,


3.    The complex and inter-linked nature of various aspects of building and sustaining peace are now beginning to become much better understood. The perspective is increasingly expanding across the spectrum from prevention to resolution and reconciliation to recovery and reconstruction and prevention of a relapse of conflict. 


4.    The changing nature of conflict itself is ever more clear. The conflicts are increasingly intra-state and also involve non state actors including international terror networks. In an interdependent world, conflicts in any part of the world have much wider implications through such terror networks or large movements of refugees. We, therefore, have a collective interest in building and sustaining peace.  


5.    There is a clear recognition of the importance of a comprehensive sustainable development, inclusive economic growth and political processes in preventing conflict as well as undertaking effective peacebuilding efforts. 


6.    This also tells us the importance of the long term commitment and sustained investment, including a vastly expanded funding, that are required for the all round development and inclusive political dialogue for building and sustaining peace. 


Mr. President,


7.     While these complexities and inter-linkages are much more widely understood, there is little political commitment for commensurate action and substantive support to peacebuilding efforts. The funding available for such efforts remains marginal, severely limiting the ability of the Peace Building Commission. 


8.      As has been pointed out on earlier occasions, there is no agreement on increasing the funding for the Peace Building Commission to even a 1% level of that for peacekeeping operations annually. In the absence of funds, despite an understanding of the task at hand, there is little hope of it being achieved. 


9.    At the same time, there are tendencies to re-allocate the already grossly inadequate international development cooperation funds to humanitarian and other emergency assistance, further reducing the overall development funding. This is not helping the longer term development efforts required for peacebuilding. 


Mr. President, 


10.    As the Report of the Secretary General notes, the Peacebuilding Fund's financial health remains in question. The total amount of US$ 71 million allocated during 2016 for 17 countries, including the six countries where the Peace Building Commission is active, is grossly inadequate for the scale of the tasks at hand.  Despite the landmark resolutions adopted by the GA and the Security Council, the ministerial level pledging conference in September last year could only elicit half of the US$ 300 million goal, which was projected as the minimum amount needed to sustain operations for three years. India was among the countries that made financial contribution. 


11.    Within the above serious chronic constraints, the Report of the Commission provides a useful account of its activities over the last one year relating to six African nations. We welcome the efforts undertaken by the Commission to assist political reconciliation; build capacity in specific sectors; encourage donor funding; provide advice during drawdown of peackeeping operations; and liaise with regional entities such as African Union, East African Community and ECOWAS. The deliberations conducted in different regions on cross cutting issues and cross border challenges including issues relating to women and youth are also important. Equally important is the Commission's engagement with the World Bank and other international financial institutions. 


12.    We note that last year, 20% of the Peacebuilding Funds were allocated for women's empowerment and that the Fund launched its first ever Youth Promotion Initiative. The cross border efforts of the Fund, as also its partnership with regional organisations and other multilateral funds are positive steps.  
  

Mr. President, 


13.    The complexity of peacebuilding activities points to the need for greater coherence not only between various UN organs, but also related agencies and special and regional bodies. The Commission should also continue to discuss ways to build synergies with the Fund.


14.    It is essential for the peacebuilding efforts to align themselves with national priorities and participation.  This would ensure sustainable gains and ownership.  


15.    The High Level Dialogue on 'Building Sustaining Peace for All' convened by the President of the General Assembly in January this year was an important step in garnering support for this issue and by exploring the synergies between the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustaining Peace. India participated actively in the Dialogue.  


16.    India continues to expand its development cooperation initiatives with a large number of partners including those in Africa. These range from education to skill development, capacity building in terms of institutional strengths, technology collaboration in varied areas from agriculture to digital technologies for economic growth and sustainable development. 


17.    As a member of the Peace Building Commission since its inception, India stands ready to work together with other partners to strengthen the UN Peace Building Architecture. 


Thank you.
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