Statement by H.E. Mr. Osama Abdelkhalek
Permanent Representative of Egypt,
Chair of the African Peacebuilding Caucus On behalf of the African Group
High-Level Meeting on Financing for Peacebuilding 27 April 2022
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the African Group in my capacity as the Chair of the African Peacebuilding Caucus. I wish to begin by thanking you, Mr. President, for convening this high-level meeting, as mandated by the 2020 twin resolutions on peacebuilding and sustaining peace. I also take this opportunity to acknowledge all the valuable efforts, contributions and inputs by the Peacebuilding Commission, Member States as well as the UN Secretariat, in the run-up to our meeting today.
Africa, as a longstanding and committed supporter to the UN peacebuilding architecture, welcomes the sustained attention given by the Secretary-General to peacebuilding. including in his report “Our Common Agenda”. We share the SG’s view on the need for a peace continuum based on a better understanding of the underlying drivers of conflict, while prioritizing investment in prevention in alignment with the principle of national ownership.
We firmly believe in the centrality of conflict prevention and peacebuilding to the work of the United Nations, as derived from the organization’s charter.
It is important to note the broad-based understanding and support among Member States to the notion of prioritizing peacebuilding as a proven and cost-effective investment. However, this has yet to be translated into concrete actions, as peacebuilding financing, solely depending on voluntary contributions in the long term, remains in-adequate, unpredictable and unsustainable, with demand far outpacing available resources. Hence, it’s time to move beyond rhetoric to urgent actionable steps to realize adequate, predictable and sustainable financing for peacebuilding.
Today, we are gathered here to uphold our commitment to pursuing an action-oriented outcome on peacebuilding financing, as we have collectively decided so in the 2020 twin resolutions on the review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture. A commitment that was embraced by the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) in its recent advice to the General Assembly, encouraged us to consider all financing options, including voluntary, assessed and innovative ones.
In this connection, I wish to share the following points:
1- Africa views today’s meeting as an important stepping stone to launch a time-bound intergovernmental process to consider all options and actions aiming at generating a meaningful change in peacebuilding financing. The outcome of such process should be a GA resolution. We, therefore, call upon the President of the General Assembly to appoint co- facilitators to lead this process with the aim of adopting a resolution on peacebuilding financing before the end of the 76th Session of the General Assembly. Africa stands ready to nominate one of the co-facilitators. In this regard, we look forward to engaging with the PGA in follow up of our meeting today.
2- Guided by the Common African Position (CAP) on peacebuilding, it’s imperative to pursue a comprehensive approach to enhancing the adequacy, predictability, and sustainability of peacebuilding financing. Although we agree on the importance of broadening the donor base for the Peacebuilding Fund and exploring innovative financing options including through engaging the private sector, we should not lose sight of the fact that without assessed contributions, peacebuilding financing will remain a critical challenge. For that reason, Africa has been a strong supporter to allocating a certain percentage of assessed contributions to peacebuilding efforts including through UN field missions, particularly to mitigate the ‘financial cliff’ resulting from peacekeeping transitions. Along the same lines, Africa supports the SG’s proposal to the Administrative and Budget Committee to allocating $100 million to the PBF.
3- It is equally important to improve the overall coherence and impact of peacebuilding financing approaches among the UN and international and regional financial institutions as well as other relevant actors. There is an urgent need for the international community to align behind the national peacebuilding priorities as laid out by the countries concerned.
4- Considering that most of the UN peacebuilding agenda is in Africa, it’s imperative to enhance the AU-UN partnership in peacebuilding, and make it impact-driven, with greater emphasis on coherent planning and operational complementarity, in a manner that leverages each side’s comparative advantage. This partnership should address the gaps in
institutional capacities and work systematically and sustainably in bridging capacity gaps. This includes supporting agencies and institutions of the African Union including the nascent AU Center for Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development (AUC-PCRD). In conclusion, it is evident that financing is the most critical enabler to effectively sustain peace. Therefore, the African Group calls upon all Member States to consider positively the wide range of recommended actions, in front of us today, to increase the quantity and quality of peacebuilding financing. We look forward to the process that our meeting today will kick-start a process to adopt a comprehensive resolution on peacebuilding financing. Africa, remains fully committed to engage constructively in the follow-up discussions in the GA as well as the Fifth Committee to fulfil its part of the commitment to purse action-oriented outcome.