Remarks by John Sammis, Deputy Representative to the ECOSOC, at the UN General Assembly Debate on the Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund

John F. Sammis
United States Deputy Representative to ECOSOC 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
March 19, 2012


Thank you, Mr. President. 

Like others, the United States would like to thank Ambassador Momen and Ambassador Gasana, as well as the chairs of the six country-specific configurations, the Peacebuilding Support Office, and our in-country partners for their dedication and leadership.  They all deserve credit for the progress that is being made regarding peacebuilding. 
The United States actively supports the work of the Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund, as important instruments to assist countries making the fragile transition from conflict to  sustainable peace. They help us sustain attention to countries emerging from conflict, develop more effective strategies to build peace, and mobilize necessary resources to prevent relapse into violence.  We particularly appreciate the Commission’s commitment to address the overarching recommendations of the 2010 five-year review:  enhance the Commission’s impact in the field and strengthen working relationships with key partners.  

We are gratified to see both focus and evidence of results. For instance:  focusing the Commission’s political advocacy  in Sierra Leone on the importance of inter-party dialogue and in Liberia on the imperative of accountability among governmental officials; and helping stimulate private investment in Burundi and mobilize substantial funds for Sierra Leone under the auspices of the UN’s Joint Vision plan.  We are also pleased that the Commission is actively working with the World Bank, the African Development Bank and other international financial institutions.  These partnerships are essential to seeing resources  flow to peacebuilding priorities. 

Indeed, we welcome a range of recent efforts at the UN to expand and diversify partnerships with key peacebuilding fora and actors outside the UN. We particularly commend the leadership of the G7+ grouping of  fragile and conflict-affected states who have helped set the global agenda on peacebuilding, including through the New Deal for Engagement with Fragile States endorsed recently in Busan.  We encourage PBC interaction with this group and related efforts.

We also welcome Commission efforts to deepen and diversify working relationships with the Security Council, the General Assembly, and the Economic and Social Council on practical issues of mutual concern and to help raise the profile of peacebuilding across the UN system.    The United States urges the Commission to make even greater progress in heightening impact in the field  and building its credibility as a platform for promoting effective peacebuilding practices. 

As for the Peacebuilding Fund, its evolving role as a rapid and relevant instrument for early peacebuilding efforts is to be commended.  The expansion of   its allocations, its commitment to rapid response, and its improved country support  are noteworthy.  We encourage continued refinement of the Fund’s focus in configuration countries that bolster investment on the part of national leaders and stakeholders in its programs .
 Mr. President, We all have a stake in strengthening the UN’s capacity to support peacebuilding.  Helping societies recover from conflict is never an easy task, but the UN’s peacebuilding architecture was created precisely to forge more coordinated and more effective solutions to consolidating peace.   With proper diligence and the will to institutionalize lessons learned, the Commission and the Fund have great potential to promote enduring peace. 

Thank you.


PRN: 2012/064