Intervention for UNGA Briefing on the Peacebuilding Commission and Peacebuilding Fund Reports

Ambassador Rick Barton
U.S. Representative 
New York, NY
March 21, 2011


Thank you, Mr. President.  Like others, the United States would like to thank Ambassador Wittig, Ambassador Gasana, the chairs of the six country-specific configurations, the three Ambassadors who led the 2010 Review, the Peacebuilding Support Office and our many in-country partners for their leadership and dedication.  They all deserve credit for the progress that is being made.


The United States continues to strongly support the Commission’s work because promoting sustainable peace is at the heart of the work of the United Nations. 


We welcome the growing strength of the Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund.  They call our attention to countries emerging from conflict, advise on and propose strategies to build sustainable peace, and provide necessary resources to prevent a relapse into violence.  We applaud efforts to address many of the shortcomings highlighted in last year’s annual review and the progress made this year, particularly in the countries on its agenda.


We commend the Commission’s efforts to align its strategic frameworks with national strategies and address the significant administrative burden and transaction costs for national stakeholders and operational actors.  We saw this in Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, Burundi, and its further refinement in Liberia. We urge the Commission to begin its work in Guinea with similar efficiency and innovation.


We appreciate the efforts of the “Working Group on Lessons Learned” and urge it to continue to foster meaningful dialogue and to improve upon its current efforts by linking its discussions and findings more directly to PBC and PBF programs in the field.


The Peacebuilding Fund’s efforts to act as a rapid, relevant instrument for early peacebuilding efforts are to be praised.  We urge the Fund, to further refine its focus in configuration countries, and ensure that national leaders and stakeholders are invested in the success of its programs. 


Despite considerable progress, the Commission still faces significant challenges.  The Commission must work harder to link ambitions in New York with programs and leadership in the field.  It must also: improve coordination with international institutions on needs assessments and programming; refine national ownership and capacity development; design impact measurements; strengthen partnerships with international financial institutions;  and produce coherent visions and efforts across all players in countries with a UN peacebuilding presence. 


As the Commission and the Fund continue to grow and more countries are added to the agenda, it is even more critical that the UN’s peacebuilding capacities improve. The time is now, as more countries are turning to the UN for resources and assistance in advancing peace and security.


Thank you, Mr. President.




PRN: 2011/052