I thank you for organizing this electronic consultation and for the opportunity to share our perspectives. Let me also take this opportunity to thank all the briefers for their valuable insights on this important topic.
Bangladesh values the importance of institution building and UN system wide engagement to promote peacebuilding and sustaining peace. In this regard, we wish to emphasize on the following points:
First, the 2015 review of the peacebuilding architecture had been successful to come up with a shared understanding of the notion of sustaining peace and prevention agenda. It is now critical to build on and institutionalize this shared understanding for the benefits of the conflict affected countries and those coming out of conflicts. PBC can play a pivotal role in building consensus on the specific recommendations in SG’s report to strengthen local institutions according to the needs and aspirations of people. PBC can also help bringing the peace, development, and humanitarian actors close together to work jointly to develop capacity of local institutions for tailoring long term plans to build on and sustain the peace and development gains and tackle any risk of sliding back to conflict and fragility.
Second, for preventing relapse of conflict in a post-conflict transitional setting, PBC can be a critical enabler in collaboration with the UN country team and other relevant partners to come up with short, medium and long term strategy to support national institutions to implement 1) strategic plans of actions; 2) inter-governmental coordination; 3) data and evidence based measurement of success and failure; as well as to maintain continued international support for keeping the sustaining peace and development gains on track.
Third, the value-added and complementary work of PBC and PBF can certainly make important contribution to the task of institution building for addressing various relevant and emerging issues of concern in fragile contexts. We welcome the PBC’s growing interface with development actors including the World Bank, UN funds and programs, African Union, UNOSSC, the relevant regional and sub-regional organizations, and its enhanced focus on regional, cross-cutting issues. The cross-fertilization of ideas through such interactions can help the national actors to strengthen the nascent institutions with new and innovative ideas for service delivery as well as for ensuring transparency and accountability to the people.
Fourth, the COVID-19 pandemic has once again brought t o the fore the importance of responsive, pro-people, and responsible state institutions to tackle large scale crises. In conflict affected countries, measures such as lockdowns, border closures, and trade limitations have aggravated human sufferings. The post-COVID recovery and reconstruction plan, therefore, must factor in the need for investing more in state institutions including those dealing with health, law enforcement, disaster management, and education. The UN needs to have a system wide plan in this regard. PBC can help facilitating the work through its advisory and convening platform.
Fifth, we feel encouraged to see that the ongoing system wide institutional reforms initiative have already shown some positive results in the UN Headquarters and at the ground to break down the so-called silos in sustaining peace. It must remain a constant pre-occupation for PBC, through its convening and advisory roles, to further consolidate these efforts, particularly towards bringing the peace and development actors closer to each other without undercutting their respective mandates and competence. The PBC’s country-specific configurations have certain good practices in this regard that can be suitably replicated or scaled up across the system.
Sixth, the PBC can create further opportunities through constant engagement of its county configurations with national actors, UN’s humanitarian, and development actors. PBC can help different actors institutionalizing their work in a way so that they are in sync with the overall political strategy. At the headquarters, PBSO’s so-called ‘hinge’ role can be further enhanced for effective interface among the three pillars of the organisation. We believe this would allow PBSO to act as a catalytic entity to promote change through the system over time.
Seventh, for the primacy of national ownership in peacebuilding to have meaning in the context of institution building, international actors must work towards creating opportunities for local actors to establish nationally owned, legitimate, and sustainable governance system. In the long haul, this clear delineation of roles and responsibilities between the international and the local is going to be central for consolidating the conception of sustaining peace and development.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the issue of financing for peacebuilding remains a major stumbling block to realizing its potentials including in the areas of system-wide coherence and institution building. The Secretary General in his 2018 report and the 2019 interim report has come up with many innovative ideas for mobilizing increased, predictable, and sustainable financing, factoring in both options for assessed and voluntary contributions. We hope this year’s Peacebuilding Architecture Review would help garner further political support towards mobilizing much-needed resources, including for the Peacebuilding Fund.
I thank you. you.