Statement by H.E. Rabab Fatima, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations at the Ambassadorial-level virtual meeting of the Peacebuilding Commission on “Institution Building”, 17 May 2021

Mr. Chairman,

I thank you for organizing today’s meeting on an area to which my delegation attaches high importance. Let me also commend you on the excellent stewardship of the Commission’s work.

I thank Mr. Achim Steiner and the other briefers from Colombia, India and Niger for their very useful and insightful presentations. Much to learn from hearing their first-hand account.

I also take this opportunity to express our solidarity with our friends in India; and salute all frontline organizations and workers such as Prathama and Ms. Banerji for their courage and dedication.

Mr. Chair,

We consider institution-building as an important pre-requisite for sustaining peace. Our peacebuilding efforts would remain incomplete and susceptible to shocks, if key national institutions are not capable of sustaining it. PBC, with its unique convening role can contribute immensely in promoting efforts to build national and local institutions that are effective, accountable and inclusive.

In this regard, I wish to emphasize on the following points:

First, to begin with, PBC can play a pivotal role in building consensus on the relevant recommendations in the SG’s report to strengthen local institutions, based on nationally determined needs and priorities, and mobilize support for their implementation, including by bringing the peace, development, and humanitarian actors together and work jointly. The ongoing UN reform processes should support such endeavours by ensuring that the UN field presences are fully equipped with necessary expertise to help build stronger institutions in a coherent manner.

Second, PBC can collaborate with the UN country team and other relevant partners in post-conflict countries to support capacity-building of national institutions, and supporting peace-building efforts.  In the security sector and other relevant areas, PBC can also explore how to leverage the positive footprints of the peacekeeping missions.

Third, PBC can add great value by supporting conflict affected countries in their national reconciliation efforts, including in the efforts to ensure justice and accountability for crimes committed against the civilians during conflicts. Capacity building of national institutions in investigating and prosecuting such crimes are critically important in this regard.

Fourth: Financing of national and international efforts to build capacity of institutions in conflict affected countries should continue to remain a priority for the PBC. In this regard we welcome the growing interface of PBC with development actors including the World Bank, UN funds and programs, African Union, UN Office for South-South Cooperation, the relevant regional and sub-regional organizations and call for its institutionalization.

Fifth: the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore the importance of responsible and pro-people state institutions to tackle large scale crises. In conflict affected countries, measures such as lockdowns, border closures, and trade limitations have aggravated human sufferings.  Post-pandemic recovery efforts must factor in the needs for investing more in relevant institutions, such as in the health, law enforcement, disaster management, and education sectors.  PBC can help facilitate such efforts through its advisory and convening platform.

Finally, to ensure national ownership in peacebuilding, especially in the context of institution building, international actors must work towards creating opportunities for local actors to establish nationally owned, legitimate, inclusive and sustainable governance system. [We have heard today from some of the fine work being done at the national and local level by such national organizations.] It is also important to promote localization of such efforts to ensure sustainability of those institutions.

I thank you, Mr. Chair, once again for organizing this meeting on this important area. Bangladesh will continue to support and invest in efforts to strengthen institution building.