Excellencies and colleagues,
First of all I would like to thank the PRs of Guinea and Sierra Leone for the very telling stories on how the PBF has contributed to peace-building in their countries.
The PBF was constructed to help reduce the financing gap in peace building. Norway believes that the PBF has done exactly that. In some instances it has funded crucial interventions for peacebuilding at country level.
Norway provided a very sizeable contribution to the PBF in 2006. We then had a pause before we contributed 5 million USD in 2011 and again the same amount this year. Our intention is to continue to contribute around USD 5 million a year. There were two main reasons why we did not provide funding for 5 years. First, because the disbursement rate was low and second because we were unsure about the results and the strategic direction of the PBF. We have seen major improvements on these topics during the last 2-3 years.
In terms of reporting, we now have a number of instruments in addition to the annual report of the fund by the Secretary General. Monitoring and Evaluations have become much more important for PBF. There is a Performance Management Plan for 2011-2013 which is basis for tracking results. Several independent country evaluations have been made. Plans are under way for an annual results report. There will also be a review of the PBF next year. The PBF Business Plan 2011 - 2013 and the strategic positioning as highlighted in the SG annual reports serves as the principal guide for the Fund's work. In addition we now have the PBSO business plan as well. Finally we have the PBF Advisory Group that gives valuable advice on both planning and reporting. In short; We know what PBF are planning to do and we can follow their progress towards their objectives. We would like to congratulate ASG Cheng Hopkins and all PBF-staff with all the progress that has been made.
For PBF there will always be areas for improvement. This is not only an issue for PBSO, it is an issue for member states as well. In the Secretary Generals new report on Peacebuilding in the Aftermath of Conflict it is stated that “PBF assist countries at a critical transition moments when political sensitivity and risks are high and speed is crucial” (§19). This is exactly the way we want it to be. PBF should be willing and able to take risk. Donors must move from risk aversion to risk management. The risk of inaction may outweigh the risks associated with action.
One crucial question is how to ensure the strategic catalytic niche of the PBF. Peacebuilding targets can only be achieved by the entirety of UN (including peacekeeping efforts) and not PBF alone, and the Fund aim to be a catalyst to achieve targets. In this regard we are happy to see that more and more UN entities receive funding from PBF. PBF can bring the UN together around peacebuilding objectives in the field. We need to increase the Fund’s synergies especially with the PBC to advance peacebuilding. PBC could help ensure a catalytic role of the PBF. Again, this is a common responsibility of both PBSO and Member states.
We are pleased to see the cooperation between PBF and UNDP and the World Bank on multi-donor funds for peacebuilding. Member states should facilitate this cooperation.
We support PBFs emphasis on funding activities in countries on the PBCs agenda, while we also agree to include some other countries. Given the size of the PBF and the staffing, we agree that it makes sense to have PBF funded activities in around 20 countries. We should keep in mind that the countries’ on the agenda of the PBC receives too little attention from the international community.
We note that the fund will need to work harder in order to attain the goal of a 15% allocation focused on women’s specific needs. We look forward to rapid progress in this regard.
Let me stress that the broad donor base of the PBF is a very valuable asset. This facilitates the interaction between PBF and the member states.
The Fund’s focus on countries low on the donor radar, its swiftness, willingness to take risk, and its large donor base, constitute the Fund’s main strengths and added value. United Nations Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) has proven its comparative advantages in the overall peacebuilding architecture. No other mechanism is better suited to fulfill the purpose of the PBF as stated in the Fund’s mandate.