The Peace-Building Commission (PBC) was intended to play a crucial role as an intergovernmental body that can engage the world community in supporting states in their peace building processes.
And while the PBC truly has brought more and sustained attention to the countries on their agenda, which could otherwise easily have fallen below the radar screen. Still: after 4 years of service here at the UN it strikes me that each time I ask colleagues what in their view is the core of peace-building, I receive different answers each time .
It is clear that the PBC is still struggling to define its role. We need to continuously ask ourselves how we can make sure that this intergovernmental body can bring added value, not only added numbers of documents and processes. We have a common responsibility in addressing this challenge.
One of the overarching recommendations from the 2010 review was to enhance the interaction between the Commission and the countries concerned, in order to ensure genuine impact in the field. The way we see it, the country specific configurations could work primarily as a support group for the Special Representatives of the Secretary General and the UN Country Teams and refrain from becoming an additional administrative layer.
The 2010 review also stressed the need for better cooperation between PBC and other actors, including the Security Council. There have been some progress, but we need to further accelerate this work. We would also like to highlight the common meeting of the organizational committee of the PBC and the Executive Board of UN Women in which one of the conclusions was to initiate country specific discussions on the progress and challenges of integrating women into peace building.
We value all the work on resource mobilization that has been done, in particular in the country specific configurations. Norway will continue to provide more than 1% of our gross national income in development aid. We do so also as a challenge and encouragement to new partners and emerging powers to increase their support. Let me stress that we are pleased with the broadening of the donor base in the Peace-Building Fund (PBF).
The PBF’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. Furthermore, considerable progress has been made in establishing the PBF as an effective and accountable funding mechanism. 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.
Norway made a new contribution to the PBF last year of USD 5 million for the year 2011. I am pleased to formally announce that we will provide the same amount of USD 5 million in 2012. The improved in management of the PBF has been important for us. But even if we want focus on results and strict measures against corruption, we are also very much aware of the need for PBF to take risks. The risk of failing to engage in areas in conflict far outweighs most of the risks of our, if we are honest about our efforts, collective but modest engagement.