Report of the Peacebuilding Commission
Let me join others in thanking you for giving us the opportunity to participate in the meeting of the General Assembly devoted to the important work of the Peacebuilding Commission and its first annual report. Let me also use this opportunity to pay tribute to the former Chairman of the Peacebuilding Commission, my colleague from Angola, Gaspar Martins, and the two colleagues from Norway and the Netherlands for their steering of the country specific work on Burundi and Sierra Leone as well as my colleague from El Salvador for chairing the work of the working group on lessons learned. The new Chairman, Ambassador, Yukio Takasu, can be assured of our full support and cooperation.
From the outset Iceland has been a strong supporter of the Peacebuilding Commission. We regard the Commission as a key achievement of the UN reform process. The Peacebuilding Commission together with the Peacebuilding Support Office and the Peacebuilding Fund have an important role to play in bridging the gap between conflict and development, focusing on activities in the field.
The Government of Iceland has contributed one million dollars to the Peacebuilding Fund and is planning further contributions. We urge Member States to contribute to the fund. We are pleased to note that more than 230 million dollars have already been pledged or contributed to it.
After one year of operations it is time to take stock of where we are and offer guidance for our future work. In this context, we warmly welcome the first annual report of the Peacebuilding Commission, contained in document (A/62/137). This comprehensive and important report clearly indicates that considerable progress has been made towards establishing the working methods of the Commission. We applaud the work of the Organizational Committee of the Commission on organizational and procedural issues. Here I would like to mention the adoption of the provisisonal rules of procedure and the concept paper setting up the framework for the development of integrated peacebuilding strategies.
The Peacebuilding Commission has identified critical priority areas for peace and consolidation for Burundi and Sierra Leone. The development of a integrated peacebuilding strategy (IPBS) in Burundi is an important step in this regard. Iceland welcomes that an IPBS for Sierra Leone has been developed as well. Now, the recommendations of the Commission must be implemented in the countries concerned and within the institutional framework of the United Nations.
The Peacebuilding Commission must now build upon this work and further develop its working methods. The underpinnings are already in place. The focus should remain on practical, effective cooperation and avoiding duplication of efforts.
The working relationships between the Peacebuilding Commission, the Security Council, the General Assembly and ECOSOC should be strengthened through dialogue on a regular basis. Regular meetings between the Peacebuilding Commission Chairs and the presidents of these bodies would be one possibility. We also need to consider increased cooperation between the Peacebuilding Commission and regional and sub-regional organizations in order to promote peacebuilding in the countries under consideration.
We are pleased that the Peacebuilding Commission has recognized the link between poverty, weak state capacity and conflict and has ensured that the integrated peacebuilding strategies include job creation, especially for youth, capacity development and the delivery of basic social services as priorities. Only by making substantial progress in these areas can the Peacebuilding Commission help to ensure the sustainability of national peacebuilding efforts.
Iceland remains firmly committed to the work of the Peacebuilding Commission. The success of this body is absolutely dependent on the political will of the countries concerned and the Member States. The main challenge now facing the Peacebuilding Commission is to maximize its impact on the ground. We all have a duty to ensure that the Peacebuilding Commission becomes an effective tool that can contribute in a significant manner to the establishment of peace, stability and development in post-conflict countries. Iceland is committed to doing its share.