German Statement at the Peacebuilding Commission Opening Session, 2 February 2023
Statement delivered by Ambassador Antje Leendertse, Vice-Chair of the PBC 2023.
Let me begin by congratulating the outgoing Chair, and new Vice-Chair Bangladesh, Muhammad Abdul Muhith, for your excellent work last year, up until the last minute and the successful completion of the Annual Report. Your leadership and you and your colleague’s tireless efforts have not only allowed for a record amount of very substantive meetings and engagements. They also allowed the Commission to take another important step forward and gain in relevance and recognition. We are very happy that you will continue as Vice-Chair this year and support the PBC with your invaluable experience and expertise.
Congratulations to the new Chair, Croatia, and you personally, Ivan, for taking up the reins! We are very happy that, after having actively contributed to creating and shaping the PBC in its early years, you’re back to steer its work and advance the Peacebuilding agenda. As a country that has gone through its own, decade-long national peacebuilding process, Croatia is very well placed to lead this Commission.
We are honored to support you as one of your Vice-Chairs and very much looking forward to working together closely with you, Bangladesh, and all members of the PBC, as well as the countries considered by the PBC this year. Together with all of you, we intend to build on last year’s achievements and continue to support peacebuilding at the national, regional and global level. Let’s continue to focus on the Commission’s major strength: its power to convene all relevant stakeholders.
On one of the Peacebuilding Commission’s key mandates, the support to national peacebuilding efforts, we are very encouraged by the increased willingness of countries to engage with the Commission. The Commission’s focus on inclusive national ownership has paid off and encouraged many countries affected by or emerging from conflict to seek the Commission’s advice and support to develop their own peacebuilding strategies and implement them. As main donor to the Peacebuilding Fund, Germany will strive to strengthen the linkages between the PBC and the PBF even further. The recent PBC meetings focusing on South Soudan’s peacebuilding efforts, that are actively supported by the PBF, are a good example of this linkage.
Another increasingly relevant field of work is the strengthening of regional cooperation and approaches to deal with common risks, threats and impediments to building peace. The adverse effects of climate change, food insecurity or transnational organized crime and violence are just a few examples. Bangladesh has successfully led the way last year, by developing existing regional meetings such as on the Sahel and the Great Lakes further and introducing new regional contexts such as Central Asia. We look forward to exploring prevention and peacebuilding opportunities at the regional level for the PBC to consider this year with all of you.
Recent discussions in this Commission, but also in the Security Council have shown us that there is very strong support for a strengthening of the advisory role of the PBC. Let’s work together to make the PBC’s written advice to the Security Council other fora even more targeted and relevant. In addition, more should be done to increase its bridging role and interaction with the Security Council, the General Assembly, ECOSOC and other central UN fora. The best way to strengthen the PBC’s advisory and bridging role is to focus on its main added value: its expertise in prevention and peacebuilding as well as relevant cross-cutting issues central to supporting and building peace, such as WPS, YPS or the respect for human rights.
Allow me to close by mentioning two issues that will accompany us throughout the year because they are closely connected to the work of the Peacebuilding Commission:
A lot of progress has been achieved last year on Peacebuilding financing, with the unanimous adoption of UNGA resolution 76/305 drafted under the Kenia and Sweden’s inspired facilitation and the emerging compromise in the 5th Committee on the introduction of assessed contributions. As strong advocates of peacebuilding it is now our common task to help reach an agreement and to continue to explore additional means to ensuring adequate, predictable and sustained financing.
There is a broad consensus that conflict prevention, peacebuilding and the PBC itself should play a prominent role in the Secretary General’s New Agenda for Peace. We’re encouraged by the strong support and ownership for the Agenda expressed by PBC members last week and look forward to continuing the discussion in the coming months.
We are looking forward to working on all these important priorities and engaging with all of you!