Pakistan calls for strengthening UN body dedicated to helping countries afflicted by conflict

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UNITED NATIONS, May 21 (APP):Pakistan has underscored the need for keeping the U.N. Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) financially strong so as to enable the 31-member intergovernmental body meet the reconstruction needs of post-conflict countries.

“Over the years, PBC has contributed significantly to peace building efforts undertaken by countries emerging from conflict,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told the UN General Assembly during a review of the activities of the Commission, which was established in 2005.

Ambassador Lodhi said Pakistan, along with Japan and Norway, is championing innovative financing to augment existing financing streams for the Peacebuilding Fund.

The Commission is currently supporting peace building efforts in a number of countries, including Burundi; Central African Republic; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Liberia; and Sierra Leone.

As a founding member of the PBC, and a major troop contributor to UN peacekeeping, Pakistan fully appreciates the importance of peace to sustain the gains achieved by peacekeeping missions, she said, adding that peace building was the natural and indispensable successor of peacekeeping.

In this regard, the Pakistani envoy emphasized that the principle of national ownership must remain at the front and centre of PBC’s efforts.

Flexibility and adaptability in reflecting national priorities of countries is an indispensable ingredient for success, she said adding, while focusing on thematic issues is important, their relevance in particular situations should guide the Commission’s work.

The last thing needed is to mount gratuitous pressure on Governments already dealing with fragile situations, Ambassador Lodhi said.

Continued and stronger engagement with regional organizations is critical, especially in view of their knowledge of local conditions and the fact that countries emerging from conflict continue to face cross-border challenges.

“Peace is sustained when its foundations are based on inclusiveness”, the Pakistani envoy said, adding that nationally owned political processes must therefore be supported.

“We look forward to engaging constructively to see that the peace kept by blue helmets takes root, and is sustained by peace building efforts,” Ambassador Lodi said in conclusion.