UN peacebuilding body ready for expanded role

The United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) tasked with marshalling resources to support recovery and development efforts in countries emerging from conflict could be put to greater use by the world body, the Security Council was told in a briefing.

In the wake of the 2005 World Summit, the UN set up the intergovernmental Commission to help struggling States avoid slipping back into war and chaos by providing strategic advice and harnessing expertise and finance from around the world to aid with recovery projects.
The Commission currently has four countries Burundi, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau and Central African Republic (CAR) on its agenda.
“While we can certainly identify initial progress in linking up the advisory role of the PBC with UN and non-UN operational entities, the PBC remains, in my view, underutilized,” Ambassador Heraldo Muñoz of Chile, who chairs the Commission, told the Security Council.
Muñoz noted that three years after the PBC was established, its agenda is expanding in both scope and depth. “Peacebuilding is an area that may contribute to further define the image of the Organization in the coming years.”
He highlighted the PBC’s unique position providing the link between security, the rule of law and rebuilding activities to lay “the foundation for sustainable peace and development.”
At the same, the PBC engages multiple actors in a range of humanitarian, security and development activities to ensure a coherent and integrated response to creating the conditions for peace in a country, he added.
“Likewise, the principles of national ownership and inclusiveness have been pivotal in the work of the Commission during these years,” said Muñoz.
“A potential added value of the PBC at the country level is to leverage its weight in order to advance mutual accountability between the national actors in the concerned country and its international and regional partners.”
In particular, Muñoz said the PBC could promote the seamless transition from humanitarian to early recovery assistance as well as synergy between peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts, among other activities.
“The envisaged 2010 review of the Commission’s founding resolutions will provide a prime opportunity to further build on the experiences it has gained, define its potential role in support of an expanding UN peacebuilding agenda and enhance its support to countries emerging from conflict.”