Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs A Gitesh Sarma said in his address to the high-level meeting on peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace at the UN General Assembly yesterday.
Highlighting that funds available for UN’s peacebuilding efforts are barely one per cent of the annual peacekeeping budget, India has told a high-level meeting here that UN’s peace building efforts are “struggling” due to inadequate funding, a result of genuine political will. “The concept of peacebuilding, that expanded the focus to post conflict situations and led to the establishment of UN’s peacebuilding architecture around a decade ago, is struggling due to lack of adequate funding that betrays a lack of genuine political will,” Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs A Gitesh Sarma said in his address to the high-level meeting on peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace at the UN General Assembly yesterday.
Sarma said while peacekeeping, the flagship activity of the UN, has been largely successful in containing inter-state conflict situations, its limitations in tackling chronic intra-state armed conflict situations, notwithstanding large-scale deployment of troops and other resources, are obvious. He pointed out that the funds available for UN peacebuilding efforts are not even 1 per cent of the annual budget for UN peacekeeping. In this context, India welcomed the specific financing options presented by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his report. These need to be examined seriously to address the current levels of funding that remain very inadequate, Sarma said.
“Concrete action on this will require a much greater commitment to make a much higher and longer term political engagement and investment, including financial contribution in activities that help build and sustain peace,” he said. He also stressed on the importance of empowerment of women and youth and their participation in conflict resolution, peacebuilding and governance for sustaining peace. “An increased institutionalised involvement of women in peacekeeping, conflict prevention and mediation and political processes is important. This requires capacity and institution building at the ground level,” he said.
Sarma gave the example of the “multi-faceted professionalism” of the first ever all-women Formed Police Unit (FPU) from India at the UN peacekeeping Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), which served as a role model in inspiring Liberian women to increase their contribution has been well recognized. He empathised that the concept of sustaining peace requires the engagement of all the pillars of the United Nations. Appreciating the focus of the Secretary-General to strengthen operational and policy coherence and improved capacity across the UN system, Sarma expressed hope that the ongoing deliberations on the comprehensive reform proposals put forward by the Secretary General will help the system deliver better on the peacebuilding and sustaining peace agenda.