Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Munir Akram made the following statement at the Joint Meeting of UN ECOSOC and PBC “Promoting durable peace and sustainable development in the context of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic”.
I would like to thank you and President of Economic and Social Council for convening this joint meeting. I’d also like to thank the Deputy Secretary General and other speakers for their remarks.
There is an obvious synergy between the Economic and Social Council and the Peacebuilding Commission. Peace and Development are intrinsically inter-linked. All development actions promoted by ECOSOC through international cooperation as mentioned in the charter, also reinforce peace and security. Yet, while considering this synergy, we need to also bear in mind the clear distinction between the mandates of the two forums.
Economic and Social Development covers all member states while peacebuilding applies to states coming out of conflict or those in danger of falling back into conflict. The concept in creating the Peacebuilding Commission was to reinforce peace once it was restored in states that were coming out of conflict.
The priorities of peacebuilding are to be determined by the government of the state concerned rather than by external bodies. There has been a recent effort to broaden the scope of peacebuilding to apply it to the prevention of conflict. This is a more opaque area of peacebuilding. Again, it is more clearly relevant when a country has already been in conflict or is in danger of falling back into conflict. A living example is the situation in Afghanistan.
It is also important in such situations to ensure that actions by other forums of the United Nations such as the Security Council, do not neutralize the effects of either peacebuilding or humanitarian activities through measures such as unilateral or international sanctions.
It is more difficult to apply prevention when there is no conflict where it is externally determined to make such interventions through the country offices, for example, of the United Nations. It should be up to the decisions of the government of the country concerned as to what sort of assistance they seek from the United Nations. It cannot be imposed, either through the organs of the UN or through country offices.
To prevent conflict, the best answer is to extend full support to the development, the sustainable development goals in particular. In this context, the UN has responded with very high rhetoric but the solidarity has failed. We have had vaccine inequity to which reference has been made; financial recovery has not been provided. With 17 trillion spent in the developed countries and less than a 100 billion in developing countries. We support the strengthening of the PBC and mobilization of additional resources. The best way of seeking assessed contributions would be to include such contributions as part of the Peacekeeping budgets, which are legislated through the Security Council.