Pakistan urges ‘quantum leap’ in financing for peacebuilding, as conflicts proliferate

Pakistan values peacebuilding investments for the promotion of durable peace, stability in conflict affected countries

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UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has called for a “quantum leap” in financing for peacebuilding, saying it was critical for promoting peace and stability in a world of proliferating conflicts.

“Investing in peace is a moral imperative,” Ambassador Munir Akram told a high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly spotlighting financing for peacebuilding on Wednesday.

Pakistan, he said, has always been steadfast in extending financial and political support to UN’s Peacebuilding Fund. (PBF). “As a longstanding troop contributing country to UN peacekeeping, Pakistan understands the critical value of peacebuilding investments for the promotion of durable peace and stability in conflict affected countries.”

The boost in peace investment could be achieved through a two-pronged strategy: Enhancing the current funding streams by widening the donor-base for peacebuilding activities, and through new partnerships and developing innovative instruments to finance peacebuilding projects.

Ambassador Akram underscored the need for increasing voluntary contributions for programmatic funding in peacekeeping budgets, saying that such a course could also develop synergies with the Peacebuilding Fund.

As for new financing instruments, he said, the UN should continue to promote innovative partnerships with International Financial Institutions (IFIs), which are repositories of member states’ funds.

“The PBF and IFIs could consider establishing an intermediary investment vehicle to attract private investments, including those from the conflict-affected countries, the Pakistani envoy said.

“Obviously, we will have to ensure that the activities so funded are connected with the specific priorities set out by the host governments and Peacebuilding Commission,” Ambassador Akram said, adding that funds could also be used to identify and prepare viable infrastructure projects in developing countries. Pakistan, he said, also lauded PBF’s growing focus on conflict prevention.

“Currently,” he said, “We are facing an increasing number of conflicts around the world. To check this trend, we must develop ‘complementarities’ between our local, regional and international peacebuilding efforts as well as between our development and humanitarian activities in conflict sensitive countries.” In conclusion Ambassador Akram said, “The success of the prevention agenda will depend not only on adequate financing but also on the coherence of our peacebuilding commitments.” Earlier to this, Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the developing countries’ Group of 77 and China, has voiced concern over the increasing debt vulnerabilities of developing countries, and called for strengthening the international financial institutions for long-term debt sustainability.

Speaking in the UN Financing for Development Forum on Tuesday, Ambassador Munir Akram said the developing countries were facing a triple challenge — Covid-19, environmental and economic — exacerbating the existing inequalities within and between countries.

“It is feared that owing to the extreme economic hardship, unsustainable debt burden, high borrowing cost, rising inflation, illicit financial flows, and difficulties in accessing concessional finance, many developing countries would not be able to recover soon from the crisis and achieve the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals),” he said.

Pakistan is the current chairman of G-77 and China, which now has 134 members and is the United Nations’ biggest intergovernmental group of emerging countries.

Road to recovery from Covid-19 Pandemic and achievement of the 2030 development agenda would first of all need ensuring equitable access to safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines at affordable prices, the G-77 chairman said.

The Group, he said, also calls for the elimination of safe havens that create incentives for the transfer of stolen assets and illicit financial flows, and emphasizes the return of stolen assets to the countries of origin.

The Group reiterates its call for the upgrade of the Committee of Experts in Tax Matters to a UN intergovernmental body, as there is still no single global forum for tax cooperation at the intergovernmental level.

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