UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called for adequate and sustainable funding for the UN Peacebuilding Fund, a trust fund for post-conflict peacebuilding established in 2006.

“Let me be candid: adequate, predictable and sustained financing for peacebuilding remains a critical challenge,” Guterres told an informal meeting of the General Assembly and the Security Council on his report on the review of the peacebuilding architecture.

While the Peacebuilding Fund is recognized by everyone as catalytic support for national peacebuilding priorities, it is still severely underfunded, he said.

In 2019, the fund approved investments of 191 million U.S. dollars in 34 countries, with 40 percent of all investments supporting gender equality and women’s empowerment. Contributions have almost doubled. However, the required “quantum leap” in support for the fund has not yet been achieved, as support for some peacebuilding efforts was postponed or denied in 2019, he said.

“If we were to respond fully to the present rate of requests, the fund would be completely depleted by early 2021,” he warned.
Guterres said he presented options to increase, restructure and better prioritize funding of the peacebuilding activities in 2018. Since then, there has been really no progress, he said.

He urged donors to commit to spending at least 20 percent of official development assistance on peacebuilding priorities in conflict-affected settings.

On the review of the peacebuilding architecture, he said the human and financial cost of focusing primarily on crisis response is unsustainable. “That is why I have been so intent on reorienting our work around prevention, on rebalancing our approach to peace and security, and on further connecting our work across the peace, sustainable development and human rights pillars.”

Multidimensional, integrated and whole-of-society responses are vital to meet the challenges of the 21st century and leave no one behind, he said.

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