Pakistan pledges contribution of $25,000 for UNSG’s peacebuilding fund

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced a token contribution of 25,000 dollars to the Secretary General’s Peacebuilding Fund.

The foreign minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to multilateral cooperation for preserving peace, preventing conflict and realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“The pledge underscores Pakistan’s longstanding political, human and financial commitment to UN’s endeavors in peacekeeping and peace-building,” Qureshi said while speaking in a virtual High-Level Replenishment Conference for UN Secretary General’s Peace-building Fund.

The foreign minister said like most developing countries, Pakistan has been severely affected by COVID-19 pandemic, stretching our healthcare systems, contracting our economy and constricting our fiscal space.

“Yet despite our ongoing financial difficulties, I am pleased to announce a token contribution of 25,000 dollars to the Secretary General’s Peace-building Fund,” he added.

The foreign minister said as a major troop and police contributing country, Pakistan took pride in its rich UN peacekeeping history. “Over the last 60 years, our peacekeepers have represented the blue flag in 46 UN Missions across 4 continents of the world,” he added.

He welcomed the UN Secretary General’s Peace-building Fund Strategy 2020-2024 which focused on the imperative of conflict prevention. “I hope the strategy will galvanize actions to address the root causes of conflicts: which arise from injustices and inequality as well, as the suppression of the fundamental rights of peoples especially the right of self-determination of peoples under foreign occupation, colonial oppression and alien domination,” he added.

He further said that together with a ‘quantum leap’ in support for the Fund, an effective strategy was required to optimize its scope and impact.

While the fund may continue financing projects directly in conflict-prone countries, its resources could also be utilised to prepare viable projects for seeking investment from other sources, including multilateral Development Banks as well as Private Equity and Sovereign Wealth Funds, he added.

The foreign minister said that a major handicap of developing countries in mobilizing international investment was their inability to prepare commercially viable projects. “Let us leverage the peacebuilding fund to support these countries in bringing projects to a bankable feasibility status,” he added.

The foreign minister, however emphasized that ‘national ownership’ must remain the core principle of peace-building and determine all PBF investment decisions. “Durable peace within nations cannot be externally imposed,” he maintained.

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