India has voiced concern over the insufficient political commitment by nations for "substantive" support to UN peacebuilding efforts, saying marginal funding severely limits the ability of the world body's intergovernmental agency focussed on peace efforts in conflict affected countries. "... There is little political commitment for commensurate action and substantive support to peacebuilding efforts.
The funding available for such efforts remains marginal, severely limiting the ability of the Peacebuilding Commission," India's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Tanmaya Lal said here. Participating in a General Assembly debate on the Peacebuilding Commission and Peacebuilding fund yesterday, Lal said there is no agreement on increasing funding for the Commission to even a one per cent level of that for peacekeeping operations annually. "In the absence of funds, despite an understanding of the task at hand, there is little hope of it being achieved," he said, adding that there are tendencies to re-allocate the already grossly inadequate international development cooperation funds to humanitarian and other emergency assistance. This further reduces the overall development funding and is not helping the longer term development efforts required for peacebuilding. He noted that according to the Report of the Secretary General on the issue, the Peacebuilding Fund's financial health remains in question. The total amount of USD 71 million allocated during 2016 for 17 countries, including the six countries where the Peacebuilding Commission is active, is grossly inadequate for the scale of the tasks at hand. Despite landmark resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council, the ministerial level pledging conference in September last year could only elicit USD 152 million, half of the USD 300 million goal, which was projected as the minimum amount needed to sustain operations for three years. India has contributed USD five million to the fund, according to the fund's website. Stressing on the changing nature of conflict, Lal said conflicts are increasingly intra-state and also involve non- state actors including international terror networks. "In an interdependent world, conflicts in any part of the world have much wider implications through such terror networks or large movements of refugees. We, therefore, have a collective interest in building and sustaining peace," he said. It is also essential for the peacebuilding efforts to align themselves with national priorities and participation, which would ensure sustainable gains and ownership. The changing environment underscores the importance of long-term commitment and sustained investment, including a vastly expanded funding, that are required for the all round development and inclusive political dialogue for building and sustaining peace, he added. "The complexity of peacebuilding activities points to the need for greater coherence not only between various UN organs, but also related agencies and special and regional bodies," he said, adding that the Commission should also continue to discuss ways to build synergies with the fund.
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