Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera said it was disheartening that the UN Peacebuilding Fund which provided the capacity for prevention and sustaining peace was hampered by decreasing contributions and urged Member States to increase their contributions to the Fund.
Minister Samaraweera speaking at the Pledging Conference for the Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund-New York said that Sri Lanka had been working closely with the Peacebuilding Support Office since the Presidential Elections in January 2015 and that prioritized reconciliation and development as twin agendas to be pursued in guiding Sri Lanka towards durable peace and prosperity through the strengthening of good governance, democracy, human rights, justice, rule of law, and dignity for all.
He said Sri Lanka was declared by the Secretary-General as a country eligible to receive support from the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund last year and that the Fund had already helped Sri Lanka resettle 7,000 people in land released recently.
“As a nation emerging from almost three-decades of conflict, that now seeks to rebuild, reconcile and ensure non-recurrence of conflict, we realise the value of this Fund for so many nations like mine that are in need of assistance. The political transition in Sri Lanka in January last year brought about crucial peacebuilding opportunities for us. Our aim is to promote national reconciliation, giving priority to generating trust and confidence-building measures among our people,” he said.
“The Fund helps us carry out wide ranging consultations with all stakeholders in our country regarding reconciliation mechanisms to be established in our country. This, as you would understand, is a vital component of the reconciliation process that also helps to build trust and confidence.
The Fund provides us quick access to invaluable technical expertise that we lack, and helps us carry out projects aimed at reconciliation through the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation,” he added.
Mr. Samaraweera said the UN Peacebuilding Fund must be adequately financed to support projects undertaken by it across the globe.
“As the two resolutions on the 2015 Review of the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council in April this year very rightly identified, adequate, predictable and sustained financing for the UN peacebuilding efforts is of paramount importance,” he said.