Remarks by H.E. Mr. Margus Kolga, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Estonia at The fourth annual High-level Stakeholders Meeting of the Peacebuilding Fund 24 June 2014
I would like to thank you for convening today´s meeting and for the comprehensive briefings. It provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the progress of the Peacebuilding Fund since 2012, the integral role of the Fund in the UN’s broader peacebuilding and post-conflict efforts. I would also like to express my delegation’s appreciation to the Peacebuilding Support Office, ASG Judy Cheng-Hopkins and her team, for their dedicated work and efforts and for the Secretary-General Advisory Group of the Peacebuilding Fund.
It is an honour to announce that this year Estonian Government has made its first ever contribution to the Peacebuilding Fund, 75 000 euros (approximately 100 000 USD). We believe that the Fund fills a critical gap in the global peacebuilding architecture – by providing catalytic, fast, and flexible assistance. PBF can engage quickly in situations where global action is needed and windows of political opportunity open and react sooner than any other financing instruments.
Estonia welcomes the review of the PBF that was completed in April and provides valuable information about PBF´s work. We also welcome the new Business plan. The review shows that from the start, the PBF has evolved continuously and has found its strategic “niche” - the Four Priority Areas are relevant to peacebuilding needs and sufficiently broad to encompass a considerable range of activities. I would like to highlight three areas:
National ownership – we welcome PBF´s stronger emphasis on national ownership during the past several years and encourage PBF to continue its work on that area. For successful programming it is crucial to have clear and firm commitment of key government officials. We know this from our own experience as Estonia faced for 15-20 years ago a huge task of building up the society and redirecting it´s course. That meant vigorous institution building, adherence to good governance, strengthening of rule of law. Estonia luckily had many friends and advisers for that, but real results started to emerge when we understood that the reforms were for our own good, not for somebody´s else.
We appreciate PBF´s proactive approach to ensure that gender equality and women´s empowerment are fully integrated in its work, including the “Gender Promotion Initiative 2”. According to the review some results have already been achieved, but more work has to be done, including the need to promote projects which target women as peace builders not only as beneficiaries. We also encourage PBF to work closely with UN Women and other partners.
We encourage PBF to get involved in active networking and improve its strategic partnerships. This means cooperation within the UN Secretariat, with Funds and programs, with the International Financial Institutions and with regional organizations and other development partners.