Remarks at the Peacebuilding Commission Ministerial-Level Meeting

Anne Witkowsky
Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and StabilizationOperations
New York, New York
September 22, 2023


The United States would like to thank Croatian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, His Excellency Mr. Radman, for convening today’s Ministerial meeting.

We would also like to thank Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo,Vice President of the World Bank Group Ms. Kwakwa, and ICG CEO Ms. Comfort Ero for their presentations.

Your presence here today underscores the importance of today’s discussion.

The United States welcomes the inclusion of the World Bank Group Vice President in today’s discussion, as coherence between UN peacebuilding efforts and the work of International Financial Institutions remains critical.

The United States is committed to strengthening the multilateral tools and international institutions that the world needs to get ahead of, and respond to, shared challenges and threats to stability.

In that regard, the Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund play important roles in helping to inform and carry out UN and Member State responses to conflict prevention.

The United States has served as a proud member of the Peacebuilding Commission since its inception. Over the years, we have seen the transformational impact that UN peacebuilding can play in supporting post-conflict environments in several ways.

First, the Commission provides an important space that conflict-affected countries around the world can utilize to share their peacebuilding experiences or seek support from international partners.

Second, UN peacebuilding efforts improve coordination among partner and donor countries on the ground in multilateral operations.

Third, UN peacebuilding initiatives that include local stakeholder input and buy-in help legitimize those efforts and inform strategic peacebuilding priorities.

Fourth, UN peacebuilding’s increased attention to institution-building, transitional justice and the rule of law, electoral processes, displacement, climate change, and socioeconomic development helps ensure that peacebuilding efforts are holistic in nature.

Despite all of these positive developments, however, much work remains for UN Peacebuilding to fully deliver on the expectations of the international community. So, how do we get there?

We must continue to build on the successive ‘peacebuilding architecture review’ processes to strengthen the Peacebuilding Commission’s advisory, bridging, and convening roles for greater impact, fostering more consistent dialogue with regional organizations and financial institutions.

Yesterday’s Ministerial-level meeting on the Summit of the Future was an important step in realizing many of the recommendations of the New Agenda for Peace.

The New Agenda crucially recommends an expanded role of the Peacebuilding Commission in cross-cutting areas, all of which the United States supports, including on: human rights; the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, and Youth, Peace and Security agendas; institution building; transitional justice and rule of law; electoral processes; displacement; climate change; socioeconomic development; and, partnerships for peacebuilding.

On Women, Peace, and Security, when women are at the table and able to participate fully, equally, and meaningfully, nations are much more likely to achieve lasting and inclusive peace agreements and outcomes for all of society.

Separately, the Peacebuilding Commission is ideally placed to raise the international community’s awareness on regional efforts, integrate local communities’ expertise into a broader international perspective, as well as better understand the cross-border dimension of conflicts.

We therefore reiterate our calls for a more ambitious and structured collaboration between the Commission and the main bodies of the
UN, including the Security Council, General Assembly and Economic and Social Commission.

Last, I am pleased to highlight the United States’ implementation of our Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability.

This Strategy supports conflict prevention and peacebuilding, complements the work of the Peacebuilding Commission and the New Agenda for Peace in addressing root causes of conflict, breaks the costly cycle of instability, and promotes peaceful, resilient nations that become strong economic and security partners.

We look forward to furthering our partnerships with you.

Thank you.