Members of the Organizational Committee,
I have the honor to speak on behalf of the European Union.
First, I would like to pay tribute to Ambassador Heraldo Muñoz, and to commend his valuable contribution to the overall peacebuilding agenda during the last months.
During this period, as Chair of the Organizational Committee, and through a constant and personal dedication, important efforts have been made to improve the image of the PBC, enhance its role and streamline its different activities. The participation of the PBC in different high level events (financial and food crisis), its recent political visit to the African Union Headquarters (in Addis-Ababa) and the regular cross-fertilization between the OC and the CSMs, are illustrative, encouraging examples.
Therefore, we would like to extend our profound appreciation for these endeavours, and wish you, Mr Heraldo Muñoz, our best wishes for the future.
Second, we would like to congratulate you, H. E. Dr. Peter Wittig, for your election as the new Chairperson of the Peacebuilding Commission, as well as the two Vice-presidents, Ambassadors Martin Palous (Czech Republic) and Jean-Francis Régis Zinsou (Benin). We wish you all great success with these new responsibilities.
Finally, allow me to express our satisfaction for the renewal of the Geographical Chair mandates: Ambassadors Grauls, Maurer, McNee and Viotti. We are confident that you will continue your exceptional work in collaborating with national authorities, and with relevant actors, for the implementation of effective and integrated strategies aiming to bring long-lasting peace and stability.
The European Union acknowledges the particularly challenging situations faced by the four countries on the current PBC’s agenda from a political, security and developmental point of view.
Supporting key electoral (both in Burundi and Central African Republic) and political processes, including the national reconciliation (Sierra Leone), providing assistance for sensitive SSR/DDR programmes (Guinea Bissau), promoting ambitious public administration and rule of law reforms, multiplying efforts to tackle widespread unemployment and fostering regional integration are some of the key areas which should be prioritized by the PBC.
Since its establishment in 2006, the PBC has been promoting a coherent and integrated approach to addressing the challenges posed by post-conflict peace-building situations.
In order to expand on the significant work accomplished so far, determined efforts must be pursued to ensure the entire fulfillment of the PBC’s mandate of marshalling resources, advising and assisting in implementation of integrated strategies, and keeping the attention of the international community in fragile geographical areas.
Despite the immense challenges ahead, the European Union is confident that the PBC can bring real added value to assist post-conflict countries achieve lasting peace and security, improved economic development and the preservation of human rights. We look forward to supporting the PBC in delivering on its mandate and implementing a robust and integrated approach to peacebuilding this year.
On behalf of the European Union, we particularly welcome the official launching of the 2010 PBC review as an opportunity to reinvigorate the vision behind the PBC, and to improve its fundamental role in supporting societies recover from protracted conflict through more flexible, visible, coordinated and efficient mechanisms. Hence, the review should not only serve to renew our overall commitment to the peacebuilding cause, but also to ensure, that the PBC is adequately equipped to perform its ambitious mandate, enhance its focus on peacebuilding efforts and improve its leverage and advocacy role.
In this perspective, you can trust that the European Union will extend full cooperation and firm support to the three facilitators that have recently been nominated for carrying out the review process.
In conclusion, please allow me to congratulate again for your nomination and to covey our best wishes for success.
Thank you for your attention.