ISLAMABAD: By,ABID CHAUDHRY
Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi has urged the United Nations to address the root causes of conflicts including injustice, inequality and the suppression of the right of self-determination of peoples under foreign occupation, in order to build and sustain global peace. The Foreign Minister made these remarks during the virtual High-Level Replenishment Conference of the UN Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) convened by Secretary General Antonio Guterres on 26 January 2021. PBF is the United Nations’ financial instrument of first resort to sustain peace in countries at risk or affected by violent conflict.
In his video statement, the Foreign Minister underscored Pakistan’s longstanding commitment to UN’s endeavors for peacekeeping and peacebuilding, recalling that over the last 60 years Pakistani troops and police had represented the UN in 46 peacekeeping missions across 4 continents of the world. He also announced a financial pledge as part of Pakistan’s contribution to PBF.
The Foreign Minister stressed that ‘national ownership’ must remain the core principle of peacebuilding and should determine all investment decisions of the PBF. He noted that a major handicap for the developing countries in mobilizing international investment was their inability to prepare commercially viable development projects. To address this issue, he recommended that the resources of the PBF be utilized to support these countries in bringing development projects to a bankable feasibility status. He further suggested that investment for such projects could be sought from other public and private sources, including Multilateral Development Banks as well as Private Equity and Sovereign Wealth Funds.
The High-Level Replenishment Conference took into account the UN Secretary General’s call for a ‘concrete increase’ in financial commitments to support conflict prevention and peacebuilding around the world.