UNITED NATIONS - Pakistan has called for strengthening the UN Peacebuilding Commission financially as part of efforts to boost the 31-member body's peace efforts in countries emerging from conflict. "Strengthened peacebuilding is in the interest of us all," Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told UN Security Council in its open debate on ‘Post-Conflict Peacebuilding: review of the peacebuilding architecture’.

"Failure to prioritise (peacebuilding) leads to tragic cycles of relapse into turmoil and conflict," the Pakistani envoy said. "Addressing the root causes of conflict is extremely important to avoid its recurrence, but this requires long-term committment and adequate and predictable financing."

The Peacebuilding Commission, an intergovernmental body established in 2005, is tasked with making recommendations on post-conflict recovery, reconstruction and development. Maleeha Lodhi recalled that Pakistan had first proposed in 2004 the idea of an ad hoc arrangement to draw different United Nations bodies together in addressing complex crisis. Peacebuilding, she said, works best as an integral part of conflict prevention, to peacekeeping, to post-conflict reconstruction.

Unfortunately, the Pakistani envoy pointed out that the international community’s focus remained on the conflict phase alone, to the detriment of the two other phases.

"The support of the international community wanes with the departure of TV crews in the aftermath of conflict, which leaves the country with weak state institutions, a power vacuum, weak economy and lack of financial resources – the confluence of which is a recipe for a descent into chaos."

The Peacebuilding Commission had not been able to live up to its promise, she said, adding,that the international community should prioritise prevention, take a holistic approach to sustaining peace, attach due importance to domestic resource mobilisation while working on enhanced international support, encourage greater collaboration between the United Nations and the World Bank Group, as well as other regional and international partners, and ensure inclusive national ownership.

The Peacebuilding Commission should present the Security Council with concise, realistic and context-specific recommendations and benchmarks, she said. “Countries emerging from conflict face imposing challenges as they seek to overcome the legacy of war and find a durable path to peace and security," the Pakistani envoy said. What was needed was revitalisation of the peacebuilding mechanism to better assist States and societies to recover from conflict and avoid a calamitous return to violence, she added.