India welcomes UN Peacebuilding Commission work in Sri Lanka

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United Nations, May 25 (IANS) India has welcomed the work of the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) in Sri Lanka and elsewhere.

“We welcome the efforts undertaken by the Peacebuilding Commission in a number of activities to support countries and regions with their peacebuilding priorities and to enhance coherence across the UN system,” Sandeep Kumar Bayyapu, a First Secretary in India’s UN Mission, told the General Assembly on Thursday.

He said the PBC efforts in Sri Lanka and in other places that had been scarred by conflicts were “notable”.

However, he said the peacebuilding efforts “continues to struggle due to lack of adequate funding that betrays a lack of genuine political will.

“While the high donor contributions to the Fund in 2017 were a clear sign of confidence in UN peacebuilding activities, the funds available for peacebuilding efforts are not even 1 percent of the annual budget for UN Peacekeeping,” he added.

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According to the UN’s Multi-Party Trust Fund Office, the total contributions increased from $57.8 million in 2016 to $92.4 million last year.

India has so far contributed $5.5 million to the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF), $500,000 of it last year, the office reported.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterrs said in a report earlier this year that the Sri Lankan peacebuilding priority plan was centered on five projects dealing with transitional justice, reconciliation, durable solutions for displaced populations and encouragement of the role of youth and women in peacebuilding.

The PBF supports the Sri Lankan Office of Missing Persons and a national institution on truth-seeking, among others, according to his report.

(Arul Louis can be reached at [email protected])

–IANS

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