By Jane Kariuki
New York, USA, September 21, 2016, (MFA Press) – Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb. Amina Mohamed has called on UN member states to pay as much attention to conflict prevention mechanisms as they do to peacekeeping.
Speaking Wednesday during the Pledging Conference in support of the UN Peace-building Fund (PBF) in New York, Amb. Amina Mohamed said the PBF demonstrated its capacity in sustaining peace at short notice as exemplified in Burundi, Sri Lanka and Liberia.
“I urge UN member states and the UN Security Council to invest as much in conflict prevention mechanisms as in peace keeping, particularly in Africa where governance institutions are relatively weak,” said the CS.
She said despite its importance, PBF perennially faces a desperate funding shortfall and appealed to member states to contribute to the Fund to advance the agenda of conflict prevention.
“No voice is small nor any penny little in sustaining peace. We must all invest and co-own the agenda of sustaining peace,” the CS added.
The Peace-building Fund was set up by UN member states in 2006 to facilitate timely response to conflicts. It finances activities aimed at preventing the outbreak, escalation and recurrence of conflicts.
The CS stressed on the importance of investing in early warning systems instead of reacting to outbreaks adding that placing more emphasis on conflict prevention means recognising the ‘primacy of politics’ in the specific settlement of disputes.
Amb. Mohamed hailed the UN General Assembly and UN Security Council for adopting, in April 2016, resolutions that introduced the principle of ‘sustaining peace’ which stresses the need for more investment in governance, security and development in the continuum of conflict prevention, management and resolution.
“In effect, the resolutions emphasized that peace can only be sustained through adequately financed initiatives in areas as diverse as strengthening the rule of law and security sector reforms, electoral reforms, human rights, economic and financial sector transformation, and promotion of dialogue and reconciliation,” said the CS.
As the chair of PBC, the CS said Kenya was working with UN Member States to ensure the PBC works in an effective manner in support of the UN peace-building efforts.
Citing the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the CS said the the lack of predictable, adequate and sustainable funding risk undermining peacebuilding in various parts of the world.
The conference, which was co-hosted by Kenya, UK, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Somalia, Sri Lanka & Sweden was also attended by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.