KIGALI - Rwanda’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Eugène-Richard Gasana, was, on Wednesday, elected by acclamation as Chairperson of the Peace-building Commission (PBC), for the year 2011, according to Rwanda’s Permanent Mission to the UN.
Gasana was the only candidate, endorsed on Monday by the African Group. 2011 is Africa’s turn to hold the rotational PBC presidency.
On the occasion of his election, the Rwandan envoy expressed “deep gratitude” for being elected and vowed to meet or surpass the expectations of the body.
“My ambition as chair is to give a new impetus to the Peace-building Commission, building on the commendable progress achieved by my predecessors and on relevant recommendations proposed by the co-facilitators of the review of the UN peace-building architecture,” Gasana told a UN assembly.
He replaces Peter Wittig, Germany’s permanent representative at the UN.
The PBC was created in 2005 by the UN General Assembly and the Security Council.
Its mandate is to bring together relevant actors to marshal resources and to advise on and propose integrated strategies for post-conflict peace-building and recovery.
The Rwandan envoy told the gathering that after five years of existence, PBC is now entering a new phase, where it is called upon to be more efficient, more ambitious and more visible.
“My vision as Chair is to ensure that the Commission achieves a real impact for populations in a larger number of post-conflict countries, helping women and men rebuild their societies.”
To achieve this goal, he proposed four key priorities: effective national ownership; innovation in resource mobilization; encouraging broader engagement by more post-conflict countries; and coordinated regional and international partnerships on the ground.
The PBC Organizational Committee comprises 31 Member States selected under five categories: seven from Security Council, seven from the Economic and Social Council, five top providers to UN budgets, five UN troops contributing countries and seven from the UN General Assembly.
A Peace-building Fund (PBF), financed by voluntary contributions, was established, to fund projects from countries on the agenda of the PBC as well as countries in post-conflict reconstruction.
It is currently supporting more than 100 projects in 15 countries.
Gasana noted that regional organizations play an increasing role in resolving conflicts and peace-building, and gave an example of the African Union which, he said, has established, over the past five years, a Policy Framework for Post-conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD).
The PCRD serves as a framework for the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) to carry out its mission of peace building and post-conflict reconstruction.