Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bangladeshi to lead UN peacebuilding commission

Bangladesh’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Dr AK Abdul Momen, will lead the UN Peacebuilding Commission for the next one year.

The prestigious election, which is first for the country, came on Monday.

Upon his election, the new chairman pledged that he would pursue “the path of inclusion” throughout 2012 to enhance the six-year-old body’s ability to mobilise resources and align key actors in assisting the populations of countries emerging from conflict.

“The commission is heading forward, but we have yet to reach our destination,” a press statement posted on the website of the UN Peacebuilding Commission quotes Momen as saying. 

He acknowledged that while the multi-stakeholder body had charted solid successes since its establishment in 2005, countless post-conflict societies were still bogged down by social, economic and governance challenges. 

Indeed, since no fragile or conflict-affected country had achieved a single Millennium Development Goal, it was clear that much remained to be done, he added.

While aware that such situations could not be reversed overnight, Momen said under his chairmanship, the commission would work to bolster its “field-centric” approach to mobilising resources, while encouraging flexible and adaptable instruments of post-conflict engagement. 

Grounded in national ownership, local capacity-building and the gender dimension, the commission would target employment generation, infrastructure development and the management of natural resources – sectors considered key to speeding the delivery of peace dividends.

Momen said he would also work throughout the year to bring global and regional stakeholders together for a more coherent approach to achieving the objective of sustainable peacebuilding. 

He would “narrow gaps” and promote better coordinated responses with the aim of improving the way in which the commission did business so that it could take the global peacebuilding agenda forward.

Momen’s address set the stage for the opening of the commission’s sixth session, during which its Organizational Committee also elected Ranko Vilović ( Croatia) as Vice-Chair. Looking ahead to 2013, the commission also decided that its next chairperson would be elected from among the Group of Eastern European States. 

The remaining vice-chair, as well as the heads of the commission’s country-specific configurations, would be elected at a later date.

Adopting its 2011 report, the commission also approved a “road map of actions for 2012”, proposed by its previous chairman.