By Shadrack Nyakoe
KEPSA CEO, Carole Kariuki participated in the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Financing for Peacebuilding. The high-level meeting of the General Assembly serves as a forum for Member States to advance possible solutions and make commitments to address the identified financing gap for prevention and peacebuilding in the context of fast-changing, protracted and complex violent conflicts. Ms. Kariuki is present as the private sector speaker.
While making the opening statement, Abdulla Shahid President of the General Assembly, said that violence and insecurities devastate development gains, strangles economic growth, prevents children from going to school, restricts health and social services and seriously impairs progress on gender equality.
“Today we are confronted with the changing nature of conflict involving complex cross border issues, climate change and the COVID 19 pandemic. Peacebuilding must be seen as a tool to help address these challenges. And it can and should be woven into our responses.” He said.
On his part H.E Volker Türk Under Secretary General for Policy in the Executive office of the Secretary General, said that achieving and sustaining peace is the foundational goal of the United Nations, and this has become more important, but also more complex, as conflicts proliferate and become more intertwined.
“As was recognized in the landmark 2015 resolutions on the peacebuilding architecture, our unique approach seeks to build a foundation for peaceful societies through addressing root causes and drivers of conflict.” Ambassador Barbara Woodward of UK and President of SC, insisted that the purpose of the meeting was to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to peace. “The prevention of violent conflict, peacebuilding and sustaining peace are central to these objectives and to our work. But as the Security Council and the General Assembly, effective peacebuilding must involve the entire UN system.” She added.
While making his remarks, H.E Ambassador Collen Kelapile PR of Botswana and President of ECOSOC, made reference to the seventh annual ECOSOC forum on Financing for Development, which reviews the implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and other Financing for Development Outcomes to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Millions have been newly thrown into poverty as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic. We are seeing the impacts of the war in Ukraine, inflation, slowing growth, supply chain and production disruptions, and rising food insecurity are further weakening the prospects for recovery in these many countries. The deepening of the climate crisis is not matched by similarly ambitious actions. We need to hold ourselves accountable to the promises made in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda in 2015, that we will step up our efforts to assist countries in accessing financing for peacebuilding and development.” He remarked.
Ambassador Rahab Fatima PR of Bangladesh and Chairperson of PBC, making her remarks on behalf of the peacebuilding commission said that the commission is committed to offering its platform for the promotion of south-south and triangular cooperation in support of peacebuilding and sustaining peace. And this could include identifying creative peacebuilding, financing, and non-financial contributions, such as capacity building and technical cooperation.
Also speaking in the meeting, Ms. Soukeyna Kane Director of the Fragility, Conflict and Violence Group at the World Bank, commented on the war in Ukraine, “The situation in Ukraine is devastating. But as we continue to respond to the Ukraine crisis, we must not forget all the other hotspots around the world that need our urgent attention. The World Bank is strongly committed to the Fragility, Conflict and Violence (FCV) agenda since its launch in 2020 The World Bank Group FCV strategy has guided us in finding new and innovative approaches to financing, operations and analytics.”
While commenting on the challenges facing peacebuilding in the world. Mr. Frank Bosquet Deputy Director of IMF, said that the only way to address them is through greater alignment between all actors in the international community.
KEPSA CEO, Ms. Carole Kariuki reiterated that the Private sector operates in an ecosystem, one that has to enjoy peace and stability; with the understanding that conflict is bad for investment.
“The local private sector contributes to peacebuilding through economic influence and political contacts; its financial resources; information; its skilled workforce (relatively skilled in peace and mediation); its capacity to drive balanced development; and its connections at all levels of society.” She said.
Using KEPSA as a case study, Ms. Kariuki said that the private sector has understood that peace and political stability are part of an enabling business environment and thus key agendas as part of advocacy and activities by business.
Ms. Kariuki, also shared the lessons learnt by Kenya’s private sector on private sector engagement on conflict in preventing outbreak, escalation, continuation, recurrence, addressing root causes, ending conflict, reconciliation and moving towards development.