"We need to invest more in coherent and inclusive preventive action if we are to achieve lasting peace," said State Secretary Livia Leu in her opening speech at the third retreat of the twelve largest PBF donor countries on 31 August in Glion, VD. By following on from Sweden and Germany in organising the retreat, Switzerland is also pursuing one of the priorities of its Foreign Policy Strategy 2020–23: strengthening its commitment to world peace. The event was set up with the support of the UN Peacebuilding Support Office and the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding at the Graduate Institute in Geneva.
Discussions at the retreat focused on a range of topics, including the importance of reinforcing partnerships with global financial institutions and the private sector. The issues of transitioning and withdrawing from peacekeeping operations were also discussed with a view to preventing a return to violence. High-level guests, in particular Bintou Keita, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, shared their experiences from different countries affected by conflict.
The PBF: a key UN instrument in preventing armed conflict
The PBF is a major UN instrument in the promotion of peace around the world. Through its mandate, the PBF provides coordinated international support to promote peace in countries affected by or at risk of violent conflict. It brings together institutions from the fields of development, humanitarian aid, diplomacy, human rights and security to focus on common goals. Since 2016, the fund has also been linked to the UN reform process aimed at improving the coherence, efficiency and effectiveness of its work on the ground.
Switzerland: the PBF's sixth-largest donor
Switzerland's commitment to invest USD 24 million by 2024 means it is currently the sixth-largest donor to the PBF, which is now supported by 24 countries. The PBF's new strategy, which was launched in 2020, aims to reach a threshold of USD 1.5 billion in donations by 2024.
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