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CEB at the Paris Peace Forum

14 November 2019

PARIS – The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) attended the Paris Peace Forum and introduced the Regional Housing Programme (RHP) to a diverse audience originating from France and some other 139 countries present in the Grande Halle de La Villette from 11 to 13 November. 

Paris Peace Forum Group Photo 2
From left to right: Mario Pavlovic (UNHCR), Mark Fawcett (OSCE), Marja Seppala (CEB), Vladimir Cucić (KIRS), and Stephan Sellen (CEB)

The Paris Peace Forum is an international event on global governance issues and multilateralism, held annually in Paris, France. The Forum convenes heads of states, national and local representatives, representatives from international organisations and actors of civil society in order to discuss major global challenges and find practical solutions.

The Forum was opened by António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), President Emmanuel Macron, and Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission President-elect, amongst others. In their opening addresses, they emphasised the need for multilateral solutions to the current challenges to world peace, such as growing economic, technological and geostrategic fractures, climate change, growing inequalities and distrust in traditional institutions, terrorism, disinformation, and cybercrime. 

The RHP was one of the 114 projects selected by the Paris Peace Forum out of about 700 applications from all over the world. It featured under ‘Development’ solutions and, alongside another EU-funded initiative dedicated to countering serious crimes in the Western Balkans, was the only project from the region that engaged with sustainable (post-) conflict solutions. The CEB team on the ground was joined by representatives from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the Serbian Commissariat for Refugees and Migration (KIRS).

In addition to the CEB, several UN institutions (e.g. UNDP, UN Women, UNESCO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) exhibited in the international organisation category, while the World Bank Group was the only other peer international financing institution in the Forum exhibition hall.

Some 7 000 people attended the Forum, including formal delegations from 140 countries and 33 heads of state.

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Regional Housing Programme

The Regional Housing Programme provides housing to vulnerable persons who were displaced during the 1990s conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and have been living in dire conditions ever since. The Programme targets 11,300 vulnerable families in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia. It is financed, for the most part, by the international community. Contributions pledged in favour of the Programme amount to € 285 million. The European Union, represented by the European Commission, is the largest donor, with € 232 million pledged, and followed by the United States with € 24 million.

The CEB helps Partner Countries implement the Programme, manages donor contributions and coordinates all stakeholders. The UNHCR and the OSCE are in charge of monitoring beneficiary selection and sustainability aspects of the RHP.

Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 41 member states. Twenty-two Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries, forming the Bank's target countries, are listed among the member states. As a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe, the Bank finances social projects by making available resources raised in conditions reflecting the quality of its rating (AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook positive, AAA with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable and Aa1 with Moody's, outlook stable). It thus grants loans to its member states, and to financial institutions and local authorities in its member states for the financing of projects in the social sector, in accordance with its Articles of Agreement.

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