Peacebuilding: UN backs plans to bolster its work in post-conflict nations

29 October 2010

Member States today reaffirmed the importance of United Nations activities aimed at helping countries in the aftermath of conflict, and called for further improving the effectiveness of its peacebuilding architecture.

Member States today reaffirmed the importance of United Nations activities aimed at helping countries in the aftermath of conflict, and called for further improving the effectiveness of its peacebuilding architecture.

In separate resolutions adopted today, the General Assembly and the Security Council requested all relevant UN actors to take forward the recommendations of a recent six-month review aimed at assessing the progress of the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) and the Peacebuilding Fund.

The Commission was set up in 2005 to help struggling States avoid slipping back into war and chaos by providing strategic advice and harnessing expertise and financing from around the world to aid with recovery projects. In addition, countries can also avail themselves of financial assistance from the Fund to jump-start rebuilding projects.

In their report, the co-facilitators of the review state that five years after the establishment of the Commission, despite committed and dedicated efforts, the hopes that accompanied that body’s groundbreaking founding resolutions have yet to be realized.

“We are now at a crossroads: either there is a conscious recommitment to peacebuilding at the very heart of the work of the United Nations, or the Peacebuilding Commission settles into the limited role that has developed so far,” they state. “Our consultations suggest that the membership strongly favours the former path.”

At the launch of the 2010 review earlier this year, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that in its short existence, the PBC had shown its worth, but that looking ahead, Member States must consider how to make its impact more tangible at the country level.

Expressing the hope that the review will serve as a “wake-up call,” the co-facilitators make a number of recommendations in the areas of capacity building, resource mobilization, coherence and coordination. In addition, it recommends developing an effective communications strategy, which ‘rebrands’ the Peacebuilding Commission and clearly spells out what it can offer.

The report sets out the issues that framed the exercise: the complexity of peacebuilding; the imperative of national ownership; the illusion of sequencing; the urgency of resource mobilization; the importance of the contribution of women; and the need for connection with the field.

It also examines the “mixed experience” to date with the four countries on the agenda of the Commission – Burundi, Guinea-Bissau, Central African Republic and Sierra Leone – and notes the views of potential “agenda countries.”

The Assembly and the Council recognized that the UN’s peacebuilding activities need sustained support and adequate resources.

They also requested the Commission to reflect in its annual report progress made in taking forward the recommendations emerging from the review, and called for a “further comprehensive” review in another five years.

The co-facilitators of the review process were Ambassadors Anne Anderson of Ireland, Claude Heller of Mexico and Baso Sangqu of South Africa.

 

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News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

Review of UN peacebuilding activities will benefit post-conflict nations, says official

Efforts to help post-conflict countries build sustainable peace could be improved, the head of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) said today, welcoming this year’s review of the world body’s efforts in this crucial arena and the impact it will have on the countries concerned.