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Source: Small Island Developing States

The UN has launched the first phase of the 2020 peacebuilding architecture review, which is mandated by the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council. At a meeting convened by the UN Peacebuilding Commission on 22 November 2019, governments exchanged views on the UN’s work in peacebuilding and sustaining peace, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasized the need to improve resources for the peacebuilding system. On 7 October 2019, UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande circulated a proposal for the scope, terms of reference and modalities for the 2020 review. He announced the launch of the informal phase of the review process on 31 October 2019, which is expected to last until the second quarter of 2020. For the second phase, the Presidents of the UNGA and the Security Council will appoint two co-facilitators to lead intergovernmental consultations on an outcome document to be submitted to UNGA and the UN Security Council.

On 22 November 2019, addressing the meeting of the Peacebuilding Commission, Guterres cautioned that current low levels of funding for the UN Peacebuilding Fund render current peacebuilding work unsustainable. He reported that while contributions to the Peacebuilding Fund have increased modestly, demands for support “have grown exponentially,” leaving many requests for investments in critical situations “unanswered.” Warning that the Peacebuilding Fund will have to slow down without significant changes in its funding situation, he called for a “quantum leap” in support from governments towards the Fund’s objective of 500 USD million per year. 

Guterres also cautioned about a lack of coordination and fragmentation, explaining that inadequate, earmarked and siloed financing can drive parts of the UN apart. He said the 2020 review is an opportunity to improve the system and its resources.

According to a Note to Correspondents, Member States also expressed concern about funding constraints. Some noted that the Peacebuilding Fund has had to postpone urgent investments, including in support of meaningful participation of women and youth in peacebuilding processes, due to resource shortages.

Among other messages expressed during the initial meeting, governments said the review process should:

  • consider ways to strengthen the UN’s peacebuilding work “based on field-driven analysis and nationally owned initiatives”;
  • address the need to continue strengthening the UN Peacebuilding Architecture, including to increase coherence and coordination across the UN’s operational pillars, taking into account the ongoing reforms of the UN; and 
  • support continued progress in the Peacebuilding Commission’s advisory role to the UNGA and Security Council.

The UN Secretary-General informed Member States that his 2020 report on peacebuilding, which will serve as the principal input for the review process, will focus on the UN’s impact in the field.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News