UN Secretary-General Briefs Governments on Peacebuilding, Sustaining Peace
UN Photo/Cia Pak
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The Secretary-General noted that implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the solution to making the world a safe, sustainable and resilient place.

In order to address the imbalance between spending on conflict and spending on peace, Guterres called for rallying Member States, the UNGA, the Security Council, regional organizations and all partners for the UN’s efforts across the peace continuum.

The UNGA President noted that the High-Level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace, which will take place from 24-25 April 2018 at the UN Headquarters in New York, will give Member States an opportunity to chart the course ahead with regard to the Secretary-General’s proposals presented in the report.

5 March 2018: UN Secretary-General António Guterres briefed UN Member States on his Report on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace, which outlines the progress achieved. Released on 18 January, the report builds on the proposed reforms for the UN peace and security architecture to set out additional, targeted changes that capitalize on the linkages between the UN’s work in peace, development, human rights and humanitarian action.

During the briefing, that took place on 6 March 2018 at the UN Headquarters in New York, US, Guterres explained that some of the proposed changes are pending Member States’ approval, while he is undertaking the others under his own authority.

Opening the meeting, UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Miroslav Lajcak reminded delegates that, when Member States adopted the 2016 resolutions on peacebuilding and sustaining peace, they looked towards a future in which sustaining peace is not a task for one department or office of the UN, but rather a core objective of the entire organization. He noted that the report represents a strong guide on how the membership can go forward towards that goal. The UNGA President mentioned that the High-Level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace, which will take place from 24-25 April 2018 at the UN Headquarters in New York, will give Member States the opportunity to chart the course ahead with regard to the Secretary-General’s proposals.

Commencing the briefing, the Secretary-General highlighted that sustainable and inclusive development is an end in itself, but also a means to preventing conflict. Therefore, he noted, implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the solution to making the world a safe, sustainable and resilient place. He emphasized that focusing efforts on sustaining peace will not imply reducing the resources allocated either to peace or to development, which will preserve their integrity.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged all those with the power to do so to allow the increase of the Peacebuilding Fund’s resources to US$500 million annually.

In his report, the Secretary-General underscored that gender equality and women’ s empowerment need to be at the center of all the sustaining peace efforts. To enable women to play their essential role in preventing and resolving conflicts, he said they need to occupy leadership positions in the national, regional and global mechanisms for conflict resolution.

The report shows that failure to make progress on financing peacebuilding will undermine other efforts to save lives, stabilize countries in crisis, alleviate suffering and protect the vulnerable. Over the past ten years, Guterres said, the international community spent US$233 billion on humanitarian response, peacekeeping and hosting refugees. A recent study by the UN and the World Bank estimates that better funded, more focused preventive action could have saved between US$5 billion and US$70 billion per year for the affected countries and the international community combined. Recommending investment in prevention, the Secretary-General highlighted the Peacebuilding Fund as a critical tool that: is “nimble” and can respond quickly when crises loom; has a catalytic effect and can unlock funding from other sources; and provides resources for projects that are too risky for others to invest in. Many of its programmes, he said, support women and young people.

Guterres urged all those with the power to do so to allow the increase of the Fund’s resources to US$500 million annually. He highlighted the several options set out in the report on increasing, restructuring and prioritizing the financing of peacebuilding activities, including through different combinations of voluntary and assessed funds linked to the peace continuum. He noted that the UN is currently exploring the possibility of innovative financing solutions, which could include contributions by individuals, foundations and faith-based organizations, corporate partnerships, web-based mechanisms and crowdfunding.

The Secretary-General further noted that his proposals for the reform of the peace and security architecture include a proposal to increase the number of posts for the Peacebuilding Support Office by 50%, which will be submitted for consideration by the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) shortly. The consolidation of both the Peacebuilding Fund and the Peacebuilding Support Office, he said, represent an opportunity to create bridges between the UN’s work on peace and security and its other areas of work.

In order to address the imbalance between spending on conflict and spending on peace, Guterres called for rallying Member States, the UNGA, the Security Council, regional organizations and all partners for the UN’s efforts across the peace continuum – from prevention, conflict resolution and peacekeeping to peacebuilding and sustainable long-term development. [UN Secretary-General’s Remarks] [UNGA President’s Remarks] [Secretary-General’s Report on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace]


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