The UN General Assembly and UN Security Council conducted a review of the UN’s peacebuilding architecture, the outcome of which "puts conflict prevention at the core of our actions".
The two bodies decided to hold a high-level UNGA meeting during its 76th session on ensuring adequate financing for peacebuilding.
The resolutions also express concern about the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across the world, especially in conflict-affected countries, and note that this could hamper progress towards the 2030 Agenda.
The UN General Assembly and UN Security Council have concluded their 2020 review of the UN’s peacebuilding architecture. Adopting the agreed text, the two bodies decided to hold a high-level meeting of the UNGA during its 76th session (September 2021-September 2022) on ensuring adequate financing for peacebuilding.
The review process was mandated by the UNGA and the Security Council and launched in October 2019. In February 2020, the Secretary-General appointed a group of Independent Eminent Persons to provide their perspectives on the review, and they issued a set of recommendations in June.
In September 2020, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres briefed Member States on efforts to shift to prevention over crisis response, as the human and financial cost of focusing primarily on crisis response is unsustainable. The 2030 Agenda calls for redoubled efforts to “resolve or prevent conflict,” and with SDG 16 governments commit to promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions.
In October 2020, the co-facilitators for the process, Craig John Hawke, Permanent Representative of New Zealand, and Inga Rhonda King, Permanent Representative of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, issued a zero draft of the resolution and held readings of the text with UN Member States. The outcome of the consultations is a set of “twin” draft resolutions for the the UNGA and the Security Council, each adopted by their respective bodies on 21 December 2020.
By the text, UN Member States express concern about the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across the world, especially in conflict-affected countries, and note that this could hamper progress towards the 2030 Agenda.
At the UNGA meeting to take action on the draft text, UNGA President Volkan Bozkir said the outcome puts “conflict prevention at the core of our actions. We are clearly restating that our efforts must address the structural causes of conflict and provide for inclusive and participatory political processes.” The representative of Egypt, for the African Peacebuilding Caucus, highlighted the emphasis on action to address remaining gaps. The representative of Japan, in his capacity as Vice-Chair of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, said the final text did not include an important reference to institution-building. He said this is a means of building and sustaining peace, as is financing, because trust in government is a precondition for tackling the root causes of conflicts. He added that institution building was a primary purpose of the PBC when it was created in 2005.
Looking ahead, the resolution calls for a report from the UN Secretary-General on implementation of the resolutions in 2022 and a more detailed report in 2024, and for the next comprehensive review of UN peacebuilding to take place in 2025. [UNGA Resolution A/75/L.53] [UNGA meeting summary] [SDG Knowledge Hub story on late 2020 consultations]