Every year, the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) holds an annual session that brings together UN and Member State colleagues to focus on timely and key peacebuilding challenges and opportunities. This year's meeting, held on 4 December, focused on peacebuilding in Africa, particularly in the Sahel, Lake Chad Basin and Mano River Union regions. Key issues in focus included the transborder threats of armed extremism, underdevelopment, climate change and gender-based violence. As in past years, QUNO was one of a small number of civil society organizations that participated, lending our voice and expertise to this UN discussion.
While modest progress has been made by the PBC in recent years in the fulfillment of its mandate to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies, its gains have been inconsistent. QUNO Director, Andrew Tomlinson, reminded the Peacebuilding Commission, “despite the regional nature of the issues, the UN is still struggling to move on from an approach that is fragmented, organized country by country and using different tools, with the result that the UN engagement has varied greatly, driven not by the individual needs of the country but of the vagaries of the particular UN model that is being applied (...) and these differences in mode of engagement can have an enormous impact on the host countries.”
Mr. Tomlinson stressed the need for people-centered approaches to be at the heart of all peacebuilding endeavors and for the international community to “not lose track of the tools at the heart of these efforts – of a focus on strengthening the relationships between people, their communities and their governments, on the core actions of trauma healing, reconciliation and trust building, and of fostering true social, political and economic inclusion, including that of women and young people.”
To watch QUNO’s intervention at the PBC, please view this link, beginning at (1:38.25).