Enhancing regional partnerships among top priorities for UN Peacebuilding Commission in 2017

Chairman of the UN Peacebuilding Commission Ambassador Cho Tae-yul of the Republic of Korea briefs the press. On the left is Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

25 January 2017 – Strengthening the United Nation’s partnerships with the African Union, empowering women and youth, and greater cooperation with the World Bank will be among the key priorities this year for the UN Peacebuilding Commission, its new chair today said.

Outlining the intergovernmental advisory board’s objectives, Cho Tae-yul, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the UN, told journalists in New York that he is “very much encouraged” by the enthusiasm among Member States for great international cooperation which “bodes very well for the Peacebuilding Commission.”

He detailed a number of priorities, including building on progress achieved in strengthening partnerships with regional and sub-regional groups.

“They are better poised to understand the root causes,” Mr. Cho said, adding that he is personally in support of stronger regional cooperation, particularly in Africa, where all six of the countries currently on the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) agenda are located. Those countries are: Burundi; Sierra Leone; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Liberia; and Central African Republic.

In addition to country-specific work, the Commission also works thematically, on issues such as institution building, and enhancing the participation of women and youth.

The PBC will also this year continue to work on becoming a “more transparent, accountable and flexible body” through the use of new working methods. A number of new improvements were introduced just this morning, Mr. Cho said.

Created in 2005, the PBC supports a country through all stages of a conflict, including post-conflict recovery and socio-economic development. It sits between the UN Security Council, whose 15 members are primarily tasked with maintaining peace and security in the world; the General Assembly, whose membership includes all 193 Member States; and the Economic and Social Council, or ECOSOC, which works with the 14 specialized UN agencies.

It works closely with regional bodies such as the African Union, European Union and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and representatives from the countries who are the top financial and troop contributors to the UN, as well as from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Increased financial support for the Peacebuilding Fund, which has allocated $623 million since its creation at the end of 2015, is also a key priority for the year. Mr. Cho said that he has “started preliminary dialogue” with the World Bank to see how to secure the targeted annual figure of $100 million.

He is also working to “enhance the Fund through strategic partnerships” with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and other partners.

The UN News Centre highlighted the work of the PBC and the Peacebuilding Fund in a feature series this past August. Travel with us to Mali to see how the Fund is helping communities come back together after war.


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