The Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) is working closely with the United Nations system and others to ensure policy coherence across the UN with regards to peacebuilding. In its efforts to increasingly focusing its work to enhance its support to the Peacebuilding Commission, the PBSO is trying to find new ways to bring together key actors from across the public and private sectors and civil society. In this spirit, PBSO has established partnerships with a number of organizations from within and outside the United Nations system to further strengthen peacebuilding processes and achieve the best results in the countries on its agenda. A few are highlighted here:
The United Nations-World Bank Partnership
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) meets with Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank.
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
The close partnership between the World Bank and the United Nations goes back to a 1947 agreement, which designated the World Bank an Independent Specialized Agency of the UN system. Recent partnership efforts in post-conflict and other fragile states are based upon the 2008 UN-WB Partnership Framework for Crisis and Post-Crisis Situations, which committed the organizations to principles of engagement for a more effective and sustainable response, building on complementarity and interdependence and emphasizing an integrated approach linking politics, security and development.
With $3 million from the Government of Switzerland, the UN-World Bank Partnership Trust Fund was set up in 2010 to support implementation of the Partnership Framework, overseen by a joint UN-World Bank Steering Committee. The Fund supports a staff exchange of Partnership Advisers who drive forward partnership initiatives, with a particular focus on fostering closer cooperation in the field. A small grants program supports joint UN-WB projects, initially in four pilot countries (Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea-Bissau and Liberia). Other countries are now eligible to apply for funding.
On issues of fragility and conflict, the key interlocutors in this partnership are the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) and the Development Operations Coordination Office (DOCO) in the United Nations, and the Fragile and Conflict-Affected Countries Unit (OPCFC) of the World Bank. PBSO facilitates the operationalization of this partnership through the Senior Peacebuilding Group, chaired by the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, and co-chairing, with DOCO and OPCFC, high-level joint meetings between the United Nations and the World Bank. PBSO also works directly with UN system partners and the Bank on specific peacebuilding issues, such as the development of peacebuilding and statebuilding indicators that are linked to the process of the International Dialogue on Statebuilding and Peacebuilding. In addition, PBSO hosts the Partnership Adviser seconded from the World Bank to work with the UN system.
Further information on partnership initiatives can be found on the website of the OPCFC of the World Bank at: www.worldbank.org/conflict
Building Back Better: Gender-responsive Peacebuilding
A three-year programme between UN Women and PBSO aims to make the United Nations’ peacebuilding work more responsive to the needs and rights of both men and women, and to empower women to engage effectively in national peace and reconstruction efforts. The programme will deliver robust support to peacebuilding actors the country, regional and headquarters level. The objectives are to empower women’s peacebuilding groups to participate more directly in national planning for recovery and sustainable peace, to support post-conflict programmes in areas, such as economic recovery, rule of law to be more responsive to women’s needs and rights and ensure that a minimum of 15 percent of post spending targets women’s recovery needs, gender equality and empowerment.
Tribal chiefs of recent Southern Sudanese returnees in the Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, South Sudan.
UN Photo/Paul Banks
The International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding provides a platform for fragile and conflict-affected countries and their partners in the international community to share peacebuilding and statebuilding experiences; gather and discuss good practices and constraints to delivering effective international assistance in support of peacebuilding and statebuilding; identify a realistic set of objectives for peacebuilding and statebuilding that could guide national and international partners; and build trust between participating countries and organizations.
The Dialogue, which began in 2008, presently involves some 40 development partners, international organizations and fragile and conflict-affected countries. It has led notably to the formation of the g7+ as an independent and autonomous forum of fragile and conflict-affected countries and regions. Major milestones in the Dialogue include its two global meetings in Dili, Timor Leste, in April 2010 and Monrovia, Liberia, in June 2011; these have resulted in important standards-setting initiatives, including the Dili Declaration, the Monrovia Roadmap on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding and A New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States.
Interpeace is an organization that works towards strengthening the capacity of violence-afflicted countries to manage conflict without recourse to violence or coercion, contributing to the enhancement of trust within society and of trust in its political institutions. The primary mechanism for this partnership will be a joint project. One Interpeace staff member has been seconded to the PBSO to leverage the full expertise of Interpeace for peacebuilding efforts of the United Nations by providing demand-driven expertise, facilitation and project management. With its field presence Interpeace will help, inter alia, in engaging the full society in the prioritization of peacebuilding initiatives, strengthening the capacity development of national partners, so they can play a greater role in the peacebuilding process, and facilitating the articulation and sharing of good practices and lessons learned at the country level.