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Department of Political Affairs

Donors Underscore Cost-Effectiveness of Preventive Diplomacy

The Department of Political Affairs (DPA) appreciates the gener­ous support of donors whose voluntary contribu­tions are vital to its ability to respond rapidly and effectively to crisis. Recent commitments reflect a growing recognition that preventive diplomacy and mediation are smart investments even in times of austerity.

 

Broad Support for the Department of Political Affairs

Support for DPA’s work in these and other areas was voiced widely at an Annual Donor Meeting in New York in November 2011, at which DPA launched the 2012 Update to its Multi-Year Appeal. 2012 Update of the Multi-Year Appeal Delegates spoke to the value of preven­tive diplomacy and mediation as cost-effective instruments to save lives and to spare the international community more costly interven­tions. They also expressed encour­agement for DPA’s initiatives to foster partnerships, enhance gen­der mainstreaming and strengthen the evalua­tion of its activities.

The Multi-Year Appeal is the mecha­nism used by the Department to mobi­lize voluntary contribu­tions, defining strategic priorities and calling for funding over a three-year period. The Appeal’s 2012 Update calls for $16 million in funding to support activities at Headquarters and in the field for 2012, and $17 million for 2013.

 

From the Arab Spring to Sudan: Wide Range of Activities

The 2012 Update of the Multi-Year Appeal describes activities supported by extra-budgetary contributions in the past year. While these were heavily shaped by the political upheaval sweeping the Middle East and North Africa, the Department’s range of concerns and activities is broader than any one region or crisis. In 2011, voluntary funding contributed to the smooth independence referendum in Sudan, the mediation process and post-conflict planning activities in Libya, electoral assistance to more than 50 countries including Tunisia or Egypt and numerous other initiatives.

The requested amounts for 2012-2013 would support the con­tinuation of some activities as well as new programmes that reinforce the Department’s work in media­tion support and electoral assis­tance. This includes, for example, increased cooperation with regional organizations such as the African Union and increased diplomatic engagement to encourage peace­ful elections. Voluntary funds will further the work of DPA’s Standby Team of Mediation Experts.

The Multi-Year Appeal reflects DPA efforts to professionalize its fundraising and to ensure compre­hensive and transparent reporting to donors. Success in preventing conflict is difficult to measure, how­ever, DPA is working continuously and with the support from donor countries to develop better indica­tors to gauge its impact. A study being undertaken with the help of an outside research institute will assist the Department in evaluating its work around the globe.

 

 Voluntary Contributions to DPA in 2011

 

For more information on the DPA Multi-Year Appeal and its 2012 update visit the Department's Funding page .