Annual Report: Value of Contributions to Peacemaking
In its latest Annual Report to Donors, the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) highlights activities supported with voluntary contributions during 2011 – ranging from the early planning of the UN’s mission in Libya to electoral assistance for countries in transition in the Arab world . Extra-budgetary funding also supported the UN’s mediation of a key transition accord in Yemen, the activities of a high-level panel that encouraged a peaceful referendum in Sudan, and UN-supported dialogue on defusing tensions in Malawi. DPA’s intensive focus on the Middle East positioned it to support the joint mediation effort of the UN and the League of Arab States on the Syrian conflict in 2012.
These activities are among the highlights included in the Department’s 2011 Annual Report on extra-budgetary contributions to its Multi-Year Appeal, DPA’s mechanism to mobilize voluntary funding from donors. Voluntary funding complements DPA’s apportionment through the UN’s regular budget.
During the course of 2011, 14 donors contributed $12.4 million to the Appeal and five multi-year agreements were signed with the Department, helping to provide DPA with more predictable extra-budgetary funding over a longer horizon. These contributions complimented DPA’s regular budget and supported its five strategic priorities: responding rapidly to areas of potential conflict, supporting more than a dozen political missions, enhancing the capacity of regional organizations, strengthening DPA’s capacity, and providing electoral assistance.
Throughout the past year, DPA focused on preventive diplomacy, prioritizing early action and strengthening operational partnerships to avert and mitigate conflict, as well as supporting national and regional capacities for mediation and dialogue. Making use of voluntary contributions, DPA provided support to peacemaking processes and political transitions in dozens of countries through the dispatch of envoys, mediation and electoral experts. DPA provided electoral assistance to more than 45 countries while members of the Standby Team of Mediation Experts were deployed on 53 occasions. DPA further increased the percentage of female experts in its mediation roster. In addition, a new Regional Office, UNOCA, opened in Central Africa, addressing cross-border challenges such as organized crime and enhancing the UN’s efforts against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
In 2011, the Department further progressed in making optimal and transparent use of extra-budgetary resources. The projects and outputs described in the Annual Report underscore the impact and cost-effectiveness of conflict prevention on the ground.