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Department of Political Affairs

Voluntary funds vital for DPA’s activities in 2012, annual report underlines

20 June 2013 – In another year marked by political turbulence, the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) has made effective contributions to international peace and stability, supported by encouraging levels of voluntary funding, the Department’s annual report to donors underlines. 

Besides applying a wide range of tools including preventive diplomacy and mediation in responding to political tensions from Mali to the Maldives, DPA has identified warning signs and supported countries in transition.
Increased extrabudgetary funding received from Member States has been vital for these efforts, the report emphasizes. In 2012, DPA received $17.8 million in voluntary funding, or 93 per cent of the amount it requested – an encouraging 44 per cent increase compared to the $9.1 million received in 2011. 
The donor base has also diversified last year, with more Member States making voluntary contributions, and an additional multi-year agreement being signed.  Together, these developments illustrate the growing trust of an increasing number of Members States in DPA’s work.
UN envoy to Somalia Nicholas KayThe annual report illustrates how extrabudgetary funding helps DPA deliver on its mandate of preventing, managing and resolving armed conflict. In an overwhelming majority of reviewed cases DPA’s involvement, based on voluntary funding, has positively impacted conflict situations.
In Somalia, for instance, extrabudgetary funding has proven crucial for supporting the longstanding efforts led by the UN in the country. Expertise from the Mediation Standby Team and the Electoral Assistance Division, mobilized through voluntary funding, helped Somali authorities finalize the provisional constitution and facilitate the formation of a more inclusive Parliament, thus ending the country’s eight-year political transition. 
In Libya, voluntary funding enabled DPA to support the United Nations Support Mission there and provide technical assistance and coordinated international electoral efforts. These efforts contributed to the holding of the first democratic elections after four decades of dictatorship.
Extrabudgetary funding was also used to respond to tensions elsewhere, from Syria to the Central African Republic, from Algeria to the Maldives, and from Mali to Yemen.
To carry out its mandate effectively, DPA needs sustained political and financial support from Member States.  Voluntary funds, which complement the resources provided through the regular UN budget, are essential as they provide greater flexibility and rapid response capacity.  
Contributing to DPA is also easier now that its main trust fund has been added to the list of entities eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA).