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Department of Political Affairs

Voluntary Contributions Enabled Significant Achievements in 2012, Annual Report Underlines

 

In a year of continued tur­bulence in a number global hotspots, voluntary con­tributions helped DPA to make important contributions to international peace and security, the Department’s annual report to donors emphasizes.
 
The funding, which complements DPA’s regular budget, supported responses to crises and transitions in Africa (Mali and the Sahel, Malawi, the Central African Republic and Guinea-Bissau), Asia (the Maldives), and the Middle East and North Africa (Syria, Yemen, Egypt and Libya).
 
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Engagements reviewed last year show that in most cases — from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Yemen and from Libya to Sudan — voluntary fund­ing enabled DPA activities to make a positive difference on the ground.
 
In Somalia, for example, volun­tary funding helped DPA to support authorities and the UN’s political mission for Somalia in finalizing the provisional constitu­tion and forming a new parliament, thereby helping to end the eight-year political transition period.
 
In the Maldives, mediation standby team experts were dispatched as part of efforts to defuse tensions over a transfer of power. In Mali, meanwhile, DPA supported the post-coup mediation efforts led by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which resulted in the sign­ing of a framework agreement in April 2012.
 

Yemen’s transi­tion has continued to move forward. And regard­ing Syria, the Department has supported Joint Special Representative Brahimi, who has been spearheading international efforts in search of a much-needed political solution.
 
The ability of DPA to imple­ment these and other initiatives in peacemaking, preventive diplomacy, electoral assistance, and national dialogue has been enhanced as a result of voluntary funding from member states.
 
DPA greatly appreciates the grow­ing trust that its donors are placing in the Department. The $17.8 mil­lion in extrabudgetary funds received in 2012 represent 93 per cent of the requested amount — up by 44 per cent from $9.1 million in 2011.
 
These contributions, coupled with an expand­ing donor base and the signing of a sixth multi-year agreement, provide more predict­able support for the Department’s activities. This trend seems to con­tinue in 2013 with $7.5 million already received half way through the year.
 
To strengthen the management and monitoring of these funds, DPA’s Executive Office has launched a new Trust Fund Information Database System last year. The system allows for improved analysis of extrabudg­etary funds and more user friendly reports.
 
PLEDGING MADE EASIER
Pledging funds to DPA has been more attractive since 2012, when the OECD welcomed the UN’s main political arm onto its list of entities eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA). The decision allows donors to meet their official development assistance targets when pledging funds to the Department.
 
But despite progress, efforts in 2012 were hampered by challenges including financial constraints, the annual report stresses. The Department continues to rely on strong donor support to gird itself for future challenges and activities.
 
EVALUATION
To channel resources to where they are needed most, the Department of Political Affairs recently evaluated its 2011-2013 Multi-Year Appeal, looking afresh at its mandate, cur­rent operations and needs, as well as emerging challenges. The rein­vigorated strategic and operational approach will shape the new Multi- Year Appeal, to be launched at the annual donor meeting in November, ahead of the new funding cycle starting in 2014.