ECOSOC and the Peacebuilding Commission

The legislative basis for a relationship between ECOSOC and the PBC is derived from General Assembly resolutions 60/180 and 61/16.  The institutional junction between the two bodies operates at three levels: (1) the presence within the Organizational Committee of the Commission of 7 Members of the Council; (2) the fact that the Commission establishes its agenda based, inter alia, on requests for advice from the Council “with the consent of a concerned Member State in exceptional circumstances on the verge of lapsing or relapsing into conflict and with which the Security Council is not seized in accordance with Article 12 of the Charter” (para. 12 (b)); and (3) the fact that the Council can take action on the recommendations by the Peacebuilding Commission (para.14).


In its resolution 2009/32, the Economic and Social Council invited the Peacebuilding Commission to strengthen its cooperation with the Economic and Social Council, including through an enhance dialogue between the Council and the Chairpersons of the Commission’s country-specific configurations, and invited the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission to inform it of the economic and social challenges of peacebuilding in the African countries on the Commission’s agenda. In 2016, the review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture (A/RES/70/262 and S/RES/2282 (2016)) stressed the importance of closer cooperation between ECOSOC and the PBC, and the centrality of development to sustaining peace. 

Over the years, ECOSOC and the Peacebuilding Commission have forged a working relationship between the respective Bureaux as well as the bodies themselves. Joint meetings included events on “MDGs in countries emerging from conflict” in 2010; “Promoting durable peace and sustainable development in Sudan and South Sudan” in 2011; and “Partnerships for job creation for young people in countries emerging from conflict” in 2012[SS8] . The 2016 joint meeting of ECOSOC and the PBC focused on “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustaining Peace” to advance the peace and development nexus. The recent joint meeting of ECOSOC and PBC in June 2017 suggested more regular interactions between ECOSOC and the PBC could help promote coherence and complementarity between the UN’s peace and security efforts and its development, human rights and humanitarian work. 

The joint meeting of ECOSOC and the PBC focused on “The situation in the Sahel region” in June 2017. The meeting stressed the need to address the root causes and drivers of conflict that pertain to the social, economic and environmental areas, including socio-economic inequalities, governance, climate change, the lack of economic opportunities and jobs.  The need to better coordinate the existing strategies and plans in the Sahel region at a higher level, in accordance with the priorities of the countries in the region, was emphasized by many speakers.

More recently, the ECOSOC-PBC joint meeting on “Linkages between Climate Change and Challenges to Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace in the Sahel”, in November 2018, underscored that climate change was a threat multiplier, putting additional stress on current political, social and economic pressure points and that the Sahel was the world’s region where the links between climate change, peace, security and development were most apparent. Many speakers welcomed the recalibrated United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel as a valuable tool to encourage better regional cooperation, foster more coherent and coordinated UN responses, to accelerate progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the 2063 African Union Agenda and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The meeting called for ECOSOC and the PBC to continue their engagement on the Sahel region to help address climate change, promote sustainable development and support peacebuilding and sustaining peace efforts, in line with their respective mandates.