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.

The ECOSOC and PBC joint meeting focused on “The Impact of Cross-border Transhumance on Sustainable Peace and Development in West Africa and the Sahel” on 3 December 2019. The meeting raised awareness of the complex challenges related to transhumance in countries and cross-border areas of West Africa and the Sahel; it showcased successful practical approaches and actions to address transhumance-related challenges; and encouraged further action-oriented, integrated and sustainable solutions to address further gaps and challenges, as well as accelerate implementation for impact on the ground.

More recently, the annual joint meeting of ECOSOC and PBC focused on “Fostering global solidarity and conflict sensitive responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic impacts” took place on the 19 November 2020. The meeting focused on ways to forge solidarity, increase awareness of multidimensional challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic for sustainable development and peacebuilding, and develop coordinated and coherent conflict-sensitive responses to the pandemic, with emphasis on predictable and sustained financing.