New York

09 June 2016

Secretary-General's Informal Briefing to the General Assembly on UN Peace Operations, the Peacebuilding Architecture and the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000)

I thank the President of the General Assembly for this opportunity to discuss the reviews on peace operations, peacebuilding, and Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.

Before I begin, let me underline one important point. 

These reviews represent a roadmap towards a more peaceful future, supported by a multilateral peace and security architecture that is fit for purpose.

They make common calls that we ignore at our peril: for more effective conflict prevention, stronger partnerships, more predictable financing, and greater participation of women and youth.

Success demands a strong sense of shared responsibility among Member States and between Member States and the Secretariat.

We must keep this in sharp focus going forward.

First: peace operations.

We are now carrying out the recommendations I made in response to the report of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations.

Peace operations must be flexible. They must be tailored to prevailing conditions. And they must benefit from a comprehensive understanding of the operating environment.

That is why it is vital to improve system-wide planning and analysis. We must draw on expertise across the United Nations to inform recommendations to the Security Council.

When we bring UN partners together, we can improve early response strategies and transitions.

My office is collaborating across the UN system to optimize our strengths.

To be more agile, we are reviewing key administrative and logistical processes to see how they can better support our operations. We will then look, more broadly, at Secretariat policies and procedures to be more responsive.

At the same time, we are giving priority to realizing the potential of our uniformed personnel. We completed a productive review of the Police Division just ahead of last week’s landmark Chiefs of Police Conference.

Standing Administrative Measures are helping us deploy and deliver more rapidly.

We will have a chance to advance progress this September at the defence ministerial conference in London. There, we can examine our new, strategic approach to force generation – and efforts to enhance performance.

I hope Member States will pledges new units and deploy them. I also call on Member States to furnish high-quality personnel for our operations. I especially appeal for more female and Francophone peacekeepers.

We must also be bold in confronting the disturbing and deplorable problem of sexual exploitation and abuse. I am acting decisively to stop this crime – and I urgently need Member States to match this resolve.

The United Nations is striving to better assist victims, end impunity and ensure accountability.

Member States must do their part to fulfil this shared responsibility – for the victims first and foremost, and for our invaluable peace operations.

Second: the peacebuilding review.

This Assembly and the Security Council have adopted truly historic resolutions that recognize the inclusive nature of sustaining peace. They also underscore that sustaining peace is a core United Nations responsibility.

We are enthusiastically maintaining the momentum.

Our implementation framework will bring together senior officials of all concerned entities.

We are already strengthening collaboration with partners such as the African Union and the World Bank.

The Peacebuilding Commission has broadened its scope. It will jointly meet with ECOSOC in a few weeks. And the Commission will soon adopt a gender policy.

I encourage Member States to strengthen the Commission’s advisory role to the Security Council to reflect the growing consensus on preventing conflict and sustaining peace.

My successor will prepare a report to the General Assembly on major issues related to peacebuilding. And the Deputy Secretary-General is already developing options for that report on the critical issue of funding.

Third: women, peace and security.

The Global Study and High-Level Review presented the strongest evidence yet that women’s empowerment transforms our societies.

The Security Council reflected the Global Study’s recommendations in its resolution 2242. And the Council followed-up by establishing an Informal Experts Group on women, peace and security. That Group has already met to discuss Iraq and Mali.

We have also established the Global Acceleration Instrument to channel resources to civil society actors working on women, peace and security issues.

I am pleased to report progress on my Seven-Point Action Plan on gender-responsive peacebuilding. The Peacebuilding Fund is the first entity that reached the target of 15 percent allocation for projects focusing principally on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

I count on Member States to do more to empower women and make societies strong.

  The reviews set out ambitious agendas that demand your commitment.

We need Member States to take responsibility, engage fully and make political and financial investments for success.

I have three requests to you.

First, help end fragmentation.

The United Nations is rising to interlinked global challenges. The resolutions on sustaining peace, the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, the Human Rights Up Front initiative and the World Humanitarian Summit’s Commitment to Action all aim for comprehensive approaches.

Now I need Member States to be consistent as well. Your ministries should be united in purpose.

We need you to back our mandates politically.

All countries must put the greater good above narrow interests. This will ultimately increase national peace and prosperity.

Second, focus on prevention.

All three reviews called for putting conflict prevention at the heart of the UN’s work.

I appreciate the many Member States that support prevention. I hope you back this support with greater technical, financial and political commitment.

These reviews – and the World Humanitarian Summit – showed that we are stretched to the breaking point. We have to finally invest more in preventing violent conflicts, ending existing ones and avoiding any relapse.

The UN has shown how relatively small investments can avert huge catastrophes – in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone and beyond.

When you commit more to prevention now, you will be asked for less in the future.

Third, back us with financing.

When many of the HIPPO-related recommendations reached the budget committees, I was dismayed that some Member States questioned the basis for introducing these requests.

I proposed a modest investment to revitalize UN capacities in this crucial area – and even that met significant resistance.

All three reviews praised the Peacebuilding Fund – but it faces a desperate funding shortfall. I thank those Member States that will hold a pledging conference for the Fund in September – and I urge all to contribute.

UN women, peace and security activities are also underfunded. And globally, in recent years, less than 2 percent of peace and security funding for conflict-affected and fragile states was channelled to programmes focusing on gender equality.

Your generous funding should address short-term emergencies and long-term objectives.

The migration and refugee crisis has caused some Member States to channel resources to domestic responses – but this should not be at the expense of the UN’s ability to prevent and tackle the underlying causes that force people to flee.

Let me be clear: the reviews call for ambitious responses to dire threats. The reaction cannot be business-as-usual.

I count on you to help the United Nations give real meaning to these reviews by making good on their recommendations.

Thank you.