Politically Speaking: 2015 in Review: The end of year 'Politically Speaking - Year in Review 2015' publication features some of the highlights of our online magazine Politically Speaking. 


Strategic Plan

DPA Strategic Plan 2016-2019: This Strategic Plan sets out a vision for DPA that is centered on the need to promote inclusive political solutions as the key to preventing, managing or resolving conflicts and acts of political violence, while ensuring long lasting solutions that reduce human suffering and make peace sustainable (see Strategic Plan leaflet).


Extrabudgetary Funding

Annual Appeals:
Annual Appeal 2016-2017: DPA has launched its Multi-Year Appeal for 2016-2017 asking for $50 million to support the priority areas conflict prevention, response, sustaining peace, deepening partnerships and enhancing institutional effectiveness.

Supporting Peace. Annual Appeal 2015The 2015 MYA articulates where extrabudgetary funding will be used in the year ahead to implement DPA’s mandate and, therefore, catalyse the department's contribution to the prevention and resolution of conflicts, and enhance its efforts to support governments in the context of their electoral endeavours.

Annual Reports:
Annual Report 2015: 
As in previous years, extrabudgetary resources played a critical role in enabling the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) to deliver on its comprehensive mandate to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts. Today, voluntary contributions fund about one-third of DPA’s work, in particular the less predictable, but essential parts of our overall action, namely, DPA’s crisis response system for rapid deployment in support of peace processes; our network of special envoys; the cooperation with and capacity enhancement of regional organizations; mediation, support to Special Political Missions (SPMs) and conflict prevention.

Annual Report 2014. Multi-Year AppealThe Report highlights the main areas where extrabudgetary funding was used in support of DPA's mandate to prevent, manage and resolve conflict. As a result of a rapidly changing global political landscape in 2014, pressure on the Department to fulfil its conflict-prevention and resolution role grew exponentially. In light of the worsening crises in Syria and South Sudan; the spread of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL); the Ebola epidemic; the ongoing crisis in Ukraine; attacks by Boko Haram in Nigeria; organized crime networks globally. and the deteriorating political crisis in the Central African Republic – to name only a few of the challenges requiring our attention – 2014 was anything but ‘business as usual’. The numbers in the Report tell a compelling story. In 2014, DPA continued to assist dozens of peacemaking processes and political transitions from Mali Ukraine. The Standby Team of Mediation Experts was deployed more than 100 times to support peace, mediation and dialogue processes. The 40 Special Political Missions (SPMs) DPA oversees across three continents are in the frontlines responding to a growing number of threats and challenges. DPA also supported over 65 countries with their electoral processes, especially in milestone elections such as in Afghanistan and Iraq. By the end of 2014, in mediation engagements alone, 85% of DPA of DPA activities involved working with regional and sub-regional organizations. A significant increase in requests from both DPKO and UNDP for assistance on peace process-related questions also helped DPA to live up to its mandate to be a system-wide service provider.

2013 Annual Report. Multi-Year Appeal: This report provides an opportunity to illustrate what the Department of Political Affairs was able to achieve during the course of 2013 in the areas where extrabudgetary funding was used to best catalyse the Department’s impact in fragile and conflict-affected countries. 

2012 Annual Report: The present report reviews the activities carried out by DPA under its Multi-Year Appeal during 2012, a year of continued political turbulence in many regions of the world. Last year, DPA called for $19.1 million to cover the activities included under the Multi-Year Appeal and the separate funding Appeal for Syria. A total of $17.8 million (or 93 per cent of its request) was received for activities thanks to the generous support of Member States—a significant increase from 2011 when DPA received only half of its original request (or $9.1 million).


UN Reports

Report of the Secretary-General. Overall policy matters pertaining to special political missions (2015): report on overall policy matters pertaining to special political missions, including efforts towards improving transparency, accountability, geographical representation, gender participation, expertise and effectiveness in respect of all special political missions.

Report of the Secretary-General. The future of United Nations peace operations: implementation of the recommendations of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (2015): The Secretary-General's report on the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations from 16 June 2015 constitutes his response to the report and an agenda with which to take forward the recommendations of the Panel.

Report of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations on uniting our strengths for peace: politics, partnership and people (2015): Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon invited the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, chaired by Jose Ramos-Horta, to take a comprehensive look at how United Nations peace operations can continue to contribute to the prevention and resolution of conflicts and be best designed and equipped to deal with the challenges of tomorrow and to undertake a thorough review of the current United Nations peace operations and the emerging needs of the future.
Report of the Advisory Group of Experts on the 2015 Review of the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture (2015): This report  represents the first part of a two-stage review of the role and positioning of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) and Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), as well as the operational entities of the United Nations (UN) active in peacebuilding. The report is intended to nourish the second, inter-governmental stage, which it is hoped will lead to concrete actions to strengthen the UN’s approach to sustaining peace.    
Preventing Conflict, Transforming Justice, Securing the Peace. A Global Study on the Implementation of United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 (2015): This Study reinforces the Security Council’s original crucial recognition of the power of engaging women in peace with compelling proof. It shows that women’s participation and inclusion makes humanitarian assistance more effective, strengthens the protection efforts of our peacekeepers, contributes to the conclusion of peace talks and the achievement of sustainable peace, accelerates economic recovery, and helps counter violent extremism.  It compiles multiple examples of good practice that should become the standard requirement for all. In addition, it takes a hard look at implementation and enforcement, and the missing incentives and accountability measures that should nudge all actors into complying with these norms and living up to their promises. 
Report of the Secretary-General. Preventive Diplomacy: Delivering Results (2011): The report illustrates how preventive diplomacy engagements have made a difference on the ground in a range of different contexts. It discusses the risks and obstacles that continue to hamper preventive efforts and identifies key elements which, in the experience of the United Nations and its partners, have proven critical in maximizing the success of these efforts: early warning, flexibility, partnerships, sustainability, evaluation and resources. 
"Brahimi Report" - Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations (2000): Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2000 appointed the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations. He asked the Panel to assess the shortcomings of the then existing peace operations system and to make specific and realistic recommendations for change. The result, known as the “Brahimi Report” after Lakhdar Brahimi, the Chair of the Panel, called for renewed political commitment on the part of Member States, significant institutional change, and increased financial support. The Panel noted that in order to be effective, UN peacekeeping operations must be properly resourced and equipped, and operate under clear, credible and achievable mandates.

The Agenda for Peace (1992): In light of the UN’s increased involvement in internal conflicts, then-UN Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali was asked by the Security Council to help define the role in the new security environment of the post-Cold War era. Advocating an “integrated approach to human security,” the resulting Agenda for Peace stresses that “[t]he sources of conflict and war are pervasive and deep. To reach them will require our utmost effort to enhance respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, to promote sustainable economic and social development for wider prosperity, to alleviate distress and to curtail the existence and use of massively destructive weapons.” The Agenda identifies poverty, environmental degradation, disease and organized crime as root causes of violent conflicts. In the Agenda, the Secretary-General also acknowledged that the new security environment forces the UN to look inside states. Reiterating that “[r]espect for [the state’s] fundamental sovereignty and integrity are crucial to any common international progress”, he cautions that “[t]he time of absolute and exclusive sovereignty, however, has passed: its theory was never matched by reality.”