António Guterres also calls for strong partnerships beyond the United Nations and a broad and inclusive approach with international financial institutions including the World Bank, and other multilateral donors, the business community, civil society and local actors.
Speaking at the Security Council special session peacebuilding and sustaining peace on April 25, 2018, Secretary-General António Guterres asserted that the Peacebuilding Commission can bring far greater strategic coherence to international efforts, by providing a platform for complementarity and partnership across the pillars of the United Nations and bringing national and local voices to the table. Sustaining peace requires support for inclusivity, particularly women and the young and people with disabilities and minorities of all kinds who are frequently marginalized and excluded. Women’s empowerment through meaningful participation is a proven way to deepen the effectiveness and sustainability of peacebuilding. And this Council has the means to ensure greater inclusion and success, by more consistently applying your own robust agenda on women, peace and security.
He then reiterated his belief that prevention is the foundation of building and sustaining peace. Investment in prevention, he stressed, pays off in human lives, in financial savings and in development gains. Sustainable, inclusive development, deeply rooted in respect for all human rights – economic, social, cultural, civil and political – is an end in itself. But it is also the world’s best preventive tool against violent conflict and instability. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the common global blueprint to deal with root causes of conflict and create more peaceful, stable and resilient societies, founded on a fair globalization.
Guterres informed the Council members that the Peacebuilding Support Office could play a stronger role in connecting the efforts on peace and security with that of supporting sustainable development. He then proposed a 50 percent increase in regular posts in the Peacebuilding Support Office at no extra cost, based on gains in efficiency in other areas. He also indicated that the High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation would build on the expertise of skilled diplomats, and strengthen our relationships with regional organizations, non-governmental groups and others engaged in this critical activity for peace.
The Secretary-General found the role of United Nations peacekeepers is to create the space for a political process. They have a vital role in containing violence and protecting civilians while giving political solutions time to take hold. He thought UN peacekeepers should focus their efforts in three key areas: to set realistic expectations for our operations; to make them stronger and safer; and to mobilize more support, both for political solutions and for well-structured, well-equipped, and well-trained forces in their mission. According to Guterres, key conditions for success will be clear, defined, more focused mandates, a long-term view, and adequate exit strategies.
SG António Guterres, then, explained that his report on peacebuilding and sustaining peace sets out several options to increase, restructures and better prioritize funding dedicated to United Nations peacebuilding activities, for the consideration of Member States. These options include assessed and voluntary contributions and innovative financing. The Peacebuilding Fund is a key instrument to drive coherence across all our peacebuilding activities and partnerships. He called for a quantum leap in Member State support for the essential work of the Peacebuilding Fund.
It would be interesting to find out how Guterres could achieve efficiency in other areas to gain a 50 percent increase in regular posts in the Peacebuilding Support Office at no extra cost.