Thursday, December 22, 2005

Historic Peacebuilding Commission established at the UN

From Citizens for Global Solutions:

On December 20, 2005, the UN Security Council passed an historic resolution establishing the Peacebuilding Commission. The Commission will identify states on the verge of collapse, provide assistance to prevent such collapses, and sustain efforts of the international community in post-conflict peacebuilding, especially after global attention wanes from the crises. It will also provide a forum in which major stakeholders can share information about comprehensive post-conflict recovery efforts that take into account political, security, development and economic spheres. The Peacebuilding Commission will work on:

-Improving coordination of all relevant actors to mobilize necessary resources for early recovery and medium- to long-term financial investment;

-Advising on integrated strategies for post-conflict peacebuilding and promoting sustainable development;

-Focusing attention on reconstruction and institution-building;

-Developing best practices;

-Helping to ensure predictable financing;

-Extending the period of attention the international community places on post-conflict recovery.
The Organizational committee of the Commission will consist of 31 members:

- 7 members of the Security Council: the five permanent members – China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States – and 2 non-permanent members;

-7 members of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC);

-5 of the top 10 financial providers;

-5 of the top 10 top providers of military personnel and civilian police to UN peacekeeping missions;

-7 additional members elected by the UN General Assembly to ensure regional representation and give a say to countries with post-conflict reconstruction experience.

In addition, a representative of the Secretary-General, the World Bank (WBG), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and other institutional donors will be invited to all commission meetings.

The concept of a Peacebuilding Commission was introduced in December 2004 in a UN High-Level Panel Report and gained momentum in March 2005 when Secretary-General Kofi Annan released his report, In Larger Freedom.

In the report, Annan noted a “gaping hole” in the UN’s efforts to help countries recovering from war build a lasting peace. Currently, half the countries emerging from violent conflict slip back into instability or violence within five years. Since no part of the current UN system is directly responsible for helping countries rebuild quickly after a conflict ends and establish peace, the Secretary General proposed creating a permanent Peacebuilding Commission.

This proposal was given the green light by over 150 heads of state that came together in September for the largest gathering of world leaders in history. The creation of this commission is an important step toward creating space for countries to come together and work cooperatively in solving global problems.