The Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs funds a substantial part of its work via voluntary contributions from UN member States. This support allows DPPA to implement prevention and mediation initiatives, but also to respond rapidly and with flexibility to crises or unexpected developments. Much of this work takes place with little fanfare, so we thought we’d bring you some recent examples illustrating what the support from our partners makes possible.
The rise of ethnic nationalism and lack of progress on trust-building and reconciliation is a key risk factor for stability in the Western Balkans. DPPA and the UN Development Programme are developing an inter-agency regional strategy on trust-building and reconciliation for the region. The strategy should be finalized in May 2019 and will be the first of its kind, leveraging the peace and security, human rights and development pillars of the UN.
Central African Republic
In early 2019, the process of the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in the Central African Republic under the auspices of the African Union culminated in peace talks in Sudan attended by the countries of the region and the UN. On 6 February of this year, the Government and 14 armed groups signed a peace agreement in Bangui. The African Union and the region led the process, counting on DPPA’s consistent technical and political backing. The Secretary-General welcomed the agreement and called on neighboring countries and regional organizations to support its implementation to bring lasting peace and stability to the Central African Republic. MINUSCA and the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), which comes under DPPA’s purview, will continue to support the process with technical expertise and good offices across Central Africa.
The UN Verification Mission in Colombia continues to support reintegration initiatives led by women who were combatants in the country’s armed conflict. DPPA funds supported the development of five urban income-generating projects and training sessions for women entrepreneurs since the start of this year. The Mission provided technical support to design the projects, promote the capacities and knowledge of women outside traditional gender roles and foster viable and sustainable productive initiatives.
Papua New Guinea
In Papua New Guinea, DPPA continues to support the implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement, including through backing the political dialogue. In the first quarter of 2019, the parties took a major step forward by agreeing to 12 October 2019 as the date for a referendum on the political future of Bougainville. DPPA support has been important in facilitating meetings of the Post-Referendum Planning Taskforce, which is providing a critical forum to develop joint understandings on issues and processes that will be addressed after the referendum. As preparations for the referendum accelerate in the coming months, DPPA will also support efforts on weapons disposal and voter awareness.
The DPPA Liaison Presence based in Gaborone, Botswana, is backing efforts in Lesotho to implement a National Dialogue and Stabilization Project funded by the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund; the project has a major component on women’s participation in the national dialogue process. In a context of growing political tension in the country and a reform process that could impact long-term stability, the DPPA team has offered political and technical support to the UN Resident Coordinator in Lesotho.
Title picture: Reintegration programme in Urrao, Antioquia, Colombia. Photo: UN Verification Mission in Colombia/Elizabeth Yarce