A record number of Member States participated as the United Nations Department of Political Affairs launched a $25.5 million appeal to ensure that it can adequately respond to existing and emerging challenges in conflict prevention and resolution already stretching UN capacity.
“From Syria to South Sudan, the Central African Republic to Ukraine – not to mention other hotspots in Africa, Asia and in the Middle East – the United Nations and the international community have been challenges as never before, “ Under-Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman told representatives of 45 Member States at the annual donor meeting in New York.
“We are facing threats to decades-long investments and hard-earned peace dividends,” Mr. Feltman cautioned, warning that threats ranging from transnational terrorist groups and organized crime cartels to deadly viruses are wreaking havoc across borders.
More than half of the 2015 Appeal, which this year focuses on “Supporting Peace,” will provide on-going support to Special Envoys, Political Missions and other key stakeholders in the field, with additional funds for electoral assistance.
The Department oversees more than 30 Special Political Missions in three continents working on individual countries, such as Somalia and Afghanistan, as well as Special Envoys to Libya, Great Lakes, Somalia and Iraq, who support ceasefire arrangements and address on-going crises.The Special Political Missions include the office of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Yemen, Jamal Benomar, who took part in the donor meeting.
In 2015, DPA plans to establish a Syria political unit based in southern Turkey to more effectively support efforts led by Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura, while also focusing on protection of civilians who are bearing the brunt of the crisis that began more than three years ago.
In the coming year, the Department will provide or oversee the UN’s electoral assistance to 17 Member States, including Burundi, Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Myanmar, and Yemen. These come on the heels of two milestone elections in 2014 to which DPA provided experts to assist national-led polls in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“We will continue to provide consistent and effective support to Members States in conducting their own elections,” Mr.Feltman said. “We help promote peaceful, credible and transparent elections through a mixture of technical support, policy and best practice advice, and in partnership with a wide range of regional and sub-regional organizations and our UN partners.”
About one-third of the latest Appeal will provide support to prevention, mediation and peacebuilding. An additional $4.5 million are needed to support these services by developing and sustaining partnerships with regional organizations, UN agencies and other stakeholders.
In his speech, the Under-Secretary-General noted that over the past 15 years there has been an increasing gap between DPA’s regular budget and the rapidly-growing demand for its mediation, conflict prevention and good offices services.
DPA has a mediation standby team whose eight experts were deployed more than 100 times at a 72-hours’ notice to nearly 60 countries this year. Experts were recently deployed, for example, to Burkina Faso at the outset of the crisis, to support the good offices efforts of Special Representative Mohammed Ibn Chambas. Meanwhile, in the Central African Republic, the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) office in Libreville supported and complemented mediation efforts led by the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).
Among plans for 2015, DPA aims to include more women in mediation efforts, as well as national dialogues, peace processes and agreement.
“We have made significant gains regarding women’s participation in conflict prevention, mediation and peace processes, but we need to do even better, “ Mr. Feltman said noting the upcoming 15th anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325.
Last year, DPA called for $24.5 million in extrabudgetary support. As of November 2014, a total of $15 million has been pledged, out of which, $11 million has been received. Sixty-nine per cent of the total contributions are not earmarked, enabling the Department to use the contributions more effectively.
The total amount of contributions should be on the rise this year, pending final accounting. The Governments of Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Oman, Qatar, Russia, and Thailand are among the Member States who attended for the first time.
Experience moments from the donor meeting through Member States' Tweets under the hashtag #supportDPA15.
For more information about the 2015 Appeal, please contact Delphine Bost at email@example.com.