Pursuant to the Presidential statement issued by the UN Security Council on 20th May 2008, the UN Secretary General was invited to submit a report on “Peacebuilding in the Immediate Aftermath of Conflict” for the consideration of the Security Council and the General Assembly.
Prior to its submission in July 2009, the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform held a consultation on the report’s suggested agenda for action with Ms. Sally Fegan-Wyles, Senior Project Director within the UN Peacebuilding Support Office, and with a broad range of experts and experienced practitioners from the humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding communities.
The aim of the consultation was to raise awareness among the Geneva peacebuilding community on the approach suggested in the report and to generate an initial reflection on the operational implications of the report’s recommendations. The key message taken away from the discussion of the report revolves around issues of leadership, of strategic priority-setting, and of mechanisms to support building national/local capacity to consolidate peace.
Firstly, appointments are not followed by fast deployment and even when the right leader is finally in place, oftentimes there is insufficient authority residing with that particular office to ensure decisions are translated rapidly into action. Secondly, putting structures into place such as integrated missions tends to overshadow the difficulty and the stakes associated with decision-making. And, thirdly, the emphasis on building national capacity is very often focused on national administration and thus centered on the capital level.
After this consultation, the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform was invited to consider the following: how to foster learning processes between the humanitarian and peacebuilding community; develop the practical understanding of the way to engage with civil society and local actors at national and sub-national level; contribute to the development of peacebuilding tool-kits and training material for both international and national actors.