Demand for UN Peacebuilding Continues to Outstrip Supply, According to New Report

New York, 20 March — Amidst an intensification and multiplication of crises, the demand for support to UN peacebuilding continues to outstrip supply, the Secretary-General says in a new report.

“The wars grabbing the headlines today only underscore the need to invest now in sustainable peace for tomorrow,” said António Guterres.

Covering the period from 1 January to 31 December, the report highlights that in 2023 the Peacebuilding Fund approved over $200 million for projects in 36 countries and territories, including for women’s and youth empowerment.

While the decision of the General Assembly to provide assessed contributions to the Fund starting in 2025 marked a milestone, the Fund reached its lowest liquidity level since its inception due to a decline in contributions last year.

“This is a time to redouble, not diminish, peacebuilding efforts,” said Assistant-Secretary General for Peacebuilding Support Elizabeth Spehar.  “This year’s report shows again that peacebuilding works:  stronger institutions and inclusive dialogues help break and prevent cycles of violence.”

Throughout 2023, the Peacebuilding Fund helped finance 93 new projects in areas such as transitional justice, preventing electoral violence, management of natural resource conflicts, and demobilization, disarmament and reintegration of ex-combatants.  47.3 per cent of the Fund’s investments were aimed directly at supporting advances in gender equality and women’s empowerment, exceeding the Fund’s target of 30 per cent for the seventh year in a row.

Tangible results were achieved.  For example, in the Central African Republic, increased youth engagement in local mediation yielded concrete results, with constructive interactions between the farmer and herder communities increasing from 37 to 68 per cent over two years.  Seventy-one per cent of young people in the communities reported a higher level of trust in the other community.

In Guinea, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) facilitated consultations across the country of over 2,400 young people on the current political transition.  This was followed by the establishment of a National Council of Youth, with local and regional branches, engaging 3,175 young people who will help inform the National Youth Policy.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola, an initiative of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) led to a reduction in unregulated movements.  By the end of the project, 61 per cent of people around Kamako border posts reported that local dialogue and conflict resolution mechanisms had improved intercommunity relations.

In Liberia, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and UNDP, working with national partners, provided technical assistance in human rights monitoring and reporting, including on hate speech, contributing to largely peaceful presidential and legislative elections last October.

In Colombia, the International Labour Organization (ILO), UNFPA and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) supported youth empowerment in Afro-descendant communities affected by violence and stigmatization in Buenaventura, Cali and Quibdó in the western part of the country.  It enabled 2,483 adolescents and youth to design and implement 90 local peace initiatives for peaceful conflict resolution and preventing gender-based violence, establishing partnerships with local governments, media, academia, trade unions and the private sector.

In South Sudan, Saferworld successfully partnered with four local civil society organizations to tackle gender discrimination contributing to violent conflict.  Partners raised awareness and strengthened capacities, resources, and access to mental health support, reaching 710 women and girls.

The report highlights the increase in requests from Member States for UN Peacebuilding support, as demand continues to outstrip supply.  In 2023, contributions dropped by 22 per cent compared to the year before.

Read the full report of the Secretary-General online: www.un.org/peacebuilding/.

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For information media. Not an official record.