October 2006 Monthly Forecast

Posted 28 September 2006
Download Complete Forecast: PDF

Peacebuilding Commission

Expected Action
The Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) is expected to hold its first formal country-specific meetings on Sierra Leone and Burundi on 12 and 13 October, respectively. Reports from the Peacebuilding Support Office and from the Sierra Leonean and Burundian governments are expected. The meetings are likely to result in short initial lists of major outstanding issues or a specific strategy for peacebuilding for each country, as well as next steps (in particular the holding of thematic meetings on those outstanding issues).

At the time of writing, the Organisational Committee was expected to decide, prior to the country-specific meetings, on:

  • civil society participation (some groups have already suggested modalities for that);
  • Sweden’s request to participate in the meetings on Sierra Leone; and
  • requests from the EU Commission and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to participate in PBC meetings.

Key Recent Developments
On 23 June, the Organisational Committee held its first meeting, in which the members elected Angola as chair and El Salvador and Norway as vice-chairs, adopted the rules of procedure, and indicated that Burundi and Sierra Leone would be considered for its country-specific mode.

Since then, members have received informal country-specific briefings in July and held a seminar with civil society organisations in September. The Organisational Committee also prepared an initial list of members for country-specific meetings.

The EU Commission forwarded a request for participation in PBC meetings as an “other institutional donor” under paragraph 9 of resolution 1645. The OIC subsequently also requested participation. The basis for this seems less clear.

Options include establishing a procedure for approving the participation of other institutional donors. Members may decide to either accept all applications or establish criteria. One possibility already raised among members is to interpret paragraph 9 of resolution 1645 as requiring that “other institutional donors” should have experience and reach that is relatively comparable to the other institutions mentioned in that paragraph, namely the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

On country-specific strategies, options include whether to address politically sensitive issues such as human rights, rule of law and democratic governance. Recent events in Burundi could bring this discussion clearly into focus.

Key Issues
The main issue for PBC members is the urgency to begin working on country-specific strategies.

Divisive issues could emerge on country-specific strategies, in particular the concerned governments’ record on democratic governance, corruption and human rights. Members are aware that any action needs the consent from those governments. This could potentially highlight differences in the understanding of the practical meaning of peacebuilding, especially its more political aspects.

PBC Dynamics
The EU Commission and OIC requests highlight existing concerns among some members about the possible influence of Western donors (particularly in the Organisational Committee), which no doubt goes back to the negotiations leading to the creation of the PBC.

Most members, however, seem reasonably confident that past meetings have clarified the PBC’s role and paved the way for progress on country-specific strategies. There are concerns that the meeting on Burundi may face difficulties in view of the recent events in that country.

Views still differ as to whether the Organisational Committee should be involved in broad thematic issues at this stage, or concentrate more on organisational matters.

UN Documents

 Selected Security Council Resolutions
  • S/RES/1646 (20 December 2005) decided that the five permanent members will be in the Organisational Committee.
  • S/RES/1645 and A/RES/60/180 (20 December 2005) created the PBC and the Fund.
 Selected General Assembly Resolutions
  1. A/RES/60/261 (8 May 2006) decided on the General Assembly’s Organisational Committee seats.
  2. A/RES/60/1 (16 September 2005) 2005 World Summit Outcome
 Selected Meeting Records
  • PBC/1 (23 June 2006) was the record of the Organisational Committee’s first meeting.
  • S/PV.5335 and A/60/PV.66 (20 December 2005) were the records of the PBC’s creation.
 Selected Letters
  • S/2006/25 (17 January 2006) communicated the Council’s election of Denmark and Tanzania to the Organisational Committee.
  • PBC/OC/1/2 (21 June 2006) was a Council letter referring Burundi and Sierra Leone to the PBC.
 Selected Secretary-General’s Reports
  • S/2006/695 (29 August 2006) was the latest report on Sierra Leone.
  • S/2006/429 (21 June 2006) and Add.1 (14 August 2006) comprised the latest report on Burundi.

Historical Background

 19 July 2006  The first informal briefings on Burundi and Sierra Leone were held.
 23 June 2006  The Organisational Committee held its first meeting.

Other Relevant Facts

 PBC Organisational Committee Members
  • From the Security Council: the P5, Denmark and Tanzania
  • From the top ten financial contributors: Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and Norway
  • From the top ten military and police contributors: Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Nigeria and Pakistan
  • From ECOSOC: Angola, Belgium, Brazil, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Poland and Sri Lanka
  • From the General Assembly: Burundi, Chile, Croatia, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji and Jamaica
 Chairman of the PBC Organisational Committee
  • Ambassador Ismael Gaspar Martins (Angola)
 Peacebuilding Support Office Head
  • Carolyn McAskie (Canada)
 Peacebuilding Support Office Budget
  • US$1,571,300

Full forecast