The Council might also consider a third report at the same meeting. A report, on women and peacebuilding is expected from the Secretary-General in early October. But at press time the Council had yet to decide whether to take up that issue in the context of the peacebuilding debate or whether to address it during the tenth anniversary debate on Women, Peace and Security planned for late October.
The Council is likely to adopt a resolution formalising the outcome of the peacebuilding review, in a parallel action with the General Assembly.
A presidential statement on the wider issue of post-conflict peacebuilding is also possible.
On 19 July the presidents of the Council and the General Assembly received the report of the three co-facilitators in charge of the 2010 review of the UN peacebuilding architecture. (The co-facilitators—Ambassadors Anne Anderson of Ireland, Claude Heller of Mexico and Baso Sangqu of South Africa—were appointed on 11 December 2009 to lead the review of the purpose, role and operation of the peacebuilding architecture as mandated in resolution 60/180 and resolution 1645). The report put forward a number of recommendations, including several regarding the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) and the Council:
strengthening the PBC’s relationship with the Council, including the latter seeking the advice of the PBC when peacekeeping mandates are being established, reviewed or are approaching a drawdown;
a more expansive use of existing Council procedures;
a revised process for referring countries to the PBC agenda, including “a winder range of situations for referral: that could include larger countries; or sectoral or regional situations”; and
utilising the full potential for a preventive role offered by the PBC’s existing mandate.
(For further background, please see our August 2010 Monthly Forecast.)
On 16 July, the Secretary-General submitted a progress report on post-conflict peacebuilding. It gave a mixed picture of progress. It noted:
improvements in some areas such as “the project of strengthening civilian capacities” and the establishment of “UN system-wide standards for strategy and planning in mission settings that will, with continued effort, produce more coherent approaches to peacebuilding at the field level”; but
the UN still fell “short of an effective and predictable response, including in areas fundamental to sustainable peacebuilding like close collaboration with the World Bank, predictable and norms-based delivery in core areas such as rule of law and security sector reform, and supporting national capacity development through significantly improved operational approaches.”
(For further background, please see our August 2010 Monthly Forecast, our 17 July 2009 Update Report on Post-Conflict Peacebuilding and our 9 May 2008 Update Report on Building Sustainable Peace: Post-Conflict Stabilisation.)
On women in peacebuilding, the expected report responds to a request by the Council on 5 October 2009 in resolution 1889. It asked the Secretary-General for ideas on addressing women’s participation and inclusion in peacebuilding and planning in the aftermath of conflict, taking into consideration the views of the PBC. The Peacebuilding Support Office subsequently undertook extensive consultations with the UN membership, peacebuilding practitioners within the UN system in New York and Geneva, and civil society when drafting this report. The final report, due in early October, is expected to contain a seven-point action plan for gender-responsive peacebuilding, including recommendations on minimum funding levels for gender programming in post-conflict recovery and possibly a recommendation that quota systems for women’s participation in post-conflict legislatures be encouraged.
One key issue for the Council is the implications in terms of working methods of the recommendations of the co-facilitators on the peacebuilding architecture review.
Another closely related issue will be whether to adopt the recommendations of the peacebuilding review with specific implementation expectations or instead agree to a more general formula of in principle approval.
A third issue is how to bring value out of the Secretary-General’s report on peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict, bearing in mind that many of the issues have been overtaken by the debate held in the Council on 23 September and the lessons in the statement (S/PRST/2010/18).
adopting a general resolution in parallel with the General Assembly to acknowledge the outcome of the peacebuilding review ; and
establishing by way of separate decision a follow up process or mechanism to implement the recommendations of the peacebuilding review, as it relates specifically to the Council.
An option for the issue of post-conflict peacebuilding will be for the Council to adopt a statement simply noting the key observations of the Secretary-General’s July report and highlighting the need to enhance effective and predictable responses. (At press time, discussions were in their nascent stages regarding a possible Council presidential statement.)
If the Council considers the Secretary-General’s report on women and peacebuilding during its peacebuilding debate, one option is to endorse the seven-point action plan for gender-responsive peacebuilding in the one thematic decision on women, peace and security.
It seems that Council members are comfortable with a general principle approval of the PBC review by way of parallel resolutions in the Council and the General Assembly. At press time, there was reportedly controversy about the exact operative wording. The P5 seem to prefer more ambiguous language and to defer any commitment on exactly what needs to be done respectively by the Council and General Assembly to implement the recommendations of the co-facilitators.
For the Council specifically, the issue is that the recommendations of the co-facilitators really relate to Council working methods (e.g. seeking the advice of the PBC when peacekeeping mandates are being established, reviewed or are approaching a drawdown). P5 members traditionally prefer that the General Assemble not use language on such matters. Russia has argued that this needs to be worked out in detail separately, not in the anticipated resolution. Others, including Uganda (which holds the presidency in October), seem keen to have the Council act more quickly and move the process forward in October.
Preliminary discussions on the question of the most appropriate forum in which to consider the Secretary-General’s report on women and peacebuilding has reportedly seen some Council members, including Austria, France, Mexico, the UK, Turkey and Japan, pushing for the issue to be taken up on 13 October. They argue for including the report in the debate on peacebuilding instead of during the tenth anniversary debate on women, and peace and security later in October to ensure that peacebuilding experts deal with the report, rather than the gender experts, in order that the recommendations of the report are dealt with in a more cross-cutting way. Other members, including Uganda, China and Russia, appear to question the idea, citing the need to consider the matter within the specific thematic context of the tenth anniversary debate on women, and peace and security.
Selected Security Council Resolutions
Selected Presidential Statements
Selected General Assembly Resolutions