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UN calls for ‘clear-eyed’ vision for peace and security, as peacebuilders meet in New York

The Secretary-General’s New Agenda for Peace aims to address these complex challenges through multilateralism, rooted in the UN Charter and international law, centred on trust, solidarity, and universality.

It comes amid criticism from some Member States that the UN is no longer playing an effective role in peacebuilding and peacekeeping, as calls for overall reform of institutions like the Security Council grow louder.

Prioritize diplomacy

Representing the UN chief at the meeting, that brought together ministers from Member States and countries on the Commission’s agenda, political affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo explained the details of the plan.

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“Our goal is to present a unifying vision for peace and security – one that is clear-eyed about the magnitude of today’s challenges, and which addresses the concerns and priorities of different constituencies,” she said.

The core of this vision is a call for Member States to prioritize diplomacy, conflict prevention, and peacebuilding, for which comprehensive strategies, political courage and strong partnerships backed by sustainable resources and national leadership are a must. 

The Commission, an intergovernmental advisory body launched in 2005, plays a crucial role in supporting peace efforts in conflict-affected countries.

Consisting of 31 Member States elected from the General Assembly, the Security Council, and the Economic and Social Council, it brings together top donors and troop-contributing countries.

Three pillars of peacebuilding

“Above all, greater trust – among Member States, among people and in the institution of the United Nations itself – is essential,” underscored Ms. DiCarlo, presenting an approach to conflict prevention and peacebuilding that rests on three principles. 

Recognizing the broad impact of violence, A New Agenda for Peace urges all Member States to work tirelessly to silence the guns. 

It emphasizes that prevention should involve all countries, not just those in conflict, calling on every State to develop national strategies.

Lastly, it stresses that prevention must “be nationally led and owned”, addressing trust issues and aligning national priorities with international support when necessary.

Bigger role in UN overhaul

When it comes to the reform of UN bodies like the Security Council and General Assembly, the Peacebuilding Commission is given a prominent role in fostering discussions on peace and development issues, strengthening cooperation, and formalizing relationships with international financial institutions.

Advocating for more sustainable and predictable financing of peacebuilding activity, Ms. DiCarlo called also for enhanced linkages between the Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund, reminding of the commitment of the General Assembly on financing for peace.

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