1. The present report has been prepared pursuant to General Assembly resolution 60/180 and Security Council resolution 1645 (2005), in which the Peacebuilding Commission was requested to submit an annual report to the General Assembly for an annual debate and review. The report will also be submitted to the Council, pursuant to its resolution 1646 (2005), for an annual debate. The report covers the tenth session of the Commission, held from 1 January to 31 December 2016.
2. On 27 April 2016, the General Assembly and the Security Council adopted parallel, substantively identical, resolutions on the review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture (General Assembly resolution 70/262 and Security Council resolution 2282 (2016)), by which the two organs, inter alia, requested the Peacebuilding Commission to include, in its annual reports, information on progress made in reviewing its working methods and provisional rules of procedure and encouraged the Commission, through its Organizational Committee, to consider diversifying its working methods to enhance its efficiency and flexibility in support of sustaining peace. The structure and content of the present report therefore includes information on the work undertaken by the Commission in implementing the relevant recommendations contained in the resolutions on the review of the peacebuilding architecture, while also reflecting the priorities identified in the annual report of the Commission on its ninth session (A/70/714-S/2016/115).
II. Work of the Peacebuilding Commission
A. Peacebuilding and sustaining peace: opportunities and challenges
3. The Commission embarked on the work of its tenth session in the spirit of examining the far-reaching recommendations of the report of the Advisory Group of Experts on the Review of the Peacebuilding Architecture (A/69/968-S/2015/490) and implementing the above-mentioned resolutions on the review of the peacebuilding architecture adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council. Both the Assembly and the Council, in those resolutions, define sustaining peace as:
a goal and a process to build a common vision of a society, ensuring that the needs of all segments of the population are taken into account, which encompasses activities aimed at preventing the outbreak, escalation, continuation and recurrence of conflict, addressing root causes, assisting parties to conflict to end hostilities, ensuring national reconciliation, and moving towards recovery, reconstruction and development, and emphasizing that sustaining peace is a shared task and responsibility that needs to be fulfilled by the Government and all other national stakeholders, and should flow through all three pillars of the United Nations engagement at all stages of conflict, and in all its dimensions, and needs sustained international attention and assistance
In those resolutions, the Assembly and the Council also called for the strengthening of the Commission, its convening and bridging role and its partnerships with other stakeholders, including the international financial institutions, in addition to addressing country-specific situations. They also called for better intergovernmental coherence, partnerships and operational and policy coherence and invited the Secretary-General to provide options on increasing, restructuring and better prioritizing funding dedicated to United Nations peacebuilding activities.
4. Throughout the reporting period, the Commission continued to address the situations in Burundi, the Central African Republic, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Since the eruption of the political crisis in Burundi in 2015, the Commission has intensified its focus on that country. Through visits to Burundi and the region, the Council’s Burundi configuration has engaged with the Government and national stakeholders, encouraging a peaceful solution by Burundians, with regional and international support, including that of the African Union, the East African Community and neighbouring countries. During his two visits to Burundi and the region, the Chair of the Burundi configuration also engaged the authorities of the United Republic of Tanzania, Rwanda, the African Union and the mediator of the East African Community, the former President of the Republic of Tanzania, Benjamin Mkapa, highlighting the importance of a holistic peacebuilding approach based on the three pillars of the United Nations system, as they are outlined, inter alia, in General Assembly resolution 60/251, and of local capacities for peace, including the constructive work of the group of women mediators. In another example of the convening power of the Commission, and its capacity to add value, it championed policy discussions on the economic impact of the political crisis in Burundi, including through consultations in Geneva on the country’s socioeconomic situation, briefings with officials from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Government authorities in charge of finance and the economy, and with representatives of the private sector in Burundi, with a focus on relations between the Government and its international partners.