Recent and Future Developments

Since its creation by the SC-GA joint resolutions (S/RES/1645 andA/RES/60/180), the UN Peacebuilding Architecture has been subject to many reports and reviews. These have generally focused either on the Peacebuilding Architecture itself, meaning its structure and working methods, or on its approach to the very concept of peacebuilding. 

The 5-year Review of the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture in 2010 (S/2010/393) analyzed the progress made by the Peacebuilding Commission and more particularly its existing Country-Specific Configurations (CSCs) and concluded that although the PBA had much potential, the hopes that had led to its creation had yet to be realized. That same year, 2 progress reports drafted by the Secretary General (on peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict (S/2010/386) and on women's participation in peacebuilding (S/2010/466) further informed the PBC and the Security Council on optimal peacebuilding practices. The identification of the first 24 months post-conflict as the ones during which the risk of relapse is strongest significantly shaped the policies of the PBC and its CSCs on the ground. 

In the more recent past, notable reports and reviews on the PBA have included:

  • Special Research Report by The Security Council Report, April 18th 2013. This report identified the main challenges faced by the PBC and analyzed its relationship with the Security Council. Overall, it concluded that the success of the PBC's efforts on the ground were dependent upon a number of factors both within and without its control, and that although as of 2013 its effectiveness was not as Member States had hoped it would be, it had considerable potential. The revision of the PBC working methods in order to strengthen Country-Specific Configuration relationships with host governments and UN missions on the ground, the strengthening of its collaboration with the Security Council and a renewed determination by Member States to make peacebuilding a priority could significantly increase the PBC's worth. 
  • The Challenge of Sustaining Peace, Report of the Advisory Group of Experts (AGE), 2015. This report meant to advise the 2015 UN Peacebuilding Review concludes that militarized responses to conflict are not sustainable, that peacebuilding involves diplomatic, political, human rights, economic, social and security areas, and that it should be understood as a preventative rather than a reparative process. All UN entities and organs should be involved at all times, but especially during transition processes during which switches between UN missions' mandates can be complex. In order to facilitate these processes and complement their own efforts, they should include non-state organizations and actors from all levels in their projects.
  • Filling The Gap: How civil society engagement can help the UN's PBA meet is purposea joint report by the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) and GPPAC report from 2015?. This report analyses the effectiveness of the PBA, focusing on the strength of its collaboration with civil society actors. It concludes with a number of recommendations meant to help the PBA fulfill its potential. These recommendation include: increasing transparency, building strategic partnership with non-state actors both in New York and on the ground, use the PBC's convening power to reinforce collaboration within the UN and promoting mutual accountability in order to ensure the UN and States are held to their commitments. 
  • Early Warning and economic, social and cultural rights, by the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, 2016. Although this report doesn't focus on the UN Peacebuilding, it illustrates how violations of economic, social and cultural rights can cause violence, social unrest and conflict. Through an analysis of these rights and their violations, the UN could potentially receive early warnings of conflicts about to break out. Reports such as these are invaluable in preventative action and redefine the concept of peacebuilding. By linking the violation of social, economic and cultural rights to the escalation of violence, this report makes the protection of such rights key to successful peacebuilding, and therefore an area the PBA should pay close attention to.  

Other notable documents include the 2015 Global Study on the UNSCR 1325 entitled Preventing Conflict Transforming Justice Securing the Peace and the High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO) report from June 2015. These reports, along with that of the AGE, are commonly referred to as a "package", and build upon each other to build a comprehensive overview and review of the UN's peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts. 

2016 Sustaining Peace Resolution

On April 27th, 2016, the SC and the GA adopted identical resolutions (S/RES/2282 and A/RES/70/262) reviewing the PBA; the most comprehensive and holistic resolutions on peacebuilding ever. The purpose of these resolutions was to transform the current understanding of peacebuilding into one of a sustained peacebuilding. Sustained peacebuilding, much like sustainable development, cannot exist without the proper social, economic and political/institutional foundations. Therefore, any and all efforts towards peacebuilding must be multi-dimensional and focus not only on post-conflict relief efforts but also before and during conflict situations. Peacebuilding, as a guarantee against re-lapse into conflict, necessarily includes preventative action and the strengthening of societies during conflicts in order to make the formal peace process durable. It includes all efforts to "prevent outbreak, escalation, recurrence or continuation of conflict"

Another major contribution by the April identical resolutions was the affirmation of peacebuilding as a process which concerns and requires the involvement of all UN organs and entities. The Peacebuilding Architecture is not the peacebuilding body of the UN - the UN is a peacebuilding body whose work is facilitated by the Peacebuilding Architecture's advisory and convening role. These resolutions was an invitation for the Peacebuilding Commission to diversify its working methods and strengthen its relationship with other UN bodies. The recent joint meeting between the PBC and the Economic and Social Council on June 24th, 2016, establishing the link between peacebuilding and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, is an example of recent efforts to promote cooperation and communication between UN bodies.