19 November 2020

Deputy Secretary-General Calls on Humanitarian, Development, Peace Actors to Work Together at Economic and Social Council, Peacebuilding Commission Joint Meeting

Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, to the Joint Meeting of the Economic and Social Council and the Peacebuilding Commission, “Fostering global solidarity in response to coherent and conflict sensitive responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and its socioeconomic impacts”, held on 19 November:

I am pleased to join you for this Joint Meeting of the Economic and Social Council and the Peacebuilding Commission.  Allow me to commend Ambassador Munir Akram and Ambassador Bob Rae for their leadership as President of the Economic and Social Council and Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, respectively.

As I address you today, Member States are negotiating resolutions on the next quadrennial comprehensive policy review, or QCPR, and the 2020 review of the peacebuilding architecture.

The 2016 QCPR, and the twin resolutions on peacebuilding and sustaining peace, led to greater coherence between our development, humanitarian and peacebuilding actions, and enhanced partnerships.

With newly empowered [resident coordinators] RCs and a new generation of cooperation frameworks, the United Nations system is better equipped to achieve lasting impact in contexts where development and peace efforts are integrated.

Yet, more remains to be done.  This year’s QCPR and peacebuilding review offer an opportunity to define how the United Nations development system can further accelerate efforts towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing economic, health and societal pressures, driving fragility and conflict.  It has underscored the imperative of stronger collaboration between the Economic and Social Council, Peacebuilding Commission and other partners, and proven that we cannot work in silos:  the extent to which humanitarian and development responses are conflict sensitive will determine how effective our actions will be to recover better.

Today, the relationship between the Economic and Social Council and Peacebuilding Commission is more crucial than ever, and both institutions have interconnected roles to play.  I see three areas of improvement for greater interlinkages:

First, we know that many conflicts today are driven by structural drivers which require sustained efforts beyond the lifespan of one political or peacekeeping mission.

The Peacebuilding Commission must better reconcile short-term humanitarian and stabilization needs, with longer-term peacebuilding and development processes.  The Economic and Social Council should accompany and complete the work that the Commission begins.

Second, the Peacebuilding Commission and the Economic and Social Council should both be closely involved in work around transitions to ensure relevant partnerships and a visioning for a long-term approach to peace and development.  The work of Economic and Social Council on Haiti could serve as best practice.

Third, these interlinkages should be more apparent in our planning and reporting documents, including Member States’ voluntary national reviews.

The Secretary-General recognized equitable sustainable development as the most effective tool for prevention.  He set up various funding instruments so that our action leads towards recovering better.  We need your consistent support for these critical instruments to be well resourced.

As we enter the Decade of Action for the Sustainable Development Goals, let us seize the opportunity to increase collaboration between humanitarian, development and peace actors, at all levels, to leave no one behind.

For information media. Not an official record.