Providing an Arab Perspective to Sustaining UN Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding

“It is high time that we look at the institutions of global governance, with a view of reforming them to be better able to provide the collective, effective and timely response that we all need”. These were the opening remarks of Ambassador Amr Moussa, Former Secretary General of the League of Arab States and Chairman of the International Advisory Board of the Cairo Center for Conflict Resolution and Peacekeeping in Africa (CCCPA) in the commencement of a high-level workshop held on 1 and 2 March 2016 in Cairo.

Within the framework of the ongoing cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Japan and UNDP, CCCPA organized a High-level Workshop titled “Arab Perspectives on the Future of the United Nations Peace and Security Architecture: Towards a timely, collective and Effective Response in partnership with the Office of the President of the General Assembly and the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Department of Multilateral Affairs and International Security). This workshop comes as part of the preparatory global discussions for the General Assembly’s High Level Thematic Debate on 10-11 May 2016 on “UN, Peace and Security”.

In the opening session, the President of the United Nations General Assembly, via video message, highlighted the importance of reasserting effective multilateralism and advancing a people-centered approach to improving peacekeeping and peacebuilding. Furthermore, he urged participants to draw upon their Arab experiences and use their expertise to develop a more effective system to managing conflict and humanitarian assistance.  

Bringing together more than 110 high-level officials from member states of the League of Arab States, international, regional, and sub-regional organizations and UN agencies, Arab think tanks and prominent experts in the field, the workshop offered a platform for regional stakeholders to discuss some of the recommendations of the global reviews of the UN peacekeeping missions and peacebuilding architecture. More importantly, this workshop allowed participants to communicate an Arab perspective on the implementation of necessary reforms that would develop the United Nation’s capacity to act coherently to prevent, respond and manage conflict, and to sustain peace.

Over the two days of discussions, the workshop covered several topics; Building on the synergies and bridging the gaps of the UN reviews, the primacy of politics from preventing conflict to sustaining peace, partnerships and trilateral cooperation in peacekeeping, enhancing national ownership and responding to the real needs, and enhancing synergies and effectiveness of UN field presence through coordinated vision and shared services.

As the workshop proceeded, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Anita Nirody, highlighted the role of women in peacekeeping and peacebuilding by adding that “placing women at the center of humanitarian and recovery processes can ensure that peace processes reflect the greater needs of the community”.

CCCPA will provide the outcome of this workshop as an input for the General Assembly’s High Level Thematic Debate, which will take place on 10 and 11 May, 2016 in New York.

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