The Peacebuilding Commission
The Peacebuilding Commission, newly created in the course of UN reform, is supposed to create a kind of UN institutional memory with respect to reconstruction in post-conflict countries. The commission’s task is to collect the experiences, know-how, and best practices of reconstruction and to better coordinate the local, national, and international participants. NGOs and also the High Level Panel had requested that the commission be entrusted with conflict prevention, in the sense of providing early warning.
This, however, was rejected by then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. An institutional base for prevention has yet to be created. Also, and despite demands by women’s organizations, Resolution 1325 is not part of the institutional basis of the commission. Thus crucial chances were missed to strengthen the aspect of gender in guiding reconstruction processes and to provide better opportunities in public institutions for those who are being discriminated against on the basis of gender.
The results achieved by the Peacebuilding Commission, which began work in June 2006, are therefore modest. Its organizing committee consists of 31 members who change every two years: seven members of the UN Security Council (including permanent members), seven members of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), five members from among the largest contributors to the UN, five from the countries that supply the most personnel for peacekeeping missions, and five from countries with experience in reconstruction. The real work, though, gets done in the country committees. Since the end of 2008, these committees have dealt with reconstruction processes in Burundi, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, and the Central African Republic (in part by video conferences with local partner organizations).