Peace is Priceless, Peace Is Possible: DPPA Launches Multi-Year Appeal 2022 Mid-Year Report

Voluntary funding from Member States enabled the Department to respond quickly to new and existing crises around the globe, all in a year upended by the invasion of Ukraine.

O n 9 September, the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) presented an update to its Multi-Year Appeal, its principal mechanism for raising funds.

In the first six months of 2022, the funding — which countries provide over and above what they contribute to the UN’s regular budget — enabled the Department to carry out much of its peacebuilding work around the globe. From Ethiopia and Libya, to Myanmar, Syria and Yemen, it continued to advance political solutions, provide mediation support, and encourage preventive action for peace.

“The MYA … funds both core and non-core capacities,” said Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo. “An underfunded MYA bears the risk of limiting DPPA’s operational reach, [which] will ultimately have [a] significant impact on DPPA’s capacity to deliver on its mandate.”

Implementing the Truce in Yemen

The update, or Mid-Year Report, provides details of various projects funded with voluntary contributions. In Yemen, for example, the Department’s work paid dividends: On 2 April 2022, Special Envoy Hans Grunberg facilitated negotiations between the Houthis and the Government of Yemen, for a renewable, nationwide truce, initially for a two-month period. The truce is still broadly holding. MYA funding has continued to strengthen backstopping in the Office of the Special Envoy with Political Affairs Officers in Headquarters. This has been key to furthering the implementation of several elements of the truce, especially with regard to its political and security dimensions.

Hans Grundberg, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, consults Yemeni women on multitrack peace process design and priorities in Amman, Jordan. Credit: OSESGY/Abdel Rahman Alzorgan

Advancing Humanitarian Access in Syria

In Syria, as efforts continue to bring about a negotiated political settlement, DPPA regularly brings together all relevant UN entities to ensure a coordinated approach. As co-chair of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Syria, DPPA’s convening role is vital in relation to military developments in certain parts of the country, violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, and the return of refugees, among other matters. Without MYA funding, the UN would have less capacity to advance the political process, humanitarian access, and accountability.

Bringing Women into Political Processes in Sudan

In Sudan, using MYA funding, the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission (UNITAMS) has carried out work to strengthen the meaningful participation of women in political processes, with the backing of the UNITAMS- African Union-Intergovernmental Authority on Development Trilateral Mechanism.

Building Up Expertise on Climate Security

The Department also expanded its work on climate security at its Special Political Missions in the Horn of Africa, West Africa and the Sahel, Central Africa and Central Asia. The United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), for example, hosted a regional conference on climate change, peace and security, discussing ongoing efforts at all levels — local, regional, and national — to address and mitigate risk.

Enabling Credible and Transparent Elections

DPPA also provides electoral assistance to requesting Member States. In the first half of 2022, it supported elections in the Gambia, Lebanon, Somalia and Timor-Leste, and continued to work on election related good-offices support with seven Member States. In Ecuador, for example, MYA funds enabled a Needs Assessment Mission to deploy at the request of the national authorities, allowing the UN to continue its work on combating electoral violence and disinformation, in preparation for upcoming 2023 and 2025 elections.

Advancing New Technologies to Support Peacebuilding Efforts

The Department’s Innovation Cell — established in 2020 to find new and effective ways to approach conflict dynamics — used artificial intelligence, virtual reality and geospatial open-source earth observation to inspire and inform the work of its peacebuilders and mediators. In one initiative, a special political mission and its government counterparts used cutting-edge technology to study the relationship between water supplies and social unrest using geographical data.

The MYA’s “Rapid Response” Window for Emergencies

The MYA has a “Rapid Response” window that allows DPPA experts to deploy within 72 hours. The MYA is characterized by small, agile, and often discreet initiatives. About 60 per cent of MYA funds so far in 2022 are unearmarked. More than 156 personnel have been deployed under this remit to assist in mediation and conflict prevention work.

This urgent response capability enabled the Department to provide the surge staffing and expertise needed as the war in Ukraine unfolded. MYA funds continue to be used to provide political analysis on the conflict, while DPPA’s liaison office in Ukraine provides strategic advice to the UN presence on the ground.

A destroyed car and damaged buildings in Bucha, Ukraine. Credit: UNDP/Yevheni Zavhorodnii

DPPA’s crisis-response system is entirely funded by the MYA, and allows for the deployment of Senior Mediation Advisers anywhere in the world within 72 hours. In the first half of 2022, for example, mediators were deployed to Libya to advise on constitutional matters, and Sudan and Syria for mediation process design.

The Ukraine conflict and its global impacts have increased prevention, peacemaking, and peacebuilding risks, while cutting into the Department’s resources. This places a renewed obligation on DPPA to seek further donor support, even as Official Development Assistance (ODA) has been reduced by some bilateral donors.

Peace is Priceless, Peace is Possible

The Department’s target amount for the Appeal is $40 million, to enable it to continue its vital work in conflict prevention and peacebuilding round the world. In the current financial and political contexts, the MYA is more important than ever.

To read the full report, click here.

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