UN System-wide Community Engagement Guidelines on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace

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    The Working Group on UN System-wide Community-Engagement Guidelines in Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace, led by the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO)/Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), invites UN entities at all levels and civil society actors active in peacebuilding, especially at the local level, to participate in a three-day global online consultation reflecting on good practices and challenges to effective community engagement for peacebuilding, and discuss possible and concrete next steps to operationalize the guidelines in various UN settings in conflict-affected situations.

    The consultation will take place on 5-7 August 2019 and will be open to participants based anywhere in the world.

    To register, please complete the online form via this link by 23 July 2019.

    Background

    Civil society actors, including women and youth, are often important peacebuilding agents, playing a key role in conflict-affected societies and in situations of transition. Community-based actors at the local level further play a crucial role in promoting confidence and trust, encouraging cooperation and creating incentives for collective actions that contribute to building and sustaining peace in broader society. As such, the engagement of community-based actors is a critical component of peacebuilding and sustaining peace.

    To better promote meaningful inclusion through broader partnerships, the Secretary-General called for strengthened engagement with civil society and local communities at large in his report on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace (A/72/707 and S/2018/43). In response to these recommendations, in December 2018, the Peacebuilding Support office (PBSO)/Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) has led a joint UN-CSO Working Group (including Policy Evaluation and Training Division (DPET)/Department of Peace Operations (DPO), Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Women, Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), International Peace Institute (IPI) and Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO)) to develop the UN system-wide Community-Engagement Guidelines in Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace (UNCEG).

    During the past six months, the UNCEG Working Group has engaged with the UN field staff and civil society worldwide, particularly community-based actors, through online surveys and in-country VTC consultations to explore good practice examples and challenges of the engagement between the UN and national/local peacebuilding civil society organizations and actors.

    As the final stage of the inclusive and comprehensive consultation process, the UNCEG Working Group invites all UN entities and civil society actors active in peacebuilding, including those who had contributed to the online surveys and VTC consultations, to (1) validate the draft UN system-wide Community Engagement Guidelines in Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace; (2) reflect on some of the noted good practices and challenges; and (3) discuss possible next steps to operationalize the guidelines in various UN settings in conflict-affected situations.

    The UN system-wide Community Engagement Guidelines in Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace are ultimately expected to support various UN presence at the country-level in their efforts of engaging and cooperating with local civil society and community actors in the context of peacebuilding. UN field presence – both mission and non-mission settings – are encouraged to develop country-specific community engagement strategies to improve on building trust and capacity, reaching out to the rural and marginalized areas where needs are often overlooked, fostering a conducive environment for robust civil society in peacebuilding, sharing good practices and lessons learned through a strong community of practice and strengthened collaboration with civil society, particularly at the local level, in context analysis, planning, programming and monitoring and evaluation.

    How will the consultation work?

    The three-day consultation will take place through an online discussion platform Platform4Dialogue on 5-7 August 2019. Although the main language will be English, participants who are more comfortable in other languages are welcome to participate in one of the six official UN languages, provided they also include a Google-translated English version for the benefit of other participants.

    The online system allows participants to contribute at their utmost convenience and within their own time zone by taking just a few minutes a day to make important contributions to the discussion.

    How can participation benefit your work?

    This is a unique opportunity to engage with and inform the UN process for developing system-wide community engagement guidelines in peacebuilding and sustaining peace. By participating, you and your organization will:

    • Learn more about the development of the UN’s system-wide community engagement guidelines and reflect on the messages that have been developed;
    • Discuss ideas on how the guidelines can be operationalized at the regional, national and local levels by the UN and civil society stakeholders;
    • Share experiences on working to implement strategies and programming for peacebuilding and sustaining peace and discuss how the UN and civil society could strengthen partnership to structurally identify and address urgent needs and challenges in conflict-affected situations;
    • Receive a report at the end of the consultation, which you can use to inform your own work. The report will include a list of participants and affiliated organisations of those who have provided consent.

    What is required to participate?

    The online consultation will take place on 5-7 August 2019.

    During this period, participants will log in and join the discussion at least once a day. You will be expected to read the recommended background materials, key messages, guiding questions, as well as ongoing comments of other participants before contributing to the platform.

    To register, please complete the online form via this link by 23 July 2019.

    Questions?

    For further inquiry on the Global Online Consultation or the UN system-wide Community Engagement Guidelines in Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace, please contact Ms. Rose Chung [DPPA/PBSO] at kyusun.chung@un.org

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