Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Amb. Macharia Kamau has been elected by the African Group to Chair the United Nations Peace Building Commission (PBC) during its 10th Session in 2016.
The Chairmanship of the PBC rotates among the 5 Regional Groupings within the UN which include Group of Latin and Caribbean Countries (GRULAC), Western Europe and Others, Asia Pacific, African Group and Eastern Europe. The African Group’s turn to Chair the PBC is 2016 after Sweden’s Amb. Olof Skoog who chaired the PBC on behalf of Western Europe in 2015. Brazil chaired the PBC on behalf of Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC) in 2014.
The Peace Building Commission (PBC) is an integral and important component of the peace and security architecture of the United Nations. It is an advisory body for both the General Assembly and the Security Council on the best approaches to assist countries emerging from conflict including those at the risk of relapse to conflict. It was created in 2005 through identical resolutions in both the Security Council and General Assembly.
Its objective is to bring together all relevant actors to marshal resources and to advise on, and propose integrated strategies for post-conflict peace building and recovery. It focuses attention on the reconstruction and institution-building efforts necessary for recovery from conflict and supports the development of integrated strategies in order to lay the foundation for sustainable development.
Peace Building Commission further provides recommendations and information to improve the coordination of all relevant actors within and outside the United Nations in order to develop best practices to help to ensure predictable financing for early recovery activities and to extend the period of attention given by the international community to post conflict recovery.
To chair the Peace Building Commission, a country must be a member of its Organizational Committee. The Committee comprises 31 countries; seven are selected from the General Assembly, seven from Security Council, seven from Economic and Social Council, five from top providers of assessed and voluntary Contributions to UN and five from top contributors to UN Peacekeeping Missions.
Kenya was elected by the General Assembly in 2014 to the PBC Organizational Committee to represent African Group for the 2015- 2016 term.
Amb. Macharia Kamau will Chair the Commission in 2016 and he takes over from Amb. Olof Skoog of Sweden, the outgoing PBC Chair Representing Western Europe
The PBC operates in three principal configurations to marshal resources at the disposal of the international community and to propose integrated strategies for post-conflict peace building in countries emerging from conflict:
- Organizational Committee- to establish the work agenda for the PBC, including the establishment of the medium-term calendar for the Commission’s wide-ranging activities and development of Integrated Peace Building Strategies (IPBS)
- Country-Specific Configurations- [BURUNDI, C.A.R, GUINEA, GUINEABISSAU, LIBERIA, SIERRA LEONE]
- Working Group on Lessons Learned - to distil lessons from previous national and international experiences in post-conflict engagements.
Strategic Implications of the PBC Chairmanship to the Country
- Over 80% of UN Security Council international agenda on peace and security is within the African continent. The PBC is the main intergovernmental advisory body to both the General Assembly and Security Council on integrated strategies for Peace building for countries emerging from conflict. Currently, all countries on the PBC Agenda are African.
- The PBC Chairmanship will place Kenya in the frontline of advising both the Security Council and General Assembly on best peace building strategies to assist countries emerging from conflict to achieve sustainable peace and development. The enhanced visibility through the PBC will further buttress the country’s international reputation as a beacon and champion for peace in Africa.
- Among Kenya’s Foreign policy objectives, the enhancement of regional peace and security and the pursuit of peace in the African Region as necessary for Kenya’s own socio-economic development and prosperity remains a priority, hence Kenya’s continued engagement with the PBC particularly on Preventive diplomacy.
- Kenya will play a leadership role in current efforts to review the UN Peace building Architecture that revolves around the need to create structured partnerships with regional and sub-regional organizations such as the African Union, IGAD, SADC, ECOWAS, the East Africa Community, etc. The review also seeks to achieve more predictable funding for peace building activities and more focus on prevention of conflicts before they occur.
Amb. Macharia Kamau’s experience in facilitating both the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Intergovernmental Negotiations on 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is invaluable for the new role of chairing the PBC.
KENYA MISSION TO THE UNITED NATIONS