Building and sustaining peace
On 27 April 2016, the General Assembly and the Security Council adopted “twin” resolutions on peacebuilding (A/RES/70/262 and S/RES/2282), concluding the 2015 review of the UN peacebuilding architecture, which outlined a new approach for peacebuilding and introduce the term “sustaining peace”.
Sustaining peace should be broadly understood as a goal and a process with activities aimed at the prevention of conflict, underpinned by the people-centred approach of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and grounded in international human rights laws and standards. This ensures a central role for women, including for young women. For more information, read “What does ‘sustaining peace’ mean?”
The “sustaining peace” resolutions emphasize the important role of women, young people, and civil society in sustaining peace. The sustainability of peace depends directly on the consistency of women’s engagement in peace processes, politics, governance, institution-building, rule of law, the security sector, and economic recovery.
Yet the work of women on the ground remains unrecognized and severely underfunded. Financing is crucial. To sustain both peace and sustainable development, women must be equal and strategic leaders, drivers, and engines in various areas and at different decision-making levels.
Integrating gender throughout peacebuilding efforts
National and international planning documents serve as blueprints for post-conflict reconstruction and development. All too often, plans fail to account for the array of women’s needs. Despite general recognition that women and men need to be equal partners in these processes, and that inclusiveness sustains peace, peacebuilding remains largely dominated by mostly male elites.
UN Women provides gender expertise in post-conflict investigations, assessments, and missions, which is key to the successful integration of gender into conflict prevention, sustaining peace, and sustainable development. By investing time and resources in this analysis we can also identify and build on the potential for peace with key actors, such as women and women’s organizations.