Minister for Foreign Affairs announces €4 million in grants for UN conflict resolution and peacebuilding activities.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dermot Ahern T.D., and Minister of State Michael Kitt T.D., today announced grants totalling €4 million to strengthen the capacity of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs and the UN Development Programme to engage in conflict resolution and peacebuilding activities.
Announcing the grants, Minister Ahern said:
“I am happy to announce funding for the United Nations to strengthen its vital engagement in the resolution of conflict, and to bolster peace agreements to prevent reversion to instability and violence.
The Conflict Resolution Unit, which I recently established in the Department, is actively engaged in supporting UN peace efforts. This important financial contribution will facilitate the efforts of the UN to resolve conflicts in many crisis-affected regions such as Darfur, Sri Lanka, Northern Uganda and elsewhere.
It reflects this Government’s strong commitment to playing a greater role in the area of conflict resolution and in striving with our key partners like the United Nations to ensure a brighter, more hopeful future for people in conflict-torn areas of the world.
Our experience of conflict and of the process of finding peace does not give us any ready-made solutions for others, but there are insights that can be shared. We will work with partner governments and the UN to ensure that Ireland does what it can to help bring peace to those who have been victims of violence and conflict.”
Note for Editors:
The Conflict Resolution Unit (CRU) was established in the autumn of 2006 within Political Division, and is leading work within the Department of Foreign Affairs, in conjunction with Irish Aid and the Anglo-Irish Division, on enhancing Irish engagement in conflict resolution activities.
The objectives of the Unit will reflect the targets set out in the Programme for Government, which underscored the importance of conflict resolution as a theme in Irish foreign policy. The Programme for Government includes commitments to the appointment of a number of roving ambassadors and to an enhanced Stability Fund of €25 million annually. The Programme for Government also indicates the intention to strengthen academic research in the area of conflict resolution, including through the establishment of an academic centre.
In broader terms, the conflict resolution initiative will enable us, where possible and appropriate, to facilitate elsewhere the peaceful outcome of conflicts and share the lessons we have learned through the Northern Ireland peace process. It will strengthen our partnership with the United Nations, allow us to engage more actively with relevant EU policies and instruments, and help us to assist the African Union develop its capacity in this area.
The Department of Political Affairs (DPA) is at the forefront of efforts to bolster United Nations capacity for peacemaking and good offices. Important new initiatives in DPA include the setting up of a new Mediation Support Unit (MSU) to create an expert standby capacity for peacemaking mediation, similar to the rapid deployment capacities more associated with humanitarian actions.
DPA is charged with enabling and supporting peacemaking and preventive diplomacy efforts. Through its core work, DPA advises the UNSG on actions to advance the cause of peace and provides support and guidance to UN peace envoys and political missions in the field. At present there are some 40 Special and Personal Representatives and Envoys of the Secretary-General working on specific geographic or thematic conflict resolution issues.
The Thematic Trust Fund for Crisis Prevention and Recovery of UNDP was established in 2000 to provide a flexible, fast mechanism whereby UNDP can respond to urgent country needs. To date, the Fund has mobilised in excess of $850 million for projects in over 80 countries. The Conflict Prevention and Recovery programmatic theme of UNDP is organised around the areas of Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding; Disarmament Demobilisation and Reintegration; Mine Action and Small Arms; and Justice and Security Sector Reform. The Gender Equality programmatic theme is centred on an Eight-Point Agenda for Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality in Crisis Prevention and Recovery.
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