On 9 June 2021, the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (UN PBC) held an ambassadorial-level meeting to brief PBC Member States on the second edition of the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development (held from 1-5 March 2021), and the 2021 Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development (held from 4-7 May 2021). Chairing the meeting was H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Edrees, Chair of the PBC and Egypt’s Permanent Representative to the UN.
Ambassador Edrees reaffirmed that Egypt’s presidency to the PBC is both “on behalf of Africa and for its sake.” He added that “Egypt’s multifaceted, vigorous policy in its continent intensified in the last years, reaching new levels. To that end, Aswan Forum comes to culminate these efforts and provide one of the highest-level African policy platforms to engage in forward-looking and action-oriented discussions which could enrich the work of the PBC.”
The Executive Director of the Aswan Forum and CCCPA’s Director General, Ambassador Ahmed Abdel-Latif, indicated that Aswan Forum II examined the multilayered challenges that the pandemic has brought to the continent as well as the opportunities for Africa to reshape and enhance its humanitarian, peace, security and development responses. In this regard, the Forum’s deliberations highlighted the imperative for accelerating the paradigm shift in Africa from crisis management towards nationally-owned prevention and resilience policies and interventions that address systemic risks and structural weaknesses.
Ambassador Abdel-Latif stated that the Aswan Forum II’s Conclusions address the interconnectedness and overlap between Africa’s pre-existing vulnerabilities and today’s heightened risks resulting from the pandemic. He also pointed to the synergies between the Forum’s Conclusions and the work of the PBC in relation to a range of issues, including strengthening resilience and governance; reinforcing institutions; ensuring inclusivity in peacebuilding through the participation of women and youth; as well as mobilizing sustained, flexible & catalytic financing for peacebuilding.
PBC Member States highlighted the relevance of the Forum’s Conclusions in relation to the Commission’s work as well as their valuable contribution to its deliberations. They indicated that they look forward to staying abreast of the implementation and follow-up of the Conclusions to draw lessons and share successful experiences.
Meanwhile, the Director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Dan Smith, also briefed the meeting on the 2021 Stockholm Forum.
The second edition of the Aswan Forum brought together more than 800 participants from 96 countries. It was addressed by 19 Heads of State, the UN Secretary-General, and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission. The Chair of the PBC addressed the Forum’s session on sustainable peace and post conflict reconstruction and development, outlining the work of the UN PBC and its priorities.