Leading the Peacebuilding Commission: An Institutional History in the Making

Views from Practice

In this second GGI ‘Views from Practice’ Paper, Ejeviome Eloho Otobo (Director and Deputy Head of the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office) provides a detailed inside overview of the main milestones and crucial developments in the evolution of the main bodies of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC). Based on the author’s own experience and a wide range of conversations and interviews with PBC Chairs, the paper provides in-depth insights into the young organization’s institutional adaptations, core changes as well as the main contributions of all of the serving Chairs. The analysis is predicated on the belief that the growth of any new intergovernmental institution critically depends on the creative adjustments that are made by successive leaders, as the institution evolves. Such adjustments are necessarily incremental borne out of persistent experimentation. Finally, the paper provides some reflection on the PBC’s future challenges, related both to the issues of funding and a deeper relationship with the Security Council. Addressing these challenges will be vital for continuing the young institutional history and wider field impact of this unique UN body.

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