For about four years now, 16 UN Volunteers have been helping build local capacities for lasting peace in 12 regional clusters across Kenya through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
UN Volunteers are serving under UNDP's Deepening Foundations for Peacebuilding and Community Security project and the joint programme for Strengthening National Capacities for Conflict Prevention of UNDP and the UN Department of Political Affairs (DPA).
The Guatemala Peace Accords were signed in 1996, ending a 36-year-long civil war, but some challenges remain in the construction of a peaceful and inclusive society. During the last years, Guatemala has witnessed an increase in social conflicts related to land disputes, lack of access to public services and natural resource management, among others.
It was in this context that I initiated my UN Volunteer assignment as a Conflict Resolution Officer with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
This project is particularly important as although Sri Lanka has ended a 30-year civil war, there remains unresolved issues of psychological trauma, sexual violence and misunderstanding between different ethnicities.
The project is part of the support provided by the UN in Sri Lanka towards the government's 'Peacebuilding Priority Plan (PPP) which serves as the "framework for a coordinated, government, UN, and other stakeholders response to secure lasting peace in Sri Lanka".
Two years ago, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development shaped a roadmap to promote peaceful and inclusive societies, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels, therefore recognizing the intrinsic link between peace and sustainable development.
The International Day of Peace highlights this year solidarity with refugees and migrants and showcases the shared benefits of migration to economies and nations. The "Together" campaign reminds us all of our common humanity and shared responsibilities towards one another.
Data supports the existence of a significant nexus between gender mainstreaming, sustaining peace, and civic and volunteer engagement. This was the topic of discussion at a side event organized on 27 October 2016 by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN Women) at the Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN in New York.
Volunteerism as building blocks for peacebuilding, how does that work? For starters, volunteerism generates forms of social capital that are indispensable to peacebuilding and plays an important role in strengthening the development of national civilian capacities to address peacebuilding issues.
Bentiu, South Sudan: When fighting broke out in South Sudan in 2013, many civilians were killed and thousands of people sought protection at the UN base in Bentiu, with a large influx of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to the Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). This posed serious challenges to the management of the sites scarcity of space and resources, an increase in inter-communal tensions, looting and attacks to humanitarian assets, and increased sexual and gender based violence (SGBV).
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan: When I was doing my degree, I volunteered with a number of local NGOs and associations whose main activities focused on women and youth, as that is where I thought I could make a contribution and bring about change.