“Investing in Peace Remains the Most Cost-effective Strategy”: DPPA Launches Multi-Year Appeal Annual Report 2023

Politically Speaking
5 min readApr 23, 2024


From Gaza, Ukraine and Sudan to Colombia and Mozambique, the UN’s Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs’ funding appeal showcases how donor contributions have enabled it to remain responsive during extremely challenging times.

A vehicle is driven through the destruction in Khan Younis. OCHA/Themba Linden

“Our Multi-Year Appeal Report for 2023 underscores that investing in peace remains not only essential for the preservation of human life and the prevention of suffering, but also the most cost-effective strategy for securing enduring peace and development gains.”

— Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo

On 24 April 2024, the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) is presenting its 2023 Multi-Year Appeal (MYA) Annual Report.

The MYA is a trust fund that supports a substantial share of the Department’s work, complementing UN regular budget funding. It allows DPPA to respond quickly and flexibly to requests from UN member states and other entities. Crisis response, mediation support and electoral assistance are almost entirely funded by the MYA, for example.

The Appeal also helps DPPA fund innovative initiatives, for example the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to increase participation in peace and political initiatives by women and youth.

Voluntary contributions to are indispensable to the Department. However, in 2023, the MYA fell short of its $41 million target by 24 per cent. Despite strong ongoing support from our current and new donors, this deficit impacted the MYA portfolio. The Department had to tap into its cash reserves and, in some cases, recalibrate its activities and scale back engagement.

The MYA facilitates DPPA’s response to heightened demands, such as those stemming from the crisis in Gaza in the wake of Hamas’ attack on Israel on 7 October 2023 and the subsequent Israeli military response. Through MYA-funded capacities, DPPA has been actively involved both at Headquarters and backstopping the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO). The Department also deployed surge capacity to UNSCO to reinforce its crisis response and planning and its coordination with UN Headquarters.

In Ukraine, DPPA’s Liaison Office in Kyiv monitors developments and supports crisis and humanitarian responses, while also promoting peace efforts through coordination with local stakeholders.

Similarly, in Sudan, MYA funding enables real-time analysis and coordination with UN entities, bolstering peacebuilding efforts amid escalating hostilities.

A school in Al-Geneina City in West Darfur State, which had been serving as a displaced persons shelter, was burned to the ground amidst the ongoing crisis in Sudan. Mohamed Khalil

The MYA also supports initiatives in Mozambique, Colombia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Syria, ranging from peace negotiations to humanitarian assistance and reconciliation efforts.

The MYA report highlights the Department’s three strategic goals . Goal 1 focuses on DPPA’s work preventing and resolving violent conflicts and sustaining peace, work that is guided by the vision of “A New Agenda for Peace.” With a network of special political missions (SPMs), Peace and Development Advisors (PDAs), and Headquarters-based capacities, DPPA collaborates with the UN system and external partners to respond to and prevent conflicts.

The Appeal enhances the mediation, preventive diplomacy, and peacebuilding activities of the Department, building resilience, support local mediation, and foster social cohesion. Emphasizing inclusive participation, DPPA ensures involvement of women, youth, and marginalized groups in peace efforts. MYA’s flexible funding and rapid response window enable swift adaptation to evolving situations.

DPPA’s Mediation Support Unit (MSU) and the Standby Team of Senior Mediation Advisors (SBT) play a pivotal role in global peace efforts, deploying experts to negotiations worldwide. Funded by the MYA, the SBT offers rapid deployment within 72 hours, providing specialized advice and training for mediators and parties to conflicts. In 2023, the SBT engaged in 131 mediation support assignments across approximately 26 contexts, spanning regions from Africa to the Americas. Notable engagements included support to Special Political Missions in Afghanistan, Libya, Sudan, and Yemen, focusing on issues such as gender inclusion, ceasefire arrangements, and public participation.

Simultaneously, DPPA’s Electoral Assistance Division provided multi-faceted support to 57 Member States in 2023. This support ranged from technical assistance to good offices and mediation, ensuring peaceful and credible elections. The Division worked in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, and Paraguay, emphasizing the prevention of election-related violence and strengthening partnerships with regional organizations.

Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel and Head of UNOWAS visits Liberia prior to 2023 Liberia elections. UNOWAS

Goal 2 of the MYA report underscores the Department’s commitment to enhancing the multilateral architecture for international peace and security. This involves supporting various UN bodies such as the Security Council, General Assembly, and Peacebuilding Commission.

DPPA recognizes the increasing interconnectedness in today’s world, emphasizing effective cooperation with regional and sub-regional organizations. Partnerships with entities like the African Union (AU) have been strengthened, supported by MYA funding, facilitating joint initiatives such as the UN-AU partnership on peace and security. Collaboration extends to areas like hate speech prevention in media and enhancing maritime security in regions like the Gulf of Guinea.

In Southeast Asia, DPPA’s partnership with ASEAN focuses on introducing climate, peace, and security as a new policy focus area. This includes collaborative efforts to assess climate-related risks and promote policy discussions within ASEAN countries. Cooperation with organizations like the League of Arab States (LAS), Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) aims to deepen strategic dialogue and forge common approaches to preventive diplomacy and conflict resolution.

In 2023, funding from the MYA played a pivotal role in advancing the Department’s Goal 3: A Stronger, More Diverse and More Effective Department. Central to DPPA’s strategy was the enhancement of departmental capacities, focusing on knowledge management, staff investment, and innovation. The MYA enabled DPPA to continue its work as the UN’s central hub for mediation knowledge, focusing on digital technologies, ceasefires, climate, religion, and knowledge management. Initiatives included frameworks for conflict analysis, online courses on utilizing digital tools for peace negotiations, ceasefire mediation courses, and training on understanding religious dimensions of conflicts. Through these efforts, DPPA expanded its outreach, supported capacity-building, and identified emerging needs.

“In the current difficult political and funding environment, DPPA is determined to continue to deliver on its mandate, working around the globe and in cooperation with Member States and other partners to help build peaceful and equitable societies. With the support of our donors, we are confident that we can make a decisive contribution to achieving the mission of our Organization: to make peace a reality for all.”

— Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo

Read the full report here.



Politically Speaking

The online magazine of the United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs