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Political Leadership to Prevent and End Conflict: Analytical Paper on WHS Self-Reporting on Core Responsibility 1 of the Agenda for Humanity

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Executive Summary:

Core Responsibility 1 of the Agenda for Humanity on preventing and ending violent conflicts, and the four transformations it contains – transformation 1A on political leadership, 1B on acting early, 1C on staying and investing, and 1D on being inclusive in decision-making – is both farsighted and in lock-step with broader efforts for conflict prevention, at the United Nations and beyond.

As of June 2017, forty-eight (48) stakeholders had reported under one or more of the four transformations. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Member States represented the overwhelming majority of these stakeholders, with NGOs the single largest constituency reporting under Core Responsibility 1.

Many of the reported activities, tools and initiatives demonstrate a consistent effort by stakeholders to advance the conflict prevention agenda over a number of years. Recurrent themes in the self-reports included efforts to work in cross-pillar or through whole-ofgovernment approaches to address the root causes – and not just the proximate causes or triggers – of violent conflict. Also featured prominently were efforts to build or strengthen early warning systems, conduct joint conflict analysis, and develop or support specialized financing instruments for high-risk, fluid contexts. Civil society stakeholders in particular highlighted their advocacy work to raise the profile of conflict prevention domestically and internationally.

Several stakeholders cited their work in long-term partnerships with national peacebuilding groups including traditionally disempowered groups such as women and youth.
The self-reports also revealed an over-reliance on a small base of “traditional” donors to fund prevention activities and that measuring progress was inherently difficult. Very few stakeholders reported under transformation 1A, on leadership to end conflict.