Since the creation of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) in December last year, the UK has repeatedly argued for meaningful participation of civil society in meetings of the PBC. Given civil society's important role in peacebuilding, we believe that regular links between the PBC, national governments and national civil society will be essential to the PBC's effectiveness.
While national civil society representatives were invited to speak at the first meetings of the PBC on Sierra Leone and Burundi on 12-13 October, the PBC has yet to agree formally on when, where and how they will participate. DFID and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will continue to use every opportunity to influence other PBC members to agree to full civil society participation, both at the PBC meetings in New York and, importantly, in the PBC coordination meetings in Sierra Leone and Burundi. In parallel, we will also continue to lobby national governments in both countries to recognise the valuable contribution national civil society can make to building peace.