Peacebuilding and sustaining peace encompass activities aimed at preventing the outbreak, escalation, continuation and recurrence of conflict.
In his 1992 report on Agenda for Peace, Secretary-General Kofi Annan defined peacebuilding as action to identify and support structures which will tend to strengthen and solidify peace in order to avoid a relapse into conflict. The Security Council, in its presidential statement of 20 February 2001, stated:
The Security Council recognizes that peace-building is aimed at preventing the outbreak, the recurrence or continuation of armed conflict and therefore encompasses a wide range of political, developmental, humanitarian and human rights programmes and mechanisms. This requires short and long-term actions tailored to address the particular needs of societies sliding into conflict or emerging from it. These actions should focus on fostering sustainable institutions and processes in areas such as sustainable development, the eradication of poverty and inequalities, transparent and accountable governance, the promotion of democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law and the promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence.
In 2005, the Secretary-General proposed the establishment of an intergovernmental Peacebuilding Commission and a Peacebuilding Support Office within the United Nations Secretariat; the General Assembly decided to establish both as part of the 2005 World Summit Outcome, as adopted in General Assembly resolution 60/1 of 16 September 2005. This peacebuilding architecture is reviewed by the General Assembly and Security Council every five years.
The main purposes of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) are:
- (a) To bring together all relevant actors to marshal resources and to advise on and propose integrated strategies for post-conflict peacebuilding and recovery;
- (b) To focus attention on the reconstruction and institution-building efforts necessary for recovery from conflict and to support the development of integrated strategies in order to lay the foundation for sustainable development;
- (c) To provide recommendations and information to improve the coordination of all relevant actors within and outside the United Nations, to develop best practices, to help to ensure predictable financing for early recovery activities and to extend the period of attention given by the international community to post-conflict recovery; 
The Organizational Committee of the PBC consists of 31 members, as follows:
- (a) Seven members of the Security Council, including permanent members, selected according to rules and procedures decided by the Council;
- (b) Seven members of the Economic and Social Council, elected from regional groups according to rules and procedures decided by the Council and giving due consideration to those countries that have experienced post-conflict recovery;
- (c) Five top providers of assessed contributions to United Nations budgets and of voluntary contributions to United Nations funds, programmes and agencies, including the standing peacebuilding fund…selected by and among the ten top providers, giving due consideration to the size of their contributions…;
- (d) Five top providers of military personnel and civilian police to United Nations missions…selected by and among the ten top providers, giving due consideration to the size of their contributions…;
- (e) Giving due consideration to representation from all regional groups in the overall composition of the Committee and to representation from countries that have experienced post-conflict recovery, seven additional members shall be elected according to rules and procedures decided by the General Assembly;
The Commission takes decisions on the basis of consensus.
The Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) is a global fund designed to support several country situations simultaneously and therefore combines the scope of a global fund with the country-specific focus of a multi-donor trust fund. Its basic architecture is based upon a two-tier decision-making process, involving a central allocation of funding to the countries eligible for Peacebuilding Fund support and, at the country level, a joint review by the Government and the ranking United Nations representative in the country to disburse funds against agreed-upon programme and project activities. 
Peacebuilding Support Office
The Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) was established to support the Peacebuilding Commission and to manage the Peacebuilding Fund. It is headed by an Assistant Secretary-General. Selection for the Assistant Secretary-General is governed by General Assembly resolution 62/236:
69. Decides that the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support shall be appointed by the Secretary-General following consultations with Member States, that for this purpose the Secretary-General shall appoint the Assistant Secretary-General with due regard for geographical rotation and that in so doing he shall be guided by the provisions of paragraph 3 (e) of General Assembly resolution 46/232 of 2 March 1992, in which the Assembly decided, in particular, that, as a general rule, no national of a Member State should succeed a national of that State in a senior post and that there should be no monopoly on senior posts by nationals of any State or group of States;
70. Also decides that the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support shall serve for one fixed term of five years without possibility of renewal;
Although the PBSO was established as a standalone office, as part of the restructuring of the peace and security pillar, PBSO was merged with the former Department of Political Affairs in the new Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) on 1 January 2019.
Key reports and resolutions
|Report||General Assembly resolution||Security Council resolution||Notes|
|A/74/935–S/2020/645||2020 peacebuilding architecture review|
|A/69/968-S/2015/490||70/262||2282 (2016)|| 2015 peacebuilding architecture review; |
GA and SC resolutions regularly referred to as the "twin" resolutions
|A/64/868-S/2010/393||65/7||1947 (2010)||2010 peacebuilding architecture review|
|A/60/984||60/287||Establishment of the Peacebuilding Fund|
|A/59/2005/Add.2||60/180||1645 (2005)||Establishment of the Peacebuilding Commission|
|A/59/2005||60/1||2005 World Summit outcome; Established PBC and PBSO|
|Report||General Assembly resolution||Security Council resolution||Notes|
|A/74/976–S/2020/773||Peacebuilding and sustaining peace|
|A/73/890-S/2019/448||Peacebuilding and sustaining peace|
|A/72/707-S/2018/43||72/276||2413 (2018)|| First report on peacebuilding and sustaining peace; |
contained options on increasing financing for peacebuilding
|A/69/399-S/2014/694||Peacebuilding in the aftermath of conflict|
|A/67/499-S/2012/746||Peacebuilding in the aftermath of conflict|
|A/65/354-S/2019/466||Peacebuilding in the aftermath of conflict|
|A/64/866-S/2010/386||Progress report on peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict|
|A/63/881-S/2009/304||First report on peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict|
Civilian capacity review
In the 2009 report on peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict, the Secretary-General called for an analysis of how the United Nations could better support national institution-building in the aftermath of conflict. A senior advisory group, chaired by former Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guéhenno, presented a number of recommendations in its report on civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict A/65/747-S/2011/85.
|Report||ACABQ report||General Assembly resolution||Notes|
|A/68/696-S/2014/5 and Corr.1||A/68/784||Consideration deferred to 69th session in decision 68/549C; not subsequently taken up|
|A/67/312-S/2012/645||A/67/583||Consideration deferred to 68th session in decision 67/552C|
- A/47/277 An Agenda for Peace: Preventative diplomacy, peacemaking and peacekeeping (paragraph 21)
- A/59/2005 In Larger Freedom: Towards development, security and human rights for all (paragraph 114)
- General Assembly resolution 60/180 and Security Council resolution 1645(2005), paragraph 2
- General Assembly resolution 60/180 and Security Council resolution 1645(2005), paragraph 4
- A/60/984 Arrangements for establishing the Peacebuilding Fund
- This only refers to standalone resolutions; the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations also considered the civilian capacity review reports.