ABD/DReAM presentation for donors
Emerald hotel, 08 September 2011
Honourable Excellencies, representatives of Liaison Offices, International agencies, civil society representatives, other distinguished guests,…
I am honoured to welcome you to this gathering at such busy times for all of you. I have already met with most of you before this meeting and am very glad to now see all of you here today.
We have among many of us contemplated about the recent developments in the northern Kosovo. The political dynamic there continues to provide us both with challenges and opportunities for everyone living and working here. In cooperation with all of you we look forward to engaging in providing more inclusiveness to the population living here. (We also look forward to supporting the government of Kosovo in demonstrating increase in their capacities for living up their commitment to provide all their people with decent life and increased human development).
We as the UNKT have moved from peacekeeping to peace building in Kosovo a long time ago. Still the past seems to be with us every step of the way, impeding on sustainable stability. Programmes which provide inter-connected aspects of human security, reconciliation and local development opportunities are mandatory for ensuring hope for a better life for younger generations.
The UN agencies have been engaged in Mitrovica for over 10 (?) years now, with their individual projects and for the past 3 1/2 years in joint peacebuilding UNKT programmes. UN agencies have been jointly implementing the Area Based Development (ABD) programme in the area of Mitrovicë/a and Zevecan involving UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO and OHCHR. The previous phase was supported through generous contributions from Norway, DFID, and the Japanese UN Human Security Trust Fund as well as initial funding and expertise form the Bureau of Crisis Prevention (BCPR).
We will continue to work with the civil society, businesses, and other local authorities to increase social inclusion, enterprise activity, child protection, access to adequate health services, and human rights protection with the aim to build stronger inter-community links especially for the youth who are highly susceptible to the allure of the hard political ideologies. Building on lessons learned and partnerships established a new phase of peacebuilding through development has been created. This four year integrated pla builds on the success of the ABD joint programme and is called Development and Reconciliation in the Area of Mitrovica (DReAM).
Today more than ever, the involvement of stakeholders in working with us for a better Mitrovica is much needed. Stability is only possible when all stakeholders, from the grassroots to the international level, are included in developing and implementing integrated strategies for conflict prevention and peacebuilding. This is where we can’t act alone without your support.
Civil society organisations are in a unique position to assume different roles in prevention, de-escalation, resolution, rehabilitation, social service deliver and reconciliation in Mitrovica responding with creativity and dedication. We have among us also representatives of civil society who have been actively working side by side with the ABD project in the North/South Mitrovica and Zevecan to bring the communities together around issues of their mutual interest and common concern. Momcilo and Remzije who are here with us have both had the courage and the will to work within their communities in the North and South Mitrovica as agents of change and reconciliation. I will ask them later to share with us some of the challenges they face in their daily work, and hear their thinking on the way forward.
Some of the questions lingering in your minds right now probably are: WHY should UNKT be involved in the North? WHAT are their advantages compared to other international agencies for Mitrovica? HOW and WHEN will they start working in the north?
Allow me to share with you our thinking at UNKT.
Our commitment and work with the North goes way back. Only with the ABD the UNKT had been actively involved in the north for the last three years building community trust and getting them together to discuss issues of their mutual concern. It took three years of active work with all partners to only scratch the surface though. That is why the DreAM programme is designed to provide a platform for longer term inter-community support, to put local stakeholders in the diver seat and support their efforts at community reconciliation and development. Peacebulding and conflict prevention is necessarily a long term endevour and a a four year programme or longer is needed to ensure successful partnerships with the local authorities and other stakeholders is un-interrupted so that the impacts can be consolidated, strengthened and fully invested in local ownership.
Our long term presence and trust shown in practice by the communities and local government prove that we are ‘the trusted partner in town’. Having been approached by our international partners and donors to look at the ways for further engagement proves that a trustworthy partner is key to any change in the recently created environment in Mitrovica.
Our diverse experience and global connections which stand at our disposal we are able to immediately engage and make sure that the human aspects are well covered, with elements of peacebuilding and conflict transformation in our work methodologies.
The social inclusion agenda is at the core of our programmatic strategy at the UNKT. Our Common Developmnet Plan which we shared with you during the past months promotes increased accountability of Kosovo government, aims to increase access to all the services for every citizen and raises awareness on the environmental threats to increasing poverty if immediate actions are not taken.
These are some of the modalities which have been acceptable and we will continue to use in our work with the communities. But we can continue working only if we get our heads together, share our good practices openly and improve our past mistakes for the future wellbeing of all the people of Kosovo.
For the sake of further clarification of the achievements and challenges of the ABD, I will now present you some of the key points of this programme, in hopes that with your support we can continue with providing assistance to the northern part of Kosovo sooner rather than later.
Todd can you please add some more comments on the ABD programme….
1. Successful Partnerships with all actors in the region, including local authorities, CSOs and business sector.
2. Involvement of communities in the planning, monitoring and assessment of service delivery through over 120 projects
3. Improvement of child protection system and development of municipal child protection actions plans in three target areas
4. Establishment of Local Action Groups to involve community needs in municipal decision making
5. Establishment of 3 Business Advisory Centers to support small and medium enterprises
6. Initiatives targeted women and youth entrepreneurship through small scall grant programmes
7. Support for civil society initiatives to foster peacebuilding in the area, including supporting the Cities in Transition Programme, and bring 100 representative of civil society together
8. Improvement of local authorities/CSOs in addressing human rights concerns and advocating for human rights.
9. Promotion of peace education and improvement of inclusive education both on the practicle grassroots level and through municiple action plans
10. Establishment of 4 early Childhood Education Centers in rural areas
11. Improvements of Reproductive health of RAE families, knowledge of young people about healthy life and safe behavior, and quality of service delivery.
12. Development of Health Action Plans and revision of Environment and Health Risk Management Plans to address the heavy metal contamination in the Region
Over the past 3 years there have been many successful projects and initiatives that it is impossible to list them all here in such a short time. However, the key focus of the past and future work is on helping to connect three important stakeholders both intra and inter-communitly:
1. Civil Society
2. Private Enterprise
3. Local Authorities
In large part the success of the past three years, amongst the variety and depth of project implement, has been on the development longer-term partners in the region who are increasingly taking the peacbuilding initiative upon themselves. Our representatives of civil society here today are perfect examples of this.
They deserve the lion share of credit for their courage and innovative projects. The UNKT believes that through our support we were able to give them the space to develop into their current network and increase their strength as a long-term partner. Our hope is that we can help to enter the next phase of development where we provide them the support to connect further with local authorities, improve social service delivery around issues affecting all communities in the area, and help provide a moderate counterweight to the extreme politics that have affected their communities by both violence and lack of development opportunities.