Montreux Retreat with Resident Coordinators
Organized by the Joint Programme on a biennial basis since 2009, the Montreux series of retreats, which gather Resident Coordinators (RCs) and other senior UN officials in Montreux Switzerland, have provided an important forum to take stock of the UN's contribution to conflict prevention in politically challenging contexts. The Montreux retreat is hosted through the generous support of the Swiss government.
Montreux through the years:
2009: The first Montreux retreat took place in 2009. The retreat sought to identify modalities for enhanced UNDP-DPA collaboration and a support system to RCs and UN Country Teams working in complex political situations, based on the needs expressed by RCs for headquarters. There were calls to provide the field with better guidance, resources, operational support and technical expertise. Participants took a frank look at past successes and failures of prevention initiatives, at gaps and needs, at good practices as well as existing assets and mechanisms for cooperation.
2012: The second Montreux retreat sought to create broad understanding of the increasingly challenging circumstances in which RCs and UN Country Teams are often required to work. Recognizing the difficulties presented in politically complex situations, 'Montreux II' provided a valuable opportunity for the UN system to focus on practical means by which to enhance the provision of collaborative, coordinated, appropriate, and timely support. In this regard, the participation of almost thirty Resident Coordinators provided valuable insight. The workshop also included high-level representatives from UNDP, DPA, DOCO, OCHA, OHCHR, PBSO, UNICEF, UN Women, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
2014: The third Montreux retreat brought together thirty Resident Coordinators and several senior officials from DPA, OCHA, PBF, UNDP, and elsewhere across the UN system. The discussions over the course of the four days of 'Montreux III' were testament to the growing recognition of the role RCs can play in leading UN responses in complex political situations, and the value of increasing and strengthening support to that end.
2016: Thirty-four Resident Coordinators and senior UN officials participated in ’Montreux IV’ along with key partners, including representatives from the EU, Sweden, Switzerland, UK-DFID and the World Bank. The workshop was framed in the context of the normative and policy developments of the 2015: the General Assembly and Security Council "Sustaining Peace" Resolutions, the high-level reviews of the peace operations and the peacebuilding architecture conducted in 2015, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
2018: The fifth iteration of the 'Montreux' series for Resident Coordinators took place in a context of significant UN reform processes with system-wide implications, including the reform of the UN Development System, Resident Coordinator System, and the UN Peace and Security Architecture. The workshop offered a forum to take stock of the ongoing UN reforms and policy developments that pertain to the UN’s work on conflict prevention, and focused on the concrete implications of these for the UN’s engagement at the country level and with a view to strengthening support to these efforts. Participants included 44 RCs and senior leadership from EOSG, PBSO, UN Women, OHCHR, OCHA, DFS, DPKO, DOCO, World Bank, UNDP regional bureaux, DPA divisions, and the United Nations University.