From Promise to Practice: Strengthening UN Capacities for the Prevention of Violent Conflict

From Promise to Practice: Strengthening UN Capacities for the Prevention of Violent Conflict

From Promise to Practice: Strengthening UN Capacities for the Prevention of Violent Conflict

From Promise to Practice: Strengthening UN Capacities for the Prevention of Violent Conflict

Synopsis

The authors draw on detailed case studies to offer operational lessons for meeting the wide-ranging challenges of intrastate-conflict prevention.

Excerpt

This volume of case studies and policy recommendations in conflict prevention comes as a part of a three-year research and policy project by the International Peace Academy (IPA), From Promise to Practice: Strengthening UN Capacities for the Prevention of Violent Conflict. The project seeks to identify opportunities to strengthen the conflict prevention capacity within the UN system, with an emphasis on structural prevention, in particular development and capacity-building.

We hope readers of this volume will learn as much from the cases as we have. In the course of this project, we have come to understand how important, in conflict prevention, is the notion of partnership—between the UN, relevant regional organizations, key nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) with useful local networks, and experts (academic and otherwise) who can help steer international actors away from those many mistakes born of ignorance. Recent “lessons learned” exercises make clear that knowledge and analytical capacities within key governments and international agencies have failed to keep pace with the growing complexity of international and internal transactions and also with the emerging understanding of the need for “specificity” in international efforts to prevent deadly conflict. Cookie-cutter solutions generally fail. Carefully crafted strategies aware and respectful of divergent political cultures, economic patterns, and societal structures stand a better chance. But they require much greater, concerted effort.

All of IPA's research aims to inform decisionmaking at the policy level and to encourage the strengthening of institutional capacities to address preconflict, conflict, and postconflict situations in the UN system, within . . .

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