Building Sustainable Peace

Building Sustainable Peace

Building Sustainable Peace

Building Sustainable Peace

Synopsis

This co-publication of the United Nations University Press and the University of Alberta Press contains a number of papers which examine issues involved in post-conflict reconciliation and peacebuilding; topics of particular current concern following the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Aspects of peacebuilding strategies include disarming warring parties, restoring order, decommissioning and destroying weapons, repatriating refugees, providing advisory and training support for security personnel, monitoring elections, de-mining and other forms of demilitarisation, providing technical assistance, advancing efforts to protect human rights, reforming and strengthening institutions of governance including monitoring and supervising elections, and promoting participation in the political process. Many of the papers were presented at a symposium held in Alberta, Canada in March 2000, which included academics, policy advisors and practitioners in the field of peace studies and peacebuilding.

Excerpt

Peacebuilding has emerged as one of the most critically important, albeit vexing, aspects of international involvement in conflict and postconflict situations. Peacebuilding, as a concept and strategy, has been adopted by national governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and regional and international intergovernmental institutions (IGOs) as a means by which the outside world can contribute to the resolution of intrastate [or societal] conflict and to the reconstruction, or construction, of a culture of peace in postconflict situations. Persisting conflicts in places such as Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Haiti, Israel/Palestine, Kosovo, Rwanda and Sierra Leone demonstrate both the overwhelming need for and significant difficulties in building sustainable conditions for peace in postconflict societies.

Peacebuilding operations in these and other settings have confronted many barriers and have achieved varying degrees of success. Yet the very attempt on the part of outsiders to undertake such measures reflects an acknowledgment of international humanitarian and human rights law and a significant shift in international attitudes and practices towards civil conflicts.

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