Building Peace in Haiti

Building Peace in Haiti

Building Peace in Haiti

Building Peace in Haiti


In a recent report to the United Nations Security Council, The Causes of Conflict and the Promotion of Durable Peace and Sustainable Development in Africa, Secretary-General Kofi Annan presented his definition of "postconflict peacebuilding."

By postconflict peacebuilding I mean actions undertaken at the end of a conflict to consolidate peace and prevent a recurrence of armed confrontation. Experience has shown that the consolidation of peace in the aftermath of conflict requires more than a purely diplomatic and military action, and that an integrated peace-building effort is needed to address the various factors that have caused or are threatening a conflict. Peacebuilding may involve the creation or strengthening of national institutions, monitoring elections, promoting human rights, providing for reintegration and rehabilitation programs, and creating conditions for resumed development.

The following six arguments can be derived from this definition:

First, the goal of postconflict peacebuilding is to prevent the recurrence of armed confrontation.

Second, to the extent that peacebuilding attempts to achieve this goal through addressing "the various factors that have caused or are threatening conflict," it can do so not only after a conflict, but also prior to the conflict. Presumably, if an all-out civil war has not occurred, one would look for other signs, including rising levels of violence and insecurity, that a wider conflict is likely.

Third, peacebuilding has no clear modus operandi. Depending on the target country, one or more of the activities identified in the Secretary-General's definition might be needed to prevent future . . .

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