Policy Papers - February 14, 2006
International Assistance to Countries Emerging from Conflict: A Review of Fifteen Years of Interventions and the Future of Peacebuilding
The establishment of a Peacebuilding Commission is regarded by many as the most prominent achievement of the September 2005 World Summit at the United Nations (UN). With attention now focused on the operationalization of the Peacebuilding Commission, together with the Peacebuilding Support Office and a Standing Fund for Peacebuilding, this paper provides a far-reaching review of the main features and trends in international assistance to countries emerging from conflict over the last fifteen years. The paper traces the evolution of international peacebuilding and identifies key gaps that require continuing attention in the future. In spite of the considerable efforts and resources invested in years of practice, it is widely recognized that peacebuilding activities so far have been undertaken by a multitude of actors in absence of an overall political strategy. The main challenges are not the lack of a theoretical basis and lessons learned, but rather the failure to produce from them a commonly agreed doctrine and to translate it into meaningful guidelines on the ground.
This paper argues that though progress is being made on the ground, the United Nations system and donor agencies have failed thus far to address satisfactorily three gaps discussed in the paper: political leadership, strategic coordination, and a comprehensive financial mechanism. The creation of the Peacebuilding Commission may represent a historical opportunity to improve the international response to postconflict countries. While this paper does not focus directly on the Peacebuilding Commission, it does question whether the new Commission will succeed in effectively addressing the main gaps identified above. Because many modalities of the Commission are still under discussion at the moment of writing, it is difficult to assess how the Commission will operate, much less its impact on the ground. However, if the past is any guide, it appears that the UN system will still be struggling with these shortcomings after the establishment of the Commission.
The Global Observatory
Does Xi Jinping's Visit to India Signal a Shift in Sino-Indian Relations? Q&A with Hardeep Singh Puri
With Chinese President Jinping's first visit to India underway, the former Indian Permanent Representative to the UN discusses the future of Sino-Indian relations.
Key Global Events to Watch in September
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
September 10, 2014
Lessons from the Past, Visions for the Future: The Middle East After 1914
On September 10-11, 2014, the International Peace Institute launched its inaugural meeting at its Middle East Regional Office in Manama, Bahrain titled “Lessons from the Past, Visions for the Future: The Middle East After 1914.”
September 09, 2014
Threats and Opportunities for Energy Sector in West Africa
West African development depends on energy, and that energy depends on stability—this was one of the sentiments repeated during a September 9th expert roundtable held in Paris on the theme of energy and security in West Africa.
September 09, 2014
Preventing Mass Atrocities: Why We Fail, and What Can be Done About It
In the twenty years since the Rwandan genocide, the United Nations system has developed a considerable body of policies, principles, and practices dedicated to the goal of preventing future atrocities.
September 17, 2014
Video: Strengthening Democratic Governance in Africa
September 15, 2014
Video: Engaging Young People on Democracy