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
Nelson Mandela: Man and Awesome Phenomenon
A former member of the South African Parliament reflects on Mandela's warmth and generosity.
Ordinary Fears, Extraordinary Man: The Legacy of Nelson Mandela
As a young South African diplomat during the apartheid-to-democracy transition, Cedric de Coning witnessed the humility and power of a flawed statesman.
Key Global Events to Watch in December
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
Top 10 Issues to Watch in 2013: The Multilateral Arena
Ten key issues that are likely to impact global affairs in international peace, security, and development.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
December 02, 2013
Latin America Focus of Fourth ''Being a Peacekeeper'' Event
On December 2-3, IPI brought together 24 representatives from eleven Latin American countries with senior officials from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support to discuss the current state—as well as the future—of Latin American military and police contributions to UN peacekeeping operations.
November 28, 2013
Energy and Security in the Arctic: A New “Frozen” Conflict?
Is the Arctic a “region of cooperation,” or will competition for its potentially rich energy resources lead to conflict in the high north? This was the main question addressed during an expert workshop held in The Hague on November 28th by the International Peace Institute together with the International Gas Union and the Clingendael International Energy Programme.
November 22, 2013
Can Technology Play a Role in Drafting a Constitution?
The effects that new technologies can have on constitutional processes was the topic of this November 22nd IPI roundtable discussion. Approximately five new constitutions are written around the world every year, and their legitimacy is increasingly influenced by a new level of public participation in their drafting, not merely by a plebiscite on the final text. As rapidly advancing technology changes the way that governments and citizens interact, what role are new technologies playing in constitutions?