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
UN at "Heart of the Dysfunction" in Humanitarian Aid, New Report Finds
In a new report, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) offers a blunt critique of the humanitarian system, and the UN's role in it. IPI's Marie O'Reilly spoke with Sandrine Tiller, one of the authors.
Key Global Events to Watch in July
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.
July 01, 2014
SRSG Johnson: South Sudan Crisis Changed UNMISS “Mindset”
Hilde Johnson, the outgoing Head of the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), gave an overflow IPI audience a dramatic account of the challenging situation that has faced the United Nations in the country since the eruption of mass violence at the end of last year.
June 25, 2014
Mousavian: Iran and US Have Serious Chance for Rapprochement
From Iraq to Syria, from energy to counterterrorism, Iran and the United States share many common interests across the Middle East and ought to put aside their decades of hostility, said author and former Iranian diplomat Seyed Hossein Mousavian.
June 23, 2014
National Ownership Is Essential For Peacebuilding to Succeed in CAR
With the Central African Republic (CAR) steeped in ethnic and inter-religious violence, a group of UN officials, government representatives, and members of civil society gathered at IPI on June 23rd and discussed the best way forward for the war-torn country.
July 17, 2014
Video: EU-UN Partnership in Peace Operations