Promoting social cohesion and empowering nations and communities to become inclusive
Conflict prevention and peace-building
Our central task of peacebuilding is to create positive peace, a stable social equilibrium in which the surfacing of new disputes does not escalate into violence and war.
Our efforts consist of a wide range of activities associated with capacity building, reconciliation, and societal transformation.
Our work on conflict prevention and peacebuilding promotes social cohesion and empowering nations and communities to become inclusive and resilient to external and internal shocks.
This has been a long-term process that occurs after a violent conflict has slowed down or come to a halt. Thus, it is the phase of the peace process that takes place after peacemaking and peacekeeping.
We support and strengthen key institutions needed to peacefully navigate villages and communities away from potential conflict and ensure durable societal transformations occur. We also work towards deepening gains made at the political and diplomatic level by providing strategic analysis, policy and programme support to the broader governing systems.
Our interventions in conflict prevention and peacebuilding involve capacities for conflict prevention and management. We support setting up of regulatory frameworks and institutional mechanisms that help actors pre-empt future conflict, manage ongoing tensions, and reach political agreements. Building leadership capacities that engage civil society and marginalized communities, including women, to mitigate violence and reach shared agendas through participatory approaches forms the core of our conflict prevention approach.
A structure in a medical compound in the Nuba mountains damaged by a bomb dropped on their location.
Conflict Analysis and Assessment
We facilitate dialogue and build consensus by supporting key actors in setting up of inclusive and participatory mechanisms and structures for shared agenda setting, dialogue, and consensus building, through accompaniment and support to national and local mediators, around key governance and peacebuilding issues.
We support the mainstreaming of conflict prevention in development within the local systems through conflict analysis and assessments. We support and develop systems that allow for regular monitoring of conflict triggers and trends to enable an early appropriate response.
Our peacemaking efforts are the diplomatic effort to end the violence between the conflicting parties, move them towards nonviolent dialogue, and eventually reach a peace agreement.
Our peacekeeping strategy, on the other hand, is a third-party intervention to assist parties in transitioning from violent conflict to peace by separating the fighting parties and keeping them apart. These peacekeeping operations not only provide security but also facilitate other non-military initiatives.
Some draw a distinction between post-conflict peacebuilding and long-term peacebuilding. Post-conflict peacebuilding is connected to peacekeeping, and often involves demobilization and reintegration programs, as well as immediate reconstruction needs.
Meeting immediate needs and handling crises is no doubt crucial. But while peacemaking and peacekeeping processes are an important part of peace transitions, they are not enough in and of themselves to meet longer-term needs and build a lasting peace.
Long-term peacebuilding techniques are designed to fill this gap and to address the underlying substantive issues that brought about conflict. Various transformation techniques aim to move parties away from confrontation and violence, and towards political and economic participation, peaceful relationships, and social harmony.
This longer-term perspective is crucial to future violence prevention and the promotion of a more peaceful future. Thinking about the future involves articulating desirable structural, systemic, and relationship goals. These might include sustainable economic development, self-sufficiency, equitable social structures that meet human needs and building positive relationships.
Peacebuilding measures also aim to prevent conflict from reemerging. Through the creation of mechanisms that enhance cooperation and dialogue among different identity groups, these measures can help parties manage their conflict of interests through peaceful means. This might include building institutions that provide procedures and mechanisms for effectively handling and resolving conflict. For example, societies can build fair courts, capacities for labor negotiation, systems of civil society reconciliation, and a stable electoral process. Such designing of new dispute resolution systems is an important part of creating lasting peace.
In short, parties must replace the spiral of violence and destruction with a spiral of peace and development, and create an environment conducive to self-sustaining and durable peace. The creation of such an environment has three central dimensions: addressing the underlying causes of conflict, repairing damaged relationships and dealing with psychological trauma at the individual level. Each of these dimensions relies on different strategies and techniques.
Just and Durable Peace
Our peacebuilding measures integrate civil society in all efforts and include all levels of society in the post-conflict strategy. All society members, from those in elite leadership positions to religious leaders, to those at the grassroots level, have a role to play in building lasting peace.
We apply John Paul Lederach's model of hierarchical intervention levels to make sense of the various levels at which peacebuilding efforts occur.
Because peace-building measures involve all levels of society and target all aspects of the state structure, they require a wide variety of agents for their implementation. These agents advance peace-building efforts by addressing functional and emotional dimensions in specified target areas, including civil society and legal institutions.
While external agents can facilitate and support peacebuilding, ultimately it must be driven by internal forces. It cannot be imposed from the outside.
Various internal actors play an integral role in peacebuilding and reconstruction efforts. The government of the affected country is not only the object of peacebuilding but also the subject. While peacebuilding aims to transform various government structures, the government typically oversees and engages in this reconstruction process. A variety of community specialists, including lawyers, economists, scholars, educators, and teachers, contribute their expertise to help carry out peacebuilding projects.
Innovative and Collaborative Approaches
We support innovative and collaborative approaches to and policies for conflict prevention and transformation at the multilateral, regional, and national levels for a durable peace.
Our greatest resource for sustaining peace in the long term is always rooted in the local people and their culture.
We strive to understand the cultural dimension of the conflict and identify the mechanisms for handling conflict that exist within that cultural setting. Building on cultural resources and utilizing local mechanisms for handling disputes can be quite effective in resolving conflicts and transforming relationships.
Initiatives that incorporate citizen-based peacebuilding include community peace projects in schools and villages, local peace commissions and problem-solving workshops, and a variety of other grassroots initiatives.
Effective peacebuilding also requires public-private partnerships in addressing conflict and greater coordination among the various actors. We coordinate to ensure that every dollar invested in peacebuilding is spent wisely.
To accomplish this, advanced planning and intervention coordination are needed.
There are various ways to attempt to coordinate peace-building efforts. One way is to develop a peace inventory to keep track of which agents are doing various peace-building activities.
A second is to develop clearer channels of communication and more points of contact between the elite and middle ranges. In addition, a coordination committee should be instituted so that agreements reached the top level are actually capable of being implemented.
The third way to better coordinate peace-building efforts is to create peace-donor conferences that bring together representatives from humanitarian organizations, NGOs, and concerned governments. It is often noted that "peacebuilding would greatly benefit from cross-fertilization of ideas and expertise and the bringing together of people working in relief, development, conflict resolution, arms control, diplomacy, and peacekeeping. Lastly, there should be efforts to link internal and external actors. Any external initiatives must also enhance the capacity of internal resources to build peace-enhancing structures that support reconciliation efforts throughout a society. In other words, the international role must be designed to fit each case.
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