PeaceBuilding for a Culture of Peace

3.0 Overview of the Peace-building Doctrine

- Peace-building aims at durable peace. Such an aspiration involves: "the restoration and maintenance of civil society, law and order, human rights promotion and protection, arrangements for refugees and displaced persons, the holding of elections, re-establishment of local administrations and government utilities, de-mining, and reconstruction and development"

- the elements of conflict resolution: preventative diplomacy, peace-making, peace-keeping, post-conflict peace-building

- Only when the necessary political, social and economic structures are in place and there is some notion that the root causes of the original tensions have been eradicated can a more fuller and holistic concept of peace be proclaimed, this is where post-conflict peace-building comes in.

- There can be no building of a peace without the will to see such an occurrence on the part of those who will have to live under it.

- It is primarily the reconciliation of civil society which is lacking in current United Nations efforts at conflict resolution, and that which must be embodied within the doctrine if it is to achieve any lasting results...Does the exclusion of the civil society component indicate a reluctance to commit missions of the United Nations to issues of a conventionally domestic nature and thus a response to sovereign challenges?

- what peace-building is to incorporate asserts that the international community must: "place achieved peace on a durable foundation and to prevent the crisis from recurring by dealing with the underlying economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems that created the conflict" (Han)

- Figure 3.2 (pg 24) Three Tier Task Model - Specification of Actions:
Conflict Overlap, Transformation, Mode of Thought

- Transformation Tasks: the modification of institutions and structures to cure them of the impact of violence which has had distorting effects.

- An inherent challenge lies in implementation of peace-building and the United Nations principles of sovereignty, neutrality and attempts at securing democratic peace.

- This ignited activism stems from peace and conflict studies to date having come up with one firm conclusion which is that democracies do not fight one another, or if they do it is very rare (Starr).

- The Realist School: stipulates that no matter what other concerns exist in the international arena, military security as the main power struggle will always have states act such that they wish to preserve the balance of power (that would maximize its personal legitimacy).

- The Interdependence School: in an international system which is being consumed by globalization, such an explanation can not be deemed legitimate. This means ushering into the international arena of actors having equal significance as the state (eg. civil society).

- The inability of the United Nations to protect the domestic population from internal conflicts is the driving concern.

- Highly invasive by nature, the actions for peace-building manipulate the conventional state-centred rationale.

- Communities coming out of conflict require financial and resource aid from the international community, and are thus subject to the conditions the international community deems necessary.

- the commitment to a voluntary initiation on the part of the targeted communities.

- the assumption that a restructuring of war-torn areas must be willed.

- "institution building has so far been of only partial success in creating
a world society free of war" (Bertram)

- The inherent violation of sovereignty in this instance highlights the need to have such measures undertaken only in conditions of extremity and is legally questionable based on respect for sovereign integrity.

- Since the end of the cold war, post-conflict peace-building operations have been conducted in eight states: Namibia, Cambodia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Mozambique, Angola, Rwanda, and Bosnia. Of these eight cases, only one has achieved stable peace to date - Namibia. (Paris)

- The long-term needs of the processes of peace-building can not be significantly introduced in such a relatively short period of time.

- Part of the problem lies in the inability of localities to adapt to foreign structures and demands which are alien and distorting the indigenous constructions.

- The logic of appeasing public opinion for the support of resolution endeavours is, "thanks to advances in public awareness, governments are now under a certain amount of external pressure to be more faithful to, more compliant with, the will of the people in their handling of international relations." (Merle) To empower is to arm civil society with self-sufficient cultures for the peaceful settlement of disputes. (Lumsden)

- the bottom-up approach to conflict resolution is not to be invoked in isolation, however, it is to be combined with the already widely practised top down methods of political agreement.

- The current United Nations attempts at peace-building have been undertaken in complete disregard for the force and effect of civil society and root level reconciliation.

- It is only when the political agreements for peace made at the levels of state are combined with like-minded pursuits from empowered citizenry, the United Nations peace-building will be capable of achieving its ambitions to disable conflict resumptions.

Back to Peacebuilding for A Culture of Peace Index