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Peacebuilding and Postconflict Recovery: What Works and What Does Not?

16 pages, pdf
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Peacebuilding and Postconflict Recovery: What Works and What Does Not?

Publisher: International Peace Institute

Volume: 16 pages, pdf


The fourth International Expert Forum (IEF) focused on the question of what works and what does not in peacebuilding. In the process, it considered not only UN activities over the past two decades but also initiatives undertaken independently by governments alongside multilateral, bilateral, and non-governmental entities. A key question posed by the organizers was whether peacebuilding writ large has contributed empirically to improving safety, security, justice, democratization, and economic recovery, and thus contributed to positive development. 

Peace, defined narrowly as the decline of armed conflicts, is spreading. Today, there are an estimated thirty-three conflicts. Despite an increase compared to previous years, this number still marks a strong decline compared to the 1990s. While there are very real challenges in Syria, Iraq, the Sahel, and Central Asia, the facts show a reduction in lethal violence associated with warfare.1 Additionally, the character of violence and its context are transforming. Organized crime and urban violence are increasingly viewed as threats in many parts of the world. Internationally, new norms and principles are emerging regarding the protection of civilians, the role of women and girls in conflicts, human security, the responsibility of governments to protect their citizens, and the prosecution of individuals for committing war crimes and atrocities.