What will peacebuilding look like in 2030?

Impuls 08/2018 by Jonathan Cohen, Executive Director at Conciliation Resources

Looking ahead often starts by looking back – checking where we have come from to reflect on where we are going. I have been engaged in peacebuilding for 26 years, most of those with Conciliation Resources. My first tentative steps in peacebuilding were taken in a different world. The Berlin Wall had recently fallen and the Cold War come to an end. Inspired by People’s Power in the Philippines and people seizing the space for autonomous action in Eastern Europe, civil society was demonstrating the power for change that could come from within societies. Conflict resolution and peacebuilding NGOs were coming into existence. The then UN Secretary General published an Agenda for Peace in 1992.

A quarter of a century later the current Secretary General is again placing...

Armenia in transition: When justice prevails in peace

Impuls 07/2018 by Vardan Hambardzumyan, Executive Secretary of YMCA Europe

Sierra Leone and its challenges for peacebuilding after the elections in March 2018

Impuls 06/2018 by Adenike Cole, Coordinator of Sierra Leone Action Network on Small Arms, and Sheku Kamara, Executive Director of the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone

On the surface, Sierra Leone appears to be an impressive democratic state with a thriving democracy after experiencing a decade-long brutal civil war from 1991-2002. As the country was recovering from the aftermaths of the war, it was struck by an Ebola epidemic (2014-2015) that nearly brought it to its knees. Still a fragile state, Sierra Leone has conducted periodic elections, transferring power from one political party to another. The peace and stability of the state of Sierra Leone is put to the test whenever a governing political party loses elections and there is transfer of power to the former opposition. When a ruling party loses elections, there are several implications ranging from loss of jobs by perceived party supporters to physical attacks and violent conflicts. Managing and balancing...

Bosnien und der Westliche Balkan gehören zurück in den Fokus der Friedensförderung!

Impuls 05/2018 von Marius Müller-Hennig, Leiter der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Bosnien und Herzegowina

Der neue deutsche Außenminister, Heiko Maas, hat das deutsche Engagement im Bereich der Friedensförderung einmal mehr betont. Anlässlich des UN High Level Meetings zum Thema „Sustaining Peace“ stellte er fest: „We cannot only address conflicts once they are on the front pages of the newspapers. Furthermore, we must not lose our focus too soon, let alone accept frozen conflicts. We need to be resolute in our search for political solutions“. Das ist ein mittlerweile klassisches Bekenntnis zu Prävention, verbunden mit der etwas jüngeren Einsicht, dass man sich nicht zu schnell von vermeintlich befriedeten Konfliktschauplätzen abwenden sollte. Hier hallt die Einsicht des Weltentwicklungsbericht 2011 nach, der in den Worten von Andreas Wittkowsky feststellte: „Schon innerhalb einer Generation können Konflikte wirksam bewältigt...

Italy’s contributions to peacebuilding: One step forward, two steps back

Impulse 04/2018 by Bernardo Monzani and Bernardo Venturi, Agency for Peacebuilding

As violent conflict and instability have grown around the world and in the Mediterranean neighbourhood in particular, Italy has been thrust in a difficult position: affected by those crises in more direct ways than other European countries, it felt unprecedented pressure to actively engage as an international peace-broker. However, without official peacebuilding policies or consolidated capacities, its responses have often been hesitant.

Historically, Italy has been a regular contributor to peacekeeping interventions, for example in the Western Balkans, Afghanistan and, most recently, in Lebanon. Supporting conflict prevention, reconciliation and peacebuilding has not been, however, something that Italy has invested much on. Although this had started to change recently, in particular in the case of Libya, most efforts in this direction have...

“Pathways for peace”: putting prevention of violent conflicts at the center

Impuls 03/2018 by Alexandre Marc, Chief Specialist Fragility, Conflict and Violence at World Bank

The joint World Bank-United Nations report on pathways for peace was launched on March 1, 2018. It is the first joint report prepared by the United Nations and the World Bank. It is estimated that in 2030 between 45 and 60% of the world poor will be living in countries affected by fragility, conflict and violence, and therefore no improvement in the living standard of the poor will be possible without reducing the occurrence of violent conflicts. Since 2010, the number of major violent conflicts has tripled, and fighting in a growing number of lower intensity conflicts has escalated. By 2016, more countries were affected by violence than at any time in nearly 30 years; most of these conflicts are driven by the rapid escalations of domestic instability, including in middle-income countries.

The Pathways for Peace study brings together...