Bilal, S., Hauck, V., Weijer, F. de. 2014. Thematic focus: Peacebuilding and statebuilding. GREAT insights Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 1. December 2014/January 2015.
Today, violent conflict and insecurity affect more than 1.5 billion people globally, with numbers rising, and will be one of the major foreign and development policy challenges for the international community. Policy agendas focusing on conflict prevention, crisis management and peace consolidation have been created with vigour since the early 2000’s in response to the Rwandan genocide and the recurrence of civil wars in several countries as of the 1990’s. Over time, an awareness grew that more comprehensive policies, institutional arrangements and instruments to promote peacebuilding and statebuilding were needed, and a new consensus started to emerge that recognises the interdependencies of actors and the various issue-areas, encompassing political, development, security, economic and humanitarian dimensions, while also stressing the importance of country-led processes and country ownership.
It is time to look at the efforts undertaken by Europe, African institutions, as well as globally, in promoting peace and security. In 2001 the EU was already, a leader in global conflict prevention. Its policy commitments, formulated in 2001, exceeded in creativity, ambition and commitments all of its member states and promoted a truly innovative integrated approach. The African Union launched the African Peace and Security Architecture (2002), expanded with a policy framework to promote Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (2006) and formed the associated African Solidarity Initiative (2012). Regional bodies, such as the ICGLR (International Conference on the Great Lakes Region), have also become increasingly engaged in this field. At the global level, in search of more development effectiveness, a number of clear principles for engaging in fragile states emerged and were framed in the New Deal prepared by the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding.
Translating these frameworks into practice, however, is not easily done, reason for us to provide space in this issue of GREAT insights to bring contrasting perspectives about these frameworks to the table, look at progress made in implementing these frameworks and stimulate exchange about progress and gaps.
Conflict prevention and the promotion of more comprehensive responses connecting security, development and people-driven governance, receives a growing amount of attention within the EU as Joelle Jenny, Director for Conflict Prevention and Security Policy at the European External Action Service highlights. This message is mirrored by Dr. Khabele Matlosa, Director for Political Affairs at the African Union Commission, who points out that connecting the peace and security and the governance frameworks of the African Union is crucial to address the structural root causes of crisis and conflict in Africa. From a regional perspective, Pamphile Sebahara and Edgar Cizero Ntasono, describe recent initiatives taken by the ICGLR to address challenges of youth unemployment in the Great Lakes Region.
Three perspectives on the implementation of the New Deal are presented, which is timely given the ending of the pilot phase of this international policy framework in 2015. Habib Ur Rehman Mayar from the g7+ Secretariat (coordinating the work of 20 self-declared fragile states) reflects on the results of the recent New Deal’s implementation monitoring exercise. Erin McCandless, a scholar on peacebuilding and statebuilding, warns us against an excessive focus on statebuilding instead maintaining a distinct focus on strengthening state-society relations within this framework. And Hafeez Wani, the focal point for the South Sudan NGO Forum, describes the way in which New Deal implementation was severely hampered by bringing conditionality into the New Deal agenda in his country.
Sarah Cliffe, special adviser on conflict, security and development at the World Bank, and Seth Kaplan, a scholar on statebuilding and governance, shed a light on the role of governance in the trajectories towards stability. Referring to South Africa and Afghanistan, Sarah Cliffe discusses how indispensible, but also time consuming it is to shape governance, and how convoluted its pathway can be expected to be. Kaplan provides ten lessons from China in shaping growth and stability based on a distinctly different approach than normally promoted by Western development thinking, with a stronger emphasis on government effectiveness and less on normative aspects of governance.
The final block of articles presents a number of thematic experiences within peacebuilding and statebuilding. Dr. Laura Davis presents lessons learnt from the most common mechanisms employed for transitional justice. Sheelagh Stewart calls for a more power- and inequality sensitive approach to justice programming. Steve Utterwulghe stresses the importance of fostering public-private dialogue in fragile states, in order to harness the job creation potential while mitigating the potential negatives. The final contribution is from Laurent Bossard, Director of the Club du Sahel and West-Africa Secretariat at the OECD, who calls for an integrated approach to development in the larger Sahel region that focuses on its assets rather than focusing narrowly on the Sahel as a security threat.
Dr. San Bilal (Editor), Head of Economic Transformation Programme, ECDPM.
Volker Hauck (Guest editor), Head of Conflict, Security and Resilience Programme, ECDPM.
Frauke de Weijer (Guest editor), Senior Policy Officer Conflict, Security and Resilience Programme, ECDPM.
This article was published in GREAT insights Volume 4, Issue 1 (December 2014/January 2015).