Does Peacebuilding Work?
Five years ago, the United Nations embarked upon a new experiment in shaping peace. Designed to catalyze financing, concentrate attention, and create incentives that support lasting peace, the UN Peacebuilding Commission’s goal is to support weak post-conflict countries as they transition into more stable societies. From reintegrating ex-rebels to laying the groundwork for elections, from brokering security sector reform to broadening development, the Peacebuilding Commission looks at it all.
But what does its work look like, five years later? Last month, the appointed UN co-facilitators released their long-awaited review of the body. The report reveals that the aspiration that drove the creation of the commission in 2005 has lost some of its fervor. Though credited with notable successes, faltering commitments on behalf of many of its creators has frustrated the commission’s ability to maximize its contribution to peacebuilding progress. In the recommendations submitted to the presidents of the Security Council and General Assembly, the co-facilitators urged both bodies to recapture the sense of urgency and ambition that characterized their early vision of the commission.
As representatives to the UN evaluate their colleagues' work, freelance journalist Jina Moore is on the ground in Africa reporting on the places and the people who are supposed to benefit from peacebuilding. From Guinea Bissau, Burundi, Sierra Leone, and Central African Republic, Moore is preparing a series of reports as part of a reporting project made possible through collaboration between the Stanley Foundation and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
In the newest issue of Courier, we share an amazing (and secret) diplomatic effort to secure dangerous nuclear material in Kazakhstan. Two ambassadors discuss how to make our world safer from nuclear terrorism. You can also discover more than you ever wanted to know about climate change negotiations and about the tension within the United Nations that makes it difficult to be efficient. Our final piece looks at the potential for mass atrocities in the Dominican Republic.
Ahead of the third Nuclear Security Summit, the Stanley Foundation produced a 13-minute video looking at what needs to be done to stop terrorist groups from acquiring enough fissile material to make a bomb. The foundation talked with over a dozen diverse and distinguished experts from the Nuclear Security Governance Experts Group and the Fissile Materials Working Group to see how today's patchwork of voluntary arrangements can be forged into a long-lasting system. Watch the video.
Our bimonthly newsletter highlights new resources for knowing more about preventing nuclear terrorism as well as stopping mass atrocities before they start. We also take a look at how the shifting clout between emerging and established powers poses one of the most complex challenges of our time.
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This Now Showing event-in-a-box toolkit Before the Killing Begins: The Politics of Mass Violence considers how early preventive strategies by governments and the international community should build much-needed capacities within countries, and make it harder for leaders to resort to violence. It aims to encourage discussion of how future efforts might better protect populations under threat, giving new resolve to the promise of never again. Sign Up.
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