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.
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