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Media Workshop 18 May 2009


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Media Workshop 18 May 2009

  1. 1. From Conflict Prevention & Peacekeeping to Peacebuilding The Challenges of Rebuilding a Just Peace Dr. Rama Mani MEDIA WORKSHOP 18 MAY 2009
  2. 2. ‘Peacemaking, Peacekeeping’ & ‘Peacebuilding’ Distinct & Linear or Overlapping? Boutros Boutros-Ghali – Agenda for Peace 1992/95: (Preventive Diplomacy) Peacemaking Peacekeeping Peacebuilding Increasing overlap since 1990s –
  3. 3. Post-Conflict ‘Peacebuilding’ Defined “PEACEBUILDING: ‘actions taken to identify and support structures which will tend to strengthen and solidify peace in order to avoid a relapse into conflict’ (Boutros Boutros-Ghali – Agenda for Peace (1992): “By post-conflict peace-building, I mean actions undertaken at the end of a conflict to consolidate peace and prevent a recurrence of armed confrontation.” (Kofi Annan, Report, “The Causes of Conflict and the Promotion of Durable Peace and Sustainable Development in Africa”, 1998)
  4. 4. Peacebuilding cannot be divorced from Nature of Conflict , conflict prevention & Peacemaking processes Conflicts today: though lowest level, brutal, complex, internal-internationalised, with entrenched war economies. Endemic Violence ‘Culture of prevention’ not inculcated: remains rare, invisible, incomplete: focus on ‘operational prevention’ and to some extent on ‘structural prevention’ but not systemic. Peacemaking processes: despite ‘industry’ of mediators, remains exclusive, elitist, incomplete, unaccountable. Frequent relapse. MEDIA MUST TAKE MORE INTEREST: make conflict prevention visible, scrutinise – and criticise – mediators mediators, support & critique international peacebuilders, nurture
  5. 5. Peacebuilding in Practice: Dual Interdependent Objective Short term security & long term consolidation Balancing ‘Positive’ and ‘Negative’ Peace • ‘Negative Peace’: the cessation of hostilities and direct violence • ‘Positive Peace’: the consolidation of peace through structural change, to avoid relapse • Not a trade-off – but a careful balance
  6. 6. Nature of Post-Conflict Peacebuilding Dynamic process twinned objective: Balancing security and consolidation; short and long term exigencies Identifies and eliminates causes Inherently political, not technical task Social process – rebuilds relationships Inclusive, rebuilds inclusive political, social and ‘moral’ community of ‘survivors’
  7. 7. Peacebuilding’s Multiple Objectives: Providing security Demilitarising society: DDR, Security Sector Reform – separating police and military Accountability: Reversing impunity, Transitional justice, reconciliation Human Rights, women’s, child, minorities (promoting gender and ethnic balance)
  8. 8. Multiple tasks: Rebuilding rule of law; judiciary, police, prisons State building: governance, institutions Democratising society, civic participation Elections and Constitution Building, Statebuilding Strengthening Civil Society Fostering economic and social development (equity) Overcoming war economies, fighting crime and corruption Humanitarian: Caring for Refugees, internally displaced, handicapped.
  9. 9. How to confront these challenges? No magic formula: riddled with dilemmas, no easy decisions One simple lesson – “Peace without Justice is only a symbolic peace” ‘Accountable’, ‘Inclusive’ and ‘Just’ are key words. Ie peacebuilding is not only about ‘security’, ‘power-sharing’ and ‘elections’, important though they are. Critically important that the peace being built is seen to be ‘just’ in the eyes of the population and ‘inclusive’ of all parties, stakeholders and communities – not only warlords and elites.
  10. 10. How to build a Just Peace? Start by understanding that Injustice is embedded in all phases of Conflict CAUSES: Real and perceived inequality between groups, exclusion and marginalisation (political, econ, religious, ethnic, racial) SYMPTOMS: Manipulation, corruption or breakdown of legal justice & rule of law; no legal redress to grievances CONSEQUENCES: war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, discrimination, displacement, looting, war economies
  11. 11. THREE Dimensions of Justice to address simultaneously DISTRIBUTIVE or ‘SOCIAL’ JUSTICE (addressing underlying CAUSES of conflict) LEGAL JUSTICE/Rule of Law (addressing the SYMPTOMS, regenerating the rule of law) RECTIFICATORY JUSTICE (redressing the CONSEQUENCES of war crimes) – traditional focus of ‘Transitional Justice’
  12. 12. 3 Dimensions of Justice: Distinct but Inter-dependent Varying priorities (eg Rwanda, vs Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka) Different time frames and exigencies (eg Cambodia, Namibia, vs Zimbabwe) Inter-dependent and mutually reinforcing
  13. 13. Justice is Implicit in and Essential to all Dimensions of Peacebuilding Rule of Law is a both a Security and Governance priority Rectificatory justice is both a Security and Human Rights Priority. Distributive Justice is a Development priority, and only way to avoid relapse, and ensure sustainability of peace.
  14. 14. A Strategic Framework for Achieving Just Peace Hence a STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK for JUST PEACE would embed justice in all 4 dimensions of peacebuilding: I.e. 1. Security 2. Governance 3. Human Rights 4. Development Ie Strategic Peacebuilding must combine ‘what is right and what is stable’, long & short term. It must balance Negative & Positive Peace It must work at all levels from grassroot to national, regional and international.
  15. 15. EASIER SAID THAN DONE…. Riddled with Dilemmas & Hurdles! Balancing Negative and Positive Peace isn’t so easy! Threat of return to violence by military and armed groups (Latin America, Haiti, Angola, SL) Resistance to rule of law change by powerful political, economic and military elite (el Salvador, Guatemala) Resistance to economic redistribution by economic and political elites (El Salvador) Competing Post-conflict/transition priorities
  16. 16. Rule of Law – the new panacea – but what does it really MEAN? Secretary-General: ‘It refers to a principle of governance in which all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, including the state itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced, and independently adjudicated, and which are consistent with international human rights norms and standards.’
  17. 17. Rule of Law: Judiciary, Police, Prisons Challenges Responses Form over substance Ethos of law is more important than form. Imposing foreign laws. Incorporate acceptable Ignoring customary customary laws. Only laws and traditional Resonant and just laws practices will be observed by Technical vs Politically- locals. sensitive approach Politically savvy ‘1 size fits all’ Adapt, learn from locals Order over justice (SSR) Order without justice backfires Reductionist, minimalist Incremental maximalism: high vision but step by step
  18. 18. Rectificatory or ‘Transitional’ Justice – in vogue MECHANISMS: 1. TRIALS Focusing on perpetrators: 2. TRUTH Commissions: Focusing on Victims 3. LUSTRATION/VETTING (East, Central Europe) 4. INSITUTIONAL REFORM (ROL, SSR) None is perfect! Or Sufficient alone! Observations & Lessons: Still ‘Victors’ justice’: need for consistency. Internationally determined/funded: id. local wishes Single Template, standard solutions imposed: need diverse, ‘home-grown’, innovative approaches. Survivor oriented ‘Reparative’ vs retributive Justice
  19. 19. No peace without social justice So far social justice – addressing the structural injustices and systemic inequalities that often caused the conflict – was largely ignored. Today populations are insisting that social justice, as also war economies, corruption and violent crime be addressed as central elements of peacebuilding.
  20. 20. Orient PC reconstruction around Social & Distributive Justice Errors & Problems: Responses Looking forward as if Look Back before past didn’t exist Looking Forward Addressing effects but Address causes & ignoring causes inequities ALONGSIDE Washington consensus material effects Pursuing growth, Seek Economic Growth overlooking equity WITH Equity, Dangers of privatisation, redistribution liberalisation… Pursue political AND Placating the elite, economic stabilisation angering the masses Heed demands & needs of the local population, not
  21. 21. The Rough Ride of Post-Conflict Peacebuilding – 1989-2005 Namibia to Iraq: Relatively Simple to Increasingly Complex Period of dynamic changes, expansion, adaptation Many ‘lessons learned’ But many costly mistakes made – Glass Half-full or half empty viz relapse into conflict Dilemmas, tough choices, tradeoffs
  22. 22. 60th Anniversary: The Call for a Peacebuilding Commission “If we are going to prevent conflict we must ensure that peace agreements are implemented in a sustained and sustainable manner. (…) No part of the United Nations system effectively addresses the challenge of helping countries with the transition from war to lasting peace. I therefore propose to Member States that they create an intergovernmental Peacebuilding Commission, as well as a Peacebuilding Support Office within the United Nations Secretariat, to achieve this end.” (Kofi Annan, Report, “In Larger Freedom: Towards Development, Security and Human Rights for All”, March 2005)
  23. 23. Establishment of the UN Peacebuilding Commission (2005 World Summit Outcome (§ 98)): “The main purpose of the Peacebuilding Commission is to bring together all relevant actors to marshal resources and to advise on and propose integrated strategies for post-conflict peacebuilding and recovery. The Commission should focus attention on the reconstruction and institution-building efforts necessary for recovery from conflict and support the development of integrated strategies in order to lay the foundation for sustainable development. In addition, it should provide recommendations and information to improve the coordination of all relevant actors within and outside the United Nations, develop best practices, help to ensure predictable financing for early recovery activities and extend the period of attention by the international community to post-conflict recovery. NB CONFLICT PREVENTION EXCLUDED!
  24. 24. 2. The UN Peacebuilding Commission Agenda The Commission provides advice to the Security Council, ECOSOC, Member States or the Secretary-General. The Commission deals only with countries emerging from conflict, once a peace accord has been concluded and a minimum degree of security exists. Countries are expected to express an interest in appearing before the Commission. Burundi, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau are now on the agenda of the Commission. Possible addition: Central African Republic.
  25. 25. Healthy media crucial for building lasting peace in post-conflict States Conf. 12/12/08 Amb Takasu(Japan) Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, told the meeting that the Commission needed the media as a partner at the local, national and international level to generate attention and mobilize support towards countries emerging from conflict. “a media environment conducive to independent and accessible media can build public will and hold governments accountable to their citizens.” Delegates focused discussions on how the media has promoted and strengthened governance and democracy in countries coming out of conflict, reviewing past efforts as well as examining current initiatives and exploring possibilities for future action.
  26. 26. Observations & Lessons UNPBC is not panacea or miracle cure ‘Obsolescing Welcome ‘of International intervention and peacekeeping forces Peace Agreements often fail as incomplete Violence in many forms in Post conflict societies Despite efforts/expenditures, donors frustrated: lack coherence, coordination, complementarity. Problem is too many tasks without unified strategic objective
  27. 27. The Way Forward: Make Peacebuilding’s objective: ‘inclusive just peace’ Make peacemaking more inclusive, accountable Invest ‘Ownership’ in all sectors of local population not just warlords, political, economic elite All ‘survivors’ must come together to rebuild an inclusive viable political and civic community: not just victors or beneficiaries; perpetrators, or victims. Accountability of international AND local community Peacebuilding divorced from peacemaking and conflict prevention cant work.
  28. 28. Media’s role in prevention, peacemaking and peacebuilding MEDIA, local and international, has a major role to play to question & enlighten, to awaken & mobilise. Make conflict prevention visible: highlight unheard of success stories; underline systemic prevention; structural causes of violence Scrutinise mediators and peace processes: insist on inclusion of women, civilians, & accountability. Support – and critique – local and international peacebuilders. Report successes not only failures. Media can and must once again become the conscience of a society that today is over- informed but lacking in wisdom and understanding. It is the Media that can and must make visible what is invisible, speak aloud what is whispered