Understanding peacebuilding consolidating the peace process
In the short term the goal of peacebuilding or post-conflict reconstruction interventions is to assist the internal actors with consolidating the peace process and preventing a relapse into conflict, but its ultimate aim is to support them in transforming the causes of the conflict and laying the foundations for social justice and sustainable peace and development.
The need for, and benefits of, improved coherence are widely accepted today in the international multilateral governance context.
There is now broad consensus that inconsistent policies and fragmented programmes entail a higher risk of duplication, inefficient spending, a lower quality of service, difficulty in meeting goals and, ultimately, a reduced capacity for delivery.
There is, however, a considerable gap between the degree to which the benefits of coherence are held to be of self-evident and operational reality.
These developments culminated, as the centrepiece of the UN reform proposals of the 2005 World Summit, in the establishment of the UN Peacebuilding Commission.
The peacebuilding or post-conflict intervention starts when a cease-fire agreement or peace agreement, which calls upon the international community to support the peace process, is implemented.
It typically progresses through three stages, namely a stabilisation phase, a transitional phase, and a consolidation phase.
Some relate to the role of spoilers (Stedman 1997; Newman & Richmond 2006; Gueli, Liebenberg & Van Huyssteen 20) and the dynamics of post-conflict settlements (Du Toit 205; Du Toit 2001) whilst others are associated with shortcomings in the support provided by the international community (Stedman, Cousens & Rothchild 2002; Chesterman 2004; Fukuyama 2004; Paris 2004).
This paper is focused on one of the aspects that contributes to the lack of sustainability in the latter context, namely the coherence dilemma that continues to cause stress to international peacebuilding systems.
In Africa, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) adopted a Post-Conflict Reconstruction Framework in 2005 and the AU adopted a Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development Policy in 2006.