Synopsis The roles of the United Nations in the process of peacebuilding in postconflict nations; emphasis on the 14-year civil war of the republic of Liberia The basicobjective of the United Nations is to attain and maintain a world peaceand friendly relations among nations across the globe. This is aptly summarizedin the preamble of the United Nations Charter which says; “WE THE PEOPLES OFTHE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED to save succeeding generations from the scourgeof war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind”, ANDFOR THESE ENDS “to practice tolerance and live together in peace with oneanother as good neighbours, and to unite our strength to maintain internationalpeace and security, and to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and theinstitution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the commoninterest.
” The UnitedNations can therefore be described as the symbol for international peace andsecurity that promotes global cooperation, dialogue, and collective responsesto security threats.According to Michael W. Doyleand Nicholas Sambanis, Peacebuilding refers to a post conflict reconstruction,organized to foster economic and social cooperation with the purpose ofbuilding confidence among previously warring parties, developing the social,political, and economic infrastructure to prevent future violence, and layingthe foundations for a durable peace.
In the early 1990s, there was asignificant increase in the use of UN authorized peace operations (Doyle andSambanis 2006). This reflected a new wave of interventionism and redefined anew generation of strategies in peacebuilding. According to Kofi Annan, theformer Secretary-General of the United Nations, those peace operations wereintended to fill a ‘gaping hole’ in the Organization’s institutional andstructural capacity to support countries in transition from violent conflict tosustainable peace.
It is as part of this reason, that in September 2003, theUnited Nations Mission in Liberia, was established by the Security Council ofthe UN to help acieve sustainable peace in Liberia. Problem Statement The United Nations is tasked toattain and maintain International Peace and Security. In doing this, the UnitedNations, leads the responsibility on Peacebuilding in post conflict societies. Thelack of conceptual clarity, heightened by the inadequacy of resources, poorpolicies and institutional arrangements, continues to compromise the effectivenessof peacebuilding as a process (Call 2005). The major arguments that recurrentlycome up in the academia and at the UN levels is whether Peacebuilding onlyinvolves measures aimed at lessening the risk of lapsing or relapsing intoconflict, to strengthen national capacities at all levels for conflictmanagement, and to lay the foundations for sustainable peace and development,whether peacebuilding applies to all phases of a conflict or only topost-conflict ones; whether the process is primarily political or developmentalin nature; whether it should focus primarily on addressing root causes orshould engage in institution building and/or changing attitudes and behaviours(McCandless & Doe 2007:5–6; McCandless 2008).
Research Questions · In what ways didthe United Nations help restore peace in Liberia after the 14-year CivilWar? How committed was the United Nations?· How collaborativewere the warring factions in the post conflict peacebuilding processes ascarried out and supervised by the United Nations? · What approacheswere adopted by the United Nations in the post conflict peacebuilding processin Liberia? Listof References Barnett, M, Kim H, O’Donnell, Mand Sitea, L 2007. Peacebuilding: what is in a name? Global Governance, 13(1)(January–March). Call, C 2005.
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Mobilizing capacity forreconstruction and development, national human development report. Liberia:Republic or Liberia and UNDP. Liberia 2008. Poverty reductionstrategy, Republic of Liberia. Mccandless, E, 2008. Lessonsfrom Liberia Integrated approaches to peacebuilding in transitional settings.ISS Paper 161.
Mccandless, E and Doe, S 2007.Strengthening peacebuilding efforts in Liberia: a discussion document for UNMILand the UNCT. 15 April. O/DSRSG for Recovery and Governance.
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