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June 23 – 25
Peacebuilding in Conflict-Affected Societies

Workshop explores local peacebuilding experiences and perspectives

Madoka Futamura, UNU-ISP

UNU-ISP and McMaster University (Ontario, Canada) held a workshop at the University of Sarajevo, as part of a joint research project which draws upon local perspectives to deepen understanding of peacebuilding challenges, and recommend ways to improve UN and inter-governmental approaches to peacebuilding.

The workshop engaged local researchers, policy analysts and practitioners with experience of peacebuilding activities in their own countries, including Croatia, Guatemala, Kosovo, Mozambique and Timor-Leste, as well as Bosnia-Herzegovina. It explored the successes and failures of peacebuilding in these countries, from conflict prevention and conflict resolution to the process of post-conflict reconstruction – including economic development, democracy assistance and good governance, strengthening the rule of law, demobilization and reintegration of armed combatants, and reconciliation. The Sarajevo workshop builds upon a previous workshop held in Accra, Ghana, in September 2009, featuring experts on peacebuilding in Afghanistan, Burundi, Kosovo, Liberia, Mozambique, Rwanda and Sierra Leone.

Analysis of local needs and ownership in peacebuilding remains underdeveloped, and local voices are not always present. The UNU-ISP project “Peacebuilding in Conflict-Affected Societies: Comparative Experiences and Local Perspectives” addresses these shortcomings by considering local experiences and perspectives in four areas:

  • the legacy of violent conflict;
  • local resources and capacity;
  • scope, priority and sequencing of peacebuilding activities;
  • balancing local and international engagement.

The project outcomes will be disseminated through an edited academic volume, a UNU Research Brief, and a workshop report to be published in the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development.

Research Brief: Towards a Human Security Approach to Peacebuilding