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Improving International Support to Peace Processes

The Missing Piece

image of Improving International Support to Peace Processes

Peace processes hold the promise of re-starting non-violent efforts towards creating more equitable, resilient and developed societies. Yet, such processes are politically and psychologically complex, as well as high-risk. Many fail and such failure is harmful, as it reduces confidence and increases cynicism amongst parties to a conflict, citizens and international partners alike. International support can help a peace process to succeed but its nature and quality matter greatly.

“The Missing Piece” identifies seven recommendations to improve the quality of support that states and international organizations provide to peace processes. It does this through a thorough analysis of: the characteristics of today’s violent conflicts, the factors that influence the success and failure of a peace process and  the current strengths & weaknesses of international support.

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Strengths and weaknesses of international support

How effective is international support for peace processes? What is the international community good at and what needs improvement? How does its support reflect the “ingredients” discussed in the previous chapter? This chapter brings together the main findings from a review of international engagement in recent peace processes. It identifies four key weaknesses and three key strengths, and uses some current examples of peace processes from around the world to highlight good practice:

Weakness 1: The dominance of international views and priorities

Weakness 2: Weak co-operation among development, mediation and security actors

Weakness 3: A lack of “conflict sensitivity” and the ability to learn from mistakes

Weakness 4: A lack of fit-for-purpose financial and human resources

Strength 1: International tools and techniques create pressure for peace

Strength 2: Integrated international resources and action provide vital support to long-term peace

Strength 3: Global-regional-local partnerships generate context-specific, sustainable responses to conflict

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