Improving International Support to Peace Processes

The Missing Piece

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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.



What are ingredients for success in a peace process?

This chapter provides international actors with a framework to guide their support to a peace process. It outlines nine key factors which contribute to a successful peace process, grouped around three crucial dimensions: the context, process and implementation. For each dimension, the chapter outlines their implications for the actors involved in supporting peace processes targeted by this publication. These nine factors are as follows:

1. Engaging international actors jointly and positively in conflict resolution

2. Taking care over how the conflict is framed internationally

3. Seizing the “ripe” time for resolving a conflict

4. Stimulating the ability of leaders to mobilise and engage broad coalitions

5. Being well prepared

6. Choosing a credible and acceptable mediator

7. Ensuring an inclusive process

8. Seeing implementation as a process of political dialogue

9. Enabling conflict parties to make a successful political transformation


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