The United Nations Peacebuilding Commission: Improving Coherence and Coordination?
Gordon, Hannah Claire
With changes in the international landscape occurring in the years following the Cold War, new and different types of conflict flared up. Wars between states became less frequent, while the number of conflicts within states increased considerably. The states in question were commonly among the poorest in the world, and many were considered to be failed states, having lost the ability to maintain order or advance their own socio-economic development. These states were viewed as a significant threat to regional and global stability. The UN began a process of reform, searching for ways in which the organisation could be adapted to meet the realities of this changing international environment. A High-Level Panel convened by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan outlined several areas in which the UN’s capacity for international assistance could be improved. One of these lay in the creation of a Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), which would fill what Annan described as an ‘institutional gap’ in the UN’s peace and security architecture. Recognising the fact that around half of all states that emerged from civil war in the new international setting were likely to fall back into conflict within five years, the international community approved the establishment of the PBC. Its chief responsibility was to organise the multitude of international actors who inevitably become involved in peacebuilding operations, and in doing so, improve levels of coherence and coordination. These two problems have been identified as the most significant impediments to the success of previous international peacebuilding operations. This thesis evaluates the role and effectiveness of the PBC. It asks whether the use of Integrated Peacebuilding Strategies (IPBSs) by the Commission has resulted in improved levels of coherence and coordination in their two foundation cases. This study provides an historical analysis of the evolution and development of the PBC, followed by specific case studies of the two foundation mandated missions, Sierra Leone and Burundi. The Integrated Peacebuilding Strategies, in their original form, have failed to improve levels of coherence and coordination. The thesis argues that a re-conceptualisation of their key role as an instrument of engagement rather than a strategic framework will provide more effective support to peacebuilding operations, thereby enhancing their effectiveness. The thesis outlines how this shift in emphasis within the IPBS will improve levels of coherence, coordination, and post conflict humanitarian assistance.
Advisor: Clements, Kevin
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Peace and Conflict Studies
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Peacebuilding; Coherence; Coordination; International Relations; United Nations
Research Type: Thesis