Building peace means ensuring better governance and should result in people being safe from harm and having better livelihoods, wellbeing and access to justice. Peacebuilding requires wide support, especially in the current climate of frayed international relations and increasing conflicts (in both number and scale), exemplified by the war in Syria, where hundreds of thousands of people have died and millions are displaced.
Peacebuilding, however, remains the poor cousin of other international interventions. By one estimate, annual expenditure on peacebuilding in 2016 was equivalent to less than 1% of the global cost of war that year and was dwarfed by the cost of development and humanitarian aid.
There are numerous reasons for this: decision-makers are unaware of the peacebuilding approaches available to them or are sceptical that they work; development, humanitarian, security or military approaches are more familiar; peacebuilding ‘takes too long’ for politicians and others with a desire for quick results, who too often wait until a crisis is upon them before acting; and vested interests stand in the way.
It is high time for this disparity of effort and resources to be corrected. This report sets out the case for this.
- Date:September 2017