On 29 August, the Institute convened a high-level conference on sustainable peacebuilding, Achieving Sustainable Peacebuilding: Retrospect and Prospect, which complemented the launch of The Hague Approach.Three panels composed of distinguished international experts on rule of law and peacebuilding addressed the complex challenges of stabilization and reconstruction in fragile and conflict-affected situations and shared important lessons learned.
In his keynote address, The Role of the Rule of Law in Achieving Sustainable Peacebuilding, Ambassador Hans Corell (Former Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and Legal Counsel of the United Nations) noted:
“Looking at conflicts around the world, the common denominator is the same – no democracy, no rule of law. Where these elements are absent, the potential for conflict is always present … we should in no way believe that all is well in states where there is democracy and the rule of law. Unfortunately, this is not so. The rule of law must always be defended. It is a constant process that, in a sense, will never be completed.”
The three expert panels focused on lessons learned in international peacebuilding; country-specific analyses of peacebuilding efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya; and future directions of peacebuilding in an era of globalization.
The panelists drew on their wealth of experience to engage in frank and lively discussions, which generated many valuable insights into peacebuilding. For example, Ms. Judy Cheng-Hopkins (United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support) highlighted the following lessons learned:
- There is no linear relationship between peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and development;
- Sustainable peace is only possible if national actors are committed to peace;
- Sustainable peace requires buy-in from all segments of society;
- Proper conflict analysis is indispensable;
- Women must be recognized as agents of change rather than victims of conflict