Peace building, conflict resolution, conflict prevention, whichever term you use, sits uneasily within one particular field, discipline, or government department for that matter. Is it development, foreign policy, diplomacy, defense and security, justice and human rights, any or all of the above?
Perhaps it is unsurprising that there is no neat fit. Addressing the root causes and drivers of conflict is a long-term and complex task — for those living with conflict first and foremost, but also for those supporting people working for peace. Conflicts have multiple drivers, operate as systems, are often local and do not stop at state borders. Responses require the influence, resources and commitment of different people and institutions, at different times.
Yet, the fact that peacebuilding does not have a natural home does not mean it should not have a central place in our responses to some of today’s global challenges.
Peacebuilding is an enabler — of development, security, social and economic justice, and reconciliation.