The challenge of effectively building and sustaining peace has reemerged on the agenda of the United Nations as a priority issue. An Advisory Group of Experts concluded in their June 2015 Report that peacebuilding has been largely left as an afterthought in the organizations work, under-emphasized, under-prioritized and under-resourced.

The report suggested a change of mindset to place "building and sustaining peace" at the core of UN action. This could be done by recognizing the non-linear nature of conflict and the importance of conflict prevention both before and after conflict, breaking silos at the intergovernmental, strategic and operational levels of UN action, better linking the political and security, development and human rights pillars of the UN, partnering better with regional and sub-regional organizations and international financial institutions, and adopting inclusive and people-centered approaches for successful peacebuilding, including through encouraging the participation of women and youth. These recommendations were adopted

in April 2016 by consensus in UNSC Resolution 2282, simultaneously adopted by the UN General Assembly.

The Global Peace Operations review has covered both the substantial and intergovernmental parts of the 2015 peacebuilding review. Furthermore, several essays, commentaries, and interviews have focused on the different themes covered by the review, including conflict prevention as well as women, peace and security.

Sustaining Peace and Prevention: Comparing Responses to Crises in Gambia and Burundi


Center on International Cooperation

TThis workshop was the fourth in the “Applying Sustaining Peace” series, and focused on how to conceptualize prevention through a sustaining peace lens. Later this year, the Secretary-General’s forthcoming report on Sustaining Peace will further explore and define sustaining peace. | Read More

Sustaining peace in an urban world


Deen Sharp and Gizem Sucouglu

The conflict in Syria has turned formerly thriving urban centres such as Aleppo and Homs into landscapes of rubble and decay. Those escaping the violence in these cities and elsewhere in the country have fled to predominantly urban areas in neighbouring countries. This influx has placed intense pressures on housing, livelihoods and basic urban services, sometimes resulting in tensions between host and displaced communities. | Read More

Democratise or disintegrate: How the AU can help South Sudan


Amanda Lucey and Liezelle Kumalo

The implementation of South Sudan’s latest peace agreement appears to be at a standstill. Insecurity, food shortages and the breakdown in governance have forced more than 1.5 million people to flee the country. | Read More

Partnering for sustainable peace in Liberia


Amanda Lucey and Liezelle Kumalo

This policy brief is based on field research carried out in November 2016. It makes targeted, practical recommendations to the UN Peacebuilding Commission on enhancing its support to Liberia, drawing on a wide range of partnerships with other internal and external peacebuilding actors. Partnering for sustainable peace in Liberia Amanda Lucey and Liezelle Kumalo 2 Partnering for sustainable peace in Liberia (UNSC), the PBC and UN Country Teams. | Read More

When should blue helmets walk away from a conflict? |

Richard Gowan

The renewed crisis in South Sudan is turning into a decisive test for the United Nations. There is a growing international outcry over reports that local forces raped and killed civilians almost in front of UN peacekeepers. The Security Council has struggled to persuade the South Sudanese government to accept the deployment of an additional 4,000 troops with a robust mandate to stabilize the capital, Juba. | Read More

Local elders talk among one another after a demonstration in April 2014 by a local militia, formed to provide security for the town of Marka, Somalia. (UN Photo/Tobin Jones)

All peacebuilding is local


Joëlle Jenny

On his first day as Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres issued an Appeal for Peace. As conflicts and crises wreak havoc across several continents, who would disagree with his call upon all—citizens, governments, leaders—to overcome their differences and put peace first? | Read More

A Ghanaian peacekeeper with the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). 16 November 2012 Cestos City, Liberia

Sustaining Peace and Peace Operation Mandates: The Liberia Transition


Gizem Sucuoglu

On 14 December 2016, NYU’s Center on International Cooperation (CIC), the Dag Hammarskjold Foundation (DHF) and the International Peace Institute (IPI) organized the first in a series of workshops in support of efforts to better understand and implement sustaining peace. | Read More

A Female Member of the Ethiopian Battalion of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) Joins the Military Observers in a Parade After Receiving Medals in Recognition of Their Contribution to the Mission ©UN Photo

Going, but not gone: UNMIL stays on in Liberia


Amanda Lucey and Liezelle Kumalo

Liberia is nearly, but not quite ready, to go it alone without United Nations (UN) peacekeeping support. This was the upshot of the 23 December 2016 UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting, where it was decided that the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia, of which the mandate had expired, would be extended until March 2018 for the final time. | Read More

UNMIL peacekeepers conduct a rapid reaction training exercise. Monrovia, Liberia, January 25, 2013. (Staton Winter/UNMIL Photo)

Sustaining Peace in Security Transitions: The Liberian Opportunity


Gizem Sucuoglu and Lesley Connolly

On December 21 last year, the United Nations Security Council extended the mandate of the peacekeeping operation in Liberia (UNMIL) until March 30, 2018. The Council hailed the mission’s overall progress toward restoring peace, security, and stability in the country. | Read More

Workers handle core samples from a new gold mining project. Kibali, Democratic Republic of the Congo, October 18, 2014. (Simon Dawson/Bloomberg/Getty Images)From Curse to Blessing: How Africa’s Natural Resources Can Build Peace |

Jonathan Rozen

While natural resource development can generate economic success, it can also increase the likelihood of conflict, particularly in Africa. Ongoing violence in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta is a good example of the so-called “resource curse” in action | Read More

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon beats a traditional drum with Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza during a dinner hosted by Mr. Nkurunziza in Bujumbura, Burundi in June 2010.With “Sustaining Peace” can the UN turn rhetoric into action? |

Gizem Sucuoglu and Tanisha Hewanpola

In April 2015, Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza announced that he would be seeking a third-term of office—a move that his opponents decried as unconstitutional. Protests and clashes between opposition supporters and security forces followed. Amid a rapidly deteriorating climate of serious human-rights violations, extrajudicial killings, intimidation, media suppression, and the stoking of ethnic tensions, fears of widespread violence rose, triggering mass cross-border displacement. | Read More

©AUAU-UN Partnership is a Necessity not an Option |

Lesley Connolly

As the African Union (AU) has become a stronger actor in peace operations, coordination with the United Nations Security Council has risen in importance. Beyond just working together on a case-by-case basis, such as the Somalia hybrid mission, the two organizations are said to be seeking a broader and more complimentary relationship. | Read More

©RoutledgeCedric de Coning: The Evolution of UN Peacebuilding from Technical Challenges to Political Solutions |

Cedric de Coning and Gizem Sucuoglu

The recently adopted landmark General Assembly and Security Council resolutions on the United Nations peacebuilding architecture tasks the entire UN system to work together to prioritize efforts to sustain peace in all its engagements. As the UN moves forward to the implementation phase of the resolutions, Cedric de Coning and Eli Stamnes’ new book, entitled “UN Peacebuilding Architecture: The first 10 years”, provides timely analysis of the challenges, missed opportunities, and potential for improvement. During a recent visit to New York City, de Coning spoke with the Global Peace Operations Review’s Gizem Sucuoglu. | Read More

Participants of the High-Level Workshop on Arab Perspectives on the Future of the UN Peace & Security ArchitectureKey Messages from Civil Society on the UN’s role in Peace and Security |

Adriana Erthal Abdenur, Ashraf Swelam, Cedric de Coning and Karim Hafez

On its 70th anniversary, the United Nations finds itself at a crossroads. Old and new threats, challenges and risks to international peace and security are increasingly testing the ability of the organization and the efficacy of the instruments available to it as it attempts to fulfill its primary promise: to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”. | Read More

Oscar Fernández-Taranco (centre left), Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the Peacebuilding Support Office, greets Raimonda Murmokaitė, Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the UN, during a January 2015 Security Council meeting on post-conflict peacebuilding as Dina Kawar (centre), Permanent Representative of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the UN, looks on. (UN Photo/Loey Felipe)Sustaining Peace is a Core Activity of the UN |

Oscar Fernandez-Taranco

On 27 April 2016, as an end result of an over a year long process aimed at reviewing the UN’s peacebuilding efforts, the member states of the United Nations agreed by consensus on two substantially identical, parallel resolutions of the General Assembly and Security Council. The comprehensive and far-reaching resolutions successfully capture the ambitious and innovative content of the 2015 Report of the Advisory Group of Experts on the UN’s Peacebuilding Architecture. | Read More

The Security Council unanimously adopts resolution on the UN Peacebuilding Architecture. The General Assembly also adopted a substantively identical resolution, with the two resolutions providing renewed momentum for the focus on ‘sustaining peace’ within the UN system. UN Photo/Manuel EliasA Global Consensus on Sustaining Peace |

Gillian Bird and Ismael A. Gaspar Martins

Benjamin Franklin once said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The United Nations membership acknowledged this, by consensus, by adopting on 27 April the most comprehensive and far-reaching peacebuilding resolutions in the Organization’s history. | Read More

© ISS AfricaWomen in Peace Operations: The Unsung Champions of Human Rights |

Liezelle Kumalo and Riana Paneras

On 21 March 2016, South Africa celebrates Human Rights Day, commemorating the 1960 shooting of police upon peaceful protestors, which killed 69 people. This year, reflecting on the role of police in relation to human rights seems more relevant than ever given that the African Union (AU) dedicated 2016 to human rights, with a specific focus on the rights of women. | Read More

Marching in New York City for gender equality. © UN Women/J CarrierIs the UN really moving toward gender equality? |

Ourania S. Yancopoulosk

New research raises the question of whether the UN is burying statistics on gender representation in order to cover up lack of progress. | Read More

©Pax in NuceDoes anyone know what good peacebuilding looks like? |

Gustavo de Carvalho and Onnie Kok

Peacebuilding has evolved significantly in the last 20 years. Now that we know what it is meant to achieve, the time has come to do it well. | Read More

© Dag Hammarskjold FoundationCan the UN reduce global conflict? |

Sarah Cliffe

In 2015, multiple reviews of the UN’s peace efforts have added to the collective realization that UN peace operations – designed in the 1990s to support post-civil war peace deals – may have reached their limits for maintaining international peace and security. | Read More

Jean_Arnault_2A Background to the Report of the High-Level Panel on Peace Operations |

Jean Arnault

A year ago, when the Secretary-General put forward the idea of a new review of peacekeeping operations, he naturally referred to the Brahimi report. He argued that as the 15-year anniversary of that report approached, it was necessary “to take stock of evolving expectations of UN peacekeeping and how the Organization can work toward a shared view of the way forward.” | Read More

goetz_jenkins_them_essay_july29_640x247Missed Opportunities: Gender and the UN’s Peacebuilding and Peace Operations Reports |

Anne-Marie Goetz and Rob Jenkins

Gender issues are now a regular feature of the international community’s approach to promoting peace and security. Two high-profile reports recently issued by the UN – on peace operations and the organization’s peacebuilding architecture – include significant content on the role that women play in war and its aftermath. Both reports stress the need to see women as agents of conflict prevention and resolution, rather than just victims in need of protection. | Read More

s_hearn_them_essay_july28The "Gaping Hole" in the UN for Sustaining Peace |

Sarah Hearn

In 2015, multiple reviews of the UN’s peace efforts have added to the collective realization that UN peace operations – designed in the 1990s to support post-civil war peace deals – may have reached their limits for maintaining international peace and security. | Read More