Liberia; a United
Nation’s success or partial success?
The basic objective of the United Nations is to attain and
maintain a world peace and friendly relations among nations across the globe. This
is aptly summarized in the preamble of the United Nations Charter which says; “WE
THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED to save succeeding generations
from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow
to mankind”, AND FOR THESE ENDS “to practice tolerance and live together in
peace with one another as good neighbours, and to unite our strength to
maintain international peace and security, and to ensure, by the acceptance of
principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used,
save in the common interest.”
In the early 1990s, there was a significant increase in the
use of UN authorized peace operations for peacebuilding (Doyle and Sambanis
2006). This reflected a new trend of interventionism and redefined a new
generation of strategies in peacebuilding. According to Kofi Annan, the former
Secretary-General of the United Nations, those peace operations were intended
to fill a ‘gaping hole’ in the Organization’s institutional and structural capacity
to support countries in transition from violent conflict to sustainable peace.
It is as part of this reason, that in September 2003, the United Nations
Mission in Liberia, was established by the Security Council of the UN to help
achieve sustainable peace in Liberia.
The major arguments that recurrently come up in the academia
and at the UN levels is whether Peacebuilding only involves measures aimed at
lessening the risk of lapsing or relapsing into conflict, to strengthen
national capacities at all levels for conflict management, and to lay the
foundations for sustainable peace and development, whether peacebuilding
applies to all phases of a conflict or only to post-conflict ones; whether the
process is primarily political or developmental in nature; whether it should
focus primarily on addressing root causes or should engage in institution
building and/or changing attitudes and behaviours (McCandless & Doe
2007:5–6; McCandless 2008).
Analyse possible factors that influenced
the peacebuilding process in Liberia
Downs and Stedman’s Ending Civil Wars
Is Liberia a UN Peacebuilding success?
Challenges of Post-Conflict Peacebuilding by the UN in Liberia
Winning the war on war
Call, C 2005. Institutionalizing peace: a review of
post-conflict concepts and issues for DPA. Consultant report for Policy
Planning Unit, UN Department of Political Affairs, 31 January.
Liberia 2006. Breaking with the past: from conflict to
development, In Interim poverty reduction strategy. Republic of Liberia.
Doyle, W. M and Sambanis, N 2006. Making War and Building
Peace. United Nations Peace Operations. Princeton University Press Princeton
Liberia and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),
Liberia 2006. Mobilizing capacity for reconstruction and development, national
human development report. Liberia: Republic or Liberia and UNDP.
Mccandless, E, 2008. Lessons from Liberia. Integrated
approaches to peacebuilding in transitional settings. ISS Paper 161.
Mccandless, E and Doe, S 2007. Strengthening peacebuilding
efforts in Liberia: a discussion document for UNMIL and the UNCT. 15 April.
O/DSRSG for Recovery and Governance. UNMIL: Liberia.
Paris, R 2004. At war’s end: building peace after civil
conflict. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Stedman, S. J et al.
eds. 2002. Ending Civil Wars: The Implementation of Peace Agreements.
Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.
United Nations 1995. Supplement to ‘An agenda for peace.’
Position paper of the Secretary-General on the occasion of the fiftieth
anniversary of the United Nations. UN Doc A/50/60/-S/1995/1 (3 January).