UN Post-Conflict Peacebuilding Activities – An Economic Reconstruction Perspective
Published in Frauke Lachenmann, Tilmann J. Röder, Rüdiger Wolfrum (Eds.) Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law (Volume 18 - 2014) (Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers), pp.188-216.
Grotius Centre Working Paper 2014/039-PSL
24 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2015
Date Written: September 9, 2015
The peace versus justice dilemma often presented as paramount in post-conflict situations is more complex and ignores the factual and legal importance of economic reconstruction. The economic aspect of UN post-conflict peacebuilding missions has, however, not received much attention over the past years. Yet, the mandates granted to international actors after conflicts have undoubtedly evolved throughout the years. From the imposition of a neutral force between the parties to a conflict, to maintaining peace and stability, the UN and other international organizations have taken up various responsibilities in the administration of States and territories. The focus on economic reconstruction needs to be viewed in the context of a changed strategy towards conflicts, in which the focus is laid on ensuring that the causes of the conflict are eliminated. The 1990s, thus, signaled an important and comprehensive shift in the UN’s engagement in post-conflict States, which resulted in the establishment of unprecedented missions which included important economic reconstruction activities, such as the international administration missions in Kosovo and East Timor. In recent years however, there have been no comprehensive peacebuilding missions which included major economic reforms in their mandate. There may be multiple reasons for this, but, as is argued, in essence it is the result of two factors. First, international administrative missions, by their very nature, are more adequate tools to engage in comprehensive post-conflict reconstruction efforts including far-reaching economic reforms. Secondly, international financial institution have gradually been moving away from a strict application of their free market policy, towards paying more attention to pluralist rule of law reforms which in turn will trigger economic development.
Keywords: post-conflict reconstruction, economic reconstruction, peacebuilding, international administrations, foreign direct investment
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