Healing the Wounds: Refugees, Reconstruction and Reconciliation, Report of the Second Conference at Princeton University 30 June - 1 July 1996, Sponsored Jointly by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and International Peace Academy

Today there are over 35 million people uprooted by war, violence and violations of human rights throughout the world.[1] Protection and assistance for these refugees, internally displaced persons, and other victims of conflict cannot simply be limited to establishing camps and providing emergency relief. Durable solutions to their predicament need to be found, healing not only the wounds born of conflict, but also addressing the root causes of conflict that led to their persecution and flight. Such solutions should allow a safe and voluntary return home.

For both the country of origin and the international community, it is a critical challenge to manage the transition from conflict to peace so that refugees can return home. This transition is inherently fragile and fraught with difficulties. It is one thing to achieve a peace agreement, but quite another to enable people to resume a normal, productive life in the aftermath of conflict or humanitarian emergency. The task at hand requires rebuilding communities, reconstructing stable polities - in short, building peace.

In October 1993, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and International Peace Academy (IPA) held their first joint conference on "Conflict and Humanitarian Action" at Princeton University, which considered the role of humanitarian work during ongoing conflict. Between 30 June and 1July 1996, UNHCR and IPA convened their second joint conference at Princeton University to build on the insights from their earlier meeting and to advance policy thinking about building peace and rebuilding community after internal conflict. "Healing the Wounds: Refugees, Reconstruction and Reconciliation" examined recent experience in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda to sharpen understanding of post-war dynamics and then focused on three interrelated themes: reconstruction, reconciliation, and demilitarization. Over one hundred leading international policy-makers and opinion-formers, including Ambassadors to the United Nations (UN), senior officials of the UN and other inter-governmental organizations, members of the U.S. and other national governments, and senior representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academia, and media gathered at the conference to discuss these issues. The conference agenda was designed to address the full complexity of the transition from conflict to peace and to draw lessons from the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda that could inform the future policy and practice of peacebuilding.

One essential element of peacebuilding is the reconstruction of the economy, governmental institutions and communities. It is vital that development assistance, particularly in the immediate aftermath of a political settlement, demonstrate the dividends of peace. If such assistance is implemented in a politically sensitive manner, it can help to build cooperation between communities that were previously in conflict and create the conditions necessary to allow the voluntary repatriation of refugees to their homes. The establishment of effective governance must help to protect and advance the well-being of the citizenry. This requires an unbiased system of security, mechanisms of judicial recourse, and procedures that facilitate normal economic and social activity. In many post-conflict contexts, this process does not return society to the status quo which gave rise to the conflict but rather creates new institutions that are more democratic, fair and responsive to the concerns of the entire population.

But cultivating long-term stability in post-conflict situations entails more than diplomatic settlement or economic and institutional reconstruction. It also demands attention to those aspects of the institutional, social and even cultural environment that failed to prevent violence in the first place. Reconciliation is thus another critical component of the peacebuilding process. Helping communities that have been at war to build a durable, common peace requires a comprehensive strategy that incorporates a potentially wide range of mechanisms to redress past wrongs, from the judicial to the cultural. Reconciliation also requires stamina, as it is a long-term process, with many intermediate steps involved in rebuilding confidence and restoring accountability.

Another key element of peacebuilding is demilitarization. In cases of civil conflict, entire societies are often mobilized to fight. Mobilization occurs at the expense of normal economic activity, education for children, and healthy civil life, with consequences that are not easily reversed by the simple declaration of cease-fire. Demobilization is also a long-term process. It involves creating viable civilian economic opportunities for armed forces. The international community can significantly facilitate demobilization by sensitively channeling its economic aid. The international community can also help inhibit re-militarization by helping to halt the flow of arms across international borders and check the trade in indiscriminate weapons such as land mines.

"Healing the Wounds" opened with a welcome from Professor John Lewis of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, followed by statements from the co-chairs of the conference, Ms. Sadako Ogata (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) and Mr. Olara A. Otunnu (President, International Peace Academy). In succeeding plenary sessions, speakers and participants examined the cases of former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and identified lessons to be learned from international involvement in each society. The case studies served as reference points for the second day's concurrent panel discussions on the issues of reconstruction, reconciliation, and demilitarization. Following these thematic panel discussions, conference participants reconvened in plenary session for a synopsis and discussion of all three issues, led by the respective chairs of the panel sessions. In the final plenary session, participants considered the role of multilateral action to support the fragile process of building and consolidating peace. The final session, capping the conference, provided a valuable opportunity for the conference participants to synthesize the previous days' discussions and assess their respective roles in healing the wounds borne of armed conflict. The conference concluded with brief statements by Ms.Ogata and Mr. Otunnu.

This report represents the co-sponsors' interpretation of the proceedings of the conference. All comments were made by participants in their individual capacities.

Opening Addresses

MS. SADAKO OGATA United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Let me start by extending a warm welcome to all of you. I am grateful to see so many distinguished participants. To heal the wounds in post-conflict societies, we need not only the peace-mindedness and courage of their citizens and leaders, but also the help and insight of people like you. Let me also thank Princeton University for hosting this seminar and International Peace Academy and its President, Ambassador Otunnu, for co-chairing it.

Why did we choose today's theme? In 1993, during the first UNHCR-IPA seminar, we discussed "conflict and humanitarian action", including military support for such action. We were at the height of the conflicts in Croatia, Bosnia and Somalia, and the cataclysm in Rwanda had yet to take place. Now, three years later, some conflicts, such as Afghanistan, linger on; in others, such as Liberia, the violence flares up from time to time; and right now the situation in Burundi is appalling. But overall the picture looks less gloomy, as we have also witnessed significant positive developments: in South Africa, the Middle East, Haiti and Central America, Angola, Mozambique and of course in Bosnia.

Perhaps more than any other event, Dayton has brought a new sense of hope and engagement. It has catalyzed international attention on the multiple challenges of re-building war-torn societies. These challenges also apply to Rwanda. Bosnia and Rwanda demonstrate the symbiotic relationship between refugee repatriation on the one hand and demilitarization, reconstruction and reconciliation on the other. This is why we chose these two case studies as a starting point for this seminar. Let me therefore briefly analyze them, and then proceed with some general observations.

In Bosnia seven months have passed since Dayton, and of some two million refugees and internally displaced persons only 70,000 to 80,000 have returned to their homes. In Rwanda, the victory of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and the installation of the Government of National Unity are now two years old: whereas 700,000 to 800,000 Tutsi refugees of earlier periods and 400,000 to 500,000 more recent, Hutu refugees returned to the country, the repatriation of the remaining 1.7 million Hutu refugees is stagnating. Why is this? Post-peace repatriation is never an easy process, but why is it here so particularly difficult?

Bosnia and Rwanda are both cases of political and group conflict. In Rwanda, the ethnic factor is closely linked to the sharing of power and scarce resources, notably land, whereas in Bosnia ethnic or other group factors have, in my view, to a large extent been manufactured by the forces of nationalism. Given the character of group conflict, whether manipulated or not, the real challenge of peace is primarily to restore or ensure the peaceful co-existence of the groups in question, rather than of individuals. That huge challenge is compounded by the contextual difficulties in which it has to be tackled: the societies in question are physically devastated, emotionally traumatized and, in many respects, culturally divided. Following the most atrocious crimes, deep intergroup mistrust at best and hatred at worst must be overcome, while they continue to be exploited by political opportunism and lies. And on top of this, there are various types of international stakeholders with different political agendas.

In both cases, peacebuilding amounts, albeit in varying degrees, to nation, or better, community building. But in Bosnia, that is not all: there the restoration of inter-group co-existence is closely linked to the challenge of state building. Contrary to the case of Rwanda, the very existence of the State of Bosnia has been disputed from its inception. In that sense, peace-building in Bosnia is a far more daunting undertaking.

Here, however, at least the guns have fallen silent, and there is a peace agreement with a carefully crafted compromise for the political future of the country. It contains detailed provisions to ensure the right of return of refugees and displaced persons: they may opt for return or for relocation to majority areas. Moreover, Bosnia benefits from a high degree of positive international involvement. Whereas it could not prevent or stop the violence, the international community played a crucial role in making peace and is now helping to consolidate it. There is a military, political and civilian implementation structure. There is support and oversight, and there are resources. Continued media interest helps to keep Bosnia on the international agenda. The International Tribunal has begun trying at least some war criminals.

On all accounts, Rwanda has to do with far less. With external assistance, the new government has progressed considerably in the rehabilitation of the country. However, repeated rebel incursions endanger the country's stability and increasingly that of the region. Although the government tries to accommodate both ethnic groups, there is no dialogue, let alone an agreement, with those in exile. The background of a horrendous genocide makes the situation perhaps uniquely complicated. Normally the main victims of atrocities are living in asylum, as refugees; here they are inside, in power, and the guilty are outside planning to remove them. There is still no justice for the survivors of genocide, whereas bona fide refugees are prevented from returning by intimidation and by fear of arbitrary arrest or retribution. The region is divided, international media are only marginally interested, and the international community lacks political determination and a clear, common strategy.

In Bosnia, there was no clear winner; in Rwanda, there was. In Bosnia, the absence of a winner led to political compromise. In Rwanda, where the only attempt to tackle the causes - the Arusha agreement of 1993 - was followed by a bloodbath, there is for now no compromise. In Bosnia, some people are apparently dissatisfied with the agreed solution, and try to pursue in peace their goal in war, i.e. ethnic division. In Rwanda, the losing side, which perpetrated the genocide, does not accept defeat, whereas the winning side is, understandably, not prepared to talk to them.

In both cases the refugees are caught in the middle. Their repatriation, which should be humanitarian, is highly political: in peacetime, they continue to be hostage to political objectives. In the case of Dayton, the option to return to their homes is meant to reverse ethnic cleansing, at least in part, and to promote the political and social re-integration of the country. In the case of Rwanda, preventing repatriation of the Hutu refugees is an objective of the former leadership, while the Tutsi refugees from earlier periods have been able to return to the country in large numbers. The main question is: how does one achieve the peaceful re-integration of refugees and displaced persons in countries with a politically and demographically changed landscape, when the compromise solution for group co-existence is either misinterpreted and obstructed or not yet found? Under which circumstances is the remixing of populations possible, following ethno-political conflict?

Let me now make a few remarks of a more general nature which will hopefully help in our discussion. I have chosen seven points. I will use the phrase "peacebuilding" in its broadest sense, encompassing the aspect of healing and reconciliation.

First, effective peacebuilding requires situational analysis and strategies. It should be clear from our two case studies that the popular term "post-conflict reconstruction" may not be very useful and may even be misleading. A clear disjuncture in time separating conflict from peace is rare. We also learn that the work of peacemaking may have to continue in "peacetime": there may be twilight zones between war and peace. We must disaggregate different situations by recognizing better their complex varieties. These are key for peace-building strategies, including for refugee repatriation and the type and duration of international involvement.

Second, peacebuilding requires just solutions for refugees and displaced persons. In UNHCR's experience, such solutions are indispensable for lasting peace and true stability. Ending suffering should be regarded as both a humanitarian and a political imperative: it is a function of peacebuilding. Establishing peace while hoping that refugees will find their own solutions, rarely works. The Rwandan Tutsis spent over thirty years in exile, but in 1991 they came back, armed. Palestinian mothers still carry the keys of their houses in Israel. The larger the exodus, the more evident the argument. And if forced displacement was the objective rather than a by-product of conflict, such as in the Balkans and the Caucasus, the refugee factor will be extra strong. I am grateful that especially since the peace accords for Afghanistan and Cambodia, solutions for refugees and displaced persons have increasingly been integrated in peace agreements, and that UNHCR has been associated with this process.

Third, peacebuilding and repatriation in many situations cannot be achieved by human rights guarantees and rehabilitation alone. When societies have been fundamentally shaken by conflict and group co-existence is at stake, peacebuilding requires an agreed concept of society. Perhaps even when one party totally defeats the other, there must be a minimum common understanding of the causes of conflict and a genuine compromise on the main features of the future society. Compromises must be clear and supported by a willingness to settle. The international community can help to overcome difficulties in implementation, but it cannot substitute for the essence of a common concept of society. That concept must be owned by the people, not by the international community.

My Office has made every effort to achieve and accelerate repatriation to Rwanda. It has even been accused of compromising the voluntary nature of repatriation, a well-established principle which has not only humanitarian but also practical and security value. The relocation of refugee camps away from the Rwandan border should ease the increasing tension, whereas the separation and prosecution of those responsible for organizing mass murder should finally make it possible to exclude them from international refugee protection and assistance. But even then it is highly unlikely that humanitarian action and rehabilitation could reach durable solutions and lasting peace, without agreement among the Rwandan people on the organization of their society.

Fourth, peacebuilding requires patience and time. When conflicts have been ferocious and the causes are structural, there are no quick fixes. As Jeffrey Herbst wrote in the April issue of Foreign Affairs, there is certainly no such thing as a humanitarian surgical strike. Intergroup peacebuilding is confidence-building. If it took many years to reconcile nations in post-world war Europe, then it may take much longer to reconcile neighborhoods in the same country. Long-term confidence-building requires establishing a climate of tolerance, through healing, peace education and respect for the truth. In the short run, there can be deadlines for the military and the holding of elections, but not for refugee repatriation. Being pro-active in refugee return, to which UNHCR is committed, has both its humanitarian and security limits. As part of the process of peacebuilding in fragile circumstances, it should reinforce, not compromise this process. One incident may mean two steps back. Timetables for the civilian aspects of peacebuilding, and notably refugee return, must be realistic, lest we elicit unnecessary tension and frustration.

Fifth, peacebuilding requires the discovery of the truth and accountability. All wars are brutal, but not all of them involve the mass killing of civilians. Especially in these cases, the victims must be satisfied with the society's response to their plight and the perpetrators, for both moral and practical reasons. Where total impunity reigns, as e.g. in parts of Central America and in Burundi, reconciliation will have little chance. I would think that in each situation the right mixture and formula of accountability and forgiveness has to be found. South Africa, a country led by a President with the example-setting courage to repudiate retribution, has opted for the public telling of the truth. In Mozambique, the war was marked by gross atrocities, yet FRELIMO and RENAMO could agree on a general amnesty; it was a civil but not an ethnic conflict.

In some situations, there may have to be more haunting and daring compromises between the competing demands of peace and justice than in others. Whereas insufficient compromises may block or threaten peace in the short run, too many may undermine lasting peace. Whichever form it takes, justice must be manageable and should come much faster than in the case of both Bosnia and Rwanda. And finally: lest justice is to delay refugee repatriation, it must be impartial and respect the human rights of those accused. One of the major challenges of reconciliation is, indeed, that the victims must respect the rule of law their violators did not.

Sixth, peacebuilding must bring early and visible dividends of peace. One cannot force peace between different groups, and one cannot buy it either. But without physical reconstruction and economic revitalization, war-torn societies will remain handicapped, reconciliation will suffer, and refugees may be unable to repatriate. Lack of opportunities for demobilized soldiers may generate new tension. While there should obviously be differentiation in the overall strategy for developed Bosnia and for developing Angola, a common problem for refugee return is often the destruction or occupation of their property. UNHCR has helped thousands of refugees and displaced to rebuild their homes in Tajikistan, and we are doing the same in Bosnia and Rwanda. We are simply filling a gap. In Rwanda and especially in Bosnia, the real needs go clearly beyond the capacity of humanitarian actors.

Reconstruction assistance must therefore arrive much faster. It is important politically, to keep the momentum of peace, and it is important to prevent tension over house occupation. Institutional rules and regulations, different priorities and planning, and different funding sources and mechanisms are only partially responsible. Political conditionality, either official or informal, is often another reason for delays on the part of individual donors. I would hope that more consensus can be reached on joint approaches towards reconstruction assistance, with predictable criteria. Reconstruction that is too conditioned on progress in the peacebuilding process may itself undermine that.

Seventh and last, peacebuilding requires sustained and coordinated international commitment. That was a major factor in the success of Mozambique. Local populations and their leaders, although primarily responsible for their own future, need international help. The multilateral and bilateral components and their civilian and sometimes military aspects need to be tailored to each situation. The necessary linkages need to be established, and coordination must take place as much as possible where the action is, in the field. I am very grateful for the excellent cooperation among the many partners in Bosnia. Especially when so many political aspects are involved, coordination and a common vision are as vital in peacebuilding as in peacemaking.

I have come to the end of my statement. Sometimes we are all bewildered by skepticism and helplessness. How on earth can one heal the wounds of large scale murder and expulsion? I want to be optimistic. Throughout history, people have shown how resilient they are. Cambodia, South Africa, Mozambique and many countries in Latin America are some of the examples that show that societies - some faster, some slower - can get back to their feet again. They demonstrate that enmities can heal, that our longing for peace is in the end much stronger than any possible inclination for evil. If we are unable or unwilling to stop the most terrible conflicts, we should at least help to give peace a chance, to prevent their re-occurrence. This, I hope, will be one of the main international commitments in the coming years. I hope that this seminar will help us to find the way.

Thank you.

MR. OLARA A. OTUNNU President, International Peace Academy

"Healing the Wounds: What Nature of Wounds?"

I wish first of all to express my gratitude to Professor Lewis and to The Woodrow Wilson School for the warm welcome that has once again been extended to IPA and UNHCR. As always, I am delighted to have this opportunity for a joint project with Mrs. Ogata. I am sorry that, due to a scheduling conflict, Professor Michael Doyle of Princeton University could not be with us on this occasion. During his term as Vice President at IPA, he was instrumental in establishing Princeton as the venue for this joint venture between UNHCR and IPA.

All wounds are important to address, but the most important kind of wounds which should preoccupy us in the course of this conference are those born of intra-state conflicts. These wounds are the deepest and most difficult to heal because they are inflicted among compatriots, between enemy brothers and enemy sisters, within the context of internecine wars. They have an intensity, a quality of passion and hate, which is very difficult to deal with in the aftermath of war. Second, we are witnessing, at the intra-state level, a phenomenon of war in which no limits hold and no restraints are in place. This is the phenomenon of "total war", a practice in which women, children, crops, granary stores, means of production, livestock, are all considered fair game in the campaign to subdue or annihilate the enemy community. Third, the sheer incidence of intra-state conflicts on the international landscape today is staggering. In a study conducted by SIPRI last year, all the thirty conflicts categorized as major armed conflicts were in fact intra-state in nature. For these reasons, even though intra-state wars should not constitute our exclusive concern, it is the wounds born of this particular category of conflicts that we should focus upon in this conference.

Healing the wounds born of conflict should not mean a return to the status quo ante. Rather, healing must entail a transformation of the distorted relationships that gave rise to the conflict in the first place. It is the need for such transformation which I should like to address, concentrating especially on three kinds of wounds: the wounds born of exclusion, the wounds born of alienation, and the wounds born of the conduct of war. Addressing these types of wounds requires transforming both the conditions that give rise to war and those which arise during the conduct of war itself.

The wounds that arise as a result of exclusion can be viewed at two levels. The first, and most important, level is the way in which in many societies today one witnesses systematic, glaring disparities in the distribution of resources between different parts and sectors of a country. At a horizontal level, this can be manifested in a differentiation along ethnic, regional or religious lines, while at a vertical level it is expressed in glaring differentiation between different social sectors. We are witnessing a situation in which, within countries, there is a center and a periphery. Much attention has been given to the problem of the center and periphery at the international level, but similar attention must also be given at the national level.

The second level at which the wounds of exclusion are manifested is the way in which the structure of power is constructed. Within every society there are elements, including institutions and resources, that constitute a structure of power. These may include the military, the civil service, the judiciary, land, or the industrial sector. It is critical that there be broad-based access to that structure of power, allowing for participation by and benefits to all segments of the population of a society.

The wounds born of alienation, or political alienation to be more accurate, manifest themselves at two important levels. The first level is the one of a crisis of identity. In this connection, I am always struck by a particular phenomenon in the United States. I have encountered relatively few people here who are "plain Americans", but many who are "hyphenated Americans": Irish-Americans, Polish-Americans, African-Americans, and so on. In other words, there is a sense of dual identity, combining tribal roots and national identity. And most Americans seem proud and at ease with the dual character of their identities. The challenge that faces many other countries, particularly in the developing world and in East/Central Europe, however, is how to build a secure sense of national identity, a sense of national cohesion, of a common belonging and common purpose, while at the same time allowing space for cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and religious expressions below that over-arching national identity. The sense of national identity in many of these countries remains very fragile. At the onset of sustained pressure, that fragile national identity tends to crumble, with most people retreating to their primordial womb, seeking refuge and security in their ethnic and religious identities. How to strengthen the sense of national identity constitutes a critical challenge for many countries. Leadership can play a very important role in fostering such a sense of identity. But just as leadership can try to engender a sense of national project and build a sense of common belonging, it can also cynically exploit diversity within a society, to tear it apart in order to gain or to retain power.

The second level at which wounds are born of political alienation is related to the nature of the state. We have been concerned in the context of democracy with the problem of having "too much government" - a state that uses its power to oppress its own citizenry. But equally important is the danger of "too little government," a condition in which a state can no longer function, one in which it is no longer in a position to render the traditional services associated with a state, thereby exposing the society to the dangers of fragmentation, chaos and the loss of security. We must not downplay the importance of building effective and functioning states. Of course, such states must be governed by democratic norms, allowing people the opportunity to shape their own destiny through a process of political and democratic practice. A functioning democracy, once it has established local roots, can become in itself the best means of mediating conflicts within a society.

While the wounds of exclusion and alienation tend to arise before an armed conflict occurs, there are also wounds which are inflicted during the conduct of war itself. I want especially to highlight two aspects of such wounds for our discussion. As I mentioned earlier, because of the growing phenomenon of "total war," the wounds which are inflicted during such conflicts tend to be especially deep.

The first aspect is manifested in the way in which children and youth are affected. Children are victimized and made orphans. But child soldiers also make others orphans. Violence becomes normalized among the youth. In fact often the young become the conveyor belt that transmits inter-communal hatreds from one generation to the next. The need is not simply one of physical recovery and rehabilitation for the youth and children who have either been victimized or been perpetrators of atrocities during conflict. There is also need for psychological and, I dare say, spiritual healing in order to address the deep trauma wrought upon them by the phenomenon of "total war."

The second aspect of the wounds inflicted during the conduct of war is less concrete but, perhaps, more fundamental. It is the casualty to the value system of a society. The institutions that normally instill values - parents, extended families, elders, teachers, religious institutions - are undermined, if not altogether swept aside, when societies undergo the stresses of protracted conflict. There is need to rebuild a community of values at this level, to regain a sense of ethical rootedness within such societies. This need, at a spiritual level, can be very deep. It has to do with a society's sense of itself. Nothing short of spiritual renewal is called for here. My view is that a society in such crisis must, in the first instance, draw from within its own deep wells of tradition, a sense of ethical sustenance and rootedness; this can then be related to the various modern norms that have been developed internationally. So, as we consider the needs for rehabilitation and reconstruction, we do well to pay special attention to how to rebuild a community of values within a society which has been shattered by conflict.

A critical question concerning the role of the international community is how to help build solidarity on a national level, whereby the fabric of society is stitched together again. While international solidarity is important, the main impetus for healing must come from within the society affected. Where there is no solidarity at the national level, international solidarity can often exacerbate the wounds born of disparities and injustices, instead of healing them. Often international actors unwittingly, and sometimes I fear cynically, have in fact been part of the problem rather than being part of a response towards a solution.

A related issue is how one generates the will to be engaged in facilitating a healing process at a time when key countries around the world in the aftermath of the Cold War are self-absorbed and preoccupied by many domestic concerns. There is need to build a partnership that links local impetus with international leadership and engagement.

In conclusion, let me say this. First, unless the wounds which gave rise to conflict, as well as the wounds that are inflicted during the conduct of war, are treated, nothing will prevent a society from being plunged into another cycle of conflict. There is no guarantee that Mozambique, Angola, El Salvador, South Africa, and Cambodia, all of which have recently emerged from conflict, will not relapse into violence, unless conscious, systematic efforts are made to heal the wounds born of long-term alienation and exclusion in those countries. Second, leadership, which can work both ways, is critical in this endeavor: it can either exploit divisions within a society, or it can try to bind the wounds and build a national project for an afflicted country. The international community must support and encourage those elements of national leadership that work to forge a sense of unity and healing in fractured societies.

Thank you for your attention.

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Development in Conflict

H.E. MR. JAN PRONK Minister for Development Cooperation, Foreign Ministry of the Netherlands

The following is a paraphrased version of the remarks made by Minister Pronk.

The fact that humanitarian assistance cannot substitute for political action was one of the important lessons learned from the Rwandan genocide in 1994. It was not a new lesson; we had already learned it in Somalia and in Sudan. With political mediation, peacekeeping operations, emergency relief, and development assistance each operating under its own policy directives, the international response to violence is incoherent and ineffective. As a result, violence continues because the root causes of the underlying conflict are not addressed. Peacekeeping and the rebuilding of war-torn societies also present political and conceptual obstacles. The difficulties lie in coordinating the various policy and operational specializations of political, military, humanitarian and NGO actors. Challenges are also found when attempting to align external assistance with local efforts.

At least conceptually, some progress in meeting these challenges has been made. It is well understood now that prevention is better than cure, that short-term emergency efforts should be linked to longer-term rehabilitation, and that taking such action early on in a conflict is often more manageable and less costly. Additionally, it is accepted that political action is preferable to military intervention. Despite the fact that these conceptual lessons have been learned, they still are not being implemented. The experiences of the "Blue Helmets" in Somalia, Rwanda, and Srebrenica have only compounded the lack of willingness for international engagement to stop the escalation of civil war in places like Burundi.

There is still a tendency to focus myopically on the military dimensions of international conflict management - to the neglect of civilian actors and development activities. Peacekeeping can manage a conflict, but it may also inhibit parties from moving towards peaceful accommodation by isolating communities, freezing an unsettled status quo, and building barriers between groups. In aid programs, assistance will not begin until peace is officially declared and donor countries are confident that the government is worth helping. This short-sighted focus does not go beyond immediate reconstruction assistance to the more invisible damage of war. But without effective reconciliation efforts, the wounds and scars left in the minds and hearts of people will become seedbeds for future conflict.

The nature of present intra-state conflicts makes it increasingly difficult to determine when and where violence ends and peace starts. Many societies are characterized by peace and war, or by a state of failing governmental legitimacy. Countries in this fragile condition require sensitive and multi-sectoral assistance in dealing with the unresolved problems of refugees, combatants, lack of reconciliation, failing civil society, lack of governance, and fading economic opportunity. The interdependency of the solutions to all of these problems brings forth a very central relationship: peace and development are intrinsically linked - one cannot be achieved if the other fails.

In today's world, however, the traditional model of peace followed by rebuilding and reintegration of refugees is more the exception than the rule. Local communities attempt to pursue social and economic reconstruction without waiting for a cease-fire. Demobilization and disarmament are occurring while conflict continues in other regions, and the success of continued demobilization hinges on economic opportunity for soldiers. Reconciliation of the entire post-conflict society depends on successful demilitarization and most importantly, the meting out of justice.

All of this implies that where a minimum degree of security and stability does exist, we must support reconciliation at the community level in addition to traditional emergency relief. Reconciliation programs can resolve violent conflict, consolidate peace and create the basis for political reconstruction and new state legitimacy. In situations of actual or latent violent conflict, civil society - including interest groups, the media, business associations and trade unions, community groups and NGOs - are all often severely weakened and divisions are accentuated. In war-torn societies, some portion of each of these entities may still be capable of building bridges between otherwise enemy groups.

Therefore, I would like to make a plea for a new form of international development cooperation, which in war-torn societies or failed states does not confine itself to short-term emergency relief, but instead promotes development cooperation during conflict. Such collaborative development assistance must reinforce the stabilizing role that local actors within civil society can play. Development cooperation during conflict can also engage in activities with reconciliatory objectives such as programs which:

·     focus on reintegrating potentially destabilizing elements within wider social and economic life, such as soldiers and youth;

·     provide support to, or distribute resources through, "stabilizing points" such as multi-ethnic communities or women's organizations;

·     support local organizations to replicate national peacebuilding activities at the community level;

·     sustain the freedom of and access to information;

·     support reconciliation through local media, building upon commonly shared values, identities and problems;

·     bolster indigenous mechanisms to resolve conflict.

Interventions such as these need to be approached with sensitivity to the indigenous situation, and can often be best promoted by development agencies and NGOs with grassroots networks. Such activities must be financed as long-run development assistance that builds local capacity during conflict, rather than as short-term emergency relief. Aid agencies should understand that they can provide a facilitating role and that they must be as open and flexible as possible to the needs and priorities expressed by the people themselves. Given the tensions which exist in conflict ridden societies, such assistance must be sensitive, neither reinforcing prior privileges nor exacerbating competition. It must be remembered that people do not "own" the war they fight. Aid can be given in such a way that it helps people to disengage themselves from their conflicts.

At this conference we are discussing two examples of war-torn societies: Rwanda and Bosnia. I am afraid that we will see more of such conflicts in the years ahead. Stagnation of development can create conflict as easily as can ongoing development which is insensitive to local realities. Nowadays, in a process of globalization, this is even more true than before. Globalization can be good for those who already have access to the market, but for many it leads to neglect and marginalization.

The challenge for development is twofold: do not wait with development until it is safe; do not wait with cooperation until you have found a stable partner. Do not wait for peace; take conflict for granted and be prepared to integrate development with politics. Politicians and mediators accustomed to thinking in terms of power should be prepared to take the potential of grassroots development seriously as one of the building blocks for peace.

Case Study: The Former Yugoslavia


H.E. Sir John Weston, KCMG

Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations


Dr. Susan L. Woodward

Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

Mr. Søren Jessen-Petersen

Special Envoy for the former Yugoslavia, UNHCR

Ambassador Brunson McKinley

Bosnia Humanitarian Coordinator, U.S. Department of State

Ambassador Weston opened the session with a synopsis of current conditions in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the challenges these posed to Bosnia's neighbors and the international community. Dr. Woodward followed with an analysis of the causes of Yugoslavia's disintegration and the role that understanding root causes should play in making and building lasting peace, while Mr. Jessen-Petersen devoted his remarks to the challenges of implementing the provisions of the Dayton Accords on the ground, focusing especially on the role of UNHCR. Finally, Ambassador McKinley offered an evaluation of the Dayton agreement on its own terms, reviewing the Peace Accords' declared framework and assessing their implementation to date.


Seven months after the Dayton Peace Accords had been signed, the challenges facing Bosnia remained severe. In four years of war, 145,000 Bosnians had been killed and 1.3 million persons displaced. UNHCR estimated that 2.7 million people, roughly 60 percent of Bosnia's prewar population, needed direct assistance. The economy had been fundamentally dislocated, and physical damage was extensive. Per capita GDP had fallen by 90 percent to under $400. Industry was operating at barely 6 percent of prewar levels; the rest was either destroyed, uncompetitive (steel and aluminum, for example) or no longer desirable (such as munitions). Much agricultural land had been mined; two-thirds of housing stock had been destroyed; and less than 5 percent of the population was officially employed. Social support networks had collapsed, and crime, predictably, was rampant.

The current, most sensitive phase of implementing the political provisions of the peace agreement was taking place against this background. The Dayton Peace Accords had ended the war in Bosnia. The question that drove most of this session was whether the Dayton agreement was indeed the first step toward a sustainable peace and, if so, what the next steps should be.

Dr. Susan L. Woodward, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

Dr. Woodward began by raising a question: could peace be built in Bosnia, or anywhere, without addressing the causes of the conflict? Yugoslavia's trauma had admittedly been complex, amounting to the collapse of an entire social and political order. Nonetheless, certain precipitous causes were identifiable and therefore, for the new states of the former Yugoslavia, avoidable. Yet, the Dayton agreement and its implementation were following a pattern of behavior begun by the international community in the 1980', which neglected root causes, even at the risk of reproducing them.

Dr. Woodward argued that the most damaging causal factors were traceable to Yugoslavia's pre-war program to repay foreign debt. That program deployed the familiar tools of stabilization and structural adjustment to restore Yugoslavia's liquidity and balance of trade. Instead of restoring the country's capacity to service long-term debt, however, this program had devastated the Yugoslav economy and many of its social relations along with it. Stabilization had led to extraordinary austerity, therefore increasing competition for employment and resources that were vital to political power. Structural adjustment, in turn, shifted the internal balance of economic power among industries, localities, and regions, and required far-reaching political and constitutional reforms of the federal government and of economic relations between the republics and the center.

Throughout the 1980's, conditions in Yugoslavia deteriorated dramatically. Inequalities rose sharply, with over 80 percent of the population experiencing a decline in the standard of living. Unemployment soared to between 25 and 30 percent, and hyperinflation reached triple digits. The government, meanwhile, lost its capacity to provide the rights, welfare, and basic securities upon which most individuals had come to rely. At the same time, the international order was undergoing radical transformation, foreclosing traditional patterns of extracting resources from the international system. As traditional markets disappeared and its revenues declined, the central government faced increasing challenges from the republics. Federal authority began to collapse under the weight of such factors. International alignments were also up for grabs, which translated into particular uncertainty for the Yugoslav army and defense policy. Cultural criteria emerged as a newly potent form of political currency.

In Dr. Woodward's view, the Yugoslav state "failed" in a very specific way: namely, its normally or traditionally functioning methods of conflict resolution broke down completely. Three pillars of the 45-year-old Yugoslav order crumbled simultaneously and interactively. First came erosion of the social contract, meaning basic redistributive and welfare commitments, accompanied by substantial internal changes in population, both for demographic and migratory reasons. Second, the political contract, or constitutional and informal understandings by which government leaders ruled, broke down. Third, the international order changed, meaning not just that the Cold War ended but also that economic liberalism was seen to have emerged from that war victorious. As post-communist countries began the rush to liberalize their societies, they, and their liberal advisors, did so without appreciating the magnitude of the social and political consequences of transition.

A breakdown in all three dimensions made the state more nominal than real, unable to function economically, only marginally in control of its territory, and vulnerable to mass violence. The continuing strength of the principle of sovereignty deterred international action at an early stage, with the ironic exception of economic sanctions, which were in theory less invasive, but were in practice devastating.

Peacebuilding had to redress all three levels on which the Yugoslav order had originally broken down, Dr. Woodward argued. First, the society had to be treated, with attention to jobs, salaries, and housing, along with establishment of basic law and order and respect for human rights, which were essential to restoring stability at the local level. With the help of cooperative mayors, enlightened police, and women's organizations, among others, much could be done at this stage alone. Second, government had to be reinvigorated, restoring its capacity to resolve fundamental issues peacefully and to manage the economy and international relations. Third, a peacebuilding strategy had to address Bosnia's international relationships, both with its immediate neighbors and with the rest of Europe and the Islamic world. On the international level, European governments had to establish their priorities, such as for the sustainable return of refugees, and match their strategies and timeframes accordingly. The question was: can a peacebuilding strategy succeed at the local level without implementing one at the national and international levels?

Unfortunately, major powers and institutions had avoided frank analysis of the causes of the Yugoslav conflict. Being reluctant to act or to resolve their own policy disagreements, major international actors tended to treat the conflict either as a humanitarian problem alone or as the product of political extremists and "ethnic entrepreneurs." The result was either to leave UNHCR and other humanitarian organizations to fill the vacuum of international response or to elevate the importance of war-time political leaders, from the early focus on the villainy of Slobodan Milosevic to the current attention on Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic. Though justice and accountability were certainly necessary for reconciliation, an exclusive focus on them was self-defeating. The early emphasis on Milosevic had, in fact, elevated his importance and made him necessary to a settlement. Worse, a concentration only on villains left the international community unprepared for the deep-rooted and complex tasks of building peace.

In Dr. Woodward's view, the Dayton Agreement was typical of a negotiated settlement where there was no victor and parties had essentially been forced to settle. It left major political outcomes undecided such as the number of "Bosnias," the precise borders of each, and their respective rights to sovereignty, autonomy, and ownership of assets to be privatized. The Dayton settlement reflected an inadequate understanding of the war's causes and an equivalent neglect of the ambitions of the war's principal players. Moreover, it encased a basic tension between the dispersion of political power through "power-sharing" and the need for a Bosnia-wide authority to manage social and economic relations effectively. Together with the current phase of imple-mentation by institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Dayton Accords only reproduced the institutional causes of Yugoslavia's disintegration that led to war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

That the Dayton agreement failed to cover such ground did not mean that its negotiators should be condemned, Dr. Woodward noted. To date, most criticism of the Dayton agreement had identified flaws in implementation as though a strategy had been fully spelled out in the Accords and simply needed more commitment, money, coordination, and capacity to be implemented. In reality, no political outcome had been decided yet, and what was happening during "implementation" was the creation of one. Mostar perfectly illustrated the continuing settlement of political issues during implementation. It was only when Hans Koschnick, former head of the European Union (EU) administration in Mostar, lost his fight for a unified central district in March 1996 that the electoral outcome in Mostar was foreclosed. With three Croat districts, three Muslim districts, no central district and little representation from outside of Mostar - particularly of Mostar's pre-war Serb population - the vote could only consolidate the ethnic partition of the city.[2] Instead of condemning the Dayton Accords, the question should rather be whether the outcome being shaped during implementation was intelligent or sustainable. This ongoing construction of a political settlement for the country was what made attending to the causes of the conflict so crucial.

Organizations like UNHCR, in this context, were put in an untenable position, having to manage the tension between the desirability of a safe pace of return and the pressure to return as many displaced persons and refugees to their 1991 homes as possible before the September 1996 elections stipulated by the Dayton Accords.

Ultimately, unless the international community designed and committed itself to a multi-level strategy for peace in Bosnia, it would continue to leave open the possibility of renewed conflict and the necessity that organizations like UNHCR prepare for violence.

Mr. Søren Jessen-Petersen Special Envoy, UNHCR

Mr. Jessen-Petersen concentrated his analysis on the stark conditions in the field for an implementing organization like UNHCR. UNHCR had been involved in the former Yugoslavia for close to five years, investing considerable resources and exposing its office to risk and its staff to danger. Its goals were twofold: first, to protect and assist the victims of the war and, second, to position itself to assist those persons once a political solution was achieved.

More than 1.2 million persons had been displaced during the conflict. Since the conclusion of the Dayton Accords, roughly 90,000 had returned, but during the same time, more than 90,000 others had left their homes, either in response to the new inter-entity boundaries or spurred by irresponsible statements of political leaders. The period leading up to the Dayton Accords had also seen 200,000 Serbs flee Krajina, roughly 60,000 Serbs leave the Sarajevo suburbs, and 80,000 leave Eastern Slavonia. Of the 90,000 persons who had returned to Bosnia, most had gone to majority areas rather than crossing any ethnic boundaries.

Like many others, UNHCR welcomed the Dayton Accords which ended the war. Although UNHCR's work was now less dangerous, it had also grown tremendously more complicated, especially in Bosnia. First, although the Dayton Accords had ended the war, they had not resolved the fundamental goals for which the parties had gone to war nor the devastating consequences of their having done so. Indeed, those who had waged war remained in power. Some had even consolidated their power while their nationalist policies remained unchanged. They had largely succeeded in their aim to inflict wounds so deep that communities would never be able to live together again.

Second, by establishing two entities,[3] the Dayton Accords had made many of yesterday's displaced persons today's refugees. Although it confirmed the right of free return to their homes of origin (in Annex VII), the Dayton agreement could not make that right a reality, even within the Federation, when people were neither allowed nor prepared to go back. The Bosnian Serb leadership, for instance, continued to block the return of non-Serbs to Republika Srpska, by requiring visas and recently imposing a DM 45 fee. A contingent of Bosnian-Croats, in turn, had declared a "Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosna," separate from the Croat-Muslim Federation. In principle, refusing return from one entity to another amounted to refusing the return of one' "own" citizens. In reality, these people were perceived as citizens of another country. The Dayton agreement had stopped the war, but it did not end ethnic discrimination or fear of persecution.

Third, the Accords' military and civilian timetables were incompatible, which posed an additional obstacle to the repatriation of refugees. On the one hand, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO') Implementation Force (IFOR) had established a more secure environment which should encourage return. On the other hand, IFOR's stated plan was to pull out in December 1996, and many refugees and displaced persons were waiting to gauge conditions after IFOR left before even considering their return.

Additional factors posed obstacles to safe return. Return could not take place in the absence of reconciliation, Mr. Jessen-Petersen argued. Elections, for instance, had to be sensitively timed in order to contribute to reconciliation and institution-building, and therefore to the prospects for return. In the current climate, where fundamental dynamics of the conflict remained, elections would instead consolidate and ratify policies of ethnic division. In the lead-up to Bosnia-wide elections, many refugees and displaced persons were being prevented from returning precisely because they were likely to vote for opposition candidates. Many other potential returnees, meanwhile, were inclined to await the outcome of elections before deciding whether it was safe to go home.

Return was also deterred by the slow pace of reconstruction, a prerequisite for lasting security and voluntary return. The Dayton agreement and its multiple annexes failed to mention reconstruction, and no lead reconstruction agencies had been consulted during the peacemaking process to facilitate early planning. Moreover, the doubts about lasting security that inhibited return also inhibited investment. Communications between military and economic actors also needed to be improved, as had occurred between military and humanitarian organizations, in order to construct a strategy that linked military and economic components of the mission.

Finally, the organizational model proposed in the Dayton Accords was deeply flawed. The Agreement brought together a range of players with different mandates and incompatible timetables, which made it essential that there be a clear structure of command and control with well-established strategic priorities, as had been the case in both Namibia and Cambodia. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, however, both national and international actors were divided and without clear leadership. IFOR had military power but was reluctant to use it. The High Representative had only moral authority to bring civilian actors together, and no authority over the military nor resources of his own. The Steering Committee to which he reported had no executive authority or influence over the civilian agencies, whose performance was vital for the mission's success. Each agency, in turn, had its own executive body from which it took directions. Moreover, the international civilian police had no mandate to enforce "law and order" and could only monitor local police, whose understanding of law and order was often determined by their ethnic ties. This mix of conflicting timetables, mandates, and interests was especially disturbing as an approach, since it was precisely such inconsistency which local parties had masterfully exposed and exploited for years.

In short, conditions for the return of displaced persons and refugees did not exist now and might not for the foreseeable future. This left an agency such as UNHCR with two very difficult choices. It could either pursue solutions other than return, or it could try to create conditions that made return possible.

UNHCR's current approach was to identify "priority areas" where security from violence was less a concern than inadequate housing and living conditions. UNHCR tried to channel reconstruction aid and assistance to nineteen priority areas that it had identified and to which it hoped 150,000 to 200,000 refugees and displaced persons might eventually return. Its goal was two-fold: to make the target areas poles of attraction for returnees, and also to make these areas points of convergence for international interests and actors. UNHCR was taking the lead in bringing together the variety of actors involved, including donors, IFOR, multilateral agencies, NGOs, and international financial institutions. Priority areas were also a way to reward local cooperation instead of punishing non-cooperation.

Mr. Jessen-Petersen believed that it was important to keep the possibility of repatriation open, even if it would never be possible for some to return. In a context where return to minority areas was blocked and elections were likely to reinforce existing demographics, UNHCR's work involved patient, step-by-step confidence-building. At a local level, it tried to bring together mayors, refugees, and opposing parties to identify and work on common, concrete objectives, thereby helping them develop the capacity to engage each other on very practical levels. In working across the inter-entity lines, for example, UNHCR had to develop a cross-boundary bus service. The purpose was to keep existing avenues open and buy time to broaden them.

Fundamental questions remained, however, for both the signatories to the peace accords and those being asked to implement them. What should be done when a recognized government authority refused to allow its own citizens entry? How could UNHCR respond when the international community was not prepared to force the issue? Could an implementing agency like UNHCR remain engaged when basic principles of the peace agreement were being flouted? Could they, alternatively, pursue policies that depended upon the consent of the parties who had provoked the war to begin with? How were international actors to balance the immediate need for reconstruction to facilitate reconciliation with the need to sanction those who were blocking reconciliation? Did the international community need to draw up a "Dayton II," or add annexes to the Annexes?

As the international community looked toward the September elections, UNHCR was already preparing for post-election possibilities. In the best case, radical changes would open up new avenues for reconciliation and opportunities for return. In the worst case, the current leaderships and their policies would be consolidated and legitimized, and all hope for immediate and long-term peace buried.

Ambassador Brunson McKinley Bosnia Humanitarian Coordinator, U.S. Department of State

Following a brief review of the basic provisions of the Dayton Accords, Ambassador McKinley proceeded to evaluate the Dayton settlement roughly seven months after its signing. First, he noted that the military aspects of the agreement had been scrupulously heeded, and the separation of warring forces was now essentially complete. Disarmament was moving ahead, if slowly, the parties having agreed in mid-June 1996 to limit aircraft and heavy weapons for three and one-half years. Demobilization was also underway, albeit with ambiguous results.

On the negative side, Ambassador McKinley continued, the level of armaments remained unsustainably high. No progress had yet been made in merging Muslim and Croat forces into a single Federation Army, although negotiations were continuing. There also remained serious unfinished business in the U.S. promise to train and equip Bosnian military forces as a counterweight to Croats and Serbs. Job creation for ex-combatants was extremely slow, and some were thought to have "demobilized" simply by changing uniforms to become "internal security forces." A troubling "security gap" had also opened between IFOR's mandate and the more limited mandate of the civilian International Police Task Force (IPTF) which allowed only oversight functions but no enforcement.

Economic reconstruction posed an enormous challenge, Ambassador McKinley acknowledged. International financial institutions and bilateral donors had adopted a "sector approach" designed to deliver immediate benefits along with longer-term restructuring. The World Bank's plan called for a total of $5.1 billion to be spent on Bosnia's recovery over three years. Total pledges for 1996 now amounted to $1.8 billion. The goal was to see a revitalized Bosnian economy become the major factor in reconciling still divided communities of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Problems were significant, however. The inter-entity boundary sliced artificially across markets, labor pools, power grids, and lines of communication. In addition, funds were slow to arrive and difficult to distribute.

Turning to governing institutions, Ambassador McKinley explained that the Dayton Accords aimed to decentralize power away from political party headquarters and to compel cooperation among Bosnia's constituent ethnic groups by creating institutions that they had to share. The need to strengthen these new governing institutions and to validate the Dayton peace plan was a principal reason to proceed with elections on schedule, he contended.

Where reconciliation was concerned, Ambassador McKinley regretted, almost nothing had been achieved. Indeed, ethnic segregation had deepened, at least to date. Serbs had vacated the suburbs of Sarajevo, and Muslims had taken their place; Mostar had consolidated its divisions between Croats and Muslims, and most Serbs had left the city. These patterns were evident throughout Bosnia. Early ideas to target assistance toward communities that respected minority rights and encouraged returns had largely been set aside, at least for 1996. The absence of jobs engendered anxiety that what little employment there was would be taken by returnees. Lost property was also an enormous issue.

Politically, the progress of reconciliation would be manifest in upcoming elections. Contrary to widespread fears about their outcome, Ambassador McKinley believed that the elections were not yet foreclosed. Over forty political parties had registered to run candidates, some with impressive numbers of backers. A significant opposition appeared to exist even within the Republika Srpska, and polling indicated growing interest in the election. Moreover, voting by displaced persons and refugees, who constituted one-half the potential electorate, was a wildcard that could substantially influence outcomes.

Legally, the pace of bringing war criminals to justice was slow. Indicted war criminals had largely escaped arrest, and the main tool available to influence that pace - economic sanctions - could interfere with other postwar goals. Meanwhile, NATO was reluctant to confront those indicted; and the IPTF had too limited a mandate to help.

The Dayton Accords created what Ambassador McKinley described as an ad hoc framework for coordinating international implementation efforts. IFOR handled the military tasks, under the direction of the North Atlantic Council. Major civilian responsibilities were given to lead agencies: the UN for civilian police monitoring and the turnover of the last Serb enclave in Croatia; the World Bank for reconstruction; the EU for some reconstruction and the administration of Mostar; UNHCR for repatriation and humanitarian operations; and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for managing elections, human rights, and arms control arrangements. This organizational arrangement was presided over by a High Representative, Dr. Carl Bildt, who reported to the Steering Committee of the "Peace Implementation Council." This ad hoc structure was working reasonably well, especially if one looked primarily at the tactical and operational levels. There were some problems, however: the High Representative had more responsibility than authority; there was no mechanism to compel military-civilian cooperation, especially at the strategic level; and a glut of "coordinators" made it difficult to get decisions made promptly.

There also remained a mismatch between the ambitious postwar political agenda for Bosnia and the desire for quick results. Ambassador McKinley did not see sufficient long-term commitment by governments, even though all realized that Bosnia needed long-term support. For now, those living in Bosnia or anticipating return were awaiting the outcome of elections, and the most that could be expected was perhaps a three-year time horizon that matched the World Bank's reconstruction plan.


Discussion among panelists and participants took up several issues, from Dr. Woodward's analysis of the war's causes and the dynamics of postwar economic reconstruction to the role of the International Criminal Tribunal. Dominating the discussion, however, were diverging assessments of the Dayton Accords, both in their internal coherence and in their implementation.

Mr. Malloch Brown from the World Bank questioned Dr. Woodward's identification of structural adjustment as central to Yugoslavia's disintegration. Critics of structural adjustment often confused cause and effect, he argued. Yugoslavia's meltdown had certainly involved the painful adjustment to a free-market economy. Yet, any transition from a protected, inefficient economy to a more liberal one involved a brutal period of adjustment, with or without the advice of international financial institutions. Yugoslavia's dramatic dislocations were not caused by the World Bank, even if the Bank might have been more helpful in assisting the country in transition to manage them.

The challenge now, argued a series of participants, was convincing the international community to stay the course it had begun in post-war Bosnia. Mr. Jessen-Petersen pointed out that apart from the World Bank's own income of $150 million and a small amount from the EU, very little financial support had flowed into Bosnia. Confirming this view, Mr. Malloch Brown explained that of the $1.8 billion that had been pledged by other countries for Bosnia's post-war reconstruction, nearly $400 million were still outstanding. Increasingly, he felt, the World Bank would have to aggressively expose donors for not coming through, especially as political pressure to contribute subsided.

Mr. Malloch Brown explained that the World Bank had acted as promptly as it did, including contributing from its own net income, because it viewed Bosnia as an economy capable of returning quickly to a high level of economic performance, even if its per capita income had fallen by 80 to 90 percent. He was more concerned that the international community would recklessly fail to sustain its commitment beyond the three-year time frame of the Bank's program. Bosnia needed longer-term engagement along the lines of the Marshall Plan. Having allowed its leading financial institution to offer large sums of money in loans, the international community had to follow the effort in Bosnia through. Otherwise, five years from now, there would be renewed fighting and an enormous, new debt.

Several participants noted that the greatest short-term challenge was Bosnia's capacity to absorb and disperse what resources did arrive. There were also major problems in reaching agreements with the parties in the Federation and Republika Srpska about the distribution of funds. According to Mr. Jessen-Petersen, this was not so large a problem for UNHCR since it worked with NGOs and cooperating local authorities. Because UNHCR delivered directly to municipalities, it was already operational, repairing houses throughout Bosnia. But for lenders who had to deal with national governments and for reconstruction generally, this posed major obstacles. One observer commented that international aid, while helping to create jobs, was also a source of leverage within the country which could deepen political tensions. There also was an "unholy alliance" between the criminal mafia and local authorities that could become enmeshed with the distribution of aid and fuel the resurgence of paramilitary groups.

Mr. Zulu from the IMF noted that his organization had gone into Bosnia immediately in December 1995, not only to organize Bosnia's membership in the IMF and help it clear arrears but also to give basic technical assistance. It had known that Bosnia would need to have in place a functioning financial system to receive whatever aid would be given. For the first time, the IMF had also used its Emergency Assistance Facility to give aid directly and immediately. These efforts are also designed to catalyze resources, as well as create confidence for others who might come in. Unfortunately, it had as yet received little support from local authorities in setting up a central bank or any of the ancillary structures that would be needed. There was no trust among the three constituent authorities of post-war Bosnia, and the IMF found itself negotiating with three different authorities at every stage. Apart from their own limitations, such as the requirement of working with a central government, international financial institutions could not be expected to outpace the willingness and cooperation of parties on the ground.

On a more hopeful note, Ms. Rehn, UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the former Yugoslavia, described what she saw as reconstruction taking place on its own, apart from unrealized expectations of international assistance. Sarajevo had new shops, restaurants, and new windows, and Banja Luka seemed genuinely to be reviving.

She questioned, moreover, Dr.Woodward's suggestion that the focus on war criminals, especially on Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, had been excessive. Although she recognized that the level of international attention had, to an extent, made them local heroes, she disagreed with the notion that bringing them to justice would make no difference. Having talked with thousands who had lost loved ones, she believed that ordinary people could not contemplate lasting peace until the primary agents of violence had been brought to justice.

Participants widely acknowledged the continuing tension between the stated goal of a unified Bosnia-Herzegovina and unrelenting pressures for partition, which had not been resolved by the Dayton Accords. Ambassador Mwakawago raised a specific concern about the viability of the Muslim-Croat Federation, which several participants working on the ground amplified, describing extreme distrust and non-cooperation between the Muslim and Croat communities.

Most also expressed concern over the fragility of the settlement. The Dayton agreement was widely acknowledged as a necessary, but extremely preliminary, first step, which needed to be followed by significant, long-term international engagement. The peace accords did not actually amount to a "settlement" but only a cease-fire, upon which the parties still had to build. Still, one participant from the human rights community argued that negotiated settlements necessarily entailed ambiguity. The more serious problem post-Dayton was analogous to that of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR), or the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia, where strategies and plans had been clear and specified, but international actors had little willingness or capacity to implement them.

Dr. Woodward noted, however, what she viewed as a profound contradiction in the text of the Accords, especially between the goal of a multi-ethnic state and those provisions that reinforced ethnic segregation: basing most political representation on group membership, allowing whatever parliament emerges from September's elections to establish "special relationships" with neighbors, and permitting Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian Croats to confederate with Croatia and Serbia.

A European ambassador to the UN expressed concern about the imbalance between implementing military and civilian tasks. This tension indicated to him that the UN might be uniquely suited to accomplishing civilian tasks and therefore deserving of sufficient resources to do so. He also saw a potentially destabilizing tension in the Dayton Accords' military provisions between simultaneous strategies of "building down" the overall level of weaponry between the parties and "building up" Bosnian forces, particularly in an area already awash in arms. In addition, although the Accords' military timetable had largely been kept, both the cantonment of heavy weapons and demobilization of forces were unlikely to be completed before the elections in September.

Nonetheless, the Dayton Accords afforded a singular opportunity to build peace, Ambassador McKinley argued. Polls showed that people throughout Bosnia wanted the elections to take place on course, a view with which Ms. Rehn concurred. Ambassador McKinley further noted that the Federation between Muslims and Croats was central to lasting settlement, even if common institutions were slow to develop and each party was reluctant to yield power from its respective center to the Federation. Ms. Rehn also suggested that international observers had overreacted to developments such as the declaration of a separate parliament for Bosnian Croats, particularly when leading Croatians, like Mate Granic, had publicly criticized the move.

Across the board, participants affirmed the need for long-term international engagement in Bosnia. It would be a great pity for the international community to be in such a hurry to disengage that Bosnia ended up with a premature and unnecessary partition. To rush any of the critical post-war processes was to risk wasting the resources already invested. Mr. Jessen-Petersen noted that he saw a clear will to work for peace among ordinary people in Bosnia. From them, the international community could not walk away.

Case Study: Rwanda


H.E. Mr. Daudi Ngelautwa Mwakawago

Permanent Representative of the United Republic of Tanzania to the United Nations


H.E. Mr. Jan Pronk

Minister for Development Cooperation,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands

Mr. Carrol Faubert

UNHCR Former Special Envoy for Rwanda;
Director, Regional Bureau for the Americas and the Caribbean, UNHCR

Mr. Iain Guest

Senior Fellow, U.S. Institute for Peace

Ambassador Mwakawago introduced the case of Rwanda by contrasting it with the post-conflict situation in the former Yugoslavia. He concentrated upon elements which characterized the Rwandan case, namely post-conflict population movements both to and from the country, as well as what he perceived as a lack of commitment from the international community. Minister Jan Pronk gave a critical assessment of international involvement in the region, and offered a set of recommendations for future policy. Mr. Faubert focused on the issue of refugee repatriation, sketching the complex post-conflict situation within which UNHCR worked as it tried to protect, assist and voluntarily repatriate thousands of Rwandan refugees. He also noted that relevant governments and world leaders showed little political interest in brokering lasting solutions for the region. Mr. Guest in turn affirmed the need for a long-term approach to refugee repatriation, arguing that impunity for perpetrators of the genocide had to end prior to any large-scale return program.


Both Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia had suffered enormously, Ambassador Mwakawago noted. Nevertheless, their situations differed greatly in the consequences of each conflict and in the respective levels of commitment by the international community to usher in and sustain peace. The 1994 violence in Rwanda resulted in the creation of about 2 million "new" refugees, who were mostly Hutu. Zaire hosted 1.2 million of these "new" refugees, Burundi 90,000, and Tanzania 560,000. The return of many of the "old" refugees from 1959 gave weight to the argument that in post-conflict Rwanda, in contrast to the former Yugoslavia, a clear winner and governmental authority were well established.

Ambassador Mwakawago criticized the role of the UN during Rwanda's genocide. The UN had been present in 1994 but with an inappropriate mandate and dramatically insufficient resources. In his view, this made the international community partly responsible for what had transpired. Now, as Rwandans faced the very difficult task of "healing the wounds," he criticized what he perceived as a lack of donor commitment to the rebuilding of their country. In order to help heal the wounds, Ambassador Mwakawago appealed to the donor community to extend assistance to the new Government of Rwanda which is struggling under very difficult conditions to restore normalcy.

H.E. Mr. Jan Pronk Minister for Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands

Minister Pronk elaborated on the role of the international community in Rwanda as he reviewed his government's policies prior to and during the genocide and the refugee emergency which followed thereafter. When the Government of the Netherlands had decided to halt direct assistance to the former Rwandan government, he had recommended that they provide humanitarian assistance instead. It later became clear, however, that this recommendation had allowed humanitarian assistance to substitute for political action.

Minister Pronk also noted earlier mistakes in the provision of peacetime development assistance and the underlying policy guidelines pursued by his and other governments. He believed Rwandans were pressured to democratize too quickly and according to a Western model, encouraging the development of an elite which found it easier to destroy perceived adversaries than to share limited economic benefits. Neither development nor humanitarian assistance policies were based on a thorough analysis of the particular social, cultural, and economic situation in Rwanda. Instead, they were implemented in the easiest manner possible, without any field-level coordination with other actors to complement rather than duplicate activities.

The effectiveness of the assistance was further reduced because there was no mechanism in place to respond to the clear signs of impending disaster. This delay was compounded by the low priority attached to Rwanda by the UN Security Council. The United Nations peacekeeping force was moreover given an improper mandate to keep the two Rwandan armies apart, rather than to protect civilians. The interweaving of each of these factors inextricably led to the catastrophe that ensued.

Turning to policy proposals for Rwanda's future, Minister Pronk called on the international community to support the efforts of the current government to build a nation without ethnic prejudice despite continued violent incidents within Rwanda since 1995, noting that skepticism on the part of the international community was undermining the government at a time when it needed confidence-building support.

Although an enormous amount of international financial support had gone to the physical reconstruction of Rwanda, there had been little investment in the rebuilding of civil society. The slow financial support for restoring the justice system was especially "shameful." Moreover, the international community should not allow the repatriation schedule to be determined by the capacity of neighboring states to host the refugees.

Support and assistance should instead be provided to the host countries. It was vital, first, to bring to justice those who had committed genocide. Initiating dialogue with the perpetrators of the genocide and ignoring the question of justice would only ensure that genocide would recur.

At present, former military personnel, militia members, perpetrators of genocide and real refugees lived side-by-side in the camps, a lethal combination which could explode into violence and new acts of genocide at any time. The recent outbreak in the Masisi region of Zaire was a case in point.

Minister Pronk further noted that the will and initiative to resolve conflicts and to rebuild society must come from the reunited peoples of Rwanda and Burundi themselves, and that any solution must take into account regional political forces. He suggested, however, that the international community had a role to play in providing humanitarian assistance and in helping to shape political strategies to rebuild the societies in both countries.

Mr. Carrol Faubert UNHCR Former Special Envoy to Rwanda; Director, Regional Bureau for the Americas and the Caribbean, UNHCR

Mr. Faubert began with a review of the repatriation operations to Rwanda. While approximately 20 percent of the refugees had returned between 1994 and the end of 1995, he noted that in 1995 alone, the number of births in camps had been equal to the number of returns. UNHCR had tried numerous measures to resolve the refugee problem quickly, pushing the limits of its mandate to do so. However, it was now clear that such a quick-fix solution was unrealistic as it did not resolve the underlying problems. Instead, a comprehensive approach was needed, which would include continued voluntary repatriation, although at a slower pace to allow for progress to be made in restoring accountability and addressing the complex root causes of the conflict.

Retrospective analysis of these root causes brought to light the historical reliance in Rwanda, as well as in Burundi, on politics of ethnic exclusion and the development of ethnically based national armies. The recent genocide was also a logical consequence of a continuing cycle of impunity and fear, which had to be interrupted. Another, often neglected, element of analysis was the lack of adequate land for the large agrarian population in both countries. In 1989, Rwanda had a population density approximately equal to that of the United Kingdom, which as an industrialized nation, could support such a density. For Rwanda's agrarian economy, however, it was far too high. In order to heal Rwanda's most recent wounds and pave the way for refugee return, these problems had to be resolved.

Mr. Faubert emphasized, however, that various processes of rebuilding peace could and should occur simultaneously. The link between repatriation and reconciliation had become what he termed a "quasi-theological debate". While there were those who felt that the repatriation of refugees to Rwanda was a major and necessary condition for reconciliation and others who believed that repatriation would only come as a result of genuine national reconciliation, Mr. Faubert felt that neither was a prerequisite for the other. He strongly argued that assistance, arrest of war criminals in the camps, trials, and refugee return, all be treated as part of the same ongoing process.

The establishment of a functioning, independent judiciary in Rwanda remained central to both repatriation and reconciliation. At the same time, it was extremely important to isolate the former Hutu leaders who had organized the original exodus and had since been intimidating refugees to prevent them from returning to Rwanda. Mr. Faubert questioned current perceptions that the Rwandan conflict was divided into two "sides", arguing that Rwanda was responsible for all of its nationals inside and outside of the country. This perception of division was fostered in part by intimidation in the refugee camps but also by the depiction in some quarters in Rwanda that everyone in the refugee camps was responsible for acts of genocide. This characterization was wrong and equally needed to be corrected.

Mr. Faubert agreed with Minister Pronk that the international community had allowed humanitarian assistance to substitute for serious political action during and after the conflict. It was particularly difficult for UNHCR, which felt that its work to assist and protect the refugees was expected to substitute for the lack of interest among international leaders in forging a political solution to the region's problems. Mr.Faubert called on the international community to take the initiative and support inclusive political negotiations, as all sides to the conflict had a stake in such talks and had to make concessions in the interest of Rwanda's future and regional stability.

Mr. Iain Guest Senior Fellow, U.S. Institute for Peace

Mr. Guest argued that UNHCR faced a dilemma in dealing with Rwandan refugees. On the one hand, the refugee camps in Zaire and Tanzania were not viable in their present form. The "genocidaires" and other intimidators who were in the camps were fomenting violence and instability in the border areas with Rwanda. The continued existence of these camps would sow the seeds of future conflict in Rwanda. On the other hand, the refugees should not be forced to return to Rwanda against their will. Moreover, resettling the refugees further inside the host countries was not a viable option either, because this would simply shift the source of instability. The lack of any viable political initiatives to resolve this dilemma was making UNHCR's job increasingly difficult.

The only way out of this dilemma was to deal with the genocidaires. This was crucial because a vicious circle had to be broken: refugees were not returning because the Rwandan government was imprisoning suspected genocidaires; but the Rwandan government was taking this tough line because there was no action against genocidaires in the camps. Addressing the situation would require a fundamentally different approach from the kind of refugee "solutions" normally advocated by UNHCR. In this respect, the current preoccupation of UNHCR with intimidators, rather than with the genocidaires, had diverted attention away from the real problem. The intimidators in the camps were essentially lesser criminals, and their removal from the camps also raised questions of legality. It was important to realize, though, that it was not in UNHCR's mandate to apprehend the genocidaires.

A comprehensive, region-wide solution, such as the Comprehensive Plan of Action (CPA) for Southeast Asia, needed to be adopted to resolve these problems. UNHCR had to build alliances with other actors, including the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and various NGOs, in an effort to bring to justice the perpetrators of genocide on both sides of the border. UNHCR should not try to reduce services in the camps in an effort to persuade the refugees to go home. Community services, in particular, could prove very useful in helping the refugees to take decisions as a group, which is the only way that they would agree to return.

Recent moves by Rwanda's government towards conciliatory processes of justice were a welcome sign of hope for creating such a comprehensive approach. The Rwandan parliament was considering a tiered system of sentencing whereby persons who had murdered fewer than fifty people would receive a reduced sentence ranging from seven to twelve years, which was a huge concession in an effort to address the problem. A significant amount of international funding should be allocated to training of judges to try the genocidaires and to strengthening the processes that were being undertaken in order to fashion a lasting, comprehensive solution to the problems in Rwanda. Mr. Guest warned that UNHCR was allowing itself to be bullied by the military in Burundi, making further expulsions of refugees from Burundi almost inevitable.


The discussion which followed demonstrated widespread agreement among conference participants on the importance of accountability for the perpetrators of Rwanda's genocide. Equally consensual was the point that the repatriation of refugees needed to be slowed while the peacebuilding, reconciliation and reconstruction processes were attended to. Speakers diverged on the relative importance of the constituent elements of these processes - partly because of different characterizations of the root causes of the conflict. Notwithstanding differences in the prioritization of tasks and the degree of appropriate international involvement, most speakers agreed that the international community should play a decisive role by supporting Rwanda's efforts to heal the wounds which both spurred the 1994 conflict and were created by it.

Discussion first centered on the root causes of the conflict in Rwanda. A UN field representative pointed out that the 1990 to 1994 period[4] needed to be viewed in light of Rwanda's colonial history and policies of divide-and-rule through ethnic differentiation. The explosive period of ethnic differentiation which culminated in 1959 was directly linked to a change in colonial influence and a complete turnover in local administrative power. Ambassador Kayinamura of Rwanda agreed. The 1959 violence which accompanied the process of decolonization along with the policies of political exclusion on ethnic grounds adopted by the first post-colonial leadership in Rwanda were major precursors to the recent genocide. Then also, many Rwandans had fled and sought refuge in neighboring countries.

Cycles of exclusion and return and of impunity and fear could in fact be found throughout Rwanda's post-colonial history and represented a primary cause of instability, many discussants argued. The tendency toward impunity for the perpetrators of genocide continued to date and was thought by some participants to be reinforced by references to the genocide as "past." Yet, the genocide could not be "past" until the perpetrators were brought to justice. Only then could a process of "healing the wounds" begin.

To restore accountability and start the necessary process of reconciliation, several participants suggested that a truth commission would be a useful complement to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. A truth commission could give a legitimate venue for testimony and fact-gathering. Ms. Rehn disagreed, explaining that witnesses were often unwilling to testify before parallel truth commissions for fear of incriminating themselves in the Tribunal. Another senior UN official also opposed the proposal for a truth commission. He appealed for patience with the Tribunal, explaining that the process was slow because the Justices had to begin by legislating their own procedures. Speaking to participants' frustration with Rwanda's internal justice system, he insisted that not even a country with a fully staffed and well-functioning judiciary could handle the massive tasks which the situation in Rwanda presented.

Most participants placed bringing the perpetrators of genocide to justice ahead of refugee return on the list of priorities for Rwanda. In addition, some participants agreed that the pace of refugee return from host countries bordering Rwanda should be orderly. One participant especially highlighted the potentially violent and serious repercussions which a mass stampede of returning refugees could have. The refugees represented a ticking time bomb for the region, and the situation therefore required patience and skill in seeking solutions. Another participant questioned this position, however, arguing that repatriation was a precondition for effective reconciliation in Rwanda.

On the proposal to move the camps in Zaire away from the border and the Masisi region, where upsurges in violence were linked to the presence of the refugees, there was general agreement that this plan involved serious risks. Some conditioned their support for the proposal on a concerted effort to sort out the perpetrators of the genocide from the other refugees in the camps. Others urged the initiation of grassroots negotiations with the local Zairian communities who would host the relocated refugees and programs to mitigate their negative impacts. These included unemployment, the creation of a dollar-based economy, and environmental devastation which had to be addressed in any plan to move the refugees further inland. Minister Pronk, however, warned that the current level of funds did not allow for such development programs. Ms.Collins, Consultant on African Programs for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, also pointed to the tensions raised by the large amounts of humanitarian assistance for the refugees arriving in countries like Zaire, while the local population faced inadequate resources to meet their needs - ironically because their country did not explode into war.

Dr. Hasegawa, Resident Coordinator of the UN Operational Systems in Rwanda, strongly questioned why the Rwandans inside and outside of the country were constantly referred to as two "sides" or "camps" in the conflict. He argued that this terminology implied an equality between the victims and the perpetrators of the genocide. Such an equality was intolerable, suggested Dr. Schoettle, in the face of a genocide which was so carefully planned. Support for the international tribunal, as well as an injection of resources into the local justice system, were imperative. While agreeing with these calls for further support, Ms. Rehn sounded a note of warning, suggesting that international interest in Rwanda had almost disappeared. General Eisele also regretted that the international community was often eager to get involved when internal conflicts arose over oil or access to water, but not in cases like Rwanda, where ethnicity was more salient than strategic resources.

Most participants agreed that the international community had made errors in judgment during and immediately after the conflict. Still, there was some disagreement about the path for Rwanda's future. Ambassador Kayinamura asserted that home-grown solutions to the problems of the region should be given priority. Rwanda needed to solve its own problems, which could not be separated from those of the region. Its post-genocide government was one of national unity; there were five non-sectarian political parties included in the government, and eight parties in the parliament. The only party which was not represented was that of the perpetrators of the genocide. The new government took another conciliatory step by bringing 5,000 former soldiers back from Zaire and reintegrating them into a national army.

All of this, Ambassador Kayinamura explained, was achieved despite the fact that the new government had inherited a bankrupt economy and had lost its professionals, tradespeople, police forces and judiciary to the carnage and refugee flight. It was difficult for those outside the country to understand the extremely sensitive moral, legal, and political issues which Rwandans now faced in rebuilding their country. Whether inside Rwanda or in neighboring countries affected by the presence of refugees, the developmental tasks were significant. International involvement had the potential to help in terms of long-term assistance for rehabilitation and reconstruction. Ambassador Nsanze of Burundi called on the international community to stop ignoring, in particular, the continued widespread flow of arms to the region. Addressing this factor alone could help prevent a recurrence of genocide in the region, he argued.

A senior official from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) noted that the international community had yet to learn that it must look at the particularities of the country and especially the lives of ordinary people when giving reconstruction aid. Rwanda's people needed an improved local and civil society in order to bolster peace, security, and reconstruction development. He also cautioned against the use of terms which indicated that it was possible for Rwandans to return to a situation that existed before. Terms such as "reconstruction," "repatriation," and "reconciliation" all indicated that there had been development and peaceful coexistence prior to the recent fighting. This was not the case for Rwanda, where the situation had been untenable for some time before the conflict, as was now recognized. Rwanda faced overpopulation, a shaky economic system, and a growing number of youth without adequate education or economic opportunity.

Most participants argued for a comprehensive approach to the physical reconstruction of Rwanda. While there was disagreement as to whether the return of refugees should come before or after reconciliation, and whether justice efforts should precede or be established parallel to reconstruction as emergency assistance evolved into development aid, most agreed that nothing would move forward without coordinated international political and financial assistance on both sides of the border and throughout the affected region.

Mr. Rosenblatt proposed that the international community appoint a single person with great stature to promote political negotiations and peacebuilding in the Great Lakes region. He argued that the series of envoys sent to the region were only confusing the issue, although others countered that each envoy had been hand-picked to carry out a defined task and that entrusting such a diversity of tasks to a single individual would prove impossible. A UN field representative also noted the widespread mistrust of Rwanda's authorities among donor governments, which he felt was unwarranted. He challenged the international community to listen actively to Rwandans' own characterizations of their needs and to integrate international efforts with the country's internal processes of rebuilding. Ambassador Kayinamura noted that this perceived mistrust was not there, as the international community had worked with the Rwandan government to organize two Roundtables for Rwanda with the donor community.



H.E. Dr. Tunguru Huaraka

Permanent Representative of Namibia to the United Nations


The Honorable Flora MacDonald

Chair, International Development Research Centre


Ambassador Jonathan Moore

Associate, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Mr. Mark Malloch Brown

Vice-President of External Affairs,
The World Bank

Following Ambassador Huaraka's introduction, Ms.MacDonald examined the complexity and magnitude of reconstruction in the context of today's protracted civil wars. She emphasized the need for a well-integrated, "holistic" approach that was sensitive to the uniqueness of specific post-war settings. Ambassador Moore focused on three elements on which the efficacy of international reconstruction efforts particularly hinged: coordination, resource-mobilization, and donor commitment. Finally, Mr. Malloch Brown suggested strategies that international financial institutions, especially the World Bank, might pursue in post-war settings, noting that the World Bank's primary mission in today's world of failed and vulnerable states was to help societies "normalize" and adapt to dramatically changing conditions.


Ambassador Huaraka opened the panel with an appeal for urgent attention to reconstruction to support the longer-term goal of reconciling enemy brothers and sisters. People who had gone from living peaceably to warring fiercely had a long, complex process ahead to heal the wounds of enmity. Reconstruction had a critical role to play in helping them rebuild a "house" in which they could once again live as family.

Ms. Flora MacDonald Chair, International Development Research Centre

Reconstructing a war-torn society was a multidimensional task that went beyond purely physical and economic rebuilding, Ms. MacDonald began. For reconstruction to be successful, it had to be part of an overall strategy that integrated all four elements being considered at this conference: reconstruction, reconciliation, demilitarization, and effective multilateral engagement. It had to embrace reconstruction of governing institutions at community, local and national levels; expansion of economic opportunities; inclusion of previously disenfranchised groups; restoration of environmental balance; and rebuilding of spiritual and cultural values. The international community knew far too little about the complexity of reconstruction, and research to date was insufficient. Some construction efforts appeared to have worked, others not, and it was not always clear why. As a result, the international community's current efforts involved groping for solutions and engaging in large-scale experimentation.

Current approaches tended to be informed by the rebuilding of Europe after World War II under the Marshall Plan, whose success Ms. MacDonald attributed to three factors: first, the strength of shared social norms; second, the willingness of donors to invest enormous resources; third, and less often recognized, early planning, which began even while the war still raged. As early as 1943, teams had begun to devise the framework of what became the Marshall Plan. Similarly, early development of the Beveridge Plan allowed the United Kingdom to introduce a health service immediately after the war. Early planning therefore needed to be embed-ded in today's peace processes, incorporating the parties to conflict along with civil society.

Still, approaches which worked in 1946 would not necessarily do so in 1996, and existing institutions had to be adapted carefully to today's war-torn societies. Not enough was being done to reconfigure old habits or prepare new sets of actors, such as NGOs, for their dramatically increasing roles in post-conflict societies. Greater attention also needed to be given to the role of civil society, whose grassroots processes still received too little analysis and not enough international support. In Somalia, for example, administration by elders' councils had transformed Baidoa, although this had hardly been noticed by international media or agencies. In northern Kenya, clans used a forum called a ya to mediate and reach consensus on divisive issues. Traditional mechanisms like these could serve as major building-blocks in post-war societies.

Ms. MacDonald also drew attention to the special role women could play. The daily concerns of many women went to the heart of reconstruction: providing food, health, and education. External assistance should be used to facilitate the critical role that women could play in post-war societies. In Sudan and Somalia, women were reaching beyond religious and clan divisions to build peace, and their work needed greater support. For instance, "Reach," a project of CARE Canada in Bosnia, allowed small teams of locally recruited medical and social work professionals to administer to the approximately 30,000 vulnerable and mostly female elderly. The project cut across partisan lines, encouraging the teams to form working relationships that would have been impossible a few years ago.

Children presented particular challenges, especially since many had fought as child soldiers. For these children, "reconstruction" also meant rebuilding their fractured lives, which would require the services of psychological professionals on a scale that had never before been mobilized.

Meanwhile, donor fatigue was widespread. The case could and had to be made to the North that it was in their interest to engage in reconstruction assistance. War was always more costly than even the most ambitious post-war or preventive programs. The balance sheet of operations in Somalia, Bosnia, Rwanda and elsewhere had driven that home. In the U.S., $270 billion was spent annually on defense. By contrast, the U.S. was in arrears to the UN by $3billion, a model of neglect that had to be broken.

To encourage sustained international support, one suggestion worth considering was having a donor country "adopt" a given crisis or situation. Though not without its limitations, a country-specific center of responsibility could diminish problems with coordination, duplication, and confusion. The lead country could mediate among competing donor institutions and organizations and develop longer-term strategies to reduce the need for assistance progressively. Such an arrangement would have to be based on mutual obligation, with clear ways of measuring that agreed-upon conditions were being met.

Ambassador Jonathan Moore Associate, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Ambassador Moore agreed with Ms. MacDonald's view that the international community was only beginning to understand how to respond effectively to the dynamics of post-war reconstruction. Current approaches therefore were experimental, even if the opportunity to experiment needed to be welcomed. Acknowledging that the resuscitation of societies after violent conflict required social and spiritual renewal beyond physical rebuilding, Ambassador Moore proceeded to examine how the questions of coordination, resource-mobilization, and donor commitment affected the capacity of the international community to respond to the physical challenges of reconstruction.

Coordination was now trumpeted as a means of accomplishing daunting tasks with scarce resources to such an extent that Ambassador Moore believed its value was overstated. Coordination ultimately stemmed from cooperation, which no directive or management technique could enforce. Coordination of efforts was most important between relief and development assistance, and between military and civilian actors. The latter was particularly challenging, especially when reconstruction needed to proceed in unstable conditions or in the "grey zone" between war and peace. Coordination required cooperation at two levels: the executive level of institutions, where it was currently absent; and on the ground, where it often worked well.

In general, actors needed to demonstrate much stronger commitment to collaboration, although there had been some promising initiatives. In Mozambique, for example, UNHCR and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) had developed a "collaborative framework" to integrate humanitarian and development work. By setting specific priorities, appointing a resident coordinator, and relying on such tools as the "country strategy note," district-development mapping, and vulnerability indicators, they had successfully achieved a smoother interface between shorter-term reconstruction and longer-term poverty alleviation.

Ambassador Moore raised the issue of resources, contrasting their availability for development, emergency aid, and reconstruction. Resources for development were still available, although they were declining dramatically. Resources for peacekeeping and humanitarian aid, meanwhile, had increased considerably, despite gaps between needs, appeals and actual payments. By contrast, however, funds for reconstruction and rehabilitation were grossly inadequate, and reconstruction efforts tended to rely on what could be made available from budgets for development or humanitarian aid.

Currently, donors and the UN were poorly configured to meet the need for reconstruction. The question was whether to develop new instruments or to improve existing ones, such as the Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) conducted by the UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs (DHA), the Roundtables held by the UNDP, or the Consultative Groups used by the World Bank. Various proposals to meet reconstruction needs had been made, including a "special appeal mechanism" to channel funds directly to rehabilitation and an expansion of the CAP to include reconstruction explicitly. A "Global post-conflict Reconstruction Fund" (GRF) modeled on the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) had also been suggested, and was an innovative idea that deserved serious examination. Still, Ambassador Moore was skeptical about the usefulness of a GRF which, in his understanding, risked a rigidity that would not match the dynamic needs of post-war economies. Generally, he thought it wiser to adapt and better coordinate existing instruments, although he recognized that this was a task requiring genuine agreement among all parties, especially donors.

Donor commitment needed to be improved. Assistance from donors, especially the U.S., paled beside the needs of post-war societies, a gap which must be filled. Ambassador Moore argued that the international community needed a radically new way to conceive and depict the magnitude of the problem, especially to mobilize public opinion. In donor states, the public was largely uneducated about the levels of support required to achieve declared goals, although they were a vital factor in determining donor policy.

Ambassador Moore also noted that the international donor community tended to rely on inappropriate or outdated standards to determine the level of their commitment in complex emergencies. Seeking fast solutions and fast exits, donors wanted assurances of success as a precondition for involvement, viewed engagement as all-or-nothing and, especially in the case of the U.S., wanted to work unilaterally or control any multinational effort. Instead, international donors needed to make clear policy commitments for the required long term and show a willingness to work together with like-minded nations and institutions.

Mr. Mark Malloch Brown Vice-President of External Affairs, The World Bank

Mr. Malloch Brown began his commentary with a reflection on his background in refugee work. The refugee field, he believed, had early on become trapped by overly narrow, initial definitions of its work. It had taken decades, he recalled, for refugee organizations to free themselves from definitions that excluded the problem of internally displaced persons, for example. In reconstruction, he saw an equivalent risk that the issues at stake and dynamics involved were currently being defined too narrowly and might be misunderstood.

The nature of reconstruction in contemporary settings had to be accurately comprehended in order to develop effective strategies. Mr. Malloch Brown argued that the term "reconstruction" gave the misleading impression that the post-conflict condition, or even state "failure," was a rare event. In fact, the world economy was undergoing a process of continuous change which put similar pressures on all countries, including industrialized democracies. The international community had not yet fully faced the dynamics of globalization, which was becoming the great organizing principle of the next century, much like class had been in the nineteenth. Failed states would become more common, and many societies would face mounting and recurring needs for assistance. International organizations would only be able to manage this phenomenon successfully if they reorganized themselves fundamentally.

Mr. Malloch Brown then explained how an international financial institution like the World Bank could contribute. He argued that the World Bank's mandate was essentially to help societies normalize. The Bank would ultimately add value not through a series of discrete, even if successful, projects but by helping countries establish a basic framework which would enable them to adapt to and manage change. Normalization required two very basic initial goals: first, a well-managed functioning public sector and, second, the resumption of domestic and international trade and normal business life. He recognized that pursuit of these goals could be divisive, as Dr.Woodward had described in the previous day's session. The World Bank believed these efforts to be critical, however, to the larger post-war goal of helping people and com-munities identify themselves primarily as producers and consumers in a larger, variegated society, rather than as members of culturally or ethnically-defined groups.

The World Bank hoped that Bosnia, for example, would be back to two-thirds of its pre-war per capita income by the year 2000. It was important to recognize that even if all $5 billion in international pledges arrived, most capital for reconstruction would still come from domestic sources. Between assistance at the international level and economic revival at the national level, the ensuing economic gains would spread widely, thus becoming part of the process of normalizing economic and social relations among communities in a larger, integrated post-war society.

Mr. Malloch Brown then turned to the optimal working relationship among international organizations. He viewed the coordination record of international agencies as extremely mixed. Referring to the World Bank's experience in Angola, for instance, he described how differences in the mandates and cultures of different agencies could not always be overcome, despite good intentions. The UN was under pressure to contain the costs primarily defined by its peacekeeping operation and therefore tended to focus on demobilization and shorter-term projects that bore a more immediate relationship to their peacekeeping mission, while the World Bank was oriented toward macro-economic indicators and long-term, large-scale projects to improve them.

Organizations also operated under different constraints in dealing with local governments. UNHCR and other humanitarian organizations, for example, sometimes worked despite host governments, as their strained relations with the Rwandan government illustrated. By contrast, the international financial institutions and development agencies looked to governments as local partners. Indeed, their essential premise was to rebuild the institutions and capacity of existing governments.

The World Bank also faced statutory limitations as a bank, particularly in supporting reconstruction, despite its lending power ($22 billion per year) compared to the rest of the UN system. The World Bank's Board of Directors were also skeptical about the Bank's resources creeping into reconstruction. Some saw it as a means by which the U.S. sought to fund its own strategic priorities with other countries paying a large portion of the cost. Because of these constraints, Mr. Malloch Brown believed that the Bank could best collaborate with other agencies in post-war settings by assisting with transitional tasks so that each organization could resume work as quickly as possible in its areas of comparative advantage.


Participants widely recognized the need for aggressive innovation at both strategic and operational levels and expressed concern that international institutions had not risen sufficiently to the magnitude of the challenges ahead. Subsequent discussion coalesced around three themes. First, the issue of coordination among international agencies attracted significant discussion, although participants differed over the extent of the problem. The question of lead agencies arose, with particular emphasis on the role of international financial institutions. Second, a number of participants addressed the problem of donor commitment and ways to enhance the relationship between donors and recipients. Third, many spoke about the fluidity of authority in post-war contexts and the optimal roles of post-war national governments and civil society actors.

From a donor's perspective, according to one participant involved in bilateral assistance, conflicts were an enduring part of the landscape, whether they arose from "failed states" or protracted situations in the netherworld between peace and war. Crucial, therefore, were early engagement, long-term engagement, and sufficient mobilization of resources. The UN and its family, including the World Bank, did not seem to be preparing sufficiently for this level of engagement, especially in terms of coordination among donors.

One participant called for better mechanisms for donor coordination. To this, however, Ambassador Moore responded that the real problem would not be solved by identifying a mechanism when donors did not want that kind of discipline. Another participant emphasized the continuing importance of managing expectations, since the international community's ample promises diverged so often from the aid that actually arrived.

Several participants also raised serious questions about the suggestion that resource-rich countries develop "adoptive" relationships with countries in the process of reconstruction. This seemed to them a misguided way to resolve coordination issues, especially for developing countries which had all suffered under paternal relationships before independence. Minister Pronk's concept of "partnership" was a more promising approach. Ms. MacDonald regretted her choice of the term "adoptive" but noted that the crux of her point was precisely that the optimal relationship was a partnership and a long-term one.

Mr. Zulu from the IMF offered a somewhat more sanguine view of organizational coordination. Although problems remained, most actors recognized that humanitarian action and development were part of a single process of recovery. His organization had worked with the UN to reconstruct a fiscal framework in Angola that anticipated the cost of democratization and demobilization of the army. A similar level of cooperative programming had occurred between the IMF, the World Bank, and the UN in Guatemala.

Both the IMF and the World Bank, Mr. Zulu continued, were assuming extraordinary tasks that had never been anticipated. Working to normalize economies required that international financial instructions take an increasingly holistic approach, attending to immediate rehabilitation along with their usual longer-term activities. Importantly, this meant that neither institution could fulfill its role without significant collaboration with bilateral donors and private, as well as civic, actors.

Several participants wanted to explore further the role that might be played by the World Bank. Ms.Ball of the Overseas Development Council asked Mr.Malloch Brown about the Bank's capacity to innovate on the ground independent of the constraints imposed by its Board. Having recently completed a study of the donor community's role in post-conflict peacebuilding, she referred to the World Bank's coordinating role in Gaza, and noted the Bank's comparative advantage in analysis, money management, and capacity to leverage funds, all of which appeared to make the Bank a promising lead agency. Another participant referred to the usefulness of a World Bank study of coordination of inputs in Mozambique, which helped to clarify and simplify the relationships among various actors for the Mozambican government and made it easier for the government to deal with various officials, timetables, and reporting standards from different international organizations.

Mr. Malloch Brown acknowledged that innovations were possible in the margins of the World Bank's main activities, despite constraints imposed by its Board. He explained that in Rwanda, for example, $20 million had been given to international agencies instead of to the Rwandan government in order to bypass the Bank's own funding restrictions which would prohibit lending to the Rwandan administration under current conditions. The Bank was trying to develop better and quicker ways to get money for immediate needs, such as housing, for which it had been criticized for refusing to fund. Mr. Malloch Brown expressed uncertainty, however, about the promise of a GEF-type fund. While relatively successful, the GEF was very slow to get projects approved, and quick action through integrated planning was required for reconstruction.

Mr. Jessen-Petersen agreed that rapid mobilization of funds was often more critical than the level of funding. Too many UN agencies complained about the resources consumed by peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts, when the problem was an inability to mobilize resources quickly. The World Bank provided a good example, having been on the ground in Bosnia and willing to take certain risks from the beginning, while many UN development operations were only being initiated in Bosnia now. Ambassador Moore noted that, nevertheless, overall resources were simply inadequate and flowed in a distorted manner which seriously underfunded rehabilitation. Moreover, the major challenge remained to use humanitarian aid to move post-conflict societies toward recovery rather than only enhancing their dependency.

Mr. Malloch Brown noted that in his view, which was neither unique nor widespread within the Bank, the World Bank was in the business of "global change management." This meant that post-conflict activities had to be central to its work. Bosnia was a good model, in this respect, where the Bank had started planning long before the Dayton agreement was signed. Nonetheless, he was doubtful about creating a separate facility for post-conflict work within the Bank. While its work in Gaza had been deemed a huge success, it had been forced to dip into net income for the third time to meet a shortfall that partly resulted from an inadequate response by local authorities. Thus, however important the accomplishments of projects outside of its usual domain, these projects strained the Bank's overall resources, rendering it less able to lend sufficient development assistance to others.

Dr. Woodward also questioned the plausibility of Ms. Ball's view that the Bank could be an effective lead agency for the multi-dimensional needs of peacebuilding. The international financial institutions tended to treat post-conflict issues such as the creation of a central bank as purely technical ones, when these were profoundly political matters and therefore had to be integrated into a comprehensive approach to building post-war peace. Slovenia had seceded from Yugoslavia because of control over central financial institutions; authority over assets was at the core of many power struggles. She also argued that the requirement that international financial institutions work only with government counterparts posed a significant problem, as it hindered both flexibility and capacity for early response. The Dayton Accords, for instance, had accepted the premise that the only viable future for Bosnia was a decentralized one. Yet this structure had been part of pre-war Yugoslavia's problem; the government was so decentralized that it could not do anything. That was why the World Bank and others had told Yugoslavia to "re-centralize." Now, the challenge was to combine the centralized capacity necessary for management in a context of globalization with the decentralized capacity necessary for bottom-up, community-level, social rehabilitation.

Dr. Woodward further noted that most international reconstruction efforts in Bosnia had so far effectively consolidated the cease-fire, but had not yet begun to normalize the society. She asked how the World Bank planned to move beyond reconstruction to stabilization. Moreover, she questioned whether "normalization" was truly the Bank's primary role, when it continued to describe its mandate as simply that of a bank.

Several participants also described the social strains that resulted from structural adjustment programs adopted during the precarious process of post-war rebuilding. Ambassador Dos Santos of Mozambique remarked that although Mozambique was often called a success story, which was true in relative terms, its success could evaporate and the conflict recur if efforts were not vigilantly continued, since its root causes remained unaddressed. Mozambique's structural adjustment program also posed problems for its government. It was hard to tell workers and ordinary people that the economy was normalizing and programs were working when, meanwhile, their standards of living were declining. People expected more, especially after having been at peace for years.

Mr. Malloch Brown acknowledged that structural adjustment could be politically inept. The World Bank was, in fact, partly involved in developing more moderate ways of implementing structural adjustment that addressed the social costs and acknowledged that adjustment could not be sustained if it provoked broad opposition. When the impact of structural adjustment was poorly distributed, it was flawed both politically and morally.

Referring to the requirement that institutions like the World Bank and the IMF work exclusively with government authorities, another participant noted that the logic of reconstruction had to be re-examined and the capacity to work without a partner government recognized as essential. The traditional assumption driving reconstruction, as well as development, had been that economic reconstruction would follow the revival of government. Yet, economic reconstruction might be needed precisely because government had collapsed, as in Somalia.

Still, participants agreed that economic priorities ultimately had to be decided by the communities engaged in reconstruction, whether public sector or private. A pertinent, if overlooked, aspect of the Marshall Plan's success had been that countries themselves decided their own priorities, including in which industrial sectors to invest. The reconstruction process, therefore, was their own rather than an imposition from outside. In Bosnia, by contrast, many contractors were being hired from the outside because they needed work. It was important to ensure that employers and employees for reconstruction projects were actually Bosnian, that resources were going as directly as possible to Bosnia's reconstruction, and that the overall strategy for distributing those resources meshed with local needs.

Many participants also echoed Ms. MacDonald's assertion of the importance of women and of civil society actors more generally. One participant urged that the discussion of reconstruction be broadened to include "stakeholders" beyond governments and governmental agencies, especially large NGOs, which were key to the long-term revitalization of civil society beyond reconstruction.

Ambassador Nsanze of Burundi brought the question of reconstruction full circle. Placing it in a broad context, he urged that the international community mobilize financial and economic resources for prevention, especially in third world crises which were so closely tied to poverty and economic misery. It was a cruel paradox only to deploy the bulk of international goodwill and resources after countries had descended into violence.



Mr. Alvaro de Soto

Assistant Secretary-General, Department of Political Affairs, United Nations


Ms. Elisabeth Rehn

UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the territory of the former Yugoslavia


Dr. Richard Falk

The Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law and Practice, Princeton University

H.E. Mr. Colin Keating

Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the United Nations

Mr. William Shawcross

Chairman, Article 19: Centre Against Censorship

The role of justice in reconciliation was a major theme throughout the presentations and discussion. Mr. de Soto opened the session by highlighting the need to tailor reconciliation strategies to their cultural and political context, and he suggested that truth commissions could sometimes be helpful to the reconciliation process. Ms.Rehn gave a compelling portrait of the set of reconciliation challenges facing the former Yugoslavia. Professor Falk suggested that in addition to an effective process of justice, reconciling societies in the aftermath of genocide required untainted political leadership and the re-learning of unifying basic human values. Reconciliation, Ambassador Keating noted, did not mean forgiving and forgetting the past. Often a more realistic approach was necessary, which included a process of seeking truth and justice, and even the possibility of physical separation between communities. Mr.Shawcross then drew on the example of Cambodia to give a concrete analysis of the role of the UN in promoting reconciliation in that society.


Mr. de Soto opened by emphasizing the importance of sensitivity to context and noting that different approaches could lead to the same goal of reconciliation. In El Salvador and Chile, for instance, barbaric acts had been committed, and both countries had recognized that accountability for those acts was an essential element of reconciliation. The parties in El Salvador had incorporated a Commission on the Truth in their peace agreement, while Chile's first elected president had offered a public apology from the state to the victims of the earlier state repression. In both cases, efforts simply to make the truth known, even without prosecuting all perpetrators, had yielded a "balming" effect, allowing victims to put their trauma behind them. In Cambodia, despite the possibly geno-cidal nature of the conflict, no tribunal had been created to try the perpetrators of atrocities. Yet, Cambodia appeared to be moving slowly toward reconciliation. To form a tribunal for Cambodia at this stage of reconciliation could destabilize and possibly derail the process.

Ms. Elisabeth Rehn UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the territory of the former Yugoslavia

Ms. Rehn explained that her work was not simply to report on atrocities but also to seek solutions to the problems of the region by promoting dialogue between leaders and, more importantly, victims of the conflict. Her mandate as Special Rapporteur included all of the former Yugoslavia, and she urged all involved in the implementation of the Dayton Accords to monitor and work within the entire region, despite the current focus on Bosnia-Herzegovina. These communities and political leaderships were all interlinked and equally responsible for upholding their commitments to the Dayton agreement.

Ms. Rehn argued that a grassroots approach to promoting reconciliation was critical to its success. While the Dayton agreement provided an excellent outline for progress toward reconciliation, it was in one significant respect only good on paper. The map provided by the Dayton Accords - the final of seven maps drawn up during the course of the war - was not necessarily the best. In addition, the agreement set forth a right to return to one's home, but most houses had been destroyed or were now occupied by other families. The hopes of many people to return to their villages were frustrated and diminished by these realities. The agreement also did not take into account the feelings of ordinary people, who could not be controlled by such an agreement and could thus be very destabilizing to its success. It was impossible to expect an individual to renew friendship overnight with a neighbor who had burned his home or raped his daughter.

Thus, although Ms. Rehn met with political leaders in the course of her work, she felt that they could not be counted upon to promote peace in the former Yugoslavia since, in most cases, it was these same leaders who had fought the war. Progress in healing the wounds would depend ultimately upon taking into account the very real feelings of ordinary citizens, many of whom had been adversely affected not just by the war but also by the terms of the peace. Generally, she found NGOs and other representatives of civil society, especially women's organizations, to be more reliable sources of information and more promising parties for reconciliation.

Women had in certain ways remained passive during the conflict, partly reflecting the particularities of Balkan culture. While women were victims during the war, however, the peace afforded them an opportunity to show their strength by standing united against further abuse and rebuilding their lives. One example was a recently created organization for raped women and girls which allowed them to support one another when they could not disclose their misery to outsiders. The proactive nature of such organizations held much hope for the future and, as such, deserved the strong support of outsiders.

Other important actors in healing the wounds of war included children and youth, religious leaders, and former soldiers. Ms. Rehn had seen a hopeful sign in the paintings of children, which previously had often used dark colors and dwelt on death and mourning, but which more recently were using lighter colors to paint more positive images. At the same time, children were constantly taught by their educators and schoolbooks to distinguish between victims and perpetrators. Such persistent reminders created a seedbed for hatred which could easily grow into future conflict. In order to contradict such negative influences, it was imperative that curricula include education about human rights, minority rights, history, and culture, so that children could appreciate differences and learn unifying values.

Catholic, Orthodox, and Muslim religious leaders were, in turn, critical to reconciliation. They could offer a necessary ongoing support to people as they faced the exhumation of mass graves and the sorrow and mourning which attended such traumatic experiences.

Finally, the needs of the soldiers who had been the tools of the war had to be considered. Ms. Rehn noted that as part of her unconventional grassroots methodology, she had spoken with several drunk soldiers in the former Yugoslavia and had been struck by the degree of disappointment they felt. Previously considered heroes by their communities, they were unemployed since the cease-fire and had lost all status.

Despite these problems, Ms. Rehn believed that the elections called for in the Dayton agreement were very important, and could help to create the possibility of fairer elections in the near future. But the results of those elections should stand for a period of two years only, after which new and better elections could be held. The success of the current elections also hinged upon the freedom of the press in the former Yugoslavia. There were encouraging signs in Bosnia, where opposition leaders were able to air their views in the media, but in many other places such leaders were unable to do this and found it difficult to organize public political rallies.

Finally, a critical issue, which was pushed crudely to the fore by the unearthing of evidence of major atrocities and the still extensive list of missing persons, was that of impunity for war criminals. The International Criminal Tribunal provided the solution to this problem and it deserved the confidence and support of the international community. The Tribunal was very important in allowing the victims, including surviving family members and friends, to move beyond their immediate pain toward healing. Justice had to be exacted on an individual basis, since any notion of collective guilt only furthered the wounds of war. The only way to truly free the people of the former Yugoslavia was to bring the individuals responsible for atrocities before a judge and to try them for their crimes.

Ms. Rehn concluded her remarks by saying that it was encouraging to see economic life thrive in towns like Banja Luka and Sarajevo, and to watch the flowers and green grass defy the landmines beneath them. However, it was undeniably wrong to forget the mass graves, the landmines, or the children wounded by war lying in Zagreb's children's hospital. The international community had to remember and support the difficult task of healing the region's wounds.

Dr. Richard Falk The Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law and Practice, Princeton University

Genocidal wounds, Professor Falk argued, had to be addressed very differently from other kinds of wounds inflicted during conflicts. The conflicts in Rwanda and former Yugoslavia were both genocidal at their core. A simple acknowledgment of those wounds was critical in allowing the victimized to regain their dignity, and was a first step towards reconciliation.

An international war crimes tribunal was necessary for the transition to normalcy when large numbers of refugees had fled a genocidal situation. A tribunal offered a way to acknowledge the enormity of what had occurred as well as to identify and reinforce boundaries between good and evil. Professor Falk noted that documentation of atrocities, rather than the punishment of perpetrators, was more important. Documentation honored the experience of victims and therefore became a symbolic means to achieve closure after a profoundly traumatic experience. The more extreme the trauma the more important it was that at least the most visible figures who had committed crimes and atrocities be prosecuted. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, for example, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic had to be brought before the International Criminal Tribunal. Analogous prosecutions were necessary in Rwanda, where the suffering had been massive. The situation in Rwanda was actually more propitious to conducting trials because a large number of perpetrators of crimes were already in custody.

Untainted, morally sensitive leadership was also crucial to reconciliation, Professor Falk argued. For instance, President Nelson Mandela conveyed to South Africans a com-mitment to reconciliation, encouraging the peaceful transition from a protracted period of systemic injustice, at least provisionally. Similarly, when the Sandinistas came to power in Nicaragua, they were strong advocates of reconciliation and did not cultivate popular anger about the injustices of the previous regime. The difficulty in Bosnia-Herzegovina was that the leadership remained tainted, rendering reconciliation elusive. Rwanda's new leaders, by contrast, were not, which should allow them to play an important conciliatory role. The depth of suffering in Rwanda was so acute, however, and involved such a large number of people, that criminal trials which honored the victims were essential. Indeed, the international community was failing Rwanda by not devoting the necessary funds for the Tribunal to function.

A final challenge in building peaceful societies was to reconstruct political identities. Often, a genocidal moment occurred in the context of artificially constructed differences. Rwandan identities had been forged under colonialism, and ethnically exclusivist loyalties in the former Yugoslavia had been galvanized by post-Tito political leaders like Slobodan Milosevic. Such situations called for all levels of society to engage in a pedagogical process that emphasized human rights, human values, and human identities. When wounds had been inflicted through the manipulation of differences, societies had to revive the values that bridged them.

Ambassador Colin Keating Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the United Nations

The international community increasingly recognized, Ambassador Keating argued, that peace could only be sustained when combined with some measure of justice. In this regard, the Security Council's establishment of international criminal tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda had been a very significant, positive step. The experiences of Germany, Chile and Argentina in dealing with war crimes and human rights violations were a strong argument that the international arena was the appropriate place to deal with such transgressions. To try and punish war criminals in a national justice system only ran the risk of opening additional wounds. This factor also offered the most powerful rationale for an International Criminal Court, in Ambassador Keating's view. Should an International Criminal Court be created, it would become essential to ensure that no case could be subjected to a veto.

Still, although addressing wartime and humanitarian crimes was an appropriate role for the international community, justice at the local level also had to be established. Here, the challenges were even greater. Applying the rule of law could seem an overwhelming task in circumstances like Rwanda', where members of the existing judicial system had been exterminated. There, as elsewhere, a sluggish process of justice, compounded by knowledge of inadequate jail facilities and a lack of confidence in the likelihood of fair trials, discouraged refugees from returning.

In many cases, a form of legal triage was needed. When atrocities had been extremely widespread, making it impossible to bring every person to trial, the international community should encourage post-conflict authorities to begin justice proceedings against the most egregious criminals, with the possibility of legal pardons for others. Aggressive military action to capture suspects could open new wounds in fragile societies. An amnesty could formally acknowledge guilt and publicly signal a return to a state of normalcy. Refugees especially had to be confident that they could return and resume a normal life. Repatriation to multi-ethnic areas would necessarily take longer to achieve since the restoration of normalcy entailed a more complex process of reconciliation. Reconciliation for refugees had to encompass more than the opportunity simply to return. Refugees also had to be assured a real possibility of sharing in the growing prosperity of the state from which they had fled. For this reason, UNHCR and others had to begin at a much earlier stage to take into account issues relating to economic and legal rights, including the handling of property disputes. A peace process which did not ensure that formerly warring communities would benefit equally could not lead to genuine reconciliation.

Reconciliation, therefore, did not mean a simple forgiving and forgetting of the past. Greater pragmatism was often necessary, incorporating the possibility of physical separation between communities into the processes of reconciliation, truth and justice. While the Dayton agreement was criticized by many as consolidating Bosnia's partition, it had succeeded in bringing peace. The reconstruction of integrated com-munities, and their reconciliation to anything like their existence before the war, might take considerable time.

Mr. William Shawcross Chairman, Article 19: Centre Against Censorship

Mr. Shawcross focused on the experience of Cambodia, which had endured an appalling genocidal civil war from 1970 to 1990. The war finally ended when all four fighting factions signed the Paris peace agreement of 1991. At the time, many had criticized the inclusion of the Khmer Rouge. Had they not been included as a party to the peace settlement, however, Mr. Shawcross argued that there never would have been peace.

At that stage, the UN had authorized a two-year peacekeeping operation to facilitate the country's transition. United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) was tasked with disarming and "controlling" all four factions, but especially the communist faction (CPP) which had controlled the government and its institutions during the war. In both tasks, the UN failed. The Cambodian state's security apparatus remained in the hands of the CPP, as it had been during the war. The government had also become increasingly corrupt, meaning that Cambodia's leader-ship was still essentially tainted. Not surprisingly in this context, reconciliation had fallen short of expectations.

In other sectors, however, considerable progress was made. Cambodia developed a free press, signed basic human rights accords, and established the rule of law. Human rights groups operated throughout the countryside, and there was greater accountability than before. The UN also ran a highly successful election in the face of substantial opposition from the Khmer Rouge. Significantly, the Royalist party won national elections on a platform of reconciliation with the Khmer Rouge, the former perpetrators of the genocide.

These successes had allowed Cambodia to start out on the long and complicated path toward reconciliation and made the Cambodian operation worthwhile. Mr.Shawcross urged, however, that the United Nations develop and apply a "utility-based" analysis to any future interventions.


Consensus emerged among participants that reconciliation required addressing the question of justice regardless of the mechanism used. Discussion identified various elements necessary for strengthening a state's capacity to promote justice and reconciliation in the aftermath of conflict. These included: expeditious and more ample resources for national judiciaries; depoliticization of national justice systems; sensitivity to the balance between forgiveness and accountability; and efforts to integrate reconstruction with reconciliation. The fact that national judiciaries in so many post-conflict settings had been destroyed meant that ad hoc international tribunals or, more preferably a permanent International Criminal Court, had to be available to bring the perpetrators of humanitarian crimes to justice and allow reconciliation to begin.

Several participants affirmed Ms. Rehn's reflection on the importance of women in both the reconstruction and the reconciliation process. A participant remarked that in Rwanda, too, women's groups were playing a significant role. Many widows were benefiting from the food-for-work programs of international relief agencies like the World Food Programme. Some women were using their earnings to construct houses, and many had adopted children who had been orphaned during the conflict. Ambassador McKinley noted that the U.S. had committed $5 million for women's activities in Bosnia. Administered by UNHCR, this money supported grass-roots projects, training, small business loans, and other small-scale activities among women.

It was generally agreed that physical reconstruction was an essential building block of reconciliation. Circumstances in Rwanda, a participant noted as an example, required the introduction of a development component into the reconciliation process, since one root cause of the conflict had been the scarcity of resources in a densely populated territory. Another participant confirmed that reconstruction, undertaken properly, was also a prerequisite for reconciliation in the former Yugoslavia.

Both societies also faced an enormous challenge in dealing with civil law provisions relating to property and ownership. The destruction of property, massive displacement of people and the occupation of abandoned buildings raised serious questions about how to interpret liability and ownership. These problems would only grow more acute if refugees and displaced persons returned to their original homes in greater numbers. One participant urged that a property commission be established for the former Yugoslavia, as called for in the Dayton Accords. To date, the process of implementing the Dayton agreement had relegated the property commission to the status of a step-child, leaving it without the institutional support enjoyed by other elements of the Accords.

The question of justice dominated the discussion, however. The debate turned on whether it was sufficient simply to find and acknowledge the truth by documenting war crimes and other atrocities, or whether reconciliation required the prosecution and punishment of the perpetrators.

Truth commissions, one participant suggested, could not only seek to determine the facts of past incidents but had also to assess the historical causes underlying conflict. The process of collecting evidence in an objective manner could then help establish an objective historical record and serve as a civilized and fair means for addressing conflict.

One participant who had recently been involved in coordinating international civilian efforts in the former Yugoslavia emphasized the importance of reducing especially the desire for revenge among the many affected people. In support of this objective, the international community had the power to ensure that any intractable parties were either marginalized or brought into the reconciliation process. Ambassador Nobilo of Croatia argued that too much attention was paid to collective guilt, which was counterproductive for reconciliation. For reconciliation to be achieved, Ambassador Jovanovic of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia added, the search for truth and justice could not be politicized. Waging different forms of war against one party or another had to cease, and the accusation that only one side was responsible for genocide needed re-examination. Real reconciliation efforts had to eradicate reasons for animosity and revenge. One participant reiterated that communities had to move beyond justice to forgiveness. Still, forgiveness by victims required, in return, an expression of remorse by victimizers. In Yugoslavia and Rwanda, remorse was nowhere in evidence. Instead, the guilty in those societies saw themselves as the true victims, first of past repression and now of international bias.

Both Ambassador Misic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Ambassador Kayinamura of Rwanda insisted that although the right mix of accountability and forgiveness had yet to be found by the former Yugoslavia, the world would only encourage atrocities elsewhere if it preached forgiveness for war criminals from the Bosnian war. A message of impunity should not be sent to the perpetrators of atrocities. Ambassador Misic also cautioned IFOR against making the same mistake as UNPROFOR by signaling that it would stand aside even if its troops encountered charged war criminals.

Mr. de Soto noted that in some cases the decision to pursue justice was a technical consideration that depended on the ability of the country concerned to conduct judicial proceedings. It was also variously suggested that amnesty be granted in exchange for testimony from victimizers. Still, the decision to try war criminals should not hinge on the capacity of the country's judicial system. One could not tell victims that their justice depended on the technical adequacy of their legal system, and that if the latter were weak they would only get a truth investigation. Moreover, truth commissions should not become substitutes for accountability, argued Mr. Mendez. If truth commissions became the first and primary resort in reconciliation, they risked becoming a way to ratify policies of impunity. Instead, ascertaining the truth should be the first step toward achieving accountability and justice. In countries where local judicial capacity was weak or non-existent, like Haiti or Rwanda, truth commissions could be used to amass evidence while the judicial system was being strengthened. When that system grew sufficiently strong, however, the evidence gathered should be used in subsequent legal proceedings. Granting amnesty, added another participant, should only happen at the end of a process of determining guilt and be the result of a conscious decision not to prosecute everyone indicted.

Ambassador Kayinamura agreed that it was critical both to strengthen Rwanda's judicial system and to expedite the International Criminal Tribunal's trials so that justice could be dispensed to those accused of committing genocide. Otherwise, justice delayed would be justice denied. In this regard, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda had to receive stronger international support, and the states that were signatories to the Genocide Convention[5] had to help bring those accused to justice. Another participant noted that the success of the Yugoslavia tribunal also depended upon its trying a large number of people from all sides of the conflict. Support should also be given to tribunals to ensure that they were able to provide for the physical and mental security of witnesses. This involved short-term protection, psychological counseling, and the possibility of relocation for the indefinite physical protection of witnesses. The international community needed to treat more seriously the issue of victim- and witness-protection at the international level.

For international actors working on the ground, it was difficult to maintain impartiality while supporting the work of a truth commission or tribunal. Staff of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), for instance, found it untenable that they could be witnesses for the International Criminal Tribunal and continue to be perceived as an impartial humanitarian agency in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Ms. Rehn concurred, indicating that despite her support for the work of the tribunal, it was important for her to maintain some distance from its proceedings in order to retain her credibility as an impartial actor by all the parties to the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.

Still, Ms. Rehn agreed with a great number of participants that a permanent International Criminal Court was needed, noting that it would also serve a preventive function by demonstrating to potential perpetrators of atrocities that they would be held accountable for their acts. Such a court could compensate for inadequate local capacity and the UN Security Council's reluctance to establish ad hoc tribunals. It would also be immune to veto by any major power on the UN Security Council and supplant the temptation to rely on truth commissions, which some participants argued would represent a considerable step backwards.

Peacebuilding and Demilitarization


Mr. Lionel Rosenblatt

President, Refugees International


Brigadier General Thomas Matthews

Commander of the 353rd Civil Affairs Command, New York


Lieutenant General Manfred Eisele

Assistant Secretary-General, Department of Peace-keeping Operations, United Nations

H.E. Dr. James Jonah

Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations and Former Chairman, Interim National Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone

This panel presented three distinct components of the military dimension of peacebuilding. General Matthews described his experience overseeing the civil affairs elements of IFOR's peace support operation in the former Yugoslavia. General Eisele spoke more broadly about the traditional military dimensions of United Nations peacekeeping. Ambassador Jonah then drew on the linkages between demobilization and the restoration of legitimacy to war-torn societies, focusing on the importance of free and fair elections as part of the final stage in the peacebuilding and demilitarization process.


Mr. Rosenblatt noted that genuine peacebuilding needed to compensate for a multitude of past sins and therefore entailed a complex blend of security concerns, economic issues from relief through development, and political reforms from reconciliation through institutionalization. He recalled a definition proposed earlier that peacebuilding was a process aimed at preventing armed conflict or, in the wake of armed conflict, consolidating peace and reconciliation. Peacebuilding sought to institute concrete measures in a particular order to prevent a political settlement from fraying and resulting in a new round of violence. In this process, it was critical to appreciate the roles of various actors, both national and international.

Brigadier General Thomas Matthews Commander of the 353rd Civil Affairs Command, New York

Brigadier General Matthews underscored the significance of IFOR having incorporated a wide range of civilian concerns into its peace support mission, which was reflected in the variety of civilian skills that the 350 military personnel responsible for civil-military cooperation brought to their mission.

Established by the Dayton Accords, the tasks assigned to the peace support mission of IFOR were complex and multi-sectoral. IFOR's civilian objectives were to be accomplished in cooperation with a wide array of civilian agencies, UN organizations, and hundreds of NGOs - a difficult task since no single agency had command or control over the other actors. IFOR, like some of the civilian actors, had also been granted only twelve months to fulfill its mandate. Given this short time-frame, and in accordance with its military nature, IFOR developed a detailed operational plan between September and December 1995, which it began to implement between 1995 and 11 June 1996. Regardless of whether operational plans were ever fully read or comprehensively used in practice, he urged both military and civilian actors to develop them as a way to facilitate civilian-military cooperation, especially at an early stage.

Still, the international community could not necessarily rely on "lessons learned" from the peace support operation in Bosnia to draw guidelines for future operations. Peacekeeping required customized solutions and focused studies of the unique needs of each operation. In the U.S., for instance, Operation Desert Storm had created false expectations that future operations would be fast, bloodless, and unambiguously successful. Any mission that would not meet the standard set by Desert Storm was likely to be resisted due to fear of "another Vietnam." In Bosnia, U.S. troops operated under extraordinary force protection requirements that were most likely the product of U.S. experience in Somalia, as were other demands to avoid "mission creep,"[6] "nation-building," and assistance to civilian agencies. In fact, General Matthews argued, no operation would be bloodless, and peace support operations needed to be seen more like marathons than sprints. "Mission creep," if defined as military involvement in civilian aspects of peace, was moreover a requirement for a genuinely successful peace operation.

NATO recognized that civilian agencies in Bosnia would be likely to arrive in the region after IFOR had already established a presence. Parallel to the military mission, NATO therefore created a civil-military coalition to facilitate the establishment of civilian organizations. NATO understood from the beginning that early success for civilian agencies was critical to the military exit strategy. It was imperative that there was no military "signature" on civilian agency successes and that IFOR support agencies behind the scenes. If IFOR was overtly active in the rebuilding of civil society, it risked being seen by the public as indispensable for the resumption and continuation of normal life.

NATO's expectations that civilian agencies would take longer to start up proved to be correct. IFOR's capacity to mobilize quickly enabled it to support these agencies as they set up operations in the field. Just as incoming civilian agencies were able to build on IFOR's presence, IFOR had been able to use the logistics, communications networks, and buildings set up by its predecessor, UNPROFOR. This was a significant lesson: a first peacekeeping mission must always build structures easily transferable to the next operational entity.

IFOR also worked to avoid duplication of efforts and did not get involved in activities that others were already doing well, such as UNHCR's expert handling of refugee relief, or where IFOR risked compromising impartiality, as in the capture and prosecution of war criminals or the quelling of civil disturbances, both of which it felt were the job of civilian police forces. To manage artificially high expectations among the population about the discovery of missing persons and the International Criminal Tribunal's ability to exact justice for all war criminals, IFOR ran an information campaign, planned and executed jointly with civilian agencies, which was generally successful. IFOR also worked to discourage an exaggerated sense of security among donor governments which might prompt them to stop funding post-war efforts after IFOR's departure. The entire peace mission risked failure if civilian agencies lost the financial support of the international community.

General Matthews also argued that labor-intensive projects with an emphasis on employing demobilized soldiers should be made a priority. In Bosnia, the unemployment rate was estimated to be 65 percent. While demobilizing soldiers would only increase that number by an estimated 4 percent, it was a potentially lethal 4 percent.

Finally, implementation and administration were rarely incorporated into the development of peace agreements. Peace negotiations focused almost exclusively on obtaining agreement, and the Dayton agreement was no exception. As a result, it largely addressed the "what" rather than the critical "how" of peacebuilding. Although time and circumstances might not always allow it, where possible, consideration had to be given to the details of how a peace plan would be implemented and who would do it. General Matthews also recommended that the U.S. government and the international community be clear about post-IFOR plans to ensure maximum support both during and after Bosnia's upcoming elections and to avoid potential future problems.

General Matthews concluded by suggesting that the art of peace was new but that peace support operations would continue to be an essential role of the military. The lives of millions of soldiers had been lost in the world's recent wars. Civilian costs of war from massive loss of life and the flight of refugees and internally displaced were also enormously high. In response, the military had to continue to adapt its methodology for peacekeeping and peace support. The challenge for all actors involved must be to do the right thing rather than the safe thing, and to make parochial goals and agendas secondary to the success of the larger mission.

Lieutenant General Manfred Eisele Assistant Secretary-General, Department of Peace-keeping Operations, United Nations

Lieutenant General Eisele focussed his remarks on the many military tasks of peacekeeping. Peace did not automatically result from a peacekeeping plan. Peacekeepers could set an initial direction, but the chosen path had to be sustained by others. Recent news from Mozambique, to give one example, suggested that peace was no longer guaranteed. He viewed this renewed fragility as a direct result of the international community's failure to meet the needs of the Mozambican soldiers. The international community had disbursed a monthly allowance to demobilized soldiers but never trained them in an employable skill. With allowances ending, the soldiers would need to find subsistence from other sources.

Demobilization of UNITA in Angola had also encountered numerous problems. Donor pledges had not materialized, and there had been no immediate progress with demobilization. UNITA had been quartered and turned in some light arms, but the international community needed a plan to provide former soldiers with alternative means for sustenance, either through job training or by setting aside land for settlement and cultivation.

In general, a prerequisite for lasting stability was the peacekeepers' ability to reorient soldiers toward reconstruction. Soldiers could, for example, be trained and employed in rebuilding roads and bridges, schools and other public infrastructure as a part of peacebuilding. Former enemy factions could also be reintegrated into a single national army, a policy which had shown promise in Namibia, South Africa, and Germany. However, it had to be recognized that building a national army required more than handing out new uniforms. All parties had to be convinced that they owned the future of their country.

Demining was another activity that former soldiers could undertake. Landmines posed a major obstacle to distribution of land and the resumption of agriculture. An encouraging sign in Angola was the creation of a demining school by the UN peacekeeping operation, where UNITA and government soldiers were trained side-by-side and formed integrated demining teams. In many countries and situations, demining was often the most appropriate occupation for former soldiers.

Even with the added costs of training, General Eisele noted that demobilization was far less expensive than peacekeeping. Demobilizing one soldier accrued a one-time cost of between U.S. $1,000 - $4,000. Employing one UN peacekeeper to intervene in a conflict cost U.S. $1,000 for only one month, a salary that could continue for many months or even years. Demobilization was much more cost-effective; member states should therefore not hesitate to finance it.

Demilitarization was a completely separate task from demobilization and demining. True demilitarization involved pacifying an entire country and often required a complete transformation of society. In most post-conflict settings, including Angola, people had grown accustomed to resorting to military solutions for all social problems. They had to learn new ways to resolve conflicts, a process which could take decades. The "creeping genocide" that prevailed in Rwanda and Burundi, where the UN was also engaged, represented a form of unresolved conflict as well. Unfortunately, there appeared to be little interest among the international community to address conflicts which were essentially civilian in character, principally affected the local population, and involved no prized strategic resources.

Ambassador James Jonah Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations and Former Chairman, and Interim National Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone

Ambassador Jonah suggested that peacekeeping, especially effective demobilization, could build peace by paving the way to elections. The central issue at stake in building post-conflict peace and stability was one of legitimacy. The only method to resolve the question of legitimacy was through elections, which were particularly important for the resolution of Africa's internal conflicts. Ambassador Jonah discounted the idea proposed by some in Africa that democracy was a Western concept; he argued instead that democracy was a human process and therefore applied to all of humankind. Africans could still choose an interpretation of democratic procedure that best suited their societies.

In Sierra Leone, for instance, voting based on proportional representation was more sensible than election outcomes based on simple majorities. The legitimacy which came from an election had to be based on true popular support and not military power, which was impossible if one side remained heavily armed. Ambassador Jonah explained that in Angola, as in Sierra Leone, demobilization had not occurred prior to elections, and returns were not surprisingly considered illegitimate. He predicted that Liberia would also be denied free and fair elections until the process of demobilization had been accomplished.

The role of refugees, and particularly the timetable for repatriation, had to be taken into account in any post-conflict electoral process. In Sierra Leone, refugees did not really represent any one party to the conflict. Because that conflict had been driven more by widespread banditry than by tribal or territorial allegiance, it was less important that voting be postponed until refugees could repatriate. In Rwanda, the situation was completely different. Refugees had be able to return safely prior to elections in order for the country to heal and elections to have meaning.

The expectations of the international community during an electoral process also had to be managed. Donor governments had erroneously expected each election to operate like their own, ignoring the unique cultural and political factors which molded all political processes. A situation like Sierra Leone', where minimally organized factions fought in limited pockets of the country, differed from that of Angola or Mozambique, where parties had been well-organized and ideologically based, at least at the outset of the conflict. In Sierra Leone, the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) had used the argument that they were fighting a "military regime." With the advent of successful democratic elections, that regime and the rationale for ongoing tensions were destroyed. Thus, just as demobilization was a prerequisite for successful elections, the outcome of elections could, in turn, bolster demilitarization and peacebuilding in a conflict-ridden society.


Discussion emphasized three general themes: the role and definition of peacekeeping operations and the respective capacities of the UN or others to perform various peacekeeping tasks; the function of civilian police; and the interlinked processes of demobilization, demining, demilitarization and disarmament. Consensus emerged that a troubling gap had been opened by the international community's inability to arrest indicted war criminals, that training of civil police and a smooth transfer of functions were integral to peacebuilding, and that demobilization of soldiers could be effectively linked to the important tasks of demining and reconstructing war-torn societies.

In response to comments from participants, Ambassador Jonah suggested that the international community was at a moment of crisis regarding the future of peacekeeping. After decades of involvement in peacekeeping and demobilization, the UN and governments were reluctant to get involved. Instead, single powerful governments were taking over the role of peaceful intervenor. This was likely to be counter-productive since there were certain aspects of peacekeeping for which big powers, such as the U.S., refused to take responsibility. The world's major powers should not be the only actors in peace operations. Rather, peacekeeping had to be a UN effort. The international community had to give the UN the financial and political backing necessary for effective intervention before, during and after conflicts.

Dr. Schoettle commented that resources were limited for the expansive list of activities now often included in peacekeeping operations. She urged that cost-benefit analysis be strictly applied to each peacekeeping task and all appropriate activities be turned over to national governments or other civilian actors. Otherwise, any national government dependent on high levels of funding from the international community would court a kind of illegitimacy.

Ms. Ogata asked that the limits of mandates be defined more clearly. With IFOR, for example, it was not clear which civilian sectors it would allow its mission to "creep" into and which it would not. This created problems in day-to-day operations. In February-March 1996, for example, when authority in Sarajevo was transferred from Bosnian Serb to Muslim-Croat Federation control, rogue Bosnian Serb elements set houses on fire, terrorized residents, and forced people out of the Sarajevo suburbs. She believed that IFOR could have contained the situation and thereby saved lives. However, IFOR had argued that it could not respond because it lacked a fire-fighting capacity. She argued for greater flexibility such as that which allowed UNHCR to address the emergency, by setting up safe houses for victims during the fires. Additional sectors which she felt were appropriate for peacekeepers' involvement included demobilization, demilitarization, and demining.

Ambassador Lyman agreed that in Bosnia there was a gap in dealing with civil unrest which needed to be filled. Nonetheless, he concurred with both General Matthews and General Eisele, in principle, that a multinational force such as IFOR should not interfere in civilian riots or large-scale demonstrations. Moreover, such civil unrest could actually undermine IFOR's own mission and its ability to withdraw at an appropriate time. Such tasks should be left to the civil police instead. Their role had increased over recent years, as had that of the UN in establishing civil police forces in places like Haiti and Bosnia. Post-conflict societies needed to establish a functioning system of law and order by training the civilian police and building up citizens' confidence in them. The training of civil police in riot control and containment of large-scale civil disturbances, however, was an appropriate task for a multinational force such as IFOR and should be built into its mandate and force structure.

General Matthews explained that Bosnia was unique in there not having been enough time to launch major training efforts for civil police forces. This lack of training put pressure on the IPTF to fill the gap. The hierarchy of roles in the case of civil disturbance should therefore begin with the local police, who could then be backed up by an international police force like the IPTF. A multinational peacekeeping force should stand even further in the background. IFOR, in particular, was trained as a military and high lethal force, rendering it an extremely risky actor to deal with civil disturbances.

Many participants argued that demobilized soldiers and members of militia be channeled into legitimate employment via a civilian police force. Vetting of the civilian police had to be undertaken at the outset, particularly in order to screen out human rights abusers. The orientation of soldiers would also have to be shifted from protecting the nation or the state to protecting the citizens.

There was general agreement that demining was a useful task for demobilized soldiers. Many participants called for a stronger international effort on demining, beyond the activities established by the UN Departments of Peace-keeping Operations and Humanitarian Affairs respectively. An NGO representative asked for a more standardized UN methodology whereby demining would be given first priority in the peacekeeping process. Ambassador Jonah emphasized the need for coordination of international funding for demining, even if the operation itself was implemented by the national government. Further, a number of speakers urged a complete and total ban on the production and use of landmines.

Another factor important to consider during demobilization was education, Ms. Ogata emphasized. She recalled that the demobilization of American soldiers after World War II was secured by the introduction of the GI bill and questioned why this success had not been translated into demobilization efforts in other parts of the world. Mr. Odaga-Jalomayo of Uganda argued that although a peacekeeping mission should also undertake the demobilization of soldiers, the national government had significant responsibility for this process. The government should therefore control the disbursement of funds to encourage demobilized soldiers to form corporations and small businesses.

Ambassador Nobilo of Croatia noted, however, the challenge of demobilization in Bosnia, where political power was based on military power. A number of participants had argued that the peacekeeping operation and the potential for a lasting peace in the former Yugoslavia were at risk because the Dayton Accords were not in fact a peace settlement but rather a cease-fire agreement. Ambassador Nobilo suggested that the missing link in the Dayton agreement was the provision of long-term collective security for the region.

Another participant pointed to the need to stop the flow of arms to any post-conflict region. The demobilization of soldiers depended on the successful comple-tion of this task, he argued. General Eisele agreed that disarmament was important, but insisted that it should come after demobilization and as a part of the long-term process of demilitarization. Arms were never a danger, he argued, unless people were willing to use them.

Still, many participants, including a former senior political advisor for one of Dayton's civilian agencies, were pessimistic about the chances for peace in Bosnia, given the continued ethnic divisions and impunity for indicted war criminals. Several criticized IFOR's reluctance to arrest indicted war criminals. The fact that the criminals had been indicted obliged the international community to act, and a multinational peacekeeping operation was the one entity with a clear capacity to do so.

General Matthews suggested, however, that IFOR would compromise its neutrality, and derail various efforts to teach people that military action was not the ultimate solution for all problems. A number of participants agreed that IFOR had been given contradictory tasks and that by arresting war criminals, IFOR might compromise another element of its mandate. Another international force, either a hypothetical entity linked to the International Tribunal or an actual military force coming from the OSCE or the EU, should be given the task of apprehending indicted war criminals. Mr.Rosenblatt concluded that this was still a significant lacuna in the international system needing to be filled.

Multilateral Action for Sustaining Peace


Mr. Charles William Maynes

Editor, Foreign Policy


H.E. Mr. Hisashi Owada

Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations


Dr. David Hamburg

President, Carnegie Corporation of New York

Ambassador Princeton Lyman

Assistant Secretary of State Designate for International Organization Affairs, U.S. Department of State.

Mr. Maynes introduced the session by raising three issues that could hobble multilateral action: compliance, finances, and management. Underlying each, he suggested, was ambiguity about the make-up of "the international community" which needed clarification before policy options could be debated and decisions made. Ambassador Owada put the issue of multilateral action in a broad context, emphasizing that regional conflicts had to be treated comprehensively, with linkage between conflict-prevention, peacekeeping, and post-conflict peacebuilding. He also called for significantly greater degrees of multilateral coordination. Dr. Hamburg, in turn, drew on his work with the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict and proposed the establishment of a "civilian equivalent" to NATO that could assume the many civilian responsibilities of post-conflict reconstruction. Finally, Ambassador Lyman focused on the respective responsibilities of the international community and national leaderships in conflict-ridden societies, putting into this context the constraints on policymaking faced by a national government such as that of the U.S.


Could multilateral action truly sustain a fragile peace process? Three issues were especially salient, Mr.Maynes proposed, as he opened the session. First came the question of compliance and the capacity of international actors to ensure that formerly warring parties complied with the terms and spirit of a peace settlement. Inside states, authorities ensured compliance through their legal monopoly on the use of force and power to tax. In the international arena, there was no power to tax and the use of force was sanctioned only rarely, ambiguously, and at great cost. Allied powers after the Second World War had been in a rare position of complete victory over their adversaries. Today's post-conflict settings did not offer the international community such clear lines, either between victor and vanquished or in defining the common interests of allied powers. Multilateral efforts had to rely on such instruments as moral pressure and political suasion, each of which had clear limitations. Economic sanctions were also problematic because of the differential burden they imposed on the sanctioning states themselves. Moreover, none of these methods was likely to compel a regime to comply, especially when the goal was to have the regime surrender its power.

Second, many international organizations were in financial crisis, and the international community had no reliable source of funding for the long-term programs that post-war societies required. One source of hope lay with international financial institutions like the World Bank and the IMF, which were increasingly providing reconstruction and transition assistance, previously the reserve of national governments.

Third, the coordination of multilateral efforts still posed problems. Few peace agreements were so tightly written that they left no room for interpretation. Among multilateral actors, differences invariably arose with no obvious way to resolve them, as evident in both Somalia and Bosnia. The UN Security Council, unfortunately, had shown itself unable to provide guidance. Only two options therefore appeared viable: to strengthen the secretariats of international organizations, or to appoint a lead state that would ensure coherence and coordination of specific multilateral efforts.

Finally, Mr. Maynes suggested that an underlying problem was the lack of a clear definition of the "international community" and its membership. If international engagement was to extend beyond emergency aid to help afflicted populations acquire the tools with which to resume normal life, a frank, concrete discussion about who constituted the international community was necessary. Only then could the merits of multilateral options, respective commitments, or resource availability be debated.

H.E. Mr. Hisashi Owada Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations

From conflict prevention through peacekeeping to post-conflict peacebuilding, Ambassador Owada began, international efforts had to grapple with the issue of social and ethnic identity that fueled so many contemporary wars. Community identity had a double edge. At one turn, it was a source of pride and cohesion; at another, a source of discrimination and enmity. Complicating this double edge of community identity was the fact that the boundaries between communities rarely fit the international juridical boundaries between states. From the developing world to Europe, smaller communities with easily identifiable interests were increasingly claiming autonomy against the claims to sovereignty of established nation-states.

The international community had to discover techniques to encourage the constructive face of identity to eclipse the destructive. Education, and the inculcation of tolerant, humane values, might offer the only lasting solution, but there remained room for a wide range of complementary international actions. On a political and diplomatic level, regional organizations could rely on their greater insight into local conditions to devise and implement policies sensitive to social and cultural contexts. On an economic and social level, a well-coordinated multilateral framework for development assistance could also be powerfully supportive, since economic and social equity bore heavily on social and political stability and perceptions of difference among groups.

Peacekeeping had changed dramatically since the end of the Cold War, requiring new partnerships among diplomatic, military and civilian activities, including the newly prominent NGOs. Collaboration and coordination were even more critical in post-conflict peacebuilding, where rehabilitation could not be accomplished without full cooperation among members of the international community. Peacebuilding required national reconciliation, which demanded the active and sustained involvement of local and regional actors. NGOs had a particular contribution to make. Many local and international NGOs had worked on the ground throughout the lifespan of a conflict, acquiring in the process a unique expertise about local dynamics and conditions. NGOs also offered ways to begin peacebuilding work in the absence of a fully functioning government and in the prelude to a cease-fire and settlement.

Efforts at each stage of conflict needed to be closely coordinated and mutually reinforcing. Work to promote democratic processes should go hand-in-hand with peacekeeping operations, and peacekeeping had to place greater emphasis on assisting democratic development. Refugee assistance, in turn, had to be coordinated with other forms of assistance so that refugees would neither be refused nor prematurely repatriated. Assistance also had to begin as soon as possible after a cease-fire was achieved.

Humanitarian and development work needed to be better coordinated to ensure a smooth transition between emergency relief and long-term recovery. Institutional mechanisms had to be developed for policy consultation among agency headquarters. The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) was one possible forum in which multilateral agencies could meet regularly to synchronize policy. In the field as well, the complementarity between humanitarian and development work had not yet been fully appreciated and coordination could be improved. Humanitarian projects could catalyze longer-term development and take the initiative at early stages of reconstruction through efforts such as UNHCR's Quick Impact Projects, while development agencies could ensure that delivery of emergency relief was undertaken in a manner that was sustainable and did not breed dependency. Development agencies could also use the expertise and facilities established by humanitarian agencies.

Greater coordination between multilateral and bilateral efforts was also essential. Multilateral actors, by virtue of a longer presence, often had expertise from which newly arrived bilateral actors could benefit. Multilateral-bilateral partnerships could develop along various lines. Donors could channel resources into a multilateral trust fund and appoint a multilateral agency to disburse the funds and implement all projects. Another option was to use bilateral resources to extend activities previously initiated by multilateral agencies. A third possibility was joint multilateral-bilateral assistance, like that given by Japan and UNDP in Cambodia.

In all international efforts, the physical safety of humanitarian and development personnel had to be ensured, lest governments be increasingly reluctant to commit their citizens to multilateral efforts. The UN General Assembly's recent adoption of a convention[7] on the safety of multilateral personnel was a step forward, but more improvement was urgently needed.

Ultimately, effective multilateral action depended on a sense of human solidarity among the international community. Without deepening and extending the community of shared human values, the international community would be unable to muster the political will to act in concert when those values were flouted. International humanitarian action in many parts of the world was an important expression of solidarity, as well as a means to consolidate and extend it further. The cases of Rwanda and Burundi, however, where concerted humanitarian action had not been mobilized, also demonstrated how fragile such a solidarity remained. The challenge was to expand common values and mobilize the political will of major international players so that multilateral action could go beyond responding to humanitarian emergencies toward sustaining peace.

Dr. David Hamburg President, Carnegie Corporation of New York

Dr. Hamburg reflected on his work with the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict, in the course of which a great number of proposals had been considered to contend with the broad spectrum of mass violence. He personally supported the establishment of a "Corps for Peace and Democracy," which would act as a civilian equivalent to NATO and be tasked with fulfilling the multitude of civilian functions required for peacebuilding. In Bosnia, Rwanda and elsewhere, the civilian side of international engagement was the weaker and yet, arguably, the more critical factor in building peace. Currently, UNHCR came closest to undertaking such a role, but the civilian components of any complex peacebuilding operation went far beyond UNHCR's mandate. Given their ample resources and commitment to democratization as an essential com-ponent of peacebuilding, established democracies had a special responsibility to help develop such a corps.

The complexity of democratic transitions was still not fully understood. The international community needed to accept that no single model was correct but rather that models and mechanisms had to be tailored to the traditions and cultures of a given society. Democratic "successes" had to be measured by processes rather than outcomes, and in decades rather than years. Elections, however important, were only a part of this intricate process. Established democracies also had to be prepared to give sustained support to fragile new democracies, including technical assistance, special economic considerations, mediation when conflict threatened to overwhelm young democratic institutions, and possibly even military support.

Consolidating a democratic peace required the transformation of both military and civilian sectors of society. Combatants had to emerge from wartime existence with the possibility of a dignified peacetime career. They could play a powerful role in a civilian economy but often required retraining. The international community had to develop concrete mechanisms, such as regular military-to-military contacts, to prevent the military from becoming a recurring source of destabilization. Civilians, in turn, needed education about the principles and operational details of democracy, especially its mechanisms for conflict-resolution. "Peer learning" was invaluable, as was technical assistance in democratic engineering. Both established and emerging democracies were acquiring a well-tested menu of policy options to achieve fair representation for groups as well as individuals. In the era of modern telecommunications, societies could learn quickly about democratic practices and then adapt the various mechanisms to their own needs. It was extremely important to provide new democracies with this range of options to help them meet the specific needs of post-conflict situations.

International economic assistance also had a powerful role to play in sustaining a fragile peace. Donors could channel loans to projects that required the cooperation of previously hostile groups, for instance. The manner of financial involvement could also reinforce broad social participation, so that all major groups were explicitly given a stake in the economic development of the country.

In reference to Mr. Maynes' query on who constituted the international community, Dr. Hamburg noted that it comprised all of the actors mentioned by Mr.Maynes - inter-governmental organizations, regional organizations, national governments, and NGOs - as well as the media, private industry, and the religious and scientific communities, all of which had the capacity either to stave off or provoke violence, and had to be incorporated into any effective strategy for preventing or recovering from deadly conflict.

Ambassador Princeton Lyman Assistant Secretary of State Designate for International Organization Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Ambassador Lyman expressed concern that an excessive invocation of the "international community" could shift the burden of responsibility too far from the leadership in war-torn countries. While he acknowledged that conflicts could be heavily influenced by international factors, as Dr. Woodward had shown in the former Yugoslavia, he also noted that many other societies underwent difficult transitions and structural adjustment without experiencing inter-communal hatred, civil war, or even genocide.

Vast resources were expended in conflict-ridden countries, taking away funds from assistance to other societies who dealt with difficult transitions without exploding into violence. Two years of emergency work in Rwanda, for instance, cost the U.S. $750 million, roughly equal to the entire U.S. aid program to Africa. Beyond questions of fairness, such imbalance affected the international community's capacity to mobilize political and financial support for post-conflict engagement.

He was troubled by the expressed willingness of the international community to enter the scene of war crimes and help remedy a situation for which local leaders had been principally responsible. Warring parties only learned that they could ravage their country and expect the international community to clean up the damage.

South Africa was an instructive case. When significant violence kept interrupting negotiations, many, including Archbishop Tutu, called for a UN peacekeeping force. But no outside force could have quickly understood the complex dynamics of violence in the country. South African leaders instead refused to interrupt negotiations and dealt with the violence in a way that could be sustained domestically, by reaching agreements that avoided the descent into civil war and by undertaking over the long term the retraining of its own security forces.

Regional organizations and neighboring states also had certain responsibilities in containing conflicts. It was difficult for other international actors to support the peacekeeping force in Liberia, for example, if governments in the region were at the same time arming one of the protagonists.

Ambassador Lyman placed a high priority on prevention. Given that societies in conflict required vastly greater resources and engagement than societies engaged in transitions and development in the absence of violence, the international community had to make strenuous efforts to prevent war from igniting. Early engagement at diplomatic levels was critical. In the former Yugoslavia, for example, the international community reacted far too late to the exclusionary and violent policies of Serbian and Croatian leaders, even though these were discernible early on. Both on the national and the international level, every policy option had to be considered and appropriately brought to bear.

It was equally important for policymaking within the U.S. government that all issues be vigorously debated and various grounds for action assessed, from the level of domestic support through humanitarian and strategic imperatives. The outcome of this process could not always be predicted, however. The U.S. had intervened in Somalia and Haiti, for example, even though these interventions had been domestically unpopular.

Finally, he suggested that although comprehensive and integrated planning might be desirable, the international community rarely worked that way, and, managing inconsistencies often became the primary task. The result was not necessarily bad, however. If IFOR did not arrest Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, for instance, it did not mean that the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia was a failure. Especially in complex settings of war-torn societies, the international community needed to accept and work with its limitations rather than expend resources to ensure perfection.


Discussion touched on several issues. Participants cited the many obstacles to effective multilateral strategies, including an excessive focus on short-term results, conflicting national agendas, limited resources and donor fatigue. There was widespread recognition of the importance of qualified and innovative leadership both within organizations, and in relations between them. Throughout the discussion, fundamental themes recurred, including accountability and coordination within the international community, its membership and the problem of generating shared political will. Together, these issues testified to the profound dislocations in world politics with which the international community is only beginning to grapple.

Improved coordination among international actors proved a highly salient theme during discussion. Queried on the accountability of coordinators, Ambassador Owada explained that coordination was less a matter of directing other organizations than ensuring that all were operating within a harmonious framework. Policy had to be coordinated at the highest levels, ideally by the Security Council, although additional mechanisms were clearly required. One senior UN official remarked on the high degree of inter-agency competition in the field and urged the UN and other agencies to express confidence in a field coordinator. Echoing this point, Ambassador Lyman noted that the individual skills of a Special Representative of the Secretary-General were perhaps the greatest determinant of success.

Ms. Ogata pointed out that coordinators were distinct from commanders. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, for instance, the top military official was a commander whereas the top civilian official, the High Representative, had no authority to command. Capacity, expectations, and accountability followed accordingly. However, what still needed to be clarified was whether the UN Secretary-General and his Special Representatives were coordinators or commanders.

Ambassador Lyman added that with an increasing emphasis on the civilian and political side of peacekeeping and growing recognition of the constraints on its military side, improvement of the UN's ability to take on these roles, especially through the Secretary-General's Special Representatives, was desirable. Another participant added that the new civilian agenda for building peace would require changes in the operation of the Security Council, if not in the UN more generally.

The comments of many participants reflected the degree to which the international community and its institutions themselves were undergoing profound transition. One American participant noted that several large organizations, shepherded by innovative leaders like Ms. Ogata at UNHCR, Mr. Wolfenson at the World Bank and Mr. Camdessus at the IMF, were proactively incorporating the needs of conflict-damaged societies into their organization's work. It was states that were lagging behind.

Many participants expressed concern about the lack of accountability within the international community. Mr. Maynes argued that all states had to shoulder the responsibilities that were genuinely theirs. In many cases, it was false to place responsibility for a conflict only on the local warring factions. During the Cold War, for example, the U.S. had spent millions of dollars in Afghanistan, fueling violence in a country that was now off of America's political agenda. Political support needed to be mobilized to re-engage in countries that continued to suffer the effects of the Cold War, whether through media coverage, human rights documentation, lobbying by the Secretary-General or by concerned states.

Additional responsibilities arose for neighboring states that served as conduits for arms shipments and states whose private companies operated in and profited from conflict-torn societies. Liberia stood as a cruel example, where foreign-owned mining companies had worked for years, enriching the coffers of Charles Taylor's faction; Burkina Faso had channeled arms; Côte d'Ivoire had become an outlet for the timber trade; and the ECOWAS Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) was involved in rubber and timber exports.

Ms. MacDonald also pointed out that while local leaders and soldiers planted landmines, it was companies in Western democracies that produced them - at current count, 100 million ready for export to countries like Burkina Faso or Sierra Leone. She urged support for a total ban on their manufacture, and challenged the U.S. especially to exert leadership on this issue. Mr. Maynes argued that attention and public pressure be used to expose such relationships, which thrived primarily in the shadows.

Overall, participants recognized the inadequacy of political will for the long-term course required to sustain peace. The international community needed to find more effective mechanisms to police its members. Still, several participants expressed their encouragement that the many organizations and countries represented at this conference evinced a desire to find durable solutions for the casualties of war.

Closing Statements


In my view, there are five critical themes that deserve continuing reflection as the conference draws to a close.

First, healing the wounds necessarily involves a process of transformation. People and societies emerging from violent conflict have to reorient themselves fundamentally and transform the way they have seen and treated each other, especially those previously viewed as enemies. Societies have to move from exclusion to inclusion, from alienation to participation, and from rampant impunity to accountability. Post-war communities need to weave a fabric of genuine solidarity within; this solidarity can then be reinforced by the international community.

Second, the most important part of healing takes place at the local, community level. To recover from protracted war, a society has to incorporate all the wounded, including those less often embraced by post-war efforts. It is important that traditional methods and actors not be excluded from this process; that women be recognized as potentially powerful "agents of healing" and given political and social space; that civil society's particular role be recognized and encouraged; and that the special vulnerability of children and youth receive focused attention.

Third, wounds of war are not just social, physical, or even psychological, but also spiritual, which is a dimension of healing that is often neglected. The international community and its many institutions are not presently well-equipped to provide spiritual healing. Our training and our habits are so powerfully shaped by the rational traditions of the Enlightenment that we find it difficult to speak about the spiritual dimensions of life, however much we may recognize their necessity. Yet, societies emerging from violence have deep spiritual wounds. Traditional norms and values have been damaged, if not destroyed, and individuals have descended to levels of hate and distrust that have brutalized the core of their humanity. Healing these kinds of wounds may be facilitated by policies and projects, but ultimate healing has to take place at the spiritual level.

Fourth, there is need to develop a systematic strategy for building peace beyond prescribing specific "mechanisms" and techniques. Multidimensional by nature, an effective strategy for peacebuilding will need to mobilize the expertise of many leaders who are often left out of the process: business leaders, schools and teachers, churches and religious leaders, psychologists and psychiatrists, and others. For all the variation among contexts, peace will only be sustainably built in a post-war society by mobilizing the energies of all of these actors.

Finally, we have to insist, even against our own worst fears, that healing is possible. History tells us so. Brothers and sisters who have descended into enmity have also restored shared lives and become a community once again. Religious traditions also tell us so, with most sacred texts proclaiming the always-present possibility of reconciliation and forgiveness. It is not that peace does not require arduous effort and continued vigilance. Indeed, restoring peace takes time and patience, mutual humility and forgiveness, systematic strategies and leadership, and above all, a vision of a future beyond war and the circumstances and frustrations that had fueled it. These past two days have not only allowed us to focus on appropriate tools, effective strategies, and critical support for building peace, but also sustained and strengthened our commitment to collective healing.


"Healing the wounds" is a difficult, multifaceted process, whose complexities are even more evident after two days of in-depth discussion. The humanitarian cannot be separated from the political, nor the immediate from the long-term, nor rehabilitation from development - each dimension is a necessary component of rebuilding peace.

Healing the wounds involves building bridges, both between groups and peoples who have been at war, but also among partners in the international community. Many of the interlocking aspects of various operations and activities have been discussed: peacemaking, peacekeeping, demilitarization, reconstruction, democratization, and, of course, refugee repatriation. Bridging these efforts has to be part of a coherent framework for helping war-torn societies to heal.

There are a number of essential elements of an effective transition to peace.

First, all conflicts are unique, in their nature, intensity, framework for compromise and priority needs, which means that any peacebuilding strategy has to be sensitive to context.

Second, the causes of conflict have to be better analyzed, to prevent restoring a status quo ante that may have centrally contributed to the outbreak of conflict.

Third, healing of groups and communities takes time. The conference's widespread recognition, in contrast to the international community's impatience, that healing requires a realistic time-frame, especially where repatriation is concerned, is heartening. It is also encouraging to hear so many participants' willingness to stay the long course in developing the package of elements necessary for successful repatriation. Inter-community healing requires time, because it means restoring common values and rebuilding a common identity.

Fourth, healing the wounds requires a multifaceted, integrated strategy. This means that multilateralism is more necessary in peacebuilding than ever and that bilateral efforts have to complement multilateral policies. It requires that equal weight be given to the civilian aspects of peace alongside its military dimensions, including the possibility raised by Dr.Hamburg of establishing a civilian equivalent to NATO. It also means that coordination and unity of purpose are vital. The competing goals of the peace process need to be thought through carefully and strategically, especially those of peace and justice. Too strenuous an attachment to justice can render peace elusive, while disproportionate attention to healing can obscure justice issues that will re-emerge as sources of future conflict. Though this conference has emphasized the importance of revealing "truth" about past crimes, truth can have various faces, and healing requires much more than justice.

Fifth, imaginative techniques to build peace have to be developed, and those involved have to be prepared to take risks. The period between the end of war and the beginning of peace is delicate, and the pace of reconstruction often determines the pace of peace. Conditioning reconstruction assistance upon progress in peacebuilding can therefore be counterproductive.

Sixth, there is need for greater recognition of women in reconciliation and of the importance of education. In this context, it is also important to recognize those forces which can block healing. These forces, whether they arise from the media, militias, political leadership, religious leadership, or prevailing impunity, need to be contained.

Finally, it is valuable that this conference has dealt less with the specific challenges of refugee repatriation. While return of displaced persons and refugees is essential to reconciliation, successful repatriation also depends upon all the dimensions of peacebuilding. The eagerness for dialogue which I have witnessed in the past days is also deeply encouraging. If the most crucial factor in mobilizing international efforts is ultimately human solidarity, as Ambassador Owada has suggested, then it is heartening that humanitarian action can be a focal point in mobilizing this solidarity.




11:00 - 12:00 p.m.       OPENING SESSION
Welcome: Dr. John Lewis, Professor of Economics and International Affairs, Emeritus, Princeton University
Opening Addresses: Mr. Olara A. Otunnu, President, International Peace Academy and Ms. Sadako Ogata, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

1:00 - 3:00 p.m.           CASE STUDY I: THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
Chair: H.E. Mr. John Weston, KCMG, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations
Panelists: Mr. Søren Jessen-Petersen, Special Envoy, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; Ambassador Brunson McKinley, Bosnia Humanitarian Coordinator, U.S. Department of State; Dr. Susan L. Woodward, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

3:15 - 5:15 p.m.           CASE STUDY II: RWANDA
Chair: H.E. Mr. Daudi Ngelautwa Mwakawago, Permanent Representative of the United Republic of Tanzania to the United Nations
Panelists: Mr. Carrol Faubert, former Special Envoy, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Director, Regional Bureau for the Americas & Caribbean, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva; Mr. Iain Guest, Senior Fellow, U.S. Institute for Peace; H.E. Mr. Jan Pronk, Minister for Development Cooperation, the Netherlands

7:00 p.m.          RECEPTION AND DINNER
Introduction: Ms. Sadako Ogata, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Address: H.E. Mr. Jan Pronk, Minister for Development Cooperation, the Netherlands


9:00 - 11:00 a.m.          PANEL I: RECONSTRUCTION
Chair: H.E. Dr. Tunguru Huaraka, Permanent Representative of Namibia to the United Nations
Speaker: The Honourable Flora MacDonald, Chair, International Development Research Centre
Commentators: Mr. Mark Malloch Brown, Vice-President of External Affairs, The World Bank; Ambassador Jonathan Moore, Associate, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and Senior Adviser to the Administrator, UNDP

Chair: Mr. Alvaro de Soto, Assistant Secretary-General, Department of Political Affairs, United Nations
Speaker: Ms. Elisabeth Rehn, United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the territory of former Yugoslavia
Commentators: Dr. Richard Falk, The Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law and Practice, Princeton University; H.E. Mr. Colin Keating, Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the United Nations; Mr. William Shawcross, Chairman, Article 19: Centre Against Censorship

Chair: Mr. Lionel Rosenblatt, President, Refugees International
Speaker: Brigadier General Thomas Matthews, Commander of the 353rd Civil Affairs Command, New York
Commentators: Mr. (Lieutenant General) Manfred Eisele, Assistant Secretary-General, United Nations Department of Peace-keeping Operations; H.E. Dr. James Jonah, Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations and Former Chairman, Interim National Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone

11:30 -1:00 p.m.          PANEL REPORTS
Chair: Mr. Olara A. Otunnu, President, International Peace Academy

Chair: Mr. Charles William Maynes, Editor, Foreign Policy
Speaker: H.E. Mr. Hisashi Owada, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
Commentators: Dr. David Hamburg, President, Carnegie Corporation of New York; Ambassador Princeton Lyman, Assistant Secretary Designate for International Organization Affairs, U.S. Department of State

4:00 - 4:30 p.m.           CLOSING SESSION
Mr. Olara A. Otunnu, President, International Peace Academy and Ms. Sadako Ogata, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees


List of Participants


Ogata, Sadako United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Otunnu, Olara A. President, International Peace Academy


Aeschlimann, Alain Coordinator of the Legal Delegates to the Operations, in charge of African Affairs, ICRC Geneva

Ball, Nicole Director, Program on Enhancing Security and Development, Overseas Development Council

Bassani, Fabrizio S. Dr. Director, Division of Emergency and Humanitarian Action, World Health Organization

Bassir Pour, Afsane Diplomatic Correspondent of Le Monde at the United Nations

Bearg Dyke, Nancy Director, International Peace and Security Program, The Aspen Institute

Bijlsma, Alfred P. T. First Secretary, Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations

Bruce, Beverlee Dr. Chairperson of the Board, Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children

Bryans, Michael Special Consultant, NGOs in Complex Emergencies Project, CARE Canada

Cain, Edmund J. Director, Emergency Response Division, UN Development Programme

Castaneda-Cornejo, Ricardo Guillermo H.E. Dr. Permanent Representative of El Salvador to the United Nations

Chano, Junichi Director, The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership

Clark, Lance Chief, Rapid Response Unit, Complex Emergency Division, UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs

Collins, Carole J. L. Consultant on African Programs, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

Corell, Hans Under-Secretary-General, UN Office of the Legal Counsel

Danspeckgruber, Wolfgang Dr. Lecturer, Princeton University; Executive Director, Liechtenstein Research Program on Self-Determination

de Soto, Alvaro Assistant Secretary-General, UN Department of Political Affairs

Dewey, Arthur E. (Gene) Executive Director, Congressional Hunger Center

Donini, Antonio Chief of the Lessons Learned Unit, Policy and Analysis Division, UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs

Dos Santos, Carlos H.E. Mr. Permanent Representative of Mozambique to the United Nations

Eisele, Manfred Lt. General Assistant Secretary-General, UN Department of Peace-keeping Operations

Elaraby, Nabil H.E. Dr. Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Egypt to the United Nations

Elver, Hilal Dr. Professor of Environmental Law Princeton University

Falk, Richard Dr. The Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law and Practice, Princeton University

Faubert, Carrol Director, Regional Bureau for the Americas & Caribbean; former Special Envoy for Rwanda, UNHCR

Fisher, Nigel Director, Office of Emergency Programmes, United Nations Children's Fund

Forman, Shepard Director, International Affairs Program, The Ford Foundation

Gaer, Felice D. Director, The Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights

Guest, Iain Senior Fellow, U.S. Institute for Peace

Hamburg, David Dr. President, Carnegie Corporation of New York

Hasegawa, Sukehiro Dr. Resident Coordinator of the UN Operational Systems in Rwanda appointed by the Secretary-General

Helton, Arthur C. Director of Migration Programs, Open Society Institute

Hirad, Abdalla A. Senior Adviser to the Somali Mission to the United Nations on Political and Developmental Issues

Huaraka, Tunguru H.E. Dr. Permanent Representative of Namibia to the United Nations

Irvin, Patricia L. Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Humanitarian and Refugee Affairs, The Pentagon

Jessen-Petersen, Sørren Special Envoy for the former Yugoslavia, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Jolly, Alison Dr. Visiting Lecturer in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University

Jolly, Richard Dr. Special Adviser to the Administrator, United Nations Development Programme

Jonah, James H.E. Dr. Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations and Former Chairman, Interim National Electoral Commission

Jovanovic, Vladislav H.E. Mr. Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to the United Nations

Kappeyne van de Coppello, Marion Co-Director, Humanitarian Emergency Assistance Section, Foreign Ministry, the Netherlands

Kayinamura, Gideon H.E. Mr. Permanent Representative of the Rwandese Republic to the United Nations

Keating, Colin R. H.E. Mr. Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the United Nations

Leitenberg, Milton Fellow, Center for International and Security Studies, University of Maryland

Lewis, John Dr. Professor of Economics and International Affairs, Emeritus, Princeton University

Lyman, Princeton Ambassador Assistant Secretary Designate for International Organization Affairs, U.S. Department of State

MacDonald, Flora Chair, International Development Research Centre

MacLennan, Jane L. Managing Director, Professional Development, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy

Mahdesian, Michael Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Bureau of Humanitarian Response, U.S. Agency for International Development

Malloch Brown, Mark Vice-President of External Affairs, The World Bank

Marshall, Katherine Director, Southern Africa Department, The World Bank

Martini Herrera, Julio Armando H.E. Dr. Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the United Nations

Matthews, Thomas Brigadier General Commander of the 353rd Civil Affairs Command, New York

Maynes, Charles William Editor, Foreign Policy

Maynes, Gretchen Independent writer and consultant

McClymont, Mary Acting Director, Rights and Social Justice, Ford Foundation

McKinley, Brunson Ambassador Bosnia Humanitarian Coordinator, U.S. Department of State

McNeal, Edward J. Jr. Executive Director, U.S. Association for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Meisler, Stanley Foreign Affairs Writer, Los Angeles Times

Mendez, Juan General Counsel, Human Rights Watch

Michaels, Marguerite A. New York Bureau Chief, Time Magazine

Misic, Ivan Zdravko H.E. Mr. Deputy Permanent Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations

Moore, Jonathan Ambassador Associate, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Mwakawago, Daudi Ngelautwa H.E. Mr. Permanent Representative of the United Republic of Tanzania to the United Nations

Newland, Kathleen Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Nobilo, Mario H.E. Dr. Permanent Representative of the Republic of Croatia to the United Nations

Odaga-Jalomayo, Nester First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Uganda to the United Nations

Owada, Hisashi H.E. Mr. Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations; Member of Board of Directors, IPA

Owade, Philip R. O. H.E. Mr. Chargé d'Affaires, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kenya to the United Nations

Paton, William Migration and Resettlement Specialist, Emergency Response Division, United Nations Development Programme

Powell, John M. Director, Policy and Public Affairs, World Food Programme

Pronk, Jan H.E. Mr. Minister for Development Cooperation, Foreign Ministry, the Netherlands

Radcliffe, Charles Policy Coordinator, International Crisis Group

Ragan, Richard Director for Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Ramcharan, B. G. Dr. Director, Africa I Division, United Nations Department of Political Affairs

Rehn, Elisabeth United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the territory of the former Yugoslavia

Reyn, Alex H.E. Mr. Permanent Representative of Belgium to the United Nations

Rosenblatt, Lionel President, Refugees International

Sato, Kazuo UN Correspondent of Asahi Shimbun

Scarlett, Earle former Political Adviser to the High Representative of the Dayton Peace Accord

Schatzer, Peter Director of External Relations, International Organization for Migration

Schoettle, Enid C. B. Dr. National Intelligence Officer for Global and Multilateral Issues, National Intelligence Council

Shawcross, William Chairman, Article 19: Centre Against Censorship

Sills, Joe Director, United Nations Information Centre, Washington, D.C.

Sucharipa, Ernst H.E. Dr. Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations; Member of the Board of Directors, IPA

Sucharipa, Lilly Dr. Professor, Center for International Studies, New York University

Taft, Julia Vadala President and Chief Executive Officer, InterAction

Tanguy, Joelle Executive Director, Medecins Sans Frontieres, U.S.

Terence, Nsanze H.E. Mr. Permanent Representative of Burundi to the United Nations

Tignor, Robert Dr. Professor of African History, Princeton University

Toups, Catherine United Nations Correspondent, The Washington Times

Tull, Stephen Dr. Visiting Research Fellow, Center of International Studies, Princeton University

Ullman, Richard H. Dr. The David K. E. Bruce Professor of International Affairs, Princeton University

Viñó, Angel H.E. Dr. Head of Delegation, European Commission to the United Nations

von Bernuth, Rudolph Executive Director, International Council of Voluntary Agencies

Wang, Xue Xian H.E. Mr. Deputy Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations

Warren, Kay B. Dr. Professor of Anthropology, Princeton University

Waterbury, John Director, Center of International Studies, Princeton University

Wechsler, Joanna United Nations Representative, Human Rights Watch

Weston, John KCMG, H.E. Sir Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations

Weston, Lady

Williams, H. Roy Vice-President for Policy and Planning, International Rescue Committee

Winter, Roger P. Executive Director, Immigration & Refugee Services of America; Director, U.S. Committee for Refugees

Wood, William B. Director, Office of the Geographer & Global Issues, Bureau of Intelligence & Research, U.S. Department of State

Woodward, Susan L. Dr. Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institute

Zimmermann, Bruno Deputy Head of Delegation to the UN, International Committee of the Red Cross

Zulu, Justin B. Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the United Nations; IMF Special Representative to the United Nations


AbuZayd, Karen Chef de Cabinet, UNHCR Geneva

Bijleveld, Anne-Willem Representative, UNHCR Washington, D.C.

Blatter, Werner Director, a.i., UNHCR New York

Crisp, Jeff Senior External Relations Officer, Centre for Documentation and Research, UNHCR Geneva

Kourula, Pirkko Deputy Director, UNHCR New York

Morris, Eric Head, a.i. Centre for Documentation and Research, UNHCR Geneva

Okabe, Marie Senior Liaison Officer, UNHCR New York

Van Hovell, Wilbert Senior Executive Assistant to the High Commissioner, UNHCR Geneva


Cousens, Elizabeth M. Associate and Conference Rapporteur

Filippova, Irina Development Officer

Fursland, Richard Vice-President

Jan, Ameen Associate and Conference Rapporteur

Kumar, Chetan Associate

Orr, Robert C. Associate

Parker, Alison Conference Rapporteur; Consultant for Programmes and Research, Jesuit Refugee Service


Assebe, Tsegereda Liaison Assistant, UNHCR New York

Cervantes, Michelle A. Ralph Bunche Fellow, City University of New York; Intern, UNHCR New York

Dark, Michael Post-Graduate Student, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University

Eyob, Jerusalem Clerk, UNHCR New York

Kenny, Veronica Graduate Student, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University

Klein, Daniel Intern, UN Department of Political Affairs

Marroquin, Marlen Intern, Human Development Report Office, United Nations

McBride, Michael J. Dr. Professor of Political Science, Whittier College

Miller, Ruth L. Assistant Dean for Public Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University

Osaki, Keiko Population Affairs Officer, Population Division, United Nations

Park, Susin Associate Information Officer, UNHCR

Pilichowski, Elsa Intern, UNHCR New York

Rose, Jennifer Mercedes Conference Organizer, UNHCR New York

Saith, Ruhi Intern, Population Division, United Nations

Soden, Lilibeth Secretary, UNHCR New York

Weiss Fagen, Patricia Senior Research Associate, War-torn Societies Project, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)

[1] This figure is taken from the U.S. Committee for Refugees, World Refugee Survey 1996. As of June 1996, UNHCR is responsible for providing protection and assistance to 27 million of the total number of refugees, internally displaced persons and other victims of conflict in the world.

[2] Mostar went to the polls on June 30, 1996, the day this session took place. Participants later learned that the results, as Dr. Woodward and others predicted, ratified the ethnic division of the city between Muslims and Croats.

[3] The Dayton Accord tried to reconcile two visions of Bosnia. The parties at Dayton balanced the desire to restore a unitary, multiethnic Bosnia with the desire to divide it among contending groups by agreeing to a single Bosnian state made up of two political-administrative "Entities": the Republika Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation.

[4] Between 1990 and 1994, Rwanda suffered a low-intensity civil war between the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) and the Rwandan government of President Habyarimana. Protracted peace talks continued during this same period, but attempts to share power were met with increasing reluctance by the then government and other extremist leaders. Politics became increasingly exclusionary and ethnically polarized, causing the situation to explode into the execution of a genocide that had been meticulously planned. Within a three-month period after the plane of Rwanda's President was shot down at Kigali airport on 6 April 1994, up to one million people were slaughtered.

[5] "Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide" [A/Res/260(III)A], 9 December 1948.

[6] "Mission creep" generally refers to an unintended expansion of the original mission of a military operation. This expansion could involve bringing civilian concerns into what had been conceived as an exclusively military mission, or it might signify increasing military activity in support of an originally humanitarian operation, or it could simply mean extending the duration of any operation.

[7] "Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel" (A/Res/49/59), 9 December 1994.

Meeting Note: Healing the wounds : refugees, reconstruction and reconciliation (19960630-19960701 : Princeton, United States)