Keeping and Building Peace
This brief examines UN rule of law assistance when peacekeeping becomes peacebuilding. Previous experience of UN rule of law assistance shows a clear path dependency between peacekeeping operations and special political missions, meaning that there is little difference in the support provided between keeping and building peace. The difference is primarily found in the resources and political weight allocated to the two types of interventions.
The identified differences, and in particular the identified path dependency, point to a fundamental challenge in the UN system to adapt to changing country contexts and political circumstances that can seriously impede peacebuilding efforts.
Strengthening rule of law and restoring state functions will likely continue to remain as an immediate peacebuilding priority and a central component in peace operations. At the same time, FBA’s research reveals a number of issues that should be addressed in order to ensure a “right fit” for UN peace operations and rule of law assistance.