The United Nations Peacebuilding Commission: An Early Assessment
The United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, established in December 2005, was designed to strengthen efforts to consolidate peace in countries emerging from civil war. It has three broad aims: first, to bring coherence to the activities of peacebuilding actors around a shared strategy; second, to marshal resources and commitments in support of this strategic vision; and third, to enhance decisionmaking processes relevant to conflict-affected countries across UN bodies and the international financial institutions. Two years into the life of the Commission, this article assesses its performance in these three areas and argues that progress has been limited by three main factors: the Commission’s lack of clarity on the nature of a peacebuilding strategy; its vague interpretation of the mandate to marshal resources; and ongoing tensions between intergovernmental organs for influence over the Commission. There is evidence that the Commission is developing institutional momentum and learning important lessons from its first cases, but it will need to capitalise on them rapidly to achieve worthwhile results.