Stabilization: A Cross-cutting Task to Overcome Imminent Violent Conflict

ZIFThe APSTA Peacekeeping This Month is pleased to share with you the latest policy briefing from ZIF, Center for International Peace Operations, titled “Stabilization: A Cross-cutting Task to Overcome Imminent Violent Conflict”. It exploits results of the workshop “Stabilization Instruments Revisited: Increasing the Likelihood of Positive Impact“, which was held by the Center for International Peace Operations on 19 October 2016 under the Chatham House Rule, and report of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO) on uniting our strengths for peace – politics, partnership and people, 16 June 2015.

The briefing focuses on how stabilization relates to peacebuilding, which activities are most effective and who should carry them out, emphasizing the usefulness to think and understood of stabilization as a cross-cutting peacebuilding task that is applied in situations where violent conflict is imminent. It also underscores that, while there are some typical areas of activity, stabilization approaches must be designed differently depending on each conflict environment – both in terms of specific measures and their responsible institutions.

In its conclusion, the brief points out the following three points to serve as orientation to address the associated challenges that cannot be resolved through a definition of the term, but are instead of a practical nature.

=> Overarching political objective: The strategic goal of stabilization, and thus the benchmark of success is a positive contribution to a political process that transforms violent conflict into non-violent forms of conflict resolution, enabling sustainable peace in the long run.

=> Cross-cutting task: Since, depending on the context, different actors can contribute to stabilization, it needs to be considered a crosscutting task. In order to be successful, the actors must be familiar with short-term goals and must align their activities accordingly. This requires cooperation in a Comprehensive Approach, which ensures that stabilization activities are interlinked with the political process and that there is compatibility with longer-term measures.

=> Conflict-sensitive action: Stabilization should reflect the experiences of peacebuilding activities. In order to increase the prospects for success, context analyses and adaptive, ‘learning’ programs are necessary. In particular, the underlying “theories of change” must be well developed and reviewed on a regular basis. Procedures should allow for the rapid deployment of resources, without neglecting the established standards of conflict-sensitive work.

To download and read the full policy briefing paper from the source, click here

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