A new DESA report has shed light on how to create lasting peace in post-conflict societies.
The “Reconstructing Public Administration after Conflict” report argues that setting-up a functional government should be the major priority as a region or country emerges from hostilities.
The report said that “no progress can be made in promoting peace, development and protection of human rights unless appropriate governance and public administration institutions are established”.
It also said that “durable peace” can only be ensured if a newly-established government can gain the trust of the population and provide essential public services including safety, security, health, education, shelter, access to water, sanitation and job opportunities.
“Post-conflict reconstruction has been mostly successful in countries [with] a capable leadership and public service.. [where] citizens are involved in the reconstruction process.”
Rwanda and Uganda were cited as examples which showed this to be the case.
The report stated that stability would not endure in post-conflict locations “unless women and minority groups are engaged in post-conflict governance, especially when ethnic or religious divisions were a contributing factor of the conflict”.
It highlighted that apart from the obvious challenges, post-conflict societies actually present a number of opportunities.
“Contrary to commonly held belief, post-conflict situations not only present challenges, but also offer numerous opportunities to leapfrog stages of development by adopting innovative practices in public administration, particularly through the application of ICTs in government and service delivery,” the report said.