The roles of the United Nations in the post-war recovery process in
objective of the United Nations is to attain and maintain a world peace
and friendly relations among nations across the globe. This is aptly summarized
in the preamble of the United Nations Charter which says; “WE THE PEOPLES OF
THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED to save succeeding generations from the scourge
of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind”, AND
FOR THESE ENDS “to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one
another as good neighbours, and to unite our strength to maintain international
peace and security, and to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the
institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common
Nations can therefore be described as the symbol for international peace and
security that promotes global cooperation, dialogue, and collective responses
to security threats.
According to Michael W. Doyle
and Nicholas Sambanis, Peacebuilding refers to a post conflict reconstruction,
organized to foster economic and social cooperation with the purpose of
building confidence among previously warring parties, developing the social,
political, and economic infrastructure to prevent future violence, and laying
the foundations for a durable peace.
In the early 1990s, there was a
significant increase in the use of UN authorized peace operations (Doyle and
Sambanis 2006). This reflected a new wave of interventionism and redefined a
new generation of strategies in peacebuilding. According to Kofi Annan, the
of the United Nations, those
peace operations were intended to fill a ‘gaping hole’ in the Organization’s
institutional and structural capacity to support countries in transition from
violent conflict to sustainable peace. It is as part of this reason, that in
September 2003, the United Nations Mission in Liberia, was established by the
Security Council of the UN to help acieve sustainable peace in Liberia.
The United Nations is tasked to
attain and maintain International Peace and Security. In doing this, the United
Nations, leads the responsibility on Peacebuilding in post conflict societies. The
lack of conceptual clarity, heightened by the inadequacy of resources, poor
policies and institutional arrangements, continues to compromise the effectiveness
of peacebuilding as a process (Call 2005). The major arguments that recurrently
come up in the academia and at the UN levels is whether Peacebuilding only
involves measures aimed at lessening the risk of lapsing or relapsing into
conflict, to strengthen national capacities at all levels for conflict
management, and to lay the foundations for sustainable peace and development,
whether peacebuilding applies to all phases of a conflict or only to
post-conflict ones; whether the process is primarily political or developmental
in nature; whether it should focus primarily on addressing root causes or
should engage in institution building and/or changing attitudes and behaviours
(McCandless & Doe 2007:5–6; McCandless 2008).
In what ways did
the United Nations help restore peace in Liberia after the 14-year Civil
War? How committed was the United Nations?
were the warring factions in the post conflict peacebuilding processes as
carried out and supervised by the United Nations?
were adopted by the United Nations in the post conflict peacebuilding process
Barnett, M, Kim H, O’Donnell, M
and Sitea, L 2007. Peacebuilding: what is in a name? Global Governance, 13(1)
Call, C 2005.
Institutionalizing peace: a review of post-conflict concepts and issues for
DPA. Consultant report for Policy Planning Unit, UN Department of Political
Affairs, 31 January.
Liberia 2006. Breaking with the
past: from conflict to development, In Interim poverty reduction strategy.
Republic of Liberia.
Liberia and United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP), Liberia 2006. Mobilizing capacity for
reconstruction and development, national human development report. Liberia:
Republic or Liberia and UNDP.
Liberia 2008. Poverty reduction
strategy, Republic of Liberia.
Mccandless, E, 2008. Lessons
from Liberia Integrated approaches to peacebuilding in transitional settings.
ISS Paper 161.
Mccandless, E and Doe, S 2007.
Strengthening peacebuilding efforts in Liberia: a discussion document for UNMIL
and the UNCT. 15 April. O/DSRSG for Recovery and Governance. UNMIL: Liberia.
Paris, R 2004. At war’s end:
building peace after civil conflict. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Doyle, W. M and Sambanis, N
2006. Making War and Building Peace United Nations Peace Operations. Princeton
University Press Princeton and Oxford.
Stedman, S. J et al. eds. 2002.
Ending Civil Wars: The Implementation of Peace Agreements. Boulder, CO: Lynne
United Nations 1995. Supplement
to ‘An agenda for peace.’ Position paper of the Secretary-General on the
occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations. UN Doc
A/50/60/-S/1995/1 (3 January). Available at