Peace cannot be achieved by force; it can be achieved by understanding – Albert Einstein
Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures – John F. Kennedy
Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict through peaceful means – Ronald Reagan
Peacemaking – practical conflict transformation focused upon establishing equitable power relationships robust enough to forestall future conflict, often including the establishment of means of agreeing on ethical decisions within a community, or among parties, that had previously engaged in inappropriate (i.e. violent) responses to conflict.
Peace keeping – the active maintenance of a truce between nations or communities, especially by an international military force.
Peacebuilding – a process that facilitates the establishment of durable peace and tries to prevent the recurrence of violence by addressing root causes and effects of conflict through reconciliation, institution building, and political as well as economic transformation.
Armed conflict has existed for centuries; it is a never-ending cycle that is bound to exist as long as humans exist. Armed conflict is a contested incompatibility, which concerns government and/or territory where the use of armed force between two parties, of which at least one is the government of a state, results in at least 25 battle-related deaths.
Arguably the process of achieving peace within a country that has been war-torn is a very fragile one. In order to insure long-lasting peace all three factors, peacemaking, peace keeping and peacebuilding must be put into place. All three are necessary to restore a state to its full functionality. In order for a state to function properly it must have essentials such as a working government, security, in other words a police force, preferably a military, however in some cases countries do not possess a military, as well as education (e.g. schools) and finally a clearly instated law. The boundaries between conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and peace enforcement have become increasingly blurred. Peace operations are rarely limited to one type of activity. While UN peacekeeping operations are, in principle, deployed to support the implementation of a ceasefire or peace agreement, they are often required to play an active role in peacemaking efforts and may also be involved in early peacebuilding activities. Today's multidimensional peacekeeping operations facilitate the political process, protect civilians, assist in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants; support the organization of elections, protect and promote human rights and assist in restoring the rule of law. UN peacekeeping operations may use force to defend themselves, their mandate, and civilians, particularly in situations where the State is unable to provide security and maintain public order.
Nation building is often criticized, as arguably the act of intervention and the presence of peacemakers, peace keepers and peace builders is ruse in order to reform a country’s government into a more desirable one for the country intervening. For example the U.S. interventions in Latin America that have taken place during the last century in order to rid the governments of their Soviet support and restructure them, or force them to turn over to the U.S.A. (e.g. Bolivia).
Awareness of the principles upon which peacekeeping rests is not enough to guarantee success. A difficult conflict environment can cause an engagement to fail, as some the UN’s multifunctional missions did during the 1990s. UN operations in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Somalia, Angola, Western Sahara and elsewhere all encountered considerable difficulty. The…