Sumario: Support to peacebuilding: examples of EU action (12 September 2005: Brussels)
The European Union provides a considerable contribution to peacebuilding efforts in all regions of the world.
The examples described below are not an exhaustive list, but demonstrate the breadth of the EU's contribution to peacebulding, not only the geographical spread of EU activity but the wide range of policies and instruments deployed, covering support for peacekeeping operations, peace processes, peace negotiations and reconciliation efforts; Demobilization, Disarmament, Reintegration and Rehabilitation (DDRR); de-mining; security sector reform; civilian administration and good governance; democratisation; strengthening of the rule of law; justice reform; ensuring respect for human rights; children related post-conflict assistance; institution building, independent media, and truth commissions; the facilitation of the transition from crisis situation to normal cooperation; addressing degradation and exploitation of natural resources; tackling proliferation of small and light weapons; as well as targeted economic and other measures such as relief, rehabilitation, reconstruction operations and development assistance. Trade related measures have also played a critical role in addressing post-conflict challenges.
Rule of law, Human Rights and democratization
The reinforcement of the rule of law and respect for human rights is an indispensable element in peacebuilding. The EC supports a wide range of programmes with this goal through country and regional funding and through the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR).
Addressing impunity for violations of human rights is also a priority in building stable, peaceful societies. The EC has been supporting for promotion of a strong, effective International Criminal Court, including through sustained funding for the NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) which draws together 2,000 member organizations from 150 countries.
The EC has also provided consistent political and financial support to other existing special tribunals, such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the Rwanda Tribunal, and has called for the rapid establishment of the Khmer Rouge Special Chambers in Cambodia. Projects to reinforce the fight against impunity at a more grassroots level have also been funded, for example to train judges involved in the gacaca process in Rwanda. Access to justice more generally is a key feature of EIDHR programmes, with recent major initiatives including a regional project in Latin America with the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights and a project with the Nepal Bar Organisation to improve free legal aid, human rights and access to justice in that country.
Improving the human rights "infrastructure" has also been a focus of the EC activities at both the international and national levels, making a strong - though indirect - contribution to peacebuilding. At country level, projects have strengthened human rights ombudsmen, for example in Guatemala. At the international level, the EC has facilitated the work of mechanisms which serve to scrutinise States' compliance with human rights obligations, such as the UN Treaty Bodies, through support to the OHCHR.
EC programmes also address the impact which tensions amongst racial, ethnic and religious groups and the violation of minority rights can have on the instigation of conflict and on the peacebuilding process. Recent programmes have for example included promotion of the rights of Roma in Serbia and Montenegro through the creation of 42 Roma community advocates, legal support and counselling to victims of caste-based violence in Nepal and promotion of inter-ethnic dialogue in Kosovo. Projects to support the rights of indigenous peoples have also been a major focus of the EC in the same context.
Dissemination of information on human rights to the wider population is an essential aspect in the creation of peaceful societies, and human rights education and media involvement is also a key focus for the EC. Major programmes have included support for independent media in the DRC, the use of the media as a tool for community development in the West Bank and Gaza and the promotion of the freedom of expression through media training in Sudan.
In the field of election observation, since 2000, the EC has deployed a total of 34 Election Observation Missions (EOM), involving thousands of observers, to countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. In addition to assessing the conduct of elections in the light of international standards, missions can also play a significant role in peace building efforts, in particular in post-conflict elections, through deterring violence and intimidation and creating confidence for political contestants, civil society and the electorate to participate. In the last months alone, EOMs deployed for elections in West Bank and Gaza, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Guinea Bissau and Burundi have played a major role in this regard.
The EC's work in the area of international election observation also involves widespread support to other international bodies. For example, in the OSCE region, significant funds have been made available to the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to broaden participation in their election observation missions to include greater numbers of observers from Eastern, Central and South-Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. In addition, substantial support is being provided to the African Union to enable it to develop capacity in the area of election observation.
In addition, the EC co-operates closely with other international bodies involved in election observation. Most notably, over the last couple of years, it has made a significant contribution to an international effort, under the auspices of the UN, to standardise international election observation. This has resulted in the development of a Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, comprising general conditions and methodological requirements for credible observation missions, and a Code of Conduct comprising the basic rights and responsibilities of international observers. Both documents are likely to be officially endorsed by a wide range of international bodies involved in election observation later in 2005.
The EC also supports the development of civil society domestic observation efforts and recently organised regional meetings in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America in order to increase their technical and networking capacities. Domestic observer groups are playing an increasingly important role in observing the conduct of elections in many parts of the world, and through their presence in large numbers can make a major contribution to conflict prevention and management throughout an election period.
As well as playing a major role in election observation, the EC also provides considerable support to the organisation of elections in transition and post-conflict countries, in particular to assist national election management bodies and election jurisdiction bodies and civic/voter education efforts. Countries that have received considerable support in recent years have included Afghanistan, Iraq and the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as the Palestinian Authority.
Kimberley Process and the link between conflict and the exploitation of natural resources
The link between natural resource exploitation and conflict is a crucial element in post-conflict stabilization and conflict prevention. The EC, which is responsible for the external trade policy of the EU, is playing a leading role in multilateral efforts to break the link between the exploitation and illicit trade in natural resources and conflict. In particular, the EC (representing the EU as a whole) is a leading Participant in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme for diamonds. The Kimberley Process is making a crucial contribution to ensuring transparency and proper regulation of the diamond sector in many countries which have been ravaged by diamond-fuelled conflict (such as Sierra Leone, DRC, or Angola), and is thus a crucial element in the stabilization and reconstruction of many African countries affected by violent conflict in recent years. The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme is implemented throughout the EU by a European Community Regulation (No 2368/2002), adopted under Article 133 of the EC Treaty.
Moreover, the EC is currently Chair of the Working Group on Monitoring of the Kimberley Process, and thus playing a leading role in ensuring implementation of the Scheme. Separately, the EC is also taking the lead in efforts to ensure proper and transparent management of the international timber trade (through its Forestry Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade initiative).
Disarmament: Small Arms and Light Weapons
The accumulation and proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALW) continues to threaten the international security, human safety, as well as socio-economic stability. The problem has a particularly negative influence on conflict prevention and fragile post-conflict reconstruction processes in Africa. In 1997, recognising the security and humanitarian implications of the spread of small arms, the EU Programme for Preventing and Combating Illicit Trafficking in Conventional Weapons was adopted. A year later, the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports as well as the Joint Action on the EU's contribution to combating the destabilising accumulation and spread of small arms were adopted. In 2001 the EU played an active role at the UN Conference on Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects. The resulting UN Programme of Action adds to earlier EU commitments. In the same year the European Community became a signatory to the UN Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition, which was negotiated under the UN Convention against Trans-national Organised Crime.
In 2003-2004, 19 projects related to Small Arms and Light Weapons in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries were financed through the European Development Fund (total funding €255 million). 18 actions were funded in other parts of the world from 1999 to 2004. They included actions in Albania, Latin America and Cambodia and support to the UNDP and Stability Pact "South East Europe Regional Clearinghouse for Small Arms Reduction (SEESAC)" in Belgrade (total support so far in excess of €13 million). The EC has also launched two wide-ranging Pilot Projects in Northern Africa and South East Europe linked to SALW and Explosive Remnants of War.
Support for international mine action continues to be among the political priorities of the EU, in view of the contribution this can bring to the promotion of peace and stability globally and to the lessening of human suffering in mine-affected regions. In this respect the EU attaches great importance to the goals of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (the Mine Ban Treaty, from 1997).
The EC has shown a sustained commitment to the problem of mines by steadily increasing funding. The total EU (Member States and the EC) support to the fight against landmines only in the period 1997-2003 reached the record figure of more than €842 million. This represents close to half of the total world-wide assistance generated in that time (amounting to USD 2 billion).
Moreover, under the EC Mine Action Strategy 2005-2007 it is projected that the EC assistance alone will be increased to at least €140 million (from €125,745 in 2002-2004).
The UN is one of the key partners of the EC in Mine Action. Close cooperation is on-going in particular through support and collaboration with the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and the UNDP.
The EC has provided support to peace keeping operations in Burundi under the authority of the African Union (AU), in order to (i) offer urgent assistance to the implementation of a fragile peace process; and (ii) promote a return to stability and national reconciliation (€25 million in 2003). This ended in June 2004 as the UN took over the peace-keeping activities. In addition, technical assistance has been provided on the ground for sound financial management and monitoring of the operation.
The EC has supported Security Sector reform related work, notably "Support to Strategic Leadership Training Workshops" in 2003 (€96.000), aiming at rebuilding a truly national army in which the different political and ethnic groups can have confidence. The Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in 2003 conducted workshops on security sector reform for highest-level Army and Rebel commanders.
The EC is also supporting the current electoral process with €4.4 million.
Democratic Republic of Congo
Since the beginning of the Transition process in 2002 the EC has progressively made funds available for the Democratic Republic of Congo to restore peace and rebuild basic infrastructure (€700 for the period 2002-2005). The general strategy of the EC is to mainstream conflict prevention and peace building in all projects. However, out of the above amounts, specific support has been provided to peacebuilding activities such as: a) Support of Transitional Institutions; b) Training and equipment of the Integrated Police Force in Kinshasa, UPI (the UPI plays a key role in the DRC transition process, providing security and protection to the transition institutions of the state; the support is aimed at rehabilitation of training facilities for UPI, training of UPI officers/staff and an advice, monitoring and mentoring mission targeting the trained UPI officers); c) Support to the electoral process; d) Support to training and equipment of national police in order to secure the electoral process; e) Support to Security Sector Reform; f) Support to Justice and Rule of Law; and g) Small arms collection and destruction. Taken together, support to these actions amounts to around €137 million.
EC contribution to the restoration of the legal system in Bunia.
The objective of this programme of €585.000 was to end the de-facto impunity for serious civil offences in Bunia/Ituri through support to the installation of the building blocks of a transparent and functioning legal system (incl. courts, prosecutors, legal defence and a prison). Although there were some delays by the DRC Government in nominating new judges to Ituri and despite the difficult conditions on the ground (security, access, etc), the project achieved its objectives, at least in the short term. In addition to wider information campaigns among the general public, magistrates and other legal staff at the court as well as legal defenders attended specifically designed capacity building programmes. The court (Tribunal de Grande Instance) in Bunia started working on 17 February 2004, 300 cases were initiated, and some 50 of them reached a verdict during the project period. The prison was opened and held over 100 prisoners at the end of the project in July 2004.
So far EC contributed to the ceasefire negotiations in Chad in 2004 and about €92 million to the African Union (AU) peace-building activities from the African Peace Facility (APF). In April 2005, a conference attended by more than 60 countries was held for rebuilding Sudan, co-hosted by the UN, the World Bank, Norway and the Government of Sudan. The global pledge has reached USD 4.6 billion; the EC part amounts to €590 million for the period 2005-2007.
The EC has also supported the Naivasha Sudan Peace Process with € 1.5 million. This programme contained two components, both contracted with the IGAD Secretariat for Peace in the Sudan: 1) Direct support to the IGAD-led Naivasha Peace talks between the Government of Sudan (GoS) and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), (July 2004), and 2) Support to the functioning of the international Joint Verification and Monitoring Team (VMT) entrusted with the monitoring of the cessation of hostilities agreement in southern Sudan (€950.000, started in July 2004).
The Naivasha peace process led to the signature of a comprehensive peace agreement in January 2005 including a permanent ceasefire and accords on sharing of wealth and power. Contributing to this process through the monitoring of the earlier agreed cease-fire, the VMT will during the transitory phase continue its monitoring tasks (according to the new permanent cease-fire) and prepare for an expanded monitoring mission.
Support to the African Union
The EC finances a programme in support of the African Union peace building and transition activities (€12 million; signed in April 2003), the prime objective of which is to fund the operational activities of the Peace and Security Council, and secondly to work on AU capacity building in the transition period. This support programme is based on the AU indicative work programme on peace and security issues and it will foremost finance AU mediation and peace monitoring activities.
The African Peace facility
The African Peace Facility was created to provide the African Union and other African regional organisations with the resources to mount effective peace making and peace keeping operations (total amount of the facility €250 million), and thus provide backing from the EU to the emerging African resolve to deal with conflicts on the continent with African solutions.
Peace keeping is costly. The idea of an EC funded peace facility came from African Union leaders. At their 2003 Summit in Maputo, they asked the EU to help them fund such operations in a novel way. The African Peace facility is led, operated and staffed by Africans. It is based on the principles of ownership, African solidarity and the creation of necessary conditions for development.
The EU is extensively involved in peacebuilding and reconstruction in Afghanistan and the total EC support for the period 2002-2006 amounts to €1 billion.
The EC was able to deliver a substantial programme of assistance to Afghanistan to support the political settlement achieved at the Bonn Conference of December 2001. The assistance was focussed on the re-establishment of a civilian administration in Afghanistan, confidence-building measures aimed at delivering tangible benefits in the short term to the population and strategic advice to decision-makers in the medium-term planning of rehabilitation, reconstruction and nation-building in the country. These programmes contributed to (i) the early re-establishment of the Afghan interim/transitional authority, (ii) the staffing and equipment of line ministries and of provincial level offices of central government, (iii) workshops and training for Afghan officials in view of strengthened policy making and financial and budgetary management capacity; and information and communication technology, (iv) school re-openings with 20,000 teachers employed, (v) mine clearance: 1,000,000 square meters of affected territory were cleared in the first half of 2002, (vi) the development of professional and independent media in Afghanistan, (vii) the rehabilitation and equipping of kindergartens, schools and health care centres, being the output of a civil-military cooperation project which enhanced confidence between the Kabul population and the international military force in Afghanistan, (viii) expert assessment missions and donor coordination meetings in view of longer-term reconstruction programming by the Afghan authorities and the international community.
This support is of course only one element of the substantial assistance to peacebuilding activities provided to Afghanistan. The EC for instance contributed to the law and order trust fund (LOFTA) for 2003-2005 (€65.5 million). Financial support under this project goes to the restructuring of the law enforcement system in the country (salaries, equipment, premises and training), with reference to all law enforcement activities (not necessarily anti-drug) but with a certain impact on anti-drug investigations.
The objective of LOTFA is to support the national police force to ensure security throughout Afghanistan and to contribute to regional and global security.
The EC contributed to the presidential election held in October 2004 in Afghanistan (€24 million). The EC also provides support for the parliamentary elections that will be held in September 2005 (€8.5 million for elections and €3 million for institutional development). It will also deploy an EU Election Observation Mission.
The EC also continues to provide strong support for de-mining (about €10 million/year).
The EC has greatly enhanced its involvement in Sri Lanka following the conclusion of a Ceasefire Agreement in February 2002. In the immediate aftermath of the Agreement, the EC contributed through a small-scale support programme (from its Rapid Reaction Mechanism, RRM) in order to implement some of the key confidence-building measures that had been agreed between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE): electricity supply for check points on the newly re-opened Jaffna-Kandy road, public awareness campaigns, support for website development and financial support to the Norway-led Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM).
During the June 2003 Tokyo donor conference the EU, represented by the Presidency and the European Commission, was appointed one of the four Co-Chairs reviewing progress in the peace process and supporting Norway's facilitation effort. The other Co-Chairs are Japan, Norway and the United States. The group has been meeting regularly since then and ensures close co-ordination locally as well as among capitals.
The EC pledged €50 million during the June 2003 Tokyo conference. Despite the absence of progress in the peace process, the EC has provided substantial funds to consolidate the ceasefire and address urgent assistance needs. Activities included among others a road rehabilitation programme in the North and East (€13.15 million), assistance to repatriation of IDPs (€7.3 million), de-mining (€3.4 million) as well as calls for proposals under the Aid to Up-rooted People budget line. The EU has also deployed Electoral Observation Missions to Sri Lanka (in 2000, 2001 and 2004).
THE MIDDLE EAST
Since the end of hostilities in Iraq, the EU has made clear that it wants to play a full role in the country's reconstruction. It has also signalled that the success of this effort depends on improved security, the UN playing a strong role and the adoption of a realistic schedule for handing over political responsibility to the Iraqi people. At the October 2003 Madrid donor conference, the UN and WB Trust Fund was created and the EU (Member States and EC) pledged over €1.25 billion for Iraqi reconstruction, of which €200 million by the EC. For 2005 alone the EC contributes €200 Million for reconstruction efforts, in particular for strengthening the public services and governance, and a further €10 Million to political and constitutional processes and the area of human rights.
The EC firmly believes that Iraq will only see stability when democracy takes root in the country. Free elections are a necessary step to achieve this. The Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq announced in November 2004 that the first democratic election for half a century would take place in January 2005.
The EC responded with a €18.5 million package for this election. The money supported the work of the Electoral Commission to help it organise the election and reach out to voters ensuring both women and men take part, and included the deployment of experts that worked with the Electoral Commission and the UN. Support was also provided to train some 170 Iraqi domestic observers and set up an election team of experts in Amman, Jordan, to follow the electoral process.
The Oslo Accords recommended Israelis and Arabs to launch a series of peace projects - people to people projects in order to build confidence between the communities. A new EC budget line was created to support the peace process, covering EC actions connected with the peace agreement concluded between Israel and the PLO. Support to the peace process focuses on two elements:
(i) financial assistance to the Palestinians. The main objective of this assistance is to help create the institutions of a democratic, independent Palestinian state, living side by side in peace and security with Israel. In this vein, up to €250 million are provided annually for institution-building programmes, assistance to the via the World Bank Reform Trust Fund, support to refugees, humanitarian aid, etc.
(ii) people-to-people projects in the context of our EU Partnership for Peace programme: this programme, with an annual budget of between €7 and €10 million supports civil society initiatives in support of the Middle East Peace Process, both joint Israeli-Palestinian and 'unilateral' initiatives. The objective of this programme is to contribute to the rebuilding of confidence within each society and between societies. An important new strand of this programme aims to bring some of our current individual activities together in a more comprehensive and visible initiative against violence and in support of victims of violence, on both sides of the conflict, e.g. through peace education.
EUROPE & CIS
In the immediate aftermath to the November 2003 rose revolution, the EC has provided electoral assistance (€ 2 million) to support the organisation of the Presidential and Parliamentary elections (4 January and 28 March 2004 respectively). Funding was channelled through UNDP, providing urgent technical assistance to the Georgian Central Electoral Commission.
In order to consolidate the rule of law, the EC provided support in 2004 (€ 4.65 million) to contribute to the democratic transition process and the re-establishment of the rule of law in the country. The programme, focusing on institution building, complements other rule of law actions developed in the context of the European Security and Defence Policy, ESDP (EUJUST THEMIS). Under the programme, experts were contracted to advise (i) the Ministry of Justice on strategic and organisational issues and (ii) the Parliament with a view to legislative capacity building, including EC law approximation. These projects will be followed up under the TACIS Action Programme. In addition, and with a view to piloting parliamentary, penitentiary and probation reform programmes, material and technical support are being provided through UNDP to the Parliament (upgrading of the ICT infrastructure in combination with capacity building) as well as to the Ministry of Justice (rehabilitation of the Rustavi prison and of decentralised probation service offices).
Finally, through international NGOs, projects are being financed with the aim of enhancing confidence among population groups affected by the Georgia-Abkhazia and Georgia-South-Ossetia divide.
Furthermore, the EC supports the "Eujust Themis 2004" project in which the EU Rule of Law Mission shall, in full co-ordination with, and in complementarity to, EC programmes, as well as other donors' programmes, assist in the development of a horizontal governmental strategy guiding the reform process for all relevant stakeholders within the criminal justice sector, including the establishment of an efficient mechanism for co-ordination and priority setting for the criminal justice reform. This project amounts to approximately €2.3 million.
For the period 2000 - 2006, the EC aid package for the Western Balkans totals € 4.65 billion. The Western Balkan countries are using this money to develop their institutions and introduce new laws in line with EU norms; to reinforce their economies and create an environment that will nurture recovery and business growth; to improve their police and legal systems' ability to tackle crime; to develop an independent media and a robust non-governmental sector; to facilitate the return of refugees; to move towards respect for minority rights and combat racism and xenophobia.
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM): Support to Reconciliation
In the context of reconciliation efforts, the EC deployed in 2003 in close consultation with the EU Special Representative, high-level policy advisors to the Deputy Prime Minister. The purpose was to assist him to fulfil his role in overseeing the implementation of the provisions of the Ohrid Agreement on equitable representation of minorities. This assistance amounted to € 238.800.
EC has provided €1.6 billion to Kosovo since 1999, a large share of which (more than a billion) being provided to reconstruction through the Community Assistance for Reconstruction, Development and Stability instrument (CARDS). Support has also been provided to UNMIK's pillar IV which is part of UNMIK, i.e. the civilian peace keeping presence (€103 million).
The economic and social component of the 2004 assistance programme for Kosovo aims to promote sustainable economic development for all of Kosovo's communities. The programme is among others assisting the economic and social development and re-integration of minority communities, and the development of a sustainable returns process.
In 2001, the EU, together with the international community committed to concentrate all of its cooperation efforts to the Peace Process in Colombia. The EC "peace package" (multi-annual support programme of €105 Million) consists of 3 Peace Laboratories and a project for de-mining). Moreover, the EC started to use the funding available under the horizontal budget lines (Aid to uprooted people, EIDHR, Co-financing with NGOs etc.) towards this main goal of peace building. As an example, support is provided to the return of refugees (€ 40 million for 2005 - 2006), to demobilization of children, and to de-mining (€2.5 million in 2005).
Democratisation and institution building and economic recovery are the objectives pursued by the Peace Laboratories, that aim at building zones of peaceful coexistence for inhabitants by reinforcing local institutions and supporting civilian actors engaged in promoting peace, together with fostering economic and social development, including, when possible, support to alternative development. Peace Laboratory I is implemented since 2002 in 29 municipalities of the Magdalena Medio region (EC contribution €34 million over 8 years). Peace laboratory II is implemented since 2004 in 62 municipalities in 3 regions: Norte de Santander, Oriente Antiqueño y Alto Patía (EC contribution €33 million over 4 years). Peace laboratory III is currently under preparation (EC support €24.2 million).
The EC has also given its support for the UN "good offices" (€350,000 in 2004; Rapid reaction Mechanism, RRM). This project was designed to provide direct support to the UN Special Adviser (SASG) and the UN "good offices" in particular to enable them to arrange meetings between key senior protagonists in the conflict and to assist with re-drafting legislation.