Owning the process: Public participation in peacemaking
Publication date: 
2002
Accord issue: 
13

Whoever the peacemakers may be, there will remain the need to strike the right balance between confidentiality and the engagement of civil society in what will always be a delicate process.

Marrack Goulding

When Marrack Goulding was first appointed UN Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping he saw no role for civil society in peacemaking.

Now recognising their increasing importance and conflict resolution, he examines why many inter-governmental bodies share his original view of peacemaking as a quintessentially governmental activity.

Goulding analyses public participation in the four progressive phases of peacemaking: overture, negotiation, implementation and peacebuilding.

He concludes that while there is significant tension in the first two stages between the need for confidentiality and discretion and the need for transparency and information, public participation becomes critical in the second two phases in which a sense of public ownership and support for the process is crucial for implementation.