Defining peace-building:

  “the construction or strengthening of authoritative and, eventually, legitimate mechanisms to resolve internal conflict without violence”

 Elizabeth Cousins, International Peace Academy

 “Safety for people from both violent and non-violent threats.  It is a condition or state of being characterized by freedom from pervasive threats to people’s rights, their safety, or even their lives.”    

Human Security: Safety for People in a `Changing World’.
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ottawa, 1999

Peace-building is the effort to promote human security in societies marked by conflict.  The overarching goal of peace-building is to strengthen the capacity of societies to manage conflict without violence, as a means to achieve sustainable human security.

 Canadian Coordinating Peace-building Committee

The goal of peace-building is to enhance a society’s capacity to manage conflict without violence. Peace-building consists of a set of measures that create a sustainable environment for human security. These measures provide the minimal conditions under which a country can implement social, political and economic development.


 “The Security Council recognizes that peacebuilding is aimed at preventing the outbreak, the recurrence or the continuation of armed conflict and therefore encompasses a wide range of political, developmental, humanitarian and human rights’ programmes and mechanisms. This requires short and long term actions tailored to address the particular needs of societies sliding into conflict or emerging from it.  These actions should focus on fostering sustainable institutions and processes in areas such as sustainable development, the eradication of poverty and inequalities, transparent and accountable governance, promotion of democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law and the promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence.  The Security Council further affirms that a comprehensive and integrated strategy in peacebuilding must involve all the relevant actors in this field, taking into account the unique circumstances of each conflict situation.  The Council emphasizes that a well planned and coordinated peacebuilding strategy can play a significant role in conflict prevention. In this connection, the Council underlines that international efforts in peacebuilding must complement and not supplant the essential role of the country concerned."

 UN Security Council, 20 February 2001