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Is There a Role for the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding


  • Brinda Wachs

    () (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe)

  • Geoffrey Hamilton

    () (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe)


The focus of this essay is to enquire as to what role UNECE can play in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. The historic role of the UNECE in bridging the East-West divide and guiding the transition process of the former planned economies is testimony to the importance of this type of activity. During the transition process, political and economic systems often had to be recreated from scratch and sometimes in newly formed nation States. The lessons learned during this process, especially regarding the importance of good governance, provide the basis of the UNECE’s contribution to conflict prevention and post-conflict peacebuilding. The regional significance of peacebuilding and thus the role of a regional body such as UNECE is stressed by explaining that conflicts usually have major transboundary impacts such as migration, environmental degradation, disrupted transportation corridors, or broken trade links. The authors also provide an overview of the institutional initiatives that are being developed within the various UN agencies and other international organizations emphasizing their activities in South-east Europe and Central Asia. The essay ends by considering the future role of UNECE in creating a framework convention or standards, on the basis of agreed principles for post-conflict governance.

Suggested Citation

  • Brinda Wachs & Geoffrey Hamilton, 2009. "Is There a Role for the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding," UNECE Annual Report Economic Essays 2009_10, UNECE.
  • Handle: RePEc:ece:annrep:2009_10

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    More about this item


    Peace building; Europe; transition economies; institutional cooperation;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • P29 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Other

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