Peacekeeping is a most essential link between peacemaking—that is, all the diplomatic negotiations and mediation work that results in signing peace treaties—and peacebuilding—that is, solving conflicts and addressing their deep causes that often have been missing in peace processes. Peacekeeping involves stopping the war and deterring violence during fragile ceasefires, and stabilizing the environment to make serious peace processes possible during these brief war-free periods. But in many situations, peacekeeping by armed people in military uniform may not be the most appropriate way to secure and sustain peace or protect civilians. This article makes the case for a new type of peacekeeping, one that is organized by unarmed global civilians who, by invitation only, come to help protect threatened local populations living in situations of war or violent conflict. Among the different roles, strategies and capacities civil society organizations may bring to conflict situations and peace pro- cesses, the concept and practice of unarmed civilian peacekeeping is probably least understood or recognized.
This article can be found in the Fall | Winter 2011 issue of Kosmos Journal or can be downloaded as a PDF here.
To download the article introduction and footnotes, please click here.
Rolf Carriere is currently Senior Adviser (pro bono) to Nonviolent Peaceforce, and serves of two boards (Millennium Institute in Arlington, VA, and Union of International Associations in Brussels). He worked from 1971 till 2005 with FAO, UNICEF and World Bank, mostly in Asia, where he focused on challenges of ending hunger and malnutrition, maternal mortality reduction, scaling up primary health care, elimination of child labor, trauma recovery and educational reform. His last postings were as UNICEF Country Representative in Bhutan, Burma, Bangladesh and Indonesia. Before retiring in 2005 he served as the first Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, a new public-private-peoples partnership aimed at food fortification. A Dutch national, he is a lifelong student of human development, philosophy and spirituality.