Laura Davis


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 This book analyses how the European Union translates its principles of peace and justice into policy and puts them into practice, particularly in societies in or emerging from violent conflict.

The European Union treaty states that in its relations with the wider world, the EU is to promote peace, security, the protection of human rights, and the strict observance and the development of international law. The EU is active in peace processes around the world, yet its role in international peace mediation is largely ignored.

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UN Security Council adopts UNSCR 1325 (2000) UN Photo by Milton Grant


The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security celebrates its 11th birthday this week. In the world of peace and conflict, 1325 finally put women, peace and security as a composite issue on the global policy map.  It instructed the world of diplomats, politicians and generals that women are agents, not only victims, who require their place at negotiating tables as equal partners in the effort to prevent and resolve conflict, protect and promote human rights and end impunity for some of the worst crimes of war, in particular those of a sexual and gender based nature.  But Antonia Potter and I ask: is it so far a triumph of form over substance?  

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Reforming the security system in postconflict environments to ensure security agents become protectors of the population is vital for peacebuilding and state-building. Justice-sensitive SSR aims to prevent recurrence and repetition of human rights violations by reforming abusive institutions, increasing their integrity, accountability and legitimacy, and transforming the institution’s role in society, including by empowering the citizens.

In this paper, publishd by the Initiative for Peacebuilding, I draw on research into SSR and transitional justice in Afghanistan, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Timor-Leste, and suggest ways in which the EU could improve the substance of its SSR programming and implementation by drawing on lessons from these cases.

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