May 15, 2018

"Resilient Social Contracts and Sustaining Peace"

To better understand—and indeed strengthen—the relationship between the state and the citizen, it is important to examine what drives inclusive and resilient social contracts within different contexts.

Welcoming Remarks:

Patrick Keuleers, Director, Governance and Peacebuilding, UNDP BPPS
Bettina Luise Rürup, Executive Director, FES New York
Takeshi Akahori, Minister, Political Coordinator, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations

Opening Remarks:
Fabrizio Hochschild,
Assistant Secretary General for Strategic Coordination
 
Speakers:
Erin McCandless, Associate Professor, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa; and Research and Project Director, Forging Resilient Social Contracts
Luka Kuol, Professor of Practice, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University, Washington, DC; and Associate Professor, University of Juba
Jasmin Ramovic, Lecturer in Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Manchester
 
Moderator:
Youssef Mahmoud, Senior Adviser, International Peace Institute

The identical General Assembly and Security Council Resolutions (70/262 and 2282, respectively), adopted on April 27, 2016, offer sustaining peace as the overarching framework for revitalizing the work of the UN’s peacebuilding architecture. The resolutions and the secretary-general’s report on peacebuilding and sustaining peace, released on January 18, 2018, underscores the importance of nationally owned agendas, rooted in the needs of all segments of society. To better understand—and indeed strengthen—the relationship between the state and the citizen, it is important to examine what drives inclusive and resilient social contracts within different contexts.
 
Participants at this event discussed how social contracts manifest themselves in and adapt to different contexts, transcending from what are often unsustainable, ephemeral elite bargains into more inclusive ones with durable arrangements for sustaining peace. The findings of the research project “Forging Resilient National Social Contracts” were presented and case studies on South Sudan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Tunisia were featured. These case studies explore social contracting within contexts of conflict and fragility, highlighting the mechanisms through which agreements are forged that support prevention and sustaining peace.
 
This event engaged with current policy findings and debates, and highlighted how the UN can better understand the role of the social contract, and utilize this framing in its work, to support national actors in attaining and sustaining peace. It is hoped that by focusing on concrete examples and cases studies, this conversation helped member states and other key national stakeholders develop a shared and deeper understanding of what sustaining peace means in practice as they attempt to implement the above joint resolutions and deliver on their commitment to make prevention the core function of the United Nations.

Watch the video recap here

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