Reconciliation as a mechanism for conflict prevention and peacebuilding

Sep 5, 2014

Johannesburg, South Africa – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has concluded a three-day expert consultation on “Reconciliation as a mechanism for conflict prevention and peacebuilding”, with discussions focusing on understanding history, timing, collective memories, changing contexts and subjectivities, as well as future goals.

Its objective was to gather relevant research, field experience and insights from experts, academics, civil society, donors and United Nations officials to advance new thinking and approaches to reconciliation.

“The challenge of resolving conflicts, overcoming violence and building a workable consensus around viable reforms is huge”, said Jordan Ryan, Director of UNDP’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery. He stressed that reconciliation in these contexts provides the framework for efforts to build states in a way that avoids new patterns of inequality, exclusion and marginalization.

Drawing from the rich experience of South Africa, participants addressed issues such as theoretical and experiential bases for exploring transformative approaches to reconciliation, as well as practical, alternative and more transformative approaches to institutionalizing and supporting reconciliation.

The outcome of the consultation will feed into UNDP’s ongoing work of exploring a new institutional framework for reconciliation and exploring how to build truth and reconciliation commissions for the current times, coined as a “fourth generation truth and reconciliation commissions.”

Over 60 experts and practitioners from all regions of the world were in attendance. “Reconciliation is a process and not just a product, it is part of a continuous social transformation that is not only about confronting the legacies of the past, but also about framing the future”, said Jordan Ryan.

Contact information

Nirina Kiplagat :
Programme Specialist
Conflict Prevention Team
Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery  
Tel. 1-212-906-6942

UNDP Around the world