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The peacemaking-peacebuilding-development nexus: Marrying South Africa's peace diplomacy and development agenda.


South Africa has often been lauded as an influential and pivotal actor in peace and security affairs on the evolving African peace and security architecture. The centrality of Africa in South Africa's foreign policy has driven its exercise of peace diplomacy in a significant number of conflicts in Africa; where its mode of engagement has ranged from mediation to peacekeeping and post-conflict reconstruction and development assistance. Concomitant to its peace actor profile, South Africa's repertoire as an emerging development partner also forms a large part of its African agenda. The embedding of sustainable peace as a goal in the post-2015 development agenda and the enduring relevance of the security-development nexus continue to exert profound influence on the parameters and conduct of South Africa's foreign policy and its pointedly Afro-centric agenda. This article argues for greater integration and harmonisation between South Africa's peace diplomacy and its development partnership agenda through the formulation of a peacebuilding and stabilisation strategy.

1. Introduction

South Africa conflates its profile as an emerging African development partner with its multi-faceted identity as champion of the African agenda, bridge-builder and emerging middle power. In a bid to rationalise and give coherence to its developmental partnership agenda, in 2011 the government put in place plans to establish the South African Development Partnership Agency (SADPA) which is yet to become operational. In light of this, the objectives, principles and mechanisms of South Africa's development partnership agenda have been the subject of rigorous analysis, especially with regard to discourses around aid effectiveness and sustainable development (Besharati 2013; Lucey and O'Riordan 2014). Borrowing from findings of research on South Africa's development initiatives, this article seeks to link its peace and security development interventions with its diplomatic activities in the context of an integrated approach to peacemaking, peacebuilding and development. The discussion is informed by a number of salient international trends in development cooperation namely: the emphasis on peace-building-development nexus in the pursuit of sustainable development; the uptake of trilateral development cooperation as an attractive modality in the implementation of development cooperation; policy coherence as a key requirement for development effectiveness; and the inclusion of peace as a goal in the post-2015 development agenda.

2. Towards an integration of peace, security and development: Where peace diplomacy meets diplomacy of development

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the new global development framework for development adopted in September 2015, affirmed peace as one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets. Goal 16 emphasises "the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies" through upholding the rule of law, improving access to justice and the establishment of accountable institutions, among other targets (UN 2015).

The essence of embedding peace as a goal within the sustainable development agenda has been aimed at renewed emphasis on positive peace, reinforced by an integrated approach to peacemaking, peacebuilding and development. The concept of positive peace is informed by conflict transformation, entailing changes in the personal, relational, structural and cultural dynamics of conflict in order to foster sustainable peace (Lederach 2003). Parallel to this discourse is a growing recognition by development stakeholders of the centrality of not only aid effectiveness but also development effectiveness as a key component of successful and sustainable development partnerships.

Peace and stability on the one hand and development on the other are mutually impacting concepts: peace and stability are prerequisites for sustainable development while vicious cycles of intractable conflicts and fragility have regressive impact on development initiatives (Saferworld 2014: 3). Therefore in the context of implementing the post-2015 development agenda, it is imperative to integrate peacemaking, peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction with development in beneficiary countries, particularly those categorised as fragile and conflict-affected states. Establishing a nexus between sustainable development and peace and security has far-reaching policy implications for South Africa given its positioning as a key developmental partner in Africa (and the global South) with a particular focus on mediation, peacekeeping and post-conflict reconstruction and development (PCRD). Additionally, during its tenure as chair of the G77 plus China, South Africa played an instrumental role in the negotiations leading up to the adoption of the SDGs and in pushing for the inclusion of peace as a goal in the 2030 Agenda (South Africa 2016).

Building on previous research on enhancing South Africa's aid effectiveness, particularly in its peacebuilding and post-conflict and reconstruction initiatives, this article argues for the linking of South Africa's peacemaking viz mediation role with its developmental partnership agenda. The integration of the peace and security agenda with the development agenda is also hinged on the notion of conflict sensitivity, highly relevant to both political and developmental actors in conflict and post-conflict engagement.

3. South Africa's role as de facto peacemaker in Africa: Linking peace and security interventions with development imperatives

Informed by its own history and foreign policy leitmotifs, most of South Africa's development interventions have generally fallen under the category of peace diplomacy (including continental involvement in peacemaking, mediation processes, United Nations [UN]-sanctioned peacekeeping and peacebuilding in accordance with the African Union [AU] PCRD framework) (Van Nieuwkerk 2012: 84). South Africa's transition to democracy and re-entry into the international community predisposed it to a soft-power oriented foreign policy. In a bid to 'export' this model of peaceful transition to the African continent and beyond, South Africa has carved a niche for itself as Africa's preferred peacemaker, moulded by its identity as champion of the African interests, emerging middle power and bridge builder between the global South and North (Beresford 2013). South Africa has engaged in peacemaking, peacekeeping and PCRD activities across the continent in several countries including Burundi, the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Cote d'Ivoire, Comoros, Madagascar and Ethiopia among others, a reflection of the overlaps of a human security agenda in its foreign policy. Moreover, the South African model of conflict resolution is premised on negotiated solutions, inclusion of all belligerents, national unity governments and reconciliation through the establishment of truth and reconciliation commissions (Zondi 2012: 17).

South Africa's peace diplomacy is inextricably linked to the African agenda, a core tenet of its foreign policy which emphasises the interconnectedness of South Africa with the rest of the continent. In other words, the development and stability of the continent is seen as a determinant of South Africa's own economic development and security. Accordingly, South Africa's foreign policy has been moulded to position it as a pivotal state at the forefront of stabilisation and development of the continent, steering regional integration and championing marginalised African voices (Bohler-Muller 2012: 9). Viewed in the context of its engagement in conflict management and conflict resolution across the continent, coupled with a guarded sense of benign hegemony; peace diplomacy and the African agenda can be taken as the fundamental normative dimensions of South Africa's developmental partnerships (Kornegay 2011: 43). However, it must be noted that South Africa's development 'interventions' also carry political and strategic motivations, underpinned by the need to balance national interests with its identity and foreign policy objectives drawn from its posturing as an emerging middle power. As Sidiropoulos (2012: 98) argues: "A policy of development cooperation is an overtly political act as much as it may also be driven by some of the altruism of helping fellow African and developing countries advance economically". In this regard, the utility of the proposed SADPA becomes apparent in view of its envisaged role to rationalise and coordinate South Africa's development cooperation activities whilst serving as a foreign policy tool that would advance South Africa's economic and security interests.

South Africa has built a commendable repertoire in mediation and an examination of its initiatives in conflict resolution reveals a mixed bag of successes and failures. South Africa has played a major role in driving the peace processes in Burundi and the DRC that paved the way for ongoing post-conflict reconstruction. South Africa also played a role in Cote d'Ivoire, where Mbeki's role as mediator was prematurely ended amidst allegations of South Africa's partiality and overtones of economic interests as the basis of its involvement in the Ivorian crisis. An even messier conundrum is the Zimbabwean crisis where South Africa has preferred to take on quiet diplomacy as the lead mediator under a Southern African Development Community (SADC) mandate. The Global Political Agreement (GPA) reached in 2008 between the Zimbabwean disputants was a product of South Africa's painstaking push for political solutions to the crisis, aptly described as an "ongoing site of contestation" due to the haphazard manner in which various provisos of the agreement are being implemented (van Nieuwkerk 2012: 92). The prioritisation of Africa within the ambit of South Africa's foreign policy further commits it to pursue a stabilisation agenda premised on a systems-based, conflict management approach involving peacemaking, peace enforcement, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and PCRD (Olivier 2013: 115). Such a comprehensive approach implies the harmonisation of South Africa's foreign, security and economic objectives in pursuit of sustainable peace, security and development regionally and continentally.

South Africa holds the view that there are no quick fixes to complex conflicts. Evidence of this is seen in its engagement in peacekeeping and PCRD activities in countries where it has been party to peace talks as seen in Burundi, DRC and South Sudan. Accordingly, it has promoted the concept of developmental peace missions (DPMs). First brought up in 2004(Madlala-Routledge and Liebenberg), the notion of DPMs proposes means of bridging the 'traditional gap' between peacekeeping, peacemaking and peacebuilding, thereby bringing security closer to development by embracing integrated, simultaneous initiatives in a joint interdepartmental, interagency and multinational context (Department of Defence 2012: 154). DPMs entail a multidimensional approach to peace missions with implementation of reconstruction and humanitarian projects in addition to military operations. Essentially this means strategic, operational and tactical coordination between civilian and military capabilities in PCRD and peacebuilding (Gueli et al 2006: 7). While DPMs provide policy officials and decisionmakers with a framework to pursue sustainable peace in the context of the security-development nexus, their success is inextricably dependent on availability of vast human and financial resources. Moreover, DPMs also warrant networking and cooperation between civilian and military stakeholders from within and without the continent in line with contemporary thinking on peace missions (Olivier 2013: 128).

Taking stock of the variety of peace and security engagements on the continent where South Africa is involved, what becomes clear is the lack of a strategic plan on the delivery of development assistance. Recent studies by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) on South Africa's peacebuilding and PCRD activities in Africa concluded that these initiatives appeared "ad hoc, piecemeal and without substantive impact". Several recommendations were put forth including the development of a post-conflict vision and strategy which adapts to specifics of the various conflict environments, incorporates South Africa's comparative advantages and maximises knowledge management for effective and sustained engagement (Hendricks and Lucey 2013a, 2013b).

Particularly relevant to the ambit of this study is the argument for South Africa to develop a "dual strategic-level role" as a watchdog for the African Agenda within the development community and, as a mediator between donors and post-conflict countries (Hendricks and Lucey 2013c). This is dovetailed in the Defence Review (2014: 7-1) which highlights South Africa's pivotal role in shaping "the continental and regional security and developmental agenda through effective participation in security mechanisms" and its participation in AU and UN-mandated peace missions.

4. Conflict transformation and the potential for mediation

In unpacking the complexity of engagements in conflict and post-conflict societies, a certain logic is deductible. Political-diplomatic actors are first involved in the mediated peace process after which they give way for development actors to initiate the delivery of aid instruments. This segmented approach by the political and development stakeholders in conflict environment may have the unintended consequence of perpetuating the drivers of conflict. Indeed the "calcification of roles and phases" has hampered collaborative action and diminished opportunity for coordination of strategies to effectively tackle the structural catalysts of conflict (Ghani et al 2010: 54). Thus from the perspective of continuity and the glaring need to address the underlying structural causal factors, there is significant value in bringing in development stakeholders in the peace process as early as possible. The logic of a conflict-sensitive, integrated approach to peacemaking and development is double-sided as it is not only about bringing in development practitioners into the peacemaking processes; it also entails harnessing the expertise of peacemakers and mediators in the implementation of development phases (Interpeace 2010).

Human security, with a focus on the establishment of peace economies through implementation of peace agreements in combination with capacity-building and socio-economic development programmes, is at the heart of an integrated peacebuilding and development approach. Similarly, while mediation and conflict transformation are distinctive concepts in terms of timeframe, the number of actors involved and the methods employed, their common goal is the realisation of a durable peace environment (see Table 1).

Mediators can help lay the groundwork for long-term conflict transformation by establishing linkages across the various aspects central to sustainable peace, and incorporating a wide range of needs and perspectives at the onset specifically around prioritisation of issues in the negotiations and post-negotiations phase; inclusivity of a range of actors and issues pertinent to the conflict environment; and the balancing of local, regional and international dynamics in favour of long-term transformative intervention (MSN 2014). Mediation support in the aftermath of a peace agreement can assist in the peace implementation process, supporting the dialogue processes between civil societies, the private sector and state institutions. With regard to economic peace dividends, professional mediation can also assist in the delicate process of determining whether the inclusion or omission of economic provisions in the peace agreement is beneficial for statebuilding and post-conflict economic governance (Wennmann 2009: 45).

It must be noted that this notion of transformative long-term mediation has been the subject of contention among mediation scholars and practitioners who are wary of over-burdening an already complex mediation process by bringing in long-term developmental and peacebuilding issues at the expense of ending the violence as a short-term priority (MSN 2014:7). Nevertheless, failure to address the wider peacebuilding and developmental agendas in a timely manner leads to a slide towards intractability and possible recurrence of conflict. A case in point is Burundi, where a fragile peace has existed since the 2000 Arusha Peace Agreement was precariously birthed by Mandela. South Africa has remained engaged in the post-conflict development in Burundi in key areas of capacity-building in public sector, implementation support such as disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) under the UN Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB); economic development and trade including exports and mining activities; and information-sharing through facilitation of peer-learning initiatives (Hendricks and Lucey 2013b: 3). The recent upheavals in Burundi, sparked by President Pierre Nkurunziza's bid for a third term in the 2015 elections, have cast a light on the 'vicious cycle' of fragility marked by over-emphasis on the role of formal negotiations among political and military elite at the expense of the wider population who had been expecting to reap developmental peace dividends promised in the peace process (Interpeace 2010). As such the economic and political sectors in post-conflict Burundi are still encumbered by networks of patronage and weak institutions, exacerbated by opportunistic external assistance that thrives on underlying ethnic and political differences (Mills and Davis 2015).

Burundi, South Sudan, Nepal, Liberia and Guatemala among a myriad of other cases highlight the importance of 'partnerships of necessity' if development effectiveness is to be realised. Partnerships of necessity entail the integration of actors and objectives in a 'chaordic' network, where the various actors combine the various elements of chaos, order, competition and cooperation in an integrated peace and development programme of action (Ricilgiano 2003: 450).

5. The role of development practitioners in the peacemaking-peacebuilding-development nexus

The evolving nature of peace missions and the involvement of civilian actors alongside military personnel raises important questions around the role and the development stakeholders in the political mediation process and the scope of their engagement in the conflict management process.

The relevance of development agencies in the peace process has to be seen in the context of 'backward-looking and forward-looking dimensions' of peace processes. The backward-looking dimensions relate to past violence and injustices while forward-looking dimensions entail new political, societal and economic orders (Zartman 2005: 295). Thus on the basis of a holistic and conflict-sensitive approach to peacebuilding, mediated political settlements and development initiatives have to be seen as important inter-related nodal points in a wider peacebuilding continuum. Development agencies have a crucial relationship to the peace process especially if conflict is the result of structural causes that feed into development programming and economic recovery.

Specifically, development experts can add value to the peace process in several ways: first, development actors can ensure crucial economic issues are placed on the agenda. Although the issue of presenting development assistance as an economic incentive is highly sensitive and context-dependent, there is political value in including economic provisions in peace agreements in the event that it contributes to new visions of post-conflict recovery and statebuilding (Wennmann 2009: 46). Second, development agencies can facilitate communication channels between belligerents and mediators utilising the strategic networks established for the agency's aid initiatives. As such, development actors can potentially enhance the dialogue process between various parties in the peace process (Wennmann 2010a: 8). Third, development agencies can also provide financing for the implementation of peace agreements. Post-conflict Needs Assessments (PCNAs) are key in this aspect. PCNAs are "multi-stakeholder initiatives that conceptualise, negotiate and finance a shared strategy for recovery and development in war-to-peace transitions" (Wennmann 2010b:8). They are essential for recovery and development planning in fragile and conflict-affected states and can provide significant momentum for peace talks if they are conducted when a peace agreement is in the offing. Finally, alongside the mediation support structures, development agencies can help in reinforcing the transitional pacts once a peace agreement has been realised and in strengthening the multi-stakeholder coalitions built to ensure a durable peace. They can do this by offering a wide range of flexible aid instruments that are tailored to meet the context-specific priorities in the consolidation phase of the peacebuilding strategy (Wennmann 2010a: 8)

In spite of these positive roles for development actors in the peacemaking and peacebuilding praxis, mediators have often been reluctant to bring development actors on to the table during talks arguably because development issues are perceived as technical, apolitical and bureaucratically taxing hence mediators have preferred to contain the number of actors involved in the workings of a peace process (Wennmann 2010b: 4). Notwithstanding, recent shifts in the development discourse have reflected renewed thinking in the interactions of security, mediation and development actors. There is broad consensus that international engagement in peacebuilding efforts should aim for coherence, coordination and complementarity rooted in a holistic approach that runs across the stabilisation, transitional and consolidation phases of peacebuilding (De Coning 2008: 88).

As mentioned earlier, the segmentation of roles and role players has resulted in an unhealthy division of labour leading to duplication, risk of overspending, lowered quality of service and diminished capacity (De Coning 2008: 89). The tendencies of diplomatic and development actors to operate in organisational silos are underpinned by a healthy dose of realpolitik: the fact that reality is informed by disparate interests, mistrust and competition. Furthermore, institutional, political and geopolitical considerations make it extremely difficult for various actors to cooperate towards achieving comprehensive joint assessments and strategies (INCAF 2011). The pursuit of coherence and coordination in peacebuilding and development assistance will require innovative and unconventional thinking that is premised on "legitimacy, not just stability; soft-systemic not just hard physical infrastructure"; and the importance of flexible approaches, inclusiveness and local ownership of mechanisms (Mills and Davis 2015).

6. Implications for South Africa's development partnership agenda

South Africa's foreign policy priorities and exercise of peace diplomacy reveals considerable overlaps with crucial themes within the peacebuilding agenda including the focus on preventive diplomacy, mediation and conflict transformation (Saferworld 2013: 3) Moreover, as a member of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) coalition, South Africa's perspective on the peacebuilding, statebuilding and development discourse is one that is informed by the group's gumption: to "challenge peacebuilding's and development's Euro-Atlantic character through the charting of their own donor and peace agendas"(Richmond and Tellidis 2013: 6). The BRICS peacebuilding agenda is by no means homogeneous: the individual states' positions are influenced by a range of factors including international and domestic ambitions and norms, regional security interests, level of engagement in peacekeeping, positioning in the UN Security Council and history of state-society relations (Richmond and Tellidis 2013: 7). In addition to the weight and influence of its history, South Africa's peacebuilding and development agenda is also informed by its multi-faceted identity as a champion of African interests, pivotal member of the global South and bridge-builder between North and South. In Africa, its development paradigms are firmly embedded within the policy frameworks of the New Economic Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), the African Union Vision 2063 and the Common African Position on the post-2015 development agenda. Beyond Africa, it prioritises South-South cooperation as the preferred modality in international development cooperation (Saferworld 2014: 3). South-South cooperation is centred on principles such as solidarity, non-intervention, mutual benefit and includes an array of initiatives ranging from knowledge-sharing to technology transfers and capacity building. South Africa is also party to principles of aid effectiveness outlined in the international principles such as the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation, the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action (Besharati 2013: 27; Grobbelaar 2014).

SADPA, the means through which South Africa plans to upscale its role as an influential development partner is yet to be operational. Given the centrality of peace and security interventions in its envisaged programme of action, there is potential to optimise its development interventions, particularly peace and security interventions, by harnessing the full range of South Africa's comparative advantages. Besharati (2013: 27) identifies these advantages as proximity and 'insider' status, public and financial management expertise, infrastructure and a regionally-engaged private sector. When viewed through the prism of an integrated approach to peacebuilding and development, South Africa needs to marry its 'political' peacemaking/mediation credentials with its 'developmental' objectives in order to realise sustainable and effective development outcomes. As Wennmann (2010a:8) puts it: "the know-how of development practitioners is important for mediators during a peace process in order to determine realistic economic futures; and the know-how of mediators is important for the development practitioners in the post-conflict phase in order to prevent the recurrence of conflict and maintain transitional pacts".

In this regard, I submit that South Africa needs to formulate a Peacebuilding and Stabilisation Strategy that imbues its peacebuilding goals with its development goals. With the delayed operationalisation of SADPA, such a framework could form the basis for a more systematic mechanism to harmonise the objectives, principles and activities of mediation and peace processes (short-term) with peacebuilding, statebuilding and development goals (long-term).

7. Prospects for trilateral development cooperation in peacebuilding

Even more pertinent to the post-2015 development agenda and the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States, the prospects for South Africa to realise a complementary interaction between peacebuilding and development is dependent on SADPA's ability to optimise emergent development cooperation modalities, particularly the increasing saliency of trilateral development cooperation (TDC). An essentially contested concept, TDC can be defined as "the engagement between three partnering entities, where the partners look to combine resources in jointly supporting the development needs identified by the beneficiary" (Masters 2014a: 179). One of the most cited advantages of TDC is that it seeks to harmonise the North-South and South-South cooperation models whilst enhancing ownership by recipient/beneficiary countries (Mawdsley and McEwan 2012: 2). For South Africa, the advantages of TDC include the enhancement of its bridge-building role and buttressing its foreign policy priorities of mediation, developmental peacekeeping, post-conflict reconstruction and an African-centred diplomacy of development (Masters 2014a: 181). Additionally, there is a sense that South Africa is overstretching itself in peace and security engagements while expecting to be at the forefront in addressing proliferating crises (Kornegay 2011: 43). South Africa has been employing collaborative partnerships with countries such as Norway, the United Kingdom (UK), the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Japan and Germany in projects around security-sector reform, capacity-building and training and infrastructure development benefiting a range of recipient countries such as Burundi, Rwanda, DRC, Mozambique and South Sudan among others (Sidiropoulos 2012: 96). As far as South-South-South TDC is concerned, South Africa is also a part of the IBSA Dialogue Forum, alongside Brazil and India. Through the IBSA Fund, South Africa has supported a range of PCRD and Millennium Development Goals (MDG) related development initiatives in line with principles of South-South cooperation (SSC) (Kok 2014).

Indeed, TDC opens up a range of opportunities for South Africa in the international development terrain, a factor that is included in the draft SADPA Bill (Sidiropoulos 2012:96). However, as a novel aid paradigm, TDC is not without challenges for South Africa. As pointed out by Masters (2014: 183), two problems are germane: the first is the aforementioned "shortfall in understanding South Africa's experience with TDC, with little engagement on the lessons learnt once projects have been completed". The second is that there is a need to "more explicitly understand the linkage between TDC, diplomacy and foreign policy". Meanwhile, in the absence of a functioning SADPA, the disjointed manner in South Africa carries out its developmental agenda across a number of government departments and financial institutions such as the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and the Industrial Development Cooperation (IDC) serves to underscore the need for an integrated development and peacebuilding programming for the design and implementation of development assistance (DFID 2013).

8. Towards a peacebuilding and stabilisation strategy for South Africa

There are several potent considerations for the proposed idea of a peacebuilding and stabilisation strategy for South Africa:

--Conceptual and institutional framework: The process of formulating a cross-sectoral strategy which focuses on peacemaking and peacebuilding and PCRD as strategic lines of development cooperation is effectively embedded in broad normative and institutional dimensions. Pertinent to South Africa, the normative and instrumental frameworks can be drawn from a range of sources inter alia: the 2011 White Paper on South Africa's Foreign Policy, Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) Strategic Plan 2013-2018, The African Renaissance Fund (ARF) Strategic Plan 2015-2018; the draft SADPA framework; the South African National Development Plan 2030; the AU's Agenda 2063; NEPAD; the AU's PCRD framework, the Common African Position on the post-2015 Agenda; the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness; the 2008 Accra Agenda for Action; the 2011 High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness and the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States.

With regard to institutional dovetailing, South Africa's engagements in development interventions are inextricably linked to national, regional and global stakeholders. Examples of these actors include SADC; the African Peace and Security Architecture, BRICS, IBSA and the UN Peacebuilding Architecture among others.

--Embracing a holistic view of peacebuilding: a holistic approach to the peacebuilding-development nexus is one that frames peacemaking/mediation as "a key moment in the wider peacebuilding continuum", alongside conflict- prevention and post-conflict reconstruction and development (Interpeace 2010). Moreover, the relationship between diplomatic peacemaking and developmental peacebuilding should not be confined to sequentialism but should instead unfurl as 'partnerships of necessity' which entail conflict-sensitivity, coherence, collaboration, flexibility and an emphasis on local ownership.

--Locating South Africa's development partnership trajectory at the intersection of peace and the post-2015 development agenda: pertinent to its role in peace and security and the continued emphasis on Africa as a focal point of its development partnership agenda, government needs to develop structured interactions with multiple stakeholders from the private sector, civil society, academia, and NGOs in harnessing the full benefits of South Africa's advantages as a key development partner. In this regard, peer-learning would include a comprehensive and widely-sourced consultation process entailing visits to development agencies in the North and South, the commissioning of studies and papers and consultation with relevant departments and ministries of countries that are a part of the Friends of Mediation Group. (1) For instance, the Nordic countries of Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark have a long-standing history of formalised mediation and conflict-transformation competencies within their foreign policy making and implementation machineries.

Given South Africa's role on the continent and internationally, there are strong arguments for its engagement as a lead nation in the implementation of goal 16 on the African peace and security landscape.

--Aiming for strategic complementarity with key local, regional and international partners in the area of peace and security: the emphasis should be on coordination and implementation of the proposed peacebuilding strategy as a way of reinforcing institutions at the sub-regional (SADC), regional (AU) and international (UN) levels. Such a policy framework at state level will go a long way in addressing the capacity-building gaps and shortfall of technical expertise at the regional and international level. The desired endstate should be 'symbiotic partnerships' among various inter-agency components including the UN Peacebuilding Commission (Murithi 2006a), the AU/NEPAD Post-conflict policy framework, the mediation and PCRD pools of the AU Peace and Security Department (PSD) Civilian Standby Roster and the SADC Mediation Capacity and the National Office for the Coordination of Peace Missions (NOCPM) among others.

At a thematic level, three key clusters provide entry points for peacebuilding-related cooperation between mediation, security and development actors. The first is the Security cluster, based on wide and deep notion of security. Focus areas include DDR, SSR, de-mining and control of small arms and light weapons. The second cluster is governance and political development which entails capacity building for public sector, political and administrative structures; the strengthening of the rule of law; peace education. The third cluster, social, economic and environment, which focuses on economic recovery, infrastructure development, enhancing capacity to meet MDGs/SDGs (Austrian Development Cooperation 2014). Mirroring the AU/ NEPAD Post-conflict Reconstruction policy framework, two more thematic clusters can be added to this list: human rights, justice and reconciliation; and coordination, management and mobilisation (Murithi 2006b: 17).

--Policy coherence as a building block to development effectiveness: in line with recent thinking in the development enterprise, the overarching objective must be on local ownership of the peacebuilding and PCRD process. One way of realising this objective is to employ the "3D or the Whole-of Government Approach" premised on the notion that there needs to be 'system-wide coherence' of defence, diplomacy and development initiatives towards meeting the common objective of strengthening local capacity, especially in conflict-affected and fragile states (Gabrielse 2007; Lockhart 2005).

--Identify viable sources of funding: given the technical and administrative challenges that are to be expected in the operationalisation of SADPA, TDC presents a feasible mode of funding for the agency. By virtue of its comparative advantages of access and experience, South Africa has already positioned itself as an attractive pivotal partner for peacebuilding to donors from the North and South. A whole range of coalitional possibilities including the BRICS, IBSA and (MIKTA) (2) present viable sources of funding for South Africa's peacebuilding and PCRD activities within a TDC framework. Furthermore, given the areas of convergence between the European Union (EU) and South Africa in terms of their approach to peace and security, the EU also presents as a viable candidate for a developmental partnership with South Africa (Masters 2014b).

--Embracing the political character of development assistance: Aside from its technocratic character, politics matters in the institutionalisation and the implementation of development cooperation. Development cooperation is often underpinned by a range of strategic political, economic and normative considerations that often feed into policies, implementation and desired outcome. Hence the pursuit of development effectiveness has to start from acknowledgement of the 'political' and how these aspects can be harnessed for effectiveness and sustainability. For instance, development agencies can embrace their political roles by engaging around, in and on conflict as central to the integration of long-term peace, security and development agenda (Brown 2009).

9. Conclusion

Recent research in the terrain of development cooperation has reflected a convergence of the intellectual and operational aspects of peace and development as inter-related, mutually-reinforcing concepts. As a key peace and security actor on the continent, South Africa's developmental agenda is inextricably linked to a broader peacebuilding agenda reflective of themes such as conflict prevention, management and resolution; mediation; conflict transformation; developmental peacekeeping and post-conflict reconstruction and development. The significant proportion of South Africa's engagement in development initiatives, which can be firmly located within the realm of peace and security, render an integrated approach to peacemaking, peacebuilding and development imperative in light of South Africa's ascription to the multi-faceted roles of African champion, bridge-builder and emerging middle power. This article has argued for the formulation of peacebuilding and stabilisation strategy, envisaged to feed into the mechanisms of the proposed SADPA in moving towards greater coherence among diplomatic, defence and development cooperation stakeholders. South Africa's established involvement in mediation and PCRD activities across the continent offers rich sources for lessons and the requisite institutional memory that comes from close to two decades at the helm of continental peace and security initiatives. Ultimately, several considerations that are crucial for the formulation of an integrated peacebuilding and stabilisation strategy were also presented as stepping stones, key among which is the viability of trilateral development cooperation as a source of funding and mode of implementation.


(1.) The Group of Friends of Mediation currently consists of 40 Member States, the United Nations and seven regional organisations and other international organisations. It was founded on 24 September 2010, to promote and advance the use of mediation in the peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict prevention and resolution, as well as to generate support for the development of mediation.

(2.) MIKTA refers an informal grouping consisting of Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey and Australia. The group's cohesion bears close resemblance to the principles in BRICS and IBSA namely strong economies, regional strategic importance and interest in influencing global governance.


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Faith Mabera

Institute for Global Dialogue (IGD) associated with University of South Africa
Table 1: Mediation and conflict transformation

                     Mediation           Conflict transformation

Means          Assisted-negotiations     Transforming relationships
                                         and structures
Time-frame     Short-term                Long-term
Parties        Decision-making conflict  Society at large
Third-parties  Mediators and mediation   Mediators, peace builders,
               support actors            development workers etc.

Source: Mediation Support Network, Discussion points No 5, 2014.
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Date:Nov 1, 2016
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