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close this bookMeeting the Humanitarian Challenge - UNV's Work Between Conflict and Development (United Nations Volunteers, 44 p.)
close this folderCurrent concerns and future perspectives
View the documentDrawing from experience in the field
View the documentReducing scope for conflict: demobilisation
View the documentParticipatory peace-building dynamics
View the documentPromoting human rights and education for peace
View the documentDisaster prevention and preparedness at community level
View the documentPutting human development back on the agenda
View the documentAdministrative support to UNVs in humanitarian assignments
View the documentH... for Humanity: serving a purpose... for millions in need

Participatory peace-building dynamics

UNV humanitarian activities with UN operational agencies and NGOs in complex protracted emergencies often require comprehensive security cover, and the success of such relief/rehabilitation programmes will often depend on parallel conflict resolution approaches at various levels of the affected communities, and the deployment of UN peace-keeping forces.

UNV's participatory development activities could be expanded to link into a network of community-oriented micro-conflict resolution resources. This is important since the rapid expansion of demand for UNV specialists for humanitarian programmes has come, not so much from emergencies arising out of sudden-onset natural disasters, but from complex/compound emergencies of societies in turmoil.

Urgently erecting a camp for Rwandan refugees

David Costanza from the US, as part of his UNV Electoral/Civic Education portfolio in Cambodia, lectured Cambodian police and soldiers on womens' rights. His team produced brochures on aids and on rehydration, and recommended follow-up projects in health care and adult literacy.

UNVs' work in humanitarian relief can also be complemented by parallel peace-building efforts. There are many ways in which UNVs have been supporting conflict resolution dynamics:

• in helping local communities overcome confrontation
• in breaching barriers and taboos to communication and broader participation
• in promoting civic education, especially for democratisation
• in training local leaders in mediation and negotiation
• in providing opportunities for collective reconstruction which bring people together in achieving common goals

Work along these lines has been undertaken by UNV specialists and field workers in, for example, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Laos, Somalia, and the former-Yugoslavia.