‘Peace missions don’t help reconstruction’

The reconstruction efforts carried out by peace missions are too little, too late, too short and too fragmented to be of much value for the countries involved, says former Dutch defence minister Joris Voorhoeve.

In a study presented to the development and justice ministers on Monday, Voorhoeve says the emphasis of peace missions lies too much on military and economic measures when they should be concentrating on building up the police and justice services.
In 66% of the countries involved in wars, fighting breaks out again within 10 years, he says. Voorhoeve calls on the European Union to take action to improve the situation, pointing out that the EU and its member states are the biggest donors to development cooperation, reconstruction and the restoration of law and order.
Better and faster decision-making and more cooperation between member states is needed, he says. For example, the Netherlands could set up a centre for reconstruction in The Hague so that all the institutions involved could work together.

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