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A Peace-Building Enquiry

Question: Frazer what are your thoughts on the current situation in Gaza and Israel?

Answer: I feel in some way responsible, and I think we all are, this is not about choosing sides or trying to make sense of the victim and perpetrator dynamic. Let me ask you a question, have you given any thought to what it means to be a bystander? This war is the result of deep-seated hatred and trauma that we didn’t do enough to quell, untangle, recognise and acknowledge.

A Peace-Building Enquiry

We have all invested, whether it's time, money, hope or trust in the Peacebuilding Promise, no matter if it is through taxes, charity donations or welcoming refugees we are all stakeholders in the peace processes sold to us around the world. We have invested morally, socially, politically and emotionally in the processes and people (of which I am one) within an institution (which one could argue has become more of an industry ) that has failed too often without reasonable recourse or reasoning. If this was any other institution or Industry there would be a public outcry and an investigation.

Ask yourselves, who made up the teams in charge of the peacebuilding processes in the Middle East (who are they, what did they do, how much did they spend and why were they ill-informed as to the impending escalation of violence). Ask who are the people informing the peacemaking and mediation teams there now, are they the same people that let the region down so poorly? Ask, on whose watch did tension between Ukraine and Russia, Azerbaijan and Artsakh, Hamas and Isreal, Sudanese Armed forces and the Rapid support forces, escalate? (list of wars 2003-present) – Ask, what regions are next?

There is no doubt that peacebuilding is complicated and that it won't work at times. However, when it doesn’t work or is performing poorly there will be factors to that struggle. Timely and considered communication determining what those factors are and learning how to avoid them in the future is the most effective way of learning from failure and maintaining trust in the processes.

Amidst so many news reports, special envoys, political posturing, interviews and in-depth analyses of unfolding conflicts, I struggle to hear any enquiry into the peacebuilding failures that are so savagely affecting local civilians and their communities caught up in conflict. There is little commentary recognising that these peacebuilding failures severely weaken an already fragile international security.

There is an important relatively unreported factor in that the Peacebuilding Processes are/were a primary part of the context (Gaza, Palestine, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Israel….), in which violence escalated and in which many disparate discourses of perpetrator and victim are now monitored, manipulated and often amplified in the media. The leaders within the peacebuilding sector ( UN, NGOs, Donors, Policy writers, journalists, media bosses and everyone in between) have to explain why their processes are failing humanity so catastrophically and accept accountability, the peacebuilding sector must stand up and be recognised, at the very least they should apologise to those who have suffered and are suffering as a result. There has to be a mechanism that independently addresses any systematic and/or cultural voids in the peacebuilding machinery so that it improves and serves humanity better.


Why are we afraid of Failure is it not an integral part of Success?

When will there be a public and independent Peacebuilding Enquiry?

How will Peacebuilding processes be framed and overseen differently to support the end of conflicts raging now?

What were the things we failed at and can they be done better?

What are the alternatives to a technocratic culture that avoids accountability?

Consider this, according to the Watson Institute the Post 9/11 cost of war (May 2023) sits at:

Indirect deaths – 3.6-3.8 Million (May 2023)

Cost of 20 years in Iraq and Syria - $2.9 trillion

The US spent $8 Trillion

38 million war refugees

The US has Counterterror activity in 85 countries

The facts and figures are horrific reading

Directly in conflict right now are two States with Nuclear weapon capability

Start your research and share J

Or perhaps think about this:

The number of UN staff in the Secretariat alone (as of 31 December) is 35,762

An estimation of 37-50 thousand aid organisations

There are approx. 70 donor governments

I would like to leave you with this:

Linda Polman 2012 spoke about the money involved in humanitarian action and explained the issues we should all recognise.


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