Post-conflict reconstruction is a major challenge for states that have been ravaged by conflict. Post-conflict reconstruction aims at the consolidation of peace and security and the attainment of sustainable socio-economic development in a country affected by war. According to the definition provided by the Encyclopedia Princetoniensis, “Post-conflict reconstruction is broadly understood as a complex, holistic and multidimensional process encompassing effort to simultaneously improve military (restoration of law and order), political (governance), economic (rehabilitation and development) and social conditions (justice and reconciliation). The economic dimension of post-conflict reconstruction usually involves tasks such as distribution of relief assistance, restoration of physical infrastructure and facilities, reestablishment of social services, creation of appropriate conditions for the private sector development, and implementation of essential structural reforms for macroeconomic stability and sustainable growth”.
Non-Aligned Movement has called upon the United Nations to make optimal use of South-South cooperation arrangements in the development of civilian capacities in post-conflict countries. NAM has stressed the need for the UN to draw from the expertise of leaders and practitioners from countries of the Global South who have grappled with civilian capacity challenges with the aim to deploy effective civilian expertise.
South-South cooperation refers to the technical cooperation among developing countries in the Global South. It is a tool used by the states, international organizations, academics, civil society and the private sector to collaborate and share knowledge, skills and successful initiatives in specific areas such as agricultural development, human rights, urbanization, health, climate change etc. The past two decades have seen South-South and triangular cooperation grow rapidly in scale, intensity and modalities at all levels in a global order characterized by multipolarity. The growth of South-South cooperation is happening in a context of rising violent conflict and human-made humanitarian crises.
NAM Member States have undertaken many initiatives in post-conflict reconstruction. African Union, most Member States of which are also part of NAM, launched the African Solidarity Initiative (ASI) In Support of Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development in Africa in 2012. The objectives of ASI are: 1) To deepen the essence of African solidarity and promote a paradigm shift which centre-stages African mutual assistance as a key dimension for enhanced and effective development of the continent; 2) To encourage, motivate, and empower African countries to offer support to countries emerging from conflict and to other Member States in need as the process expands; 3) To provide a unique opportunity for generating additional “out of the box” ideas for addressing PCRD challenges, by actively involving African countries, relevant organizations/institutions, parastatal, private sector, philanthropy organizations/foundations, academia, civil society, faith-based organisations, African experts, and the Diaspora; 4) To promote intra-African solutions to the complex challenges of post-conflict reconstruction and other compelling issues; and 5) To contribute towards a renewed sense of urgency in consolidating peace where it has been achieved and preventing further relapse into conflict.
Besides the regional mechanisms, there are prominent examples where NAM Member States have assisted nations in post-conflict reconstruction. One such example is India’s assistance to Afghanistan in post-conflict reconstruction. According to a recent report by Pentagon, India remains the largest regional donor to Afghanistan with US$ 3billion in aid since 2001. India has committed over US$ 3 billion towards economic development, humanitarian assistance, reconstruction and capacity building in Afghanistan. After a successful implementation of a large number of projects, including the Afghan-Indian Friendship Dam in Herat and Afghan National Parliament building in Kabul, 116 High Impact Community Development Projects are being implemented in 31 provinces of Afghanistan, including in the areas of education, health, agriculture, irrigation, drinking water, renewable energy, flood control, micro-hydropower, sports infrastructure, administrative infrastructure.
Thus, NAM Member States have been actively undertaken collaborations, dialogues and initiatives oriented towards increasing South-South cooperation to promote durable peace and inclusive development in post-conflict societies.
By Dr. Ankit Srivastava, Editor