A fairer vision for peace
A just and durable peace has long been an elusive vision in trouble spots around the world, such as the Middle East and the Western Balkans. The EU-funded project 'Just and durable peace by piece' (JAD-PBP) aimed to bridge peace and justice in order to create a durable kind of peace in war-torn societies. To achieve its aims the project worked on enhancing theories and methodologies in building peace. It analysed legal and democratic accountability of peace-building strategies, outlining existing international norms on the use of force by states for humanitarian reasons. This also involved assessing the legal and democratic accountability of states and international organisations in post-conflict peace-building as well as redefining the concept of jus post bellum, or 'law after war'. The project developed an analytical and methodological framework for evaluating and comparing the EU's peace-building strategies. Overall, JAD-PBP improved ways to study durable peace, focusing on just peace as being qualitatively different from the notion of positive peace since it makes no universal claims. The project integrated concepts of international–local dynamics, reconciliation and amnesty provisions in peace agreements into the equation. Another important project achievement involved the identification of best practices, mechanisms and strategies to promote peace in line with demands for accountability and human rights protection. In this respect, JAD-PBP also assessed how the concepts of Demobilisation, Demilitarisation and Reintegration (DDR) and Security Sector Reforms (SSR) were combined with peace negotiations. This fresh, new approach to achieving peace through justice could potentially build new understanding in the Middle East and the Western Balkans, bringing hope and the promise of better life for all.