International Order & Conflict
Policy Paper

Building a Better Peace Operation: Lessons from the Brahimi Report Process

in Program

Prepared for the United Nations Foundation by William J. Durch

As the work of the UN’s High-Level Panel on Threats Challenges and Change began in early 2004, Durch was invited by the United Nations Foundation to pen a brief essay on the experience of research, writing, managing, and vetting what became the Brahimi Report. Its principal admonitions were to:

  • Be respectful of but not bound to the past;
  • Ground the conceptual analysis (but at risk of resistance if the analysis is too explicit);
  • Stay in touch at many levels;
  • Determine the must-haves and the no-go areas;
  • Know your audience and aim to create a buzz about the product;
  • Recruit an active, engaged Chair;
  • Find and stick to a release hook (with enough time to work but not enough to lose focus); and
  • Put as much or more effort into implementation as into the original report.
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