Peacebuilding: Switzerland’s Approach to Local Ownership
Questions of local ownership are unavoidable and fundamental in post-conflict peacebuilding processes. They need to be approached in the best interests of the peace process and sustainable peacebuilding solutions. An international approach to local ownership thus means that external actors are required to carefully assess the needs of internal actors and to be ready to review their own roles. Switzerland is committed to not exporting preconceived solutions to any country or region and to include difficult partners in its actions. Overall, Swiss endeavours aim for local ownership to go beyond an engagement of local populations in outside driven processes. Rather, they focus on allowing locals to develop their activities and take responsibility for domestically driven peacebuilding processes with outside support. Switzerland wants to play an enabling role by identifying and supporting local actors who have the credibility and the willingness to assume responsibility for their country’s future. Peacebuilding can only succeed with the sustained contribution and commitment of both internationals and locals.