Democratic governance has been used to refer to range of activities like ensuring the rule of law, separation of powers and allowing for a very active media without any undue interference from any governmental institution. This ensures that each and every individual gets the opportunity to live as freely as pertained in the constitution of that particular country. This is a system of governance that allows for more than one political party and accepts the opinions and views of its citizens whilst upholding the rule of law.
Peace building on the other hand refers to putting in place preventive measures that can help check the starting of any conflicts in a particular society. It is also used to refer to all those measures that are also used to bring any conflict between any two or more parties to a peaceful resolution thereby making sure that the conflict is discontinued permanently.
Some of the aspects which are evidence of democratic governance and peace building in a society include;
Conflict prevention and peace building: Conflict has always been seen as a major aspect which brings the stability of a particular country crumbling down. Conflict prevention and peace building therefore refers to the ability of the various governmental institutions and developmental organisations both national and international to find ways and means of checking the inception of any conflict within a particular society and also making sure that if such a conflict does occur, necessary measures will be instituted to ensure that peace and tranquillity is restored to that particular society. This makes it possible to ensure the safety of the lives of each and every individual in that society which is the main objective of the rule of law. The United Nations has for some years have now been seen as the most active player when it comes to conflict prevention and peace building
Responsive institutions: This has been a major area of concentration by the UNDP as it has identified the responsiveness of various institutions at all levels of governance as being key to ensuring democratic governance and peace building in any particular society. The UNDP makes sure that in countries where the ability of various governmental institutions to function properly has been impeded by conflicts and instability, the necessary measures are put in place to restore the sovereignty of the rule of law. This helps to ensure that law and order is restored and the arms of government regain their authority to ensure the rule of law in the society. It sees to it that quick and immediate responses are given to unstable societies so as to ensure that they work towards achieving democratic governance and peace building.
Political processes: This refers to ensuring that all are actively involved in the running of the society. This has also been another area that the UNDP has focused on ensuring democratic governance and peace building. A state where the political processes related to the day-to-day running of the country are reserved for only a few people has been identified as one of the main causes of conflicts and instability in a number of countries. The UNDP has therefore made it their mission to ensure that the entire populace is actively represented when it comes to the political processes of the society.
The rule of law, justice and security: The UNDP ensures democratic governance and peace building through aiding governmental agencies in safeguarding justice in all situations that may arise and making sure that the rights and privileges of citizens are also safeguarded. It has also for some time now been advocating for an increase in the security offered to the citizens of any particular society in order to clamp down cases of armed violence. On the issue of rule of law, it works effortlessly with various governments in ensuring that the rights of citizens are protected whilst not forgetting the essence of gender equality, female empowerment and the need for swift action on all acts of violence committed against some group of people.
HIV and Health: This is also another area that the UNDP has identified as having the ability to bring about democratic governance and peace building. The effects of health related issues on any society go on to work against achieving sustainability in development. This leads to unstable governments and the lack of peace in a society. The UNDP has therefore been working closely with governments and other health related organisations like the Global Fund to Fight Aids in ensuring that people do not discriminate against those living with HIV and other diseases.
Development Impact: In the UNDP’s bid to ensure that societies experience democratic governance and peace building, it has also joined hands with various institutions to help provide positive impacts on the development of these societies through policies and measures that are well planned and programmed in a way which makes it possible for such societies to develop positively.
These are some of the ways through which the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) has worked to promote democratic governance and peace building in its member countries.