The purpose of this report is to review Australian experience of peace processes and suggest possible approaches for strengthening them. The goal has been to increase the potential effectiveness, credibility and feasibility of Australian peacebuilding efforts principally by drawing on the experience of over 120 current and retired Australian diplomats, and a few defence personnel, police, and academic and INGO staff who have worked in often complex, threatening and entrenched conflict situations. Their experiences and comments were transcribed, organised and distilled into the conclusions and recommendations of this report.

The major themes of this report relate to:

  • The necessity for political leadership to prioritise diplomatic engagement and therefore development of strategy and policy.
  • How to re-establish and develop DFATs functions, capacity and structure to support conflict prevention and peacebuilding in foreign policy.
  • The imperative for guiding the Commonwealth’s rationale and resourcing for diplomacy, to ensure that political solutions are afforded the primacy they require in whole-of-government approaches to addressing global challenges.
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