Signing a peace accord may mark the end of a conflict on paper, but the impact on the ground is often minimal. Transitioning from war to peace is not a technical exercise but a highly political process where different principles, priorities and approaches need to come together. There is no one-size-fits-all template or solution: what works in one place may not work in another because every person, community or society deals with the aftermath of conflict differently.
This article identifies three broad lessons that can be drawn from past conflicts that help peacebuilding succeed: understanding the context, ensuring that national and local actors genuinely lead, and meaningfully coordinating external support. While external support can be crucial, without carefully addressing existing tensions and securing local buy-in, long-term success cannot be achieved.