Can you build a positive and inclusive culture of implementation?


Achieving real change will be easier if the political processes that emerge also pay attention to what can be called a ‘culture of implementation’. In practical terms this requires states and other actors to work together to build an infrastructure around an agreement so that the parties that have taken on obligations can be assisted, encouraged, and perhaps sometimes coerced into fulfilling them

“A flexible committee system, a unique support unit, and a set of informal structures to facilitate implementation – largely unforeseen in 1997, these mechanisms are now viewed as essential to the treaty’s functioning.”

Kerry Brinkert, Director of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention Implmentation Support Unit, on the architecture developed to support the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty.

Coalitions can work to identify and foster ‘champions’ – officials from governments, organisations or businesses who are willing to invest in the process above and beyond the level expected of them. Ideally, through its network of contacts, the coalition will be able to find individuals where there is a match between their personal commitment and belief in an issue, their institutional stance and available resources on the issue and their ambition for profile and influence among their peers.

The culture of implementation will also be influenced by the way states monitor each other’s compliance with an agreement. Stephen Goose has written about ‘cooperative compliance’ being effective in the case of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, without a verification regime being built into the treaty. The willingness of states to be transparent with each other and with civil society will determine to a large extent how effective such compliance will be.


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