by Diana Quick
A shared statement by peacebuilding organizations
International Day of Peace, 21 September 2018
Ceel Afweyn is a district in Somaliland that has recently been prone to conflict, mostly driven by disagreements over grazing land, scarce water resources, and disputes over political power and influence.
Message from the Chairperson and the President
Every day, the pulse of the 24-hour news cycle seems to beat more quickly and with greater urgency. At any given moment, somewhere around the world a story is breaking about diplomatic tensions, trade disputes, populism, migration flows, disruptive technologies or the impacts of climate change. More often than not, these stories are also set against a backdrop of violent conflict. The challenges are complex and interconnected, and there are no easy answers. The future feels uncertain.
In 1994, Interpeace (under its previous name, the War-torn Societies Project), initiated a peacebuilding pilot project in post-conflict Guatemala. That work launched a series of peacebuilding processes that the organization would carry out in the region over the next 24 years.
In December 2015, the Security Council of the United Nations approved Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security, acknowledging that involvement of young people in conflicts, violence and criminal dynamics is linked to structural conditions of inequality and exclusion, as well as polical, economic, cultural and identity factors of a contextual nature.
The military coup attempts in September 2002 and the post-electoral crisis of 2010-2011, gave rise to a significant socio-political crises in Côte d’Ivoire. This event deepened the already existing social divisions in the country and exacerbated cohabitation tensions in different regions. In the West, the conflicts between populations, mainly around issues related to sharing resources such as land or pasture, became many times violent.
Inclusion in decision-making, particularly in political spheres critically contributes to the consolidation of peace and the construction of cohesive societies, be it in conflict-affected regions or elsewhere in the world. As a result, addressing the weak participation of women in governance has become a priority at the global level. In Guinea-Bissau, the underrepresentation of women in decision-making is almost systematic. Currently, very few women sit in parliament and the presence of women in the upper ranks of the Defense and Security Forces is very limited.
Trajectories of young people towards violence are generally not a result of indoctrination or the expression of youth frustration, but rather a result of the social dynamics and pressures exerted on them since childhood. Even though these pressures on boys and girls are of the same nature, young people’s responses to them are strongly structured by gender roles and norms.
Messages clés et recommandations
1. Au-delà du foncier, le sentiment d’inégalités économiques et la figure de l’étranger
Pressions sociales sur les jeunes filles et jeunes garçons
Women’s participation in governance is essential to ensure sustainable peace in conflict-affected regions of the world. Our current work in Guinea-Bissau, carried out with our partner organization Voz di Paz, with the support of the UN Peacebuilding Fund, seeks to promote the participation of women in decision-making spheres, specifically in the political arena.
As part of the work carried out by Interpeace with the Police Unit for Peacebuilding – UNIPEP -, a visit was made to one of the Territorial Areas of Training and Reincorporation in Colombia, with the objective to talk with community members, and learn about the challenges that they are facing in the implementation of the peace agreements.
Violent conflict can arise from a wide variety of socio-political problems, and to build sustainable peace it is essential that all levels of a society come together in resolving them. Unfortunately however, protracted conflicts, violence, marginalization and exclusion all erode bonds of trust and deepen social divisions, meaning that very often, local communities, civil society and political elites seek to address these challenges independently of each other.
The last year has seen significant global challenges, including an unprecedented level of humanitarian need, rising inequality and exclusion, growing climate change impacts, and increasing threats to our shared security. Nevertheless, the international community has taken important steps in addressing these challenges by implementing the recent bold commitments to foster sustainable peace.
Who do you trust when you cannot trust anyone?
Scott M. Weber
When a natural disaster strikes, such as a flood or an earthquake, it is heartening to see how ordinary people come to each other’s aid and collectively rebuild what they have lost. Those social bonds represent the best of humanity and the most essential values – solidarity, respect, dignity and selflessness – that we want to see underpin our societies.
Going beyond negative stigmas to transform youth’s agency
This report presents the findings of a year-long consultation process to establish the challenges to peace in Kenya’s Mandera County, as perceived by the local communities of the County.
With over 20 years of experience working in the Somali Region, Interpeace and its partner organizations have supported and advanced state-building and peacebuilding processes. Our work has helped transform dialogue into action in the interest of communities across the region, by convening a wide range of stakeholders in neutral political spaces. Interpeace’s long term institutional partners, the Academy for Peace and Development (APD) in Somaliland and the Puntland Development Research Center (PDRC) in Puntland, have ensured local ownership in our peacebuilding approach.
May 26, 2017
Signing the peace agreement in Colombia put an end to one of the world’s longest armed conflicts and marked the beginning of a process to build lasting and sustainable peace, which requires the involvement and commitment of all public institutions and society as a whole. The National Police of Colombia is a key institution in this peacebuilding process, due to its dual role to guarantee security and peaceful coexistence, and at the same time to help prevent violence.
Journalism for peace