FriEnt Peacebuilding Forum

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A praxis journey: peacebuilding, natural resource management and development actors

By Lancedell Mathews
NARDA

The quest for peace in the world has taken nations and peoples down diverse paths – the paths of freedom and justice, the way of democracy and human rights, and the road of security and now natural resource management.

The lesson we are learning from these journeys is that the values of peace are overarching and must be reflected in local, national and international economics or politics, business and industry as well as the social and cultural everyday life of people everywhere. Natural resources and its ownership, use and how it is administered has for very many years now been called into question and the rich experience of how we have managed it in the past whether through ideas of imperialism, and colonialism, communism or capitalism and now natural resource management must be harnessed and used for promoting a peaceful world.

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Business as usual is not an option: Peacebuilding between shrinking space and new opportunities

By Marc Baxmann
Policy and Communication Officer at FriEnt

Shrinking space …

Many of the developments that have taken place in recent years point to a shrinking space for governmental and civil society peacebuilding practitioners. Due to a number of trends that have emerged during this period, peacebuilding is coming under growing pressure to justify itself and prove its worth with reference to the successes that it has achieved. This is decreasing – or at least changing – the options for action: 

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Challenges of peacebuilding for “transforming our world”

By Cornelia Ulbert
Institute for Development and Peace (INEF)

After two days of intense debates at the FriEnt Peacebuilding Forum let me act as a kind of sounding board resonating some of the points we were talking about. In my reflections I would like to focus on five issues: the nature of violent conflicts; the state and its relationship with civil society; visions and motivations to act: the role of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); institutional silos and organizational entrapments; and peacebuilding “beyond aid”.

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Draconian laws within democratic states – what space remains for civic society and peacebuilding?

By Nobokishore Urikhimbam
United NGO Mission Manipur, India

Manipur, which was merged to the Indian Union in 1948, experiences multiple armed and political conflicts. Under the absence of inclusive politics, controversy about political identity and empowerment, territorial status, economic development, divide along ethnic lines and the rest of India have led to the fight between armed state actors and non-state actors against the Indian State on one hand and the infighting between the various non-state forces aligned along ethnic lines. Civil society’s engagement in the interests of human rights, peace and social transformation is controlled and regulated.

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Education and trust building. Remarks from a Sri Lankan experience

By Rüdiger Blumör
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Sri Lanka

„During the war“, I was told in the east of Sri Lanka, „we used to open our mouth only to eat”. In wartime trust becomes a question of life and death. Mistrust is a good advisor for survival, instead.

If we view the war in Sri Lanka as something that stretched from 1983 to 2009 we will face an account of insurgency and counterinsurgency, interrupted by successions of more or less unsuccessful attempts to broker a political solution. Education has a position of high esteem in Sri Lanka because it is seen as the instrument for social advancement per se. As part of insurgency and counterinsurgency strategies education played a crucial role to “win hearts and minds”. What was at stake in many areas was not so much an absence of state institutions, but an excess of such structures because the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was keen to exhibit its own state-like capacities to the people. In consequence the state and the LTTE competed in winning hearts and minds and building trust.

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Welcome to the FriEnt PBF Voices Blog

 

The PBF Voices Blog is not solely shaped by us, the FriEnt team, it shall rather provide a space for conference speakers, participants and other interested persons to share ideas and insights on the future of peacebuilding policy and practice.

All posts relate to the multifaceted theme of the conference in its widest sense. Every article reflects the author’s personal opinion and captures his or her unique style.

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