Challenges of peacebuilding for “transforming our world”

2015-10-29 - 2:06 pm

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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Peacebuilding in conflict torn societies – a perspective from Afghanistan

2015-09-24 - 7:07 pm

By Masood Karokhail
The Liaison Office, Afghanistan

After over three decades of conflict and multiple regime changes, the post-Taliban period of 2001 provided a massive window of opportunity for peaceful transformation in Afghanistan.

Although much progress has been made over the past 14 years, the country is once again engulfed in violent conflict. With the withdrawal of international military, ground combat has grown, sadly with high civilian casualties.

The Afghan security forces are increasingly challenged in their fight against the insurgency with population protection being difficult to master. According to a July 2015 UN report, in the first six months of 2015 a 23 per cent and 13 per cent increase in women and child casualties respectively was documented.

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Violence, power and the outside peacebuilders: shrinking or enlarging the space for local Civil Society?

2015-09-22 - 11:42 am

By Thania Paffenholz
The Graduate Institute, Geneva

 

A set of factors either enables or constrains local civil society’s role as peacebuilder. These factors are both external and internal to civil society (CS), and can be local, regional and/or international. There are three main sets of factors known from research. The first set of factors consists of the national or local context conditions, such as the level of violence, the behaviour of the state and powerful elites in the country, as well as the features of national or local media. The next set of factors is internal to civil society itself. This set encompasses how different CS actors engage and cooperate as forces for peace, or to what extent CS is divided by politics, ethnicity, religion, etc. A third set of factors operates at the regional or international level, and encompasses whether external actors, including powerful regional actors, support peace in a given context, as well as whether donors and the international peacebuilding community give support that is relevant, timely and effective.

 

Frequently, international peacebuilders restrict the space for local CS by pursuing inappropriate or insufficient strategies. I want to briefly discuss only three factors here, namely power, violence, and the potential constraining role of external peacebuilders.

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There's no magic key

2015-09-15 - 6:19 pm

By Ivana Franović
Centre fo Nonviolent Action Sarajevo-Belgrade

The invitation to serve as a resource person for the FriEnt Peacebuilding Forum got me confused. What can I say about the topic? Peacebuilding is our field, I'm coming from the Centre for Nonviolent Action Sarajevo-Belgrade. We are a peace organisation working on peacebuilding, dealing with the past and reconciliation in the region of the former Yugoslavia. We have almost two decades of experience in doing peacebuilding work in the Balkans, so that is not confusing. But global partnerships? During all this time we actually had very few international partners although we have quite some international contacts. But when it comes to partnerships, to doing something together, most of them run away. Only some brave stay. Or we run away, we are not so brave.

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Re:think Peacebuilding – Kicking-off the debate 2015

2015-09-10 - 1:31 pm

By Marc Baxmann and Natascha Zupan

“Seizing opportunities” was the theme of FriEnt’s first Peacebuilding Forum, which took place in Berlin in May 2014. Against the background of a changing global context for peacebuilding, the Forum ended with a strong call to re-think current peacebuilding policy and practice in terms of our partnership approaches, the responsiveness to local needs and the embracement of complexity concepts. However, there was a clear sense of optimism among participants that we are already moving into the right direction and that there are promising initiatives at both the policy and practice level.

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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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