The very first virtual Peacebuilding Forum "Translate - Relate - Act: Forging Partnerships for Sustainable Peace" combined interactive virtual sessions on key thematic issues hosted by the FriEnt members as well as national and international partner organisations on 27–29 April 2021 with high-level panels on the future of partnership and peacebuilding on 5–6 May 2021.
Over 400 peacebuilding actors from civil society organisations and governmental institutions as well as academia joined the event from all over the world. Collective approaches, mututal partnerships, cross-sectoral collaboration were among the key discussion points for building and sustaining peaceful, just and inclusive societies. The FriEnt PBF 2021 therefore offered space to reflect on the future of peacebuilding based on current global trends. We highlighted new ways of bringing partnerships into action, translating existing realities into policies and meaningful action, and expanding partnerships with related sectors and policy areas.
Translating realities into policies
In light of current political trends and peacebuilding challenges, we need to bridge the gap between local, national and international peacebuilding. To do so, we need to become more effective in translating realities into policies. The area of peacebuilding goes beyond the traditional dependency on donors and recipients of the past and seeks to establish a ‘partnership of equals’ based on mutual interest and respect. In practice, however, it is proving difficult to move away from the usual recipes.
Relating across boundaries
Peacebuilding is all about bridging divides to build effective partnerships. New ideas emerge through interactions across organisations and policy areas, not out of them. Sometimes it is easier to take a joint leap of faith and try out an innovative approach, beginning by building relationships of trust among people and between organisations that have previously had little trust in one another.
From the local to the global level, formulating peacebuilding policies should be a participatory process. To build sustainable peace, we need concrete and meaningful action. The principle of universality enshrined in the Agenda 2030 obliges every country, regardless of its income and level of development, to contribute to comprehensive efforts geared towards achieving sustainable development and peace. We need new forms of joint action to uphold this principle.