The EU has plans for peace – but is spending on defence

2018-05-30 - 12:00 am

By Dilia Zwart, Quaker Council for European Affairs

The long-term perspective of peacebuilding and the short-term focus of politics are usually at odds, but seem especially tense today. In a time when peacebuilding is needed more than ever, the rise of populist politics in Europe and other parts of the globe have challenged international cooperation. The fragmented political climate has been accompanied by a shift towards defence, particularly in Europe. However, plans for peacebuilding can be encouraged by politicians, practitioners and citizens.

Show post

Italy’s contributions to peacebuilding: One step forward, two steps back

2018-04-27 - 3:00 pm

By Bernardo Monzani and Bernardo Venturi, Agency for Peacebuilding, Italy

As violent conflict and instability have grown around the world and in the Mediterranean neighbourhood in particular, Italy has been thrust in a difficult position: affected by those crises in more direct ways than other European countries, it felt unprecedented pressure to actively engage as an international peace-broker. However, without official peacebuilding policies or consolidated capacities, its responses have often been hesitant.

Show post

Turkey’s approach to development and peacebuilding: It’s not all about money!

2018-04-23 - 3:20 pm

By Prof. Alpaslan Ozerdem, Co-Director at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University

To understand what has changed in Turkey’s peacebuilding strategy in recent years, it is important to remember a number of facts about contemporary Turkey as a donor country. First of all, Turkey dedicated over $7.9 billion of development assistance in 2016, nearly 85% of which was generated by the state. Second, Turkey overwhelmingly opted to provide its ODA via bilateral means (96%), and it should be noted that 94% of this was for official humanitarian aid ($5.87 billion). Finally, it is also important to note that Turkey counts its assistance to Syrian refugees in its own territory as part of this ODA, and that, in fact, this constitutes the lion’s share of $5.85 billion (TIKA, 2018). From this perspective, by simply looking at the amount of ODA provided by Turkey and to whom, the country may not seem to be potentially one of the most important peacebuilding actors globally. However, a number of other facts should also be borne in mind for a more advanced judgment.

Show post

Why isn’t the prevention of violent conflict more of a priority in Danish policy and practice?

2018-04-16 - 9:00 am

By Kristoffer Nilaus Tarp and Maria Stage, The Council for International Conflict Resolution (RIKO) in Denmark [This article was originally published on]

Prevention of violent conflict in a world taunted by violent conflict cannot only save human lives. It is also one of the most cost-effective tools of international interventions. Aiming to promote peaceful means to end violent conflict, the Council for International Conflict Resolution(RIKO) recently organised a conference at the Danish Parliament on conflict prevention, Danish foreign policy and development cooperation. At the conference, the current opposition parties showed interest in working towards a more prominent Danish engagement in prevention and peacebuilding. Most of the government ministers, ironically, could not participate as they were visiting companies in the Danish defence industry. The current government does, however, mention prevention in strategies on foreign policy and development cooperation. However, conflict prevention is not a high priority in policy and practice. If the majority agrees on the benefits of conflict prevention, then why isn't it more of a priority for Denmark?

Show post

U.S. support for Peacebuilding: New and Ongoing Challenges in a Changing Environment

2018-02-28 - 12:00 am

By Elizabeth Hume, Senior Director of Programs and Strategy, Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP), USA

Global levels of violence are at a 25-year peak, reversing the promising reduction in conflicts recorded in the 1990s, undercutting global stability and development gains, and driving record levels of forced displacement. 2017 proved to be a challenging year for peacebuilding. Real concerns emerged about nuclear conflict, resulting in the Bulletin for Atomic Scientists moving the hands of its symbolic Doomsday Clock thirty seconds closer to midnight. According to the Institute for Economics and Peace, violence continues to cost the world economy $14.3 trillion a year, exacerbating global threats like disease and trafficking, and underpinning the most critical US security challenges, including violent extremism. UN Secretary-General António Guterres summed up the crisis well in his 2018 New Year message, proclaiming we need “a red alert for our world."

Show post

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.

Reflections from the FriEnt PBF 2018

Connect-reflect-create was the motto of the FriEnt Peacebuilding Forum 2018. In the aftermath of the conference we are asking some of the participants to reflect on key takeaways from the FriEnt PBF, to share their views on the changing landscape for peacebuilding and to look ahead: How should peacebuilding look like in 2030? Our aim is to learn from different perspectives: how to accelerate innovation in the peacebuilding field and how to strengthen our collective impact. You can find all videos and blog posts here.

Blog Series 2018: Shifting Priorities for Peacebuilding?

Ahead of the FriEnt Peacebuilding Forum 2018 we have launched a series of expert blogs exploring how the changing international environment affects the support for peacebuilding in different countries. What has changed in recent years? Where are common trends and challenges? What can we learn from each other? You can find all posts in this blog series here.