Twenty five years ago, Conciliation Resources began with two second-hand computers and a shared office space. We might have grown to over 60 staff, but our core principle remains that people living in areas of violent conflict should be involved in its resolution. In this film, our founders Andy Carl and David Lord discuss their vision for Conciliation Resources when the organisation first began, what changes they’ve seen over the past 25 years and why they think peacebuilding is more important than ever.
Women’s involvement in peace processes is vital for sustainable peace. But, in peace processes between 1992 and 2018, women represented only 3% of mediators, 4% of signatories and 12% of negotiators. Women Mediators across the Commonwealth (WMC) is a network that brings together women from different backgrounds and with different experiences of mediating conflict to learn from each other. The network advocates for greater recognition of the crucial work done by women mediators at all levels - from the local to the global.
mediatEUr has worked to support peace processes since 2007 and provides conflict prevention and mediation support to the European External Action Service (EEAS). We strongly advocate for creative and inclusive peace processes that generate sustainable outcomes. Our “VOICES of Syria” project was devised in 2019 to connect the voices of Syrian refugees to the processes determining the conditions and visions for peace in Syria.
Bossangoa is adjusting to a new era of peace. The town, situated in the north west of Central African Republic, lies 300 kilometers from the capital Bangui, where one year ago today, the Government signed a peace deal with the leaders of 14 armed groups. It was the latest in a succession of peace deals since 2013, but unlike its predecessors, where ceasefires were broken in a matter of months, this deal is making some headway.
When Conciliation Resources was set up 25 years ago, peacebuilding was in its infancy. The term itself had only come into widespread use two years before, and the UN Peacebuilding Commission wouldn’t be established for another 10 years. This was a time when the ideas that continue to guide our organisation today were born. Our conviction that people living in areas of violent conflict must be involved in its resolution. Our belief that committed, two-way partnerships would be the cornerstone of everything we do. And our understanding that through dedicated research, analysis and learning we could constantly improve the process of peace.
"The New Year has begun with our world in turmoil.” Just days into 2020, UN Secretary General António Guterres called for restraint, dialogue and international cooperation as tensions rise around the world. He warned of the terrible human suffering caused by war, and spoke of our common duty to avoid it.
But despite the turbulent start to the new year, there are reasons to be positive about peace in 2020. There are brave, passionate and creative people working around the world and joining forces to prevent conflict and build more peaceful societies. By working collectively, we can all move towards a more peaceful future.
In the Central African Republic, many of today’s young people have grown up knowing only conflict. It shapes their day to day life, and their futures, but they are all too often left out of the processes which try to build peace.
"Enough, to hell with this film!" Tearing up the script, the producer stormed out of the room.
Earlier this year, I met a group of young women in Colombia who had come together to discuss their experiences of working for peace. The group included former combatants, environmentalists, feminist activists, and a police officer who contributed to the disarmament and demobilisation process of the FARC.
The following is a statement from Saferworld, Conciliation Resources, International Alert and Peace Direct concerning a possible merger of the Department for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.