On May 14–15 the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation in collaboration with the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform convened a group of 19 peacebuilding experts and practitioners to explore key issues, challenges and lessons on inclusivity in peacebuilding processes.
Participants shared real-life experiences from peacebuilding efforts in Kenya, Somalia, Burundi, Nepal, Guatemala, Iraq and other areas and illuminated the most critical considerations in engaging local communities in sustainable peacebuilding. Some key points raised during the discussion included:
- There is a need for generating greater buy-in among decision-makers for bringing inclusivity to the center of peacebuilding processes;
- It is important to find a balance in engaging with the state, civil society and communities when supporting peacebuilding – one set of actors should not be prioritized over the others;
- International actors need to recognize that their role should be limited to one of a catalyst and facilitator in peacebuilding processes at the local and national level; and
- Multiple peacebuilding processes are needed simultaneously at different levels in order to achieve sustainable peace.
This paper distils the discussions and identifies key issues, lessons and challenges that need to be taken into consideration for strengthening and deepening the uptake of diverse perspectives in peacebuilding processes.
Listen to the interview with Jenny Aulin (10:40)
“The issue of inclusion and local ownership is one of the fundamental reasons for GPPAC being set up. The fact that local organization(s) working in peace building didn’t feel that they had enough space at certain levels (of) policy.” says Jenny Aulin from the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) explaining why she participated in the meeting. “I hope the project manages to give some direction to ‘this is what we mean by inclusion, this is what inclusion could look like, these are the terms of engagement we need to work towards’ then I think Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation is in a good position to promote that to state actors and the UN system.”
Listen to the interview with Alexander Ramsbotham (14:30)
Alexander Ramsbotham, from Conciliation Resources, explains that his organisation is using their own and others field experience to influence global conflict and peacebuilding policy. “The topic (of) inclusiveness, that this project is looking at, is something that we have been interested in for a long time. It seems to be quite high up on the international agenda at the moment, so I think this is a great initiative, really interesting. It helps us to think about the things that we’re trying to do, and some of the challenges that we’re facing.”
The meeting was the beginning of a longer-term effort to strengthen local agency in international peacebuilding. Follow up activities will be planned to maintain momentum and ultimately inform policy at the global level at the UN and other multilateral forums.