Lebanon is still not a post-conflict society. Power sharing and liberal economic growth have failed to deliver stability – more than two decades on, the fragile peace is punctuated by repeated outbreaks of political violence. Civil war sectarian animosities and power struggles have become entrenched. The international community has a role to play in transforming ‘negative stability’ in Lebanon into ‘positive peace’ and we've recently been in Brussels presenting our recommendations to EU policymakers.
We've been working with peacebuilding partner Saferworld on an 18-month project to bring the opinions of local people in conflict-affected communities to the attention of national and international policymakers. Now, together in Brussels, we're presenting the lessons learnt from all 18 national and regional conflict analyses. Find out more about the project and watch a short film that explains why the voices of people most affected by conflict must be heard when policy and programming decisions are being considered.
At the turn of 2011, Fiji's Prime Minister Bainimarama announced the imminent commencement of consultations for a new constitution. Elections are to follow in 2014. Our partner the Citizens' Constitutional Forum (CCF) urges that processes for formulating Fiji's next constitution must be led by the citizens of Fiji. Find out about the baseline survey that CCF has recently carried out to measure and understand change in community attitudes to human rights, good governance and citizenship.
The conflict with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) continues to cause destruction, displacement, death and distress for civilians and communities across four countries in central Africa. The policy brief resulting from the People’s Peacemaking Perspectives project research highlights an overwhelming desire among affected communities for a peacemaking solution based on civilian protection and engagement with the LRA.
Partners from the regions of Jammu and Kashmir, and the South Caucasus are currently in the UK to exchange their wealth of experience of living and working in these areas. Ershad Mahmood and Fayaz Ahmad Dar join us on Commonwealth Scholarships. Their visit coincides with strategic planning workshops in London for a range of partners affected by the Georgian–Abkhaz conflict, who have been sharing ideas with the Kashmiri partners on youth engagement in peacebuilding.
This September Conciliation Resources and our Fiji-based partners the Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF) are in Auckland, New Zealand for the annual Pacific Islands Forum leaders' meeting. CCF are making the case for its members to show their commitment to regional peace and security by pushing for peoples’ participation in dialogue across conflict divides and internal reform processes.
In August we held a four-day workshop to enhance the capacity of community-based and civil society organisations that focus on cross-border issues in the Mano River Union region. The purpose of the training, which explored participatory active research, was to identify a series of indicators to ‘nip potential conflict in the bud’ before it escalates. The event took place in Monrovia, Liberia, with representatives who work in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone meeting together to share their experiences.
In Tbilisi, together with staff from the Caucasus Research Resource Centers, this July we launched a survey of people's attitudes towards internal displacement. By taking part in the survey, Georgians who were displaced from their homes by the 1992–93 war in Abkhazia had the opportunity to express their views on conflict, return and justice. The results provide some important new insights into an often overlooked community.
July saw a key meeting in Entebbe of cultural and religious leaders from the four countries affected by the presence of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). As a result of the two-day discussions, organised by Conciliation Resources, the leaders, as well as being better informed about the reality in each state, produced a plan of action to take back to their communities.
The views of local people living on either side of the River Nistru are reflected in a new report and briefing paper on the Transnistria conflict, produced by Saferworld as part of the People's Peacebuilding Perspectives (PPP) project. The findings were generated from consultations which, for the first time, brought together separate representative groups on either side of the divide.