Building peace is complex and long-term – it requires patience, perseverance and commitment. We make an impact at different levels of society: community, political and international.
What separately are small steps – to change attitudes, develop understanding, encourage discussion and empower civil society - together can have a big impact on resolving conflict and preventing future violence.
There is evidence that Conciliation Resources connects the local to policy levels by its work with practitioners in the field, the opportunities it creates for people to hear about this work – through Accord publications and policy briefs – and through seminars and workshops. In so doing it has an influence in improving understanding, changing thinking and influencing policy.
Comment from DFID-funded Conflict and Humanitarian Fund Project Completion Report, 2011
Some of our recent achievements
- West Africa: youth leaders prevent escalation of violence
In the aftermath of two bomb blasts in Jos, Nigeria in 2014, members of our Youth Platforms for Peace mobilised to prevent reprisal attacks and a flare-up of violence in their communities.
- East and Central Africa: local peace committees empower communities
38 local protection committees in the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and the Central African Republic have empowered local communities to play a confident and active role in their own safety, and the reintegration of Lord’s Resistance Army returnees.
- Southeast Asia: contributing to an official peace process
As a member of the International Contact Group, we contributed to the peace process between the Government of the Philippines and Moro Islamic Liberation Front. In 2014, this process led to the signing of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement, ending four decades of conflict.
- Accord: exploring legitimacy and peace processes
Our 25th Accord publication responded to the need for clearer and deeper thinking on the role of legitimacy in building peace. The significant findings from the publication on the importance of local ownership and local governance, were well-received by peacebuilding practitioners and policymakers in various locations including the UK, US and Scandinavia.
- South Asia: building connections through trade in Kashmir
Our work to support trade across the Line of Control (LoC) between the Indian and Pakistani administered parts of Kashmir, led to the formation of a Jammu and Kashmir Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Conciliation Resources and partners began working together in 2008 to set up the practical infrastructure for this trade. This is the first such cross-LoC institution, and it is enabling the trade initiative to go from strength to strength. This is benefiting hundreds of people from an emotional, security and economic perspective and leading to greater confidence and trust between the two sides.
- Pacific: supporting young Fijians to embrace new rights
In the lead-up to Fiji’s first election in eight years in 2014, we supported our partner The Fiji Women’s Rights Movement to effectively mobilise and educate young people (who make up almost half of registered voters) about their rights as citizens and the importance of political participation.
- Caucasus: Karabakh Contact Group
Through this initiative, policymakers and high-level diplomats have been exposed to analysis, insights and fresh ideas from some of the leading analysts of the Karabakh conflict. It is the only format for leading thinkers from both sides to discuss key stumbling blocks in the Minsk peace process. In one of the worst periods of violence and tension, convening such meetings, is a clear example that cross-conflict dialogue can continue and is desperately needed if the sides are to understand each others’ perspectives and find ways of envisaging a different future.
- Latin America: giving victims a voice in the peace process
Together with victims' groups and organisations, we enabled victims from outside Colombia to feed directly into the Colombian peace negotiations for the first time ever, through the organisation of the International Victims's Forum. Forums were held simultaneously in twenty cities around the world in 2014, including London. The initiative received support from many in Colombia, including the Government and the FARC. It resulted in an unprecedented recognition of the rights and needs of victims outside Colombia, including victims from the diaspora being invited to the Havana peace talks to tell their stories to the panels.