People living with conflict can benefit from seeing old problems from new perspectives. We work with partners to produce films, engage the media, distribute publications and organise events. These challenge existing stereotypes and promote awareness of peaceful ways to resolve conflicts. They help both outsiders and those involved in the conflict to better understand the complexities of each situation.
There are often few opportunities for those on either side of a divide to discuss the issues that affect them. Creating space for dialogue is essential in order to build peace. We connect people from different sides, or from different regions affected by the same conflict, enabling them to talk about the conflict. Through dialogue we are able to build confidence and trust between the different sides.
While no two conflicts are the same, people responding to conflicts – both peacebuilders and policymakers – can learn lessons from other similar situations. We share learning from our own experiences, those of our partners and from those living in conflict-affected regions. This ensures that the approaches of governments and international organisations in responding to conflict are better informed and more effective.
Collaborative partnerships are at the heart of the way we work. Our partners are exceptional people who have made difficult choices to challenge violence and work within their societies for a better future. We offer long-term and flexible support – financial, organisational and conceptual to strengthen their peacebuilding work.
Making peace ultimately requires the firm commitment and extraordinary courage, on the part of all sides, to ensure a permanent end to violence. It also requires the determination and imagination of all parties to seek solutions, and build trust between communities who have been at loggerheads for decades.
Kofi Annan, October 2011. Speaking at the International Conference to promote resolution of the conflict in the Basque Country, which was co-sponsored by Conciliation Resources.