Conciliation Resources has appointed three new members to its Board of Trustees; Megan Fearon, Henry Raine and Nicholas Griffin KC. The new trustees bring to the board vast expertise in politics, community peacebuilding, law and finance.
Complex conflicts can't be solved through national deals alone - local peace networks need to be supported to address community violence. Despite the existence of local peace mechanisms in communities across the Central African Republic, their input has historically been symbolic and leaves local conflict drivers and causes largely unaddressed.
Young people in Kaga-Bandoro and Sibut, in the Central African Republic, have lived in the shadow of three decades of conflict. All have had their lives in some way shaped by violence. While the physical consequences of conflict are easy to see, the effects on mental health are less obvious but no less damaging. Unresolved distress and trauma is often a driver of ongoing cycles of conflict.
Connecting people and peace efforts is an essential part of building sustainable peace. In May, Conciliation Resources organised a conference in Cotabato, Philippines, bringing together Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from the Bangsamoro region, including island provinces, and the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA). The conference was part of a wider project to improve accountability and build stronger relationships between government and civil society.
Dr. Shidiki Abubakar Ali is part of the research team working on our XCEPT project, Promoting Peaceful Pastoralism. As part of this project, he has been researching cross-border pastoralism, environmental change, peace and conflict along the borders of Nigeria and Cameroon. Here, he talks about the findings from recent fieldwork for this project, conducted in Cameroon.
Over the past few months, I have been listening to the ideas of Afghans involved in previous rounds of their country’s peace process. These Afghan ‘peacemakers’ include men and women who were members of Afghanistan’s peace and reconciliation commissions, served on the negotiation team supposed to cut a deal with the Taliban, or worked as officials, government advisers or religious scholars.
Conciliation Resources is launching a new gender strategy which sets out the steps we will take over the next five years to become a gender responsive, and ultimately gender transformative, organisation. We spoke to our gender team, Amy Dwyer and Gabriel Nuckhir, about what this means, how this will benefit our peacebuilding work, and their hopes for the new strategy.
Gender responsive and transformative approaches can help us build a more inclusive, sustainable peace and are a key part of our new gender strategy. In northeast Nigeria, we’ve been using these approaches to build more inclusive community peacebuilding processes in a region living under constant insurgencies.
Following research carried out last year by Conciliation Resources into futures thinking, mediation and reconciliation, in April, in partnership with the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF), we brought together partners and colleagues from around the world to explore how a futures thinking approach could support their peacebuilding work. Futures thinking methods are used in the corporate sector to help businesses identify long-term challenges and opportunities, and make strategic decisions. They can also be used to help people in conflict-affected contexts take a step back from current challenges, envisage what a more peaceful future could look like and think through potential pathways to get there.
The signing of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, in 1998 was the result of long and arduous negotiations to end 30 years of sectarian violence and political stalemate. But the impact of this peace process goes far beyond Northern Ireland. Over the twenty five years since the agreement was signed, Conciliation Resources has supported people living with conflict around the globe to travel to Northern Ireland and learn first-hand how a society can transition from violence to politics as a way to resolve conflict.
In 2016, the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) signed an historic peace deal to end over 52 years of conflict. However, since 2016 peace in Colombia has faced many challenges; a narrowly defeated referendum on the peace deal, distancing from the peace process under the government of Ivan Duque and a resurgence of violence.
Join us for a talk and discussion with Dr Philip Gamaghelyan.
When: 30 March, 4.30-6pm
Where: Conciliation Resources, Burghley Yard, 106 Burghley Road, London NW5 1AL.