CONFERENCE FROM REACTION TO PREVENTION: CIVIL SOCIETY FORGING PARTNERSHIPS TO
PREVENT VIOLENT CONFLICT AND BUILD PEACE
19 – 22, 2005
Conference had over 1,000 participants from around the world. Paul van
Tongeren and the European Centre for Conflict Prevention (who took up the
initiative and provide secretariat support for the Global Action Program, web
) are to be congratulated for organizing such a significant event. The
Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the
International Development Research Centre
Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict ("GPPAC")
web site is http://www.gppac.org/
human security and address the root causes of conflict
and sustainable peacebuilding are necessary to achieve the Millennium
Development Goals; fulfilling these goals can, in turn, address some of the
root causes of conflict and promote human security.
demilitarization, disarmament and resettlement processes to reduce tensions
and the likelihood of inter-state armed conflicts.
sustained support for coherent and locally tailored post-war reconstruction.
cultures of peace from the grassroots up by mainstreaming peace education,
cultivating conflict resolution life skills and promoting reconciliation.
prevention the fundamental goal of collective security arrangements
and implement an internationally agreed program of action for prevention and
peacebuilding, starting with high-level consultations with GPPAC regional
networks to explore challenges and ways of implementing regional action
early warning and early response systems to maximize local knowledge and build
on local capacities, complemented by effective engagement of national,
regional and international actors.
more resources, more effectively administered, for prevention and
peacebuilding through coherent framework strategies and modalities that
combine reliability of supply and funding for flexible rapid response
and peacebuilding requires an integrated architecture of effective
institutional capacities and partnerships
CSO capacities for prevention and peacebuilding through local, national,
regional and global networks that improve accountability and effectiveness
through communication, coordination and mutual assistance.
leadership of prevention and peacebuilding efforts at the UN through a
peacebuilding commission and peacebuilding support office that engages
effectively with civil society, mobilize resources and enable coherent and
sustained peacebuilding through information-sharing, planning and monitoring.
the capacities of regional organizations to operationalize prevention and
peacebuilding in cooperation with the UN, governments and CSOs.
that document does not offer Highlights, I offer the following that I
The document articulates a distinction between two types of conflict
prevention: structural prevention and operational prevention.
Forceful leadership that can mobilize populations and recruit fighters must
also be analyzed and addressed.
The duty to prosecute and to condemn those undermining human security is a
critical aspect of conflict prevention and peacebuilding.
International norms and standards should apply to all and be complied with by
all to enhance the security of all.
Effective conflict prevention requires the creation of collaborative,
strategic partnerships for prevention at the national, regional and
… local political support in creating a culture of peace one of the primary
Civil Society Organizations (“CSOs”) should play a leading role in
fostering a culture of peace at all levels, through a worldwide, proactive and
participatory program, from the classroom outwards.
… educating policy-makers.
… strengthen institutional capacity and practices for good governance …
… overcome the economic and social disenfranchisement of particular
communities or groups.
“The primary responsibility for conflict prevention rests with national
governments, with civil society playing an important role.”
National governments are now challenged to move from the rhetoric of
prevention to its practical implementation, strengthening their political
Local and international civil society groups must be involved at all stages…
… develop new democratic institutions that enable direct participation of
the poor and other marginalized people in meaningful decision making and
action to eliminate the root causes of violent conflict.
Private sector actors should critically evaluate their potential role in
exacerbating or mitigating violent conflict.
… the business community should adopt “socially responsible practices that
foster a climate of peace …”
Canadian Action Agenda on Conflict
Prevention was used as input to the North America Regional Action
Agenda. I strongly urge you to read the 20 page document at http://www.peacebuild.ca/upload/CdnActionAgendaCP.pdf
that document does not offer Highlights, I offer the following that I
Responsibility to Protect’ report has been generally well received by civil
society organizations (“CSOs”) in
a shift in orientation toward conflict prevention in Canadian foreign policy
CSOs must enhance efforts to coordinate their activities.
creation of a position or mechanism for the purpose of coordinating policy and
practice should be considered [ed – i.e. within the federal government].
inclusion of CSOs …
Canadian foreign affairs department was said to be ‘mainstreaming’ the
human security approach. … practical result was a fairly narrow approach.
… what is now required: an enlarged and integrated approach to human
security as the guiding principle for domestic and foreign policy and
and conflict resolution education is one important method of entrenching human
security values and contributing to the prevention of violent conflict.
Community-based organizations must promote such education in school systems,
and CSOs should pursue mandates by ministries of education for appropriate
peace and global education at all school levels. Faculties of education should
initiate teaching training in peace and global education, using the increasing
number of curricula and classroom resources being developed in this field.
pre-condition for building human security is freedom from fear and an
indispensable element of this process is concerted action to combat both the
menace of nuclear weapons and the proliferation and misuse of the weapons of
violent conflict, particularly small arms and light weapons. … priority must
be given to the urgent need to de-alert the 2,000 warheads currently on
‘launch-on-warning’ by both the
law and policy must reflect an understanding that state security and human
security are complimentary and mutually reinforcing.
participation is a central tenet at all levels of government, including
citizens from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, and the Federal
government is experimenting with innovative approaches to strengthen citizen
participation in policy processes through the Voluntary Sector Initiative. The
use of the Annual Peacebuilding and Human Security Consultations, as well as
government-NGO dialogues on specific country and thematic issues, offer
important opportunities for public engagement in international conflict
prevention policy processes.
governments to strengthen institutions and practices for good governance as a
key facet of conflict prevention and long-term peacebuilding activities. …
should include the entrenchment of free and fair elections, accountability,
transparency, citizen participation, respect for diversity, the impartial
application of law, management of tensions through constructive dialogue, and
the provision of basic services in an equitable manner.
that many violent conflicts occur in the context of unequal access to economic
and social power and resources, … must promote concrete measures to overcome
the economic and social disenfranchisement of particular communities or
lead by example by examining critically how their own policies, practices or
programs could contribute to violent conflict.
of the critical role of local civil society actors and municipal governments
in conflict prevention and peacebuilding must be manifest in national policy
Canadian government should also promote good governance through continued
innovation at home, for example by providing more predictable funding to
government-NGO dialogues, and by engaging in those dialogues at a more senior
level and in a more continuous manner.
from experience. In
considering when and how to partner with governments and inter-governmental
bodies, CSOs should consider the lessons learned from previous successful
partnerships. These lessons include, among others: the need to define the
issue clearly and develop a message that resonates as part of the humanitarian
discourse; the desirability of creating a network of ‘like-minded’
governments; the importance of focusing efforts on the regional and national
levels; the effectiveness of non-coercive tactics such as persuasion,
communication, negotiation and organization; and the desirability of working
within a coalition framework despite disagreement on particular issues.
governments, including the Government of Canada, must insist on adherence to
international law …
of war …
Peace Education and Conflict Resolution Education Working Group
behalf of the Canadian Culture of Peace Program (http://www.cultureofpeace.ca
), and my work with Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace ( http://www.peace.ca
), a Canadian Peace Education Strategy and the Annual Peace Education
Conference in Canada ( http://www.peace.ca/CanadianAgenda2005.htm
), this reporter (
to review the state of affairs of peace education
and conflict resolution education around the world
review how we may build a peace education and
conflict resolution education community around the world
how we may build connections that empower for
peace education and conflict resolution education around the world
identify contextually and culturally sensitive
programs and practices
review how we may ‘institutionalize’ peace
education and conflict resolution education around the world (i.e. how we can
make it last)
pre-reader was provided of reports from various countries on the state of
affairs of peace education and conflict resolution education (which will
become available on the Internet – the current draft is available at http://www.disputeresolution.ohio.gov/crecountry.htm
output from this working group will feed into our next meeting at the Second
Annual Conference on Conflict Resolution Education, September 28 to October 1,
you have any feedback or input for the upcoming conference, please contact