The 2009 Annual Forum agenda was focused on the humanitarian/peacebuilding nexus and provided a neutral space meant to sensitize the two communities to the nuances of each others' work. Panelists considered the multifaceted impact of emergency aid on peace and conflict dynamics, referring to processes, paradigms and mandates, pointing to lessons in this direction, articulating ways forward, and wrestling to reconcile the need for pragmatism with the quest for neutrality.
The 2009 Forum was organized primarily around a series of three panels. The first panel gathered observations from external actors and detailed on their peacebuilding and humanitarian approaches. The second panel explored testimonies from the field and contextualized good practices as well as failed expectations. The third and final panel highlighted fallacies common to such discussions and introduced some concrete options to reconcile them in the interest of local populations. The debate placed an emphasis on the dynamic interaction between panelists and participants, thereby enabling a reality-check of organizational strategies and personal experiences alike.
Significantly, the 2009 GPP Forum provided the first opportunity for Judy Cheng-Hopkins, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, to publicly address the Geneva community. The hope is that such experience sharing will contribute to a sustained dialogue between New York and Geneva, aiding the PBC in its task to enhance the coherence of international peacebuilding response.