The knowledge hub for better peacebuilding

Annual Meeting

Annual Meeting 2013


Peacebuilding in the City:  Responses to violence and fragility in urban settings

Date & time    Friday, 22 November 2013, 8.30-17.30

Location          Hotel Warwick, 4, rue de Lausanne (opposite Cornavin railway station), Geneva



The Annual Meeting 2013 has the objective to articulate options for peacebuilding support in urban settings and to foster exchange between peacebuilding and urban safety practitioners.


The Annual Meeting 2013 draws the attention to the ever more diversified nature of peacebuilding contexts. While peacebuilding within the United Nations has traditionally focused on the aftermath of armed conflict and at the national level, there is a lot of current peacebuilding practice which occurs in ‘fragile’ cities. The Annual Meeting places its spotlight on the urban dimension of peacebuilding as part of the Platform’s broader effort to better understand the challenges of new peacebuilding contexts.

The focus on the urban response connects the lessons from a great diversity of practice related to citizen security, urban safety, armed violence reduction, urban resilience, conflict prevention, and the transformation of gang cultures. Many city officials and local community organizations are at the forefront of these efforts and the Annual Meeting brings their voice to Geneva to reflect on lessons and options for supporting their work more effectively.

The Annual Meeting also coincides with the preparations for the 10-year review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture. The 10-year review is an opportunity to rethink the options for peacebuilding support, especially in new peacebuilding contexts such as urban settings. At a time when characteristics of – and responses to – violence and fragility are changing rapidly, it is critical to understand the support needs in new peacebuilding contexts and the new partnerships necessary to accompany local efforts.


  • To understand the challenges of building peace in ‘fragile’ cities;

  • To foster exchange across the peacebuilding and urban safety communities; and

  • To identify the options for cross-sectorial peacebuilding support in urban settings.


The Annual Meeting is the Platform’s yearly flagship event and has the objective to contribute to the networking of peacebuilding resources across sectors and institutions. It brings together a variety of actors and representatives from civil society, government, international organizations, business, and academia.

The Geneva Peacebuilding Platform is an inter-agency network and knowledge hub that connects the critical mass of peacebuilding actors, resources, and expertise in Geneva and worldwide. Founded in 2008, the Platform has a mandate to facilitate interaction on peacebuilding between different institutions and sectors, and to advance new knowledge and understanding of peacebuilding issues and contexts. It also plays a creative role in building bridges between International Geneva, New York, and peacebuilding activities in the field. The Platform's network comprises more than 2,500 peacebuilding professionals and over 60 institutions working on peacebuilding or in peacebuilding contexts.

The Geneva Peacebuilding Platform is a joint project of four institutions: The Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP) of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies; the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP); Interpeace; and the Quaker United Nations Office, Geneva (QUNO).


8.30     Registration

9.15     Welcome and opening

  • Urs Schmid, Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative of Switzerland to UNOG; Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the Conference on Disarmament

  • Keith Krause, Director, Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP), The Graduate Institute, Geneva, Switzerland

9.45     Panel 1: The challenge of building peace in the city

  • Brazil: Violence reduction in the Favelas in Rio de Janeiro – Joanna Wheeler, Research Fellow, Institute for Development Studies, Brighton, United Kingdom

  • Syria: Grassroots peacebuilding in cities at war – Stories from Raqqa and Aleppo – Doreen Khouri, Middle East Representative, Hivos International, Beirut, Lebanon

  • India: Making New Delhi safer for women – Suneeta Kar Dhar, Director, Jagori, New Delhi, India

Moderation: Achim Wennmann, Executive Coordinator, Geneva Peacebuilding Platform, Geneva, Switzerland

11.00   Coffee break

11.30   Panel 2: Practical lessons of urban responses to violence and fragility

  • El Salvador: From mediated exits of gang violence and towards a social peace – Isabel Aguilar Umaña, Director of Interpeace Youth Programme in Central America, Guatemala City, Guatemala

  • Jamaica: Learning from violence prevention initiatives in Kingston – Tarik Weekes, Violence Prevention Alliance, Kingston, Jamaica

  • Ivory Coast: Lessons from urban safety programming – Jean Pascal Boah, Municipal Security Coordinator, Mayor’s Office, Treichville, Ivory Coast

  • The Balkans: Lessons from community policing strategies – Victoria Walker, Senior SSR Adviser, International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT), Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), Geneva, Switzerland

Moderation: Oliver Jütersonke, Head of Research, Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP), The Graduate Institute, Geneva, Switzerland

13.00   Lunch

14.30   Pick-up of discussion

14.45   Panel 3: Visions for supporting peacebuilding in the city

  • François Amichia, Mayor of Treichville-Abidjan, and former Head of the Ivorian Forum for Urban Safety and of the Union of Towns and Communities of the Ivory Coast, Treichville, Ivory Coast

  • Juma Assiago, Global Network on Safer Cities, Safer Cities Programme, Local Government and Decentralisation Unit, UNHABITAT, Nairobi, Kenya

  • Luigi de Martino, Coordinator, Geneva Declaration Secretariat, Geneva, Switzerland

  • Natascha Zupan, Coordinator, Working Group on Peace and Development (FriEnt), Bonn/Berlin, Germany

Moderation: Scott Weber, Director-General, Interpeace, Geneva, Switzerland

16.30   Close

16.45   Reception

17.30   End

The Annual Meeting 2013 is sponsored by

Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs



Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development

Permanent Mission of Canada