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Annual Meeting

Annual Meeting 2014: What Future for Peacebuilding? Needs, Policy, Action


What Future for Peacebuilding?

Needs, Policy, Action


Annual Meeting of the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform


21 November 2014, Auditorium Ivan Pictet, Maison de la Paix, Geneva



How does peacebuilding practice need to change today in order to be ready to face the future? What are the risks to peace we need to prepare for? What are the underlying principles of peacebuilding to guide policy and action? These questions frame this year’s Annual Meeting of the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform with the objective to create a better understanding about the nature and scale of peacebuilding practice necessary to foster more prosperous and peaceful societies by 2025. The Annual Meeting opens a space for a frank exchange on key trends in peacebuilding practice, on our present knowledge of future risks to peace, and on the visions and foundations for peacebuilding practice over the next decade. The Annual Meeting is the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform’s yearly flagship event. This year, it will showcase and discuss the preliminary findings of the White Paper on Peacebuilding – a multi-stakeholder process facilitated by the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform.



At a time when characteristics of – and responses to – violent and fragile contexts are changing rapidly, this Annual Meeting intends to help governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations broaden the conversation around how countries themselves can most effectively move towards more prosperous and peaceful societies, with the assistance of the United Nations (UN) and other international actors.


Over the last 20 years, peacebuilding practice has grown in size and professionalism. Much of this practice involves the use of dialogue, trust-building, and consensus-seeking processes to resolve or manage conflict through non-violent means. Practice on, for instance, national dialogue processes, local peace committees, or architectures for peace has stimulated a growing interest from defence, humanitarian, business, or urban planning professionals. But despite this growth, peacebuilding practice remains often poorly understood in policy circles and fades in comparison to the advocacy infrastructures of commercial, defence, or diplomatic sectors.


In light of the ever more apparent risks to peace, peacebuilding practice must prepare itself to be ready to face the future. Over the next decade, risks to peace are likely to evolve from pressures on systems at all levels – local, national regional, international. These pressures can emerge, for instance, from demographic trends (more people, more old people, more people in cities), economic trends (more uneven growth and inequality), political shifts (diffusion of power, less control by states), climate change (more natural disasters) and a changing nature of armed conflict (more chronic, criminal or non-war violence). There is no time to lose because these pressures are already a present reality in many contexts.


This year’s Annual Meeting draws on the preliminary findings of the White Paper on Peacebuilding – a collaborative, multi-stakeholder process initiated by the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform and supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.



The White Paper has the objective to situate UN peacebuilding within the broader peacebuilding universe and to articulate visions for the future for building peace in violent and fragile contexts. The White Paper places peacebuilding within the changing characteristics of armed violence and security, and within the practical evidence of engagements in peacebuilding contexts emanating from a diversity of fields. Ensuring a better relationship between UN peacebuilding and the broader peacebuilding field is a complementary effort to the existing work surrounding the 10-year review of the UN peacebuilding architecture and an effort to take stock of the nature and evolution of the broader peacebuilding universe. The White Paper on Peacebuilding and all related background documents will be published later in 2014 or early 2015.


The Annual Meeting 2014 is the Platform’s 7th yearly gathering of network members since 2008. It is the yearly flagship event and has an opportunity for all network members to come together and connect on peacebuilding issues across sectors and institutions. It brings together a variety of actors and representatives from civil society, government, international organizations, business, and academia and opens a space for frank an honest exchange outside of more formal policy forums.


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 3,000 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).


The Annual Meeting is a public event and proceedings are ‘on-the record’. The event is free of charge but registration is mandatory. This year, the Annual Meeting is also part of Geneva Peace Week which is taking place from 17 to 21 November 2014 under the patronage of the United Nations Office at Geneva and the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform.


Programme – Friday, 21 November 2014

8.30      Registration and welcome coffee

9.15      Welcome and opening

Jürg Lauber, Ambassador, Director of the United Nations and other International Organizations Division, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland

Scott Weber, Director-General, Interpeace, on behalf of the Steering Committee of the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform

9.45      Peacebuilding: What spectrum of perspectives?

This session reflects on the spectrum of views on the nature and evolution of peacebuilding practice. The session focuses on two questions: “Over the last 20 years, what are the key evolutions in the peacebuilding field you are observing?” and “How do you think the building of peace will look like in the future?”

  • Yvette Stevens, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sierra Leone

  • Michael von der Schulenburg, former Executive Representative of the UN Secretary General to Sierra Leone

  • Steve Killelea, Founder and Executive Chairman, Institute for Economics and Peace, Sydney

Moderator: Achim Wennmann, Executive Coordinator, Geneva Peacebuilding Platform

10.45    Break

11.30    What does peacebuilding mean from a regional perspective?

The panel has the objective to illustrate the key trends challenges and opportunities for peacebuilding practice in a specific region.

  • Andrew Ladley, Adjunct Professor, School of Government, Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, University of Wellington, New Zealand

  • Xue Lei, Research Fellow, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, Shanghai, China

  • Louis Hoffmann, Head, Transition and Recovery Division, Department of Operations and Emergencies, International Organization for Migration, Geneva

Moderator: Renée Larivière, Deputy Director General (Development and Learning), Interpeace

12.45    Lunch

14.00    Main take-aways from the morning sessions

Conversation around the graphic recordings of the Annual Meeting 2014

Gabriele Schlipf, MOMIK – Graphic Recording, Berlin

14.15    What future for peacebuilding practice?

This session focuses on the visions and foundations for peacebuilding practice over the next decade. It reflects on the underlying peacebuilding principles that could guide policy and action in a variety of contexts.

  • Michael Møller, Acting Director General, United Nations Office at Geneva

  • Helena Puig Larrauri, Co-organizer of Build Peace (an international conference on technology and peacebuilding) and Co-founder of Build Up (a social enterprise working at the intersection of technology, civic engagement and peacebuilding)

  • Youssef Mahmoud, Senior Adviser, International Peace Institute, New York

  • Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou, Deputy Director and Academic Dean of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy and Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and at Sciences Po Paris 

Moderator: Susanna Campbell, Senior Researcher, Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP) of the Graduate institute, Geneva

16.00    Closure of the Annual Meeting followed by a ‘verre d’amitié’ offered by the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Permanent Mission of Canada.