The Principles for Peace is a global participatory initiative that was set up to develop new principles, standards and norms to fundamentally reshape peace processes and chart a path to lasting peace.

It brings together a broad coalition of actors across political, diplomatic, academic, defence and security, civil society and multilateral organisations. The global, inclusive, bottom-up, and top-down process of developing the Principles for achieving lasting peace was led by the International Commission on Inclusive Peace. The approach anchored the initiative in both realpolitik and real society and contributed to bridging the gap between peace processes and local needs and aspirations. It leveraged cutting edge research, participatory consultations and public engagement to fundamentally re-think and re-shape peace processes worldwide.

Principles for Peace Foundation

The Principles for Peace Foundation acts as a catalyst, custodian, and curator of the Principles for Peace and Peacemaking Covenant. It promotes the uptake and implementation of the Principles and serves as a synergist of partnerships to engage a diversity of actors to develop country, constituency, and thematic specific roadmaps and codes of Practice. The Foundation's goal is to empower actors at all levels to create more durable and inclusive peace processes and enhance oversight and effectiveness for long-term peace outcomes.

The Foundation employs a rigorous and transparent monitoring approach to assess peace actors' contributions, encouraging constructive input to advance peacemaking efforts. It seeks to build upon evidence-based, politically-conscious, and participatory approaches and alliances established in the initiative's initial phase, fostering global, regional, and local peacebuilding efforts. The Foundation operates independently to ensure consistency and effectiveness in peacemaking efforts, with no direct operational role.

Why do we need Principles for Peace?
Urgency posed by recent trends in conflict and violence
  1. In 2021, more than 50 active conflicts caused over 119,000 deaths and many millions of injuries or displacements. The number of active conflicts has tripled since the end of the Cold War and remains stubbornly high.
  2. Almost half of the conflicts since 1989 have recurred in some form, often repeatedly, and many protracted crises persist for a decade or more with no resolution. Furthermore, in many regions not at war, people live with high levels or endemic cycles of violence, insecurity, and unresolved conflicts that provide fertile ground for violent mobilization. These trends demonstrate the urgent need for more effective and sustainable peacebuilding strategies.
Increasing complexity of conflicts and involvement of external actors.
  1. The increasing involvement of external actors and the internationalization of conflicts within a country, along with the rise of hybrid warfare, have made conflicts more complex and blurred the line between war and peace. Combined with a fragmentation of actors involved conflict this has made achieving sustainable peace more challenging.
  2. There has been a rise in persistent regional conflicts, leading to a decline in coordinated peace agreements. Even when such agreements are made, they are often not implemented, with 35% of them failing to succeed. This highlights the need for more effective and coordinated peacebuilding efforts.
Ineffectiveness of existing peace and security architecture and normative frameworks
  1. The current formal peace and security structures and rules for conflict resolution have remained mostly unchanged for 50 years.
  2. Despite various efforts over the last three decades to promote peace and stability through initiatives such as conflict mediation, the "Women, peace and security agenda," post-conflict reconstruction, and the UN peacebuilding architecture, among others, approaches have often failed to generate conditions that can guarantee broader long-term social and political peace.
  3. The need for more effective and visionary leadership that embraces a more people-centred approach to practical action is paramount.
How were the Principles for Peace Developed?

The Principles for Peace were developed through a deep and iterative participatory approach that combined extensive local inputs and lived experiences of conflict and peacemaking with cutting edge research and expert analysis.

The initiative was spearheaded by the International Commission on Inclusive Peace whose members represent a geographic balance and a diversity of experiences. The commission provided thought leadership and which, together with the Principles for Peace Secretariat, led the global consultation process to develop the Principles.

The task of designing a set of Principles for Peace that resonate globally, across different types of conflict and for different actors required a participatory approach that involved extensive consultation with diverse organizations and networks spanning the conflict space, research institutes, private sector entities and other relevant networks, local community and civil society groups, everyday citizens, armed actors, national elites, the media, private sectors actors, international agencies, or donor countries.

The Principles were developed through an intensive two-year evidence generation process, including 700 case studies distilled and 154 consultations with people from more than 60 countries. The process engaged with thousands of stakeholders from across the globe, at both the grass roots and state level, to learn from previous experiences and speaking to those most impacted by conflict.

Developing the Principles has been a collaborative effort. The Initiative has been supported by 120 partner organisations and a Research Committee, made up of prominent experts from the leading academic institutions and think-tanks, who acted as sounding board and peer review body throughout the process and helped to ensure the principles are grounded in evidence.