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The Peacemaking Covenant

The Peacemaking Covenant is a practical framework that reconsiders the traditional conventions of peacemaking. Grounded in eight Principles for Peace and four shifts to peacemaking, the Covenant is a framework that can chart a path to lasting, inclusive peace

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An Imperative in Troubling Times

Existing approaches are failing to deliver lasting peace. 2021 saw more than 50 conflicts raging worldwide. Almost half of the conflicts since 1989 have recurred, some as many as three times. And more than two billion people live in conflict-affected and fragile states, suffering the direct and indirect consequences of violence and insecurity.

The past 30 years have seen great efforts to build peaceful societies and inclusive economies. Despite some successes, there are gaps at the heart of the current approach. Peacemaking too often fails when it is not sufficiently legitimate, inclusive, or transformative. It is time to recalibrate the way we practice peacemaking - both the principles behind it and the way we apply them.

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Re-thinking Peacemaking

As existing frameworks continue to fall short in delivering inclusive peace, it is time to re-think peacemaking. Over the last two years we have done exactly that. Conducting more than 150 with people from more than 60 countries, and engaging thousands of stakeholders from every corner of the globe.

These insights, combined with the extensive experience of the Comisión Internacional, has enabled us to develop a framework that we believe can help to achieve peace: The Peacemaking Covenant.

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Four Shifts for Peace

The Covenant aims to spur practical, long-term and equitable partnerships. It steers peacemakers towards co-creating sustainable solutions involving all the necessary actors. To do this, the Covenant advocates four key shifts:

  1. Move from focussing on negotiated settlements to end violence, to creating more inclusive and adaptable processes which endure
  2. Change the way local and international actors work together, to focus on creating real partnerships that embrace locally-led solutions
  3. Establish new ways of working, beyond pacts and power-sharing between elites to transforming state-society relations through inclusive political institutions
  4. Move towards genuinely pluralist politics and societies
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The Principles for Peace

Alongside the four shifts for peace, and sitting at the heart of the Peacemaking Covenant, are the eight core Los Principios para la Paz.
Three of the core principles, those of dignity, solidarity and humility, centre on the need to root peacemaking efforts in a moral and ethical compass that will promote trust and engender respect between all parties. Two further core principles, enhancing legitimacy and accountable security serve as a foundation for reaching lasting peace.
Finally, three principles highlight the practical commitments needed for strengthened peacemaking efforts. These are promoting pluralism, adopting subsidiarity, and advocating integrated and hybrid solutions.

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Re-thinking Peacemaking

The Peacemaking Covenant provides a framework for action. It can be used by mediators and negotiators, security forces and national authorities, international actors, donors, civil society and businesses to create policies and practices based on the principles, but tailored to the local context.

Our focus now will be bringing the Covenant to life. Through the Principles for Peace Foundation we will encourage global, regional, and local peacemaking efforts, monitor the quality of peace processes, and bring stakeholders together in our efforts to chart a path to lasting peace.