Local Ownership in Peace Processes

Greg Funnell

Call for Participants: Local Ownership in Peace Processes

On June 22nd, Principles for Peace and Peace Direct invite local activists, changemakers, organizers, healers, and peacebuilders to a one-day conversation on ‘Local Ownership in Peace Processes.’ This will be the first in a series of consultations on the issue.

Current approaches to peace processes have failed to result in lasting peace. At the end of 2019, global displacement reached 79.5 million people, 26 million of which were refugees, due to war, violence, persecution and other emergencies. This is almost double the number of people in crisis a decade ago. In fact, most of the world’s major violent conflicts are not being resolved, and close to half of all conflicts between 1989 and 2018 have recurred despite political settlements.

The ineffectiveness of the international community’s approach in addressing contemporary challenges to peace and conflict has long been known to practitioners, researchers and policymakers, yet current approaches to peace remain outdated and ineffective. Local ownership, and leadership are acknowledged as crucial to peace, but most peace processes continue to be externally designed, forcing locals into implementing roles instead of being in charge of their design and planning. Ambitious UN initiatives such as the Sustaining Peace agenda have demonstrated a global political will to change this, but they have thus far failed to establish new good practice for conducting effective peace processes.

This situation calls for a fundamental shift in how peace processes are developed and structured. To that end, we invite local activists, changemakers, organizers, healers, and peacebuilders to join us for a one-day conversation on June 22nd, 2021 on local ownership in peace processes.

Using Platform4Dialogue, we will discuss how local actors conceive of local ownership in peace processes. We will also consider how to better structure, sequence and build more inclusive peace processes, ensuring that they are genuinely designed and led by local actors.

During the consultation, some of the key questions we will be asking are as follows:

  • What do you understand by the term ‘local ownership’? What about ‘local leadership’? Are these terms useful?
  • What do you think current approaches to peace processes have failed to consider when it comes to local actors?
  • What do you think of the relationship between the international community and the local actors in peace processes?
  • How could we achieve greater local ownership in peace processes?

While the main language of the consultation will be in English, there will also be opportunity for more focused discussions in French, Spanish and Arabic. Participants who speak French, Spanish and Arabic will be able to use the automatic translate function built into the discussion platform.

Register for the consultation using this link by June 17th, and please forward this to anyone you think might be interested.