FAQ Principles for Peace

An independent initiative and a global participatory process to establish new international principles to create more effective peace processes.
  • The objective is to create a new set of standards and principles that would ultimately enable countries to develop nationally and locally owned peace processes.
  • The principles will provide a fundamental, credible and internationally accepted set of principles and guidance for what constitutes effective peace processes.
Launched by Interpeace, with the support of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, it will be a collective effort.
  • Partners from all areas of the peace-making and peacebuilding community will join and contribute to the principles.
  • Interpeace is an international organization for peacebuilding that supports locally led initiatives around the world.
Peacebuilding organizations, international and local, have long recognized the need for systemic change in the way peace processes are conceived and structured.
  • Globally, the number of conflicts is at an all-time high and more countries are unable to peacefully resolve their own conflicts.
  • Despite years of learning and more resources than ever, peace processes are increasingly ineffective at building long term peace.
  • There is an urgent need to improve peace processes. Ongoing peace processes in Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Syria, South Sudan and through the Sahel will determine regional and global security for many years to come.
  • The incentives of national and international actors engaged in peace-making and peacebuilding interventions need to change, to deliver the strategic coherence necessary to achieve sustainable peace outcomes.
Too many peace agreements fail after seven to twelve years or are not implemented. There are multiple reasons for this.
  • Too often, peace processes are over-focused on important, yet short term milestones, such as cessation of violence. While ending violence is a critical first step, the ultimate objective is sustainable, positive peace.
  • To build sustainable positive peace requires more inclusive and resilience-oriented approaches that are locally owned.
  • This requires long term participatory and interconnected processes that adequately capacitate local and national actors to credibly and legitimately lead their own peace processes.
Peace processes are commonly thought of as a series of negotiated steps to end wars and build sustainable peace. However, peace processes include a multiplicity of interventions and actions necessary to enable societies to build their capacities to resolve conflicts in non-violent ways.
  • The international community needs to step back from narrow perspectives on how peace is made ‘at the table’ and put in place an expanded frame of reference that more fully accounts for who is relevant, to which processes, within what level of society and when.
It will provide much needed strategic and substantive guidance to the international community on how existing institutions, structures and tools can better enable inclusive local and nationally owned peace processes.
  • Though sustaining peace has created a deeper and broader understanding of peacebuilding best practices, there is still a deficit of understanding of how the international community can re-organize peace processes to be ‘fit for purpose’ and more inclusive.
  • One persistent challenge is the way the international peace and security ‘toolbox’ can lead to the imposition of externally driven processes to resolve conflict that are disconnected from the local context.
International principles, shared and developed in an inclusive way, have the potential to change incentives and influence decision-making more effectively than policies or recommendations.
  • Principles for Inclusive Peace does not mean internationally sanctioned or negotiated text – the vision of the Principles is that they would provide strategic guidance and set of standards for actors working in conflict affected and fragile settings.
  • They would also help bridge the persistent gap between high level policy recommendations and actions on-the-ground.
  • It is well known principles can be highly effective as they cut across hierarchies and impel individuals to act not because they ought to ‘obey a rule’ but rather because it is ‘the right thing to do’.
  • The international peace and security architecture is a complex system. Change happens at the level of institutions and individuals and we need to better understand the incentives at all levels to implement change. The Principles for Inclusive Peace can be one important area to leverage positive change.
  • Launch presentation at the 2019 Paris Peace Forum;
  • Further consultation across the international peace and security field;
  • The establishment of a participatory global process and diverse advisory commission and supporting mechanisms to lead development of the Principles for Inclusive Peace.
  • You can provide input, share insights, endorse and contribute to this initiative. Subscribe to our newsletter or leave a message and we will be in touch.