Geneva Peace Week – What role do governing institutions have in building peace?

1-5 November 2021

The nature of conflicts around the world has been changing. At the same time, existing approaches to peace have repeatedly shown to be ill-adapted to the new challenges. Between 1989 and 2018, close to half of all conflicts recurred while the majority of recurring conflicts were fought over the same or overlapping issues. On average, post-conflict peace lasts only seven years.

Governing institutions such as parliaments are often at the heart of reconciliation processes and political representatives can lead the way in demonstrating how to work together across political, cultural, and religious divides, and in engaging in constructive dialogue as a means of settling outstanding disputes. Inclusive and trustworthy governing institutions are also key in addressing the structural issues that risks triggering or fuelling conflict. Yet, the role of legislative and governing bodies in peace-making and peacebuilding is often overlooked, and external actors often operate in different conflict-affected settings with little involvement of key stakeholders.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Standing Committee on Peace and International Security will focus its next resolution on ’Rethinking and reframing the approach to peace processes with a view to fostering lasting peace’. The resolution is an opportunity for parliaments and parliamentarians to collectively reflect on a new frame of reference and standards for peace processes.

IPU together with the Principles for Peace (P4P) initiative is recording a digital dialogue for the upcoming Geneva Peace Week (GPW). The digital dialogue will centre around the role of governing institutions in establishing lasting peace as well as the need to reframe and improve current approaches to peace and peace processes. Current and former political representatives will reflect on their experiences with and aspirations for future national and international approaches to peace. The underlying goal is to promote a better understanding of key fault lines in past and current peace efforts and to map out the road ahead for more effective and strategic peace efforts.