principles for peace

In a world where conflicts are becoming more protracted, complicated and common, existing frameworks for peacemaking are no longer capable of delivering lasting, inclusive peace. A new approach is needed.

Charting a new path

The Principles for Peace offer a practical framework for addressing 21st century conflict. The eight core principles for peace are the foundation of the Peacemaking Covenant. They have been designed to consider the choices, trade-offs and decisions of those involved in peace making processes and reflect the belief that practical actions and concrete peace-making programmes must embrace a comprehensive and ethical vision, while recognising the serious challenges and obstacles to building sustainable and secure peace in a variety of often challenging geopolitical contexts.

the Principles

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.



Dignity is about the fair and equal treatment of all actors in peace processes. It is only through considering the interests, views and needs of all persons that a process, and in turn the peace itself, can be legitimate.



Solidarity is grounded in the view that the success of peace making depends on the contributions of each set of actors. There must be an acceptance of the need to share burdens, risks and resources, which will require solidarity with all those involved in the process. The causes and consequences of conflicts are often global in nature, and solutions must recognise that conflict does not take place in a vacuum.



Humility is about ensuring that all those involved in peacemaking strive to be empathetic and respectful of others. For international actors this means enabling, rather than leading, peace processes. They must see themselves as midwives, not architects.


Enhancing Legitimacy

Legitimacy, and the lack of it, is the reason for the failure of so many peacemaking efforts. For peacemaking to be successful, the long-term legitimacy of all the processes, institutions, powerholders and laws that deliver and govern peace must be established. Legitimacy is our lodestar. It is the only way to and sustain peace.


Accountable Security

There can be no peace without security. All peace process must put an end to hostilities and reduce the risk of cyclical violence returning. Doing this requires accountable security institutions to provide security as a public good, to respect human rights and humanitarian law and to follow agreed principles governing the use of force in society.


Promoting Pluralism

Promoting pluralism is about empowering the participation of all actors in delivering and sustaining peace. This goes beyond just inclusion at the negotiation table. It is critical that all peacemaking efforts ensure fair and equal participation in public life and provide equitable access to institutions and services, irrespective of communal, political, social, economic and gender divides.


Adopting Subsidiarity

Adopting Subsidiarity is about moving away from universal templates for peacemaking towards approaches that are as local as possible and only as international as necessary. This means international and national actors are not absolved of responsibility, but rather they embrace a role of responsible oversight that is responsive and accountable to local communities and recognises the primacy of local leadership.


Integrated and Hybrid Solutions

Integrated and Hybrid Solutions is about understanding that no two peace processes can be the same. Each one must be based on local context, this means deploying solutions that are grounded within local norms, institutions, and traditions, and that harmonise both short- and long-term processes of peacemaking.