Established in 2000, the Peace Appeal Foundation was co-founded and mandated by five Nobel Peace Laureates, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, F.W. de Klerk, Mairead Maguire and Adolfo Esquivel. The founders' vision is to build a culture of peace and non-violence for the children of the world. The foundation supports local, national and international stakeholders in their efforts to create and sustain peace and dialogue processes to transform or prevent violent conflict and build the foundations for a just and durable peace.
Reflections on Dialogue from Charlottesville and Boston
Zimbabweans Work to Seize an Historic Opportunity
December, 2017. A coalition of civil society groups, representing Zimbabwe’s leading religious bodies, labor and human rights organizations, women, youth and disabilities movements, Media associations, students and more have come together to advance democratic reforms at this historic moment in Zimbabwe’s history. Calling themselves the National People’s Convention, their new effort is to launch a National Envisioning Process, which seeks to rally together citizens of Zimbabwe to make the most of the opening of the democratic space in Zimbabwe.
The Peace Appeal and our partners have been working with one of the lead organizers in this effort, the Zimbabwean Council of Churches (“ZCC”) whose General Secretary attended the Third Conference on National Dialogues in Helsinki in April. Plans for advancing inclusive dialogue in anticipation of elections in 2018 were accelerated with the dramatic developments leading to the resignation of Mugabe last month.
In the last few weeks, four gatherings have been convened in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, as well as the cities Bulawayo and Mutare. As the year comes to a close, organizers are developing a long term structured initiative to galvanize public participation in developing a cohesive vision for the nation both in advance of next year’s elections and to continue over the next several years.
Burma's Union Peace Conference - the 21rst Century Panglong Reconvenes
May 30, 2017. This past week, Burma’s Union Peace Conference reconvened for the third time in 18 months. Known as the “21rst Century Panglong” (a reference to the 1947 meeting between Burma's interim head of government, Aung San - father of today's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi - and ethnic leaders from the Shan, Kachin and Chin), the conference brought together an estimated 740 delegates, plus many non-seated observers, from throughout the country to engage in a comprehensive dialogue seeking to end the country’s ongoing violent political conflicts and establish a new federal structure for a unified, peaceful Burma.
After extending discussions by an additional day in an attempt to find solutions to contentious issues, the conference concluded Monday with a first phase agreement. The “Pyidaungsu Accord" incorporated 37 high level principles that emerged from state and regional dialogues, including basic commitments to democracy and federalism, and fundamental principles covering economic, social sector, regional development and land and the natural environment. Key sticking points among parties remain (including commitments to “non-secession”). Not all parties to the nation's conflict were present, 7 ethnic parties had left early. In the next phase all parties will need to be engaged, and key issues and the modalities of power sharing and the country’s future federal structure will need to be addressed.
Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Nepal's Comprehensive Peace Accord (2006-2016)
This past November, Nepal celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord, which brought a formal end to Nepal’s decade long civil war. To commemorate the occasion, the Nepal Transitions to Peace Institute with the support of the United States Agency for International Development, the Swiss Foreign Ministry and the European Union, hosted a multi-day international conference in Kathmandu from November 16-18. Attending were many of the inside actors who participated in formal and back channel talks and negotiations, as well as national and international advisers and facilitators. The Peace Appeal’s Hannes Siebert and Andries Odendaal were invited speakers. Siebert, who along with Swiss Envoys Guenther Bachler, and later Markus Heiniger, played a senior advisory role in supporting many of the talks leading up to the Accord and in the months and years following. Odendaal worked extensively with Nepali counterparts in the preparation and planning for a nationwide network of local peace committees.
10 years after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord, Nepal's path towards peace is still a work in progress. The country only approved a new constitution in 2015. It was met with significant opposition by some parties in the country. This past year saw the much delayed launch of official processes of the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which has in the last months received over 57,000 complaints, and it’s Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared (an estimated 1,300 people disappeared in the country’s civil war). Transitional justice processes are slow and difficult, and are under great scrutiny by both Nepalese and the international community. Though there are inspiring examples of community level reconciliation efforts, too few communities have been reached. Justice in Nepal, and greater opportunity for its deeply impoverished rural communities, will require sustained effort for years to come.
Invest in Peacebuilding - 2018
News and Perspectives
USIP Publishes "Nonformal Dialogues in National Peacemaking: Complementary Approaches"
October, 2017. The United State Institute of Peace has just published a report by Derek Brown, our co-director, entitled "Nonformal Dialogues in National Peacemaking: Complementary Approaches." The report draws extensively on the experiences of national stakeholders in both nonformal and formal national dialogue processes who participated in two international conferences on national dialogues in April 2014 and November 2015 that were hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland.
Crisis in Myanmar: Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu Writes Open Appeal to Fellow Nobel Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi
September 7, 2017. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu wrote an open letter to his fellow Nobel Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi in response to the crisis in Myanmar affecting hundreds of thousands of Rohingya, many of whom have fled catastrophic violence in Burma's Rakhine state to take refuge neighboring Bangladesh. In his closing paragraph, Archbishop Tutu calls on his friend to speak out. "We pray for your to speak out for justice, human rights and the unity of your people. We pray for you to intervene in the escalating crisis and guide your people back towards the path of righteousness."
Humanitarian and Peacebuilding Efforts Impacted by Counter-terrorism & Money Laundering Regulations
May 25, 2017. Our partners at the Charity and Security Network continue to monitor and work to reverse the closing regulatory space for humanitarian relief and peacebuilding organizations. They've just highlighted three new reports studying the impact on civil society of new counter-terrorism and money-laundering regulations, and the efforts of civil society coalitions to the improve the regulatory environment that impedes charitable organizations' humanitarian work. The reports include a study released by Chatham House, the other by Bread for the World, and a third by UN Special Rapporteur Miana Kiai.
New Challenges to Peace Support
Washington, February 7, 2017. Two-thirds of U.S.-based nonprofit organizations working abroad are facing problems accessing financial services, according to a comprehensive report released today by the Charity and Security Network. The study illustrates a growing challenge to peacebuilding and humanitarian relief organizations working in conflict zones globally.
Dave Matthews Joins the Peace Appeal's Board of Directors
The Peace Appeal is pleased to announce that Dave Matthews has joined the organization's Board of Directors. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dave became a naturalized citizen in 1980. His family moved frequently during his childhood, spending time in the U.S. and England, in addition to South Africa. Dave and his family moved to Charlottesville, Virginia in 1986 where he formed the Dave Matthews Band in 1991.
This recently created guide on children and war compiles essential knowledge resources and information on the subject. It is aimed to be an ongoing knowledge sharing space and accumulation of information around this issue.
The Peace Appeal Foundation is pleased to announce that Kristiina Rintakoski has joined the organization’s Board of Directors. Kristiina brings a wealth of experience in peacebuilding globally. She presently works as a Director for Peacebuilding and Advocacy at the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission, one of the largest Finish civil society organizations working in global development.
In the days following the tragic suicide bombings in Beirut and the horrific attacks in Paris in mid-November, peacebuilders from 12 countries met in Helsinki to share and jointly reflect on their peace and dialogue initiatives. The common thread was their creation of safe spaces and safety nets – known as “Common Spaces.” These spaces serve multiple purposes, from hosting confidential dialogues among leaders in deeply divided societies to supporting formal negotiations in peace and constitutional reform processes. With the emergence of these sustained dialogue initiatives following long periods of civil war or during intractable conflicts, we are witnessing the creation of groundbreaking joint mechanisms that simultaneously help catalyze, accompany and support fundamental political and social change processes in divided societies.
December 17, 2015: The Burmese “Framework for Political Dialogue” (FPD) was finally agreed upon yesterday, December 16th, by the Union Peace and Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) in the country’s capital. The Framework was handed over to the President who will publicize the Framework and call for a political dialogue in mid-January 2016. The UPDJC will be mandated to hold the upcoming political dialogue with the participation of 700 representatives from the government, parliament, defense services, ethnic armed organizations, political parties, ethnic leaders and special invitees.
The final framework was drawn from the 5 frameworks developed by the main stakeholders over the past three years – military, NLD, political parties and ethnic armed groups. Over the past 8 months the representatives from each of these groups developed a common framework draft that formed the basis of this agreement. The meeting in January will be an initial meeting to comply with the provisions of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement signed on 15th October this year. The formal dialogue process will start in late 2016 with the aim to develop a new constitutional framework guaranteeing equality to all the diverse ethnic groups, addressing the shortcomings in the current 2008 constitution and addressing the deep-rooted causes of conflict of the past 6 decades.
A tribute by Dean Michael Weeder, December 5 2015
For a moment in our post-apartheid history we lived in the Camelot-like days of Nelson Mandela who had “showed us the way to freedom”. Perhaps this moment, like a dream come true with its grand narrative of messianic proportions lulled us into a passive observer distance from the heart of ongoing and permanent revolution. We forgot that Madiba did not free himself. We forgot that he, of whom we sang, had walked through the prison gates that we - the organised, freedom-loving South Africans – had helped to open.
Click here to read more..
In the last century, peace was far more likely the product of victory on the battlefield than a negotiated settlement. From 1940 until 2002, the world witnessed more than 370 state-based conflicts. At any point in time over the last decade, the world hosted nearly 30 armed conflicts simultaneously — many of them “check book wars,” with external powers funding and supplying arms to different internal factions in order to enhance their access to the beleaguered state’s resources.
Click here to read more
Watch the entire PRIO National Dialogue Processes presentation here.
Through a comparative analysis of six case studies, this volume illustrates key conflict-resolution techniques for peacebuilding. Outside parties learn how to facilitate cooperation by engaging local leaders in intensive, interactive workshops. These opposing leaders reside in small, ethnically divided countries, including Burundi, Cyprus, Estonia, Guyana, Sri Lanka, and Tajikistan, that have experienced communal conflicts in recent years.
Click here for the book
This collected volume presents reflections from prominent international peacemakers in the Middle East, including Jimmy Charter, Lakhdar Brahimi, Jan Eliasson, Alvaro de Soto, and others. It provides unique insights and lessons learned about diplomacy and international peace mediation practice based on real life experience. The personal stories offer a critical analysis of successful and unsuccessful peace processes, as well as the chances and limits of solving the most intractable conflicts in the region and other parts of the world.
Click here for the book