Lebanon: Support to the Common Space Initiative
The Peace Appeal Foundation serves as a partner of the Common Space Initiative for Shared Knowledge and Consensus Building ("CSI") in Beirut, Lebanon. The CSI is an independent and inclusive Lebanese initiative. It facilitates structured dialogues among policy makers, intellectuals, experts, civil society, stakeholders, and individuals to create an environment that is conducive to national evolution through enhancing public policy debates, build expertise and common knowledge resources on key issues, and collaborate among the concerned national parties.
Guided by common national interests and shared values, the CSI seeks to create a dynamic of dialogue and consensus building on different reform issues and safety net areas as well as a wider debate on public policies and decision-making processes. CSI's hope is that this process will contribute to Lebanon’s consensus culture through which public policies can be drafted and implemented.
The space ultimately seeks to secure and strengthen Lebanese unity, national identity and overcome sectarian divisions while focusing on common national interests.
For further information, please see the Common Space Initiative website.
Media Reports, Articles & Studies:
10 Experts to Watch on Reconstruction in Syria
News Deeply, Nov. 27, 2017
Le système politique libanais ne fonctionne plus, Le Monde, October 29, 2013.
Rival party representatives to discuss political system
Daily Star, Feb. 8, 2012
Jordan Ryan: Speech at the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Center, Qatar Feb. 12, 2012
Improving International Support to Peace Processes
OECD, Sept. 2011
The Role of Education in Peacebuilding: Case Study Lebanon UNICEF, Nov. 2011
Peace Processes as Corridors for Systemic Change: Insights from Sri Lanka 2002–2005
Norbert Ropers, Berghof, 2011
Annual conflict-prevention summer school attests to its success LAU, Aug. 16, 2010
Nepal: Nepal Transitions to Peace Initiative
In 2005, the major stakeholders to Nepal’s 10 year civil war—the political parties, the King's government, and the armies of the King and the Maoists—faced an enormous challenge in anticipating what a complex peace process might entail. Prior interactions were hampered by the lack of capacity and supporting structures that would enable the major stakeholders to engage systematically and effectively in dialogue.
At the request of the major stakeholders, the Peace Appeal Foundation and the Academy for Educational Development (now FHI360), along with several international donors and agencies, assisted a diverse group of Nepalese political and civil society leadership in the formation of the Nepal Transitions to Peace Initiative (“NTTP”). Over the next three years, the NTTP Initiative helped establish peace structures, supported the development of key agreements, and assisted in the building of the capacity needed to move the peace process forward.
Facing the elaborate disagreements and complex conflict dynamics that complicate the political situation in Nepal, the NTTP Process has facilitated many disagreements between the main parties and helped to create formal and informal support mechanisms, through which productive, evidence-based dialogue was possible to resolve critical issues. When the process deadlocked, the NTTP provided data and analyses to help stakeholders find common ground on specific areas of disagreement and offered models of how such issues have been resolved in other war-torn countries. Most critically perhaps, the NTTP Initiative, through its many members, staff and associates, has worked closely with stakeholders to build trust and relationships, establishing credibility as an impartial broker.
NTTP continues to serve as a robust support mechanism to ongoing efforts of political reform and the broader peace process, including dramatic developments in the Fall of 2011, resulting in the appointment of the second Maoist Prime Minister, Baburam Bhattarai, and breakthroughs on key issues of the integration of Maoist combatants into Nepal’s military.
Nepal Transitions to Peace
Media Reports, Articles & Studies:
Ten Years of CPA: Well begun, half done
Kathmandu Post, Nov. 21, 2016
Will a New "Hybrid" Negotiating Process Save Nepal's Prospects for Peace by Bishnu Sapkota
The Nepal Transition To Peace Initiative and the Women Peace Building Network: An effective way to include women?
Creating Mechanisms to Manage Peace and Negotiations Processes by Hannes Siebert
Sri Lanka: One Text Initiative
The Peace Appeal Foundation's work in Sri Lanka focused on assisting Sri Lankan stakeholders' design and implementation of a confidential multi-stakeholder dialogue called the One Text Initiative, established in the wake of the collapse of official Track One negotiations in 2003.
This work was described in the 2005 USAID Annual Report for Sri Lanka:
"The One Text Initiative, funded through USAID’s Sri Lanka Peace Support Project, provides a multipartisan dialogue for Singhalese (sic), Tamil and Muslim political stakeholders on the peace process. It is a process that incorporates electronic and face-to-face dialogue with transparency of process and confidentiality of content. An individual or group enters the dialogue only with the approval of all other participants. All the major political parties in the country are now participating in this dialogue and the two smaller parties that have yet to join have agreed in principle to participate. This initiative recently brokered an agreement between competing Muslim political parties to establish a Muslim Peace Secretariat, and the GSL’s SCOPP requested that the One Text Initiative draft an agenda for future peace negotiations. No other donor agency in Sri Lanka has been able to establish a similar initiative with all stakeholders, whose high levels of confidence in this activity is reflected in the participation of politicians, including a government deputy minister nominated by the President of Sri Lanka. The “One Text” initiative represents an innovative strategy for addressing impediments to dialogue in the peace process. USAID's Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation has identified the Sri Lanka Peace Support Project as an example of best practice."
Several years after the Peace Appeal withdrew from full-time engagement in support of the One Text Initiative, the Peace Appeal Foundation's co-founder, Hannes Siebert, and Chanya Charles (formerly with the Academy for Educational Development, the Peace Appeal Foundation's partner) co-authored a case study for publication in a volume to be published by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars that offered an interim, and critical assessment of the One Text Initiative and broader peace efforts during the period of our involvement.
As our involvement in peace efforts in Sri Lanka shifted in 2006, the Peace Appeal undertook several humanitarian initiatives to assist individuals and communities suffering from the effects of the civil war, particularly orphaned children, as well as support of inter-religious dialogue and international diplomatic efforts designed to promote political reconciliation.
Despite the violent end to Sri Lanka's civil war, in which estimates of up to 40,000 casualties at the hands of both the LTTE and the Sri Lankan Armed Forces, efforts at political reconciliation are still much needed. As of the Spring of 2013, the One Text Initiative is still operating, offering the only regular meeting place for senior political and civil society figures from the government and opposition to meet and discuss critical areas of political reform out of the public glare of official constitutional mechanisms.
Media Reports, Articles & Studies
USAID 2005 Annual Report on Sri Lanka - full report (Click here for the full report).
"When Negotiations Fail: Talks for the Sake of Talks, War for the Sake of Peace", draft case study for upcoming publication by Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars by PAF co-founder Hannes Siebert and Chanya Charles.