Principles For Peace: Local Insights On Building Lasting Peace (2021)

Mallory Matheson, Abdul Qahar Jawad, Samantha Lakin, Meranda Ma, Azzam Tomeh, Seint Seint Tun, Hama Sidi Yacouba, & Kaung Hla Zan; Search for Common Ground

Created 05/19/2021



As the number of successful peace processes has decreased in recent decades, many peacebuilders are rethinking fundamental assumptions about what makes a peace process succeed or fail. Current models for international involvement in peace processes have suffered from three major flaws: they typically focus on negotiations to end violence at the expense of finding solutions to root causes of conflict; they rely on traditional, mandate-driven strategies to guide decisions; and they lack real inclusivity and local ownership. While there is broad consensus that inclusivity during peace processes is a prerequisite for sustainable positive peace, peace processes in practice rarely include the stakeholders they need to reach.

In similar fashion to the development of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), the Principles for Peace (P4P) Initiative seeks to address these flaws by coordinating a global collective effort to fundamentally re-shape approaches to peace and establish new international principles for the successful development and implementation of peace processes. Driven by input from local people in conflict-affected countries, and reviewed by board members states and actors in the UN in a Stakeholder Platform and the International Commission on Inclusive Peace (ICIP), these principles will better enable local, national, and international actors to craft more inclusive approaches that result in lasting peace as all local stakeholders lead all steps toward peace.

As part of this initiative, Search for Common Ground (Search) conducted a series of consultations with groups that have been generally excluded from recent, ongoing, and/or attempted peace processes in six countries-Afghanistan, the Central African Republic (CAR), Myanmar, Sierra Leone, Syria, and Yemen. This report details our findings and offers recommendations for international actors to support future peace processes. Search country teams held 57 total consultation sessions, spanning online and in-person focus group discussions (FGDs) and key informant interviews (KIIs), with 364 total participants between December 2020 and January 2021. In each country, team leads chose different groups who are critical stakeholders in that context, but have not been deeply engaged in peace processes.

Participants reflected on:
• What peace looks like in the local context
• Challenges and obstacles to peace
• What peace should deliver
• Recommendations to realize peace

Based on these consultations, we have identified four principles that should guide international actors as they support the creation and implementation of inclusive, effective, and sustainable peace processes…

Click here to read the full report.

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