peacebuilding principles

Peacebuilding is a pragmatic tool rooted in decades of research and practice. The basic strategy? Address underlying factors that cause violent conflict, while helping people transform conflict for good. At the same time, peacebuilding is personal. Sustainable peace can’t exist unless people treat themselves and others with compassion. We subscribe to a few core beliefs.

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Mutual Gain

While many conflicts seem intractable, peacebuilders pursue win-win solutions that advance see mutual gain. By listening to others, understanding power and narratives of justice, and devising creative solutions, we overcome difficult dilemmas. Sustainable peace means that everyone has a chance to thrive.

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Nonviolence

Conflict is inevitable, violence is not. Violence disrupts societies and economies, fractures families, and creates bitterness that leads to later conflicts. We seek to prevent violence before it even happens by focusing on the causes of anger, hatred, dehumanization and power struggling. By avoiding violent tactics, we can lay the groundwork for trust and community.

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Local Leadership

Local people are the front lines of peacebuilding — day in and day out. Why? Because these communities experience the conflict every day, know the cultural context, and have the capacity and connections to mitigate disputes. People directly affected by violence are also often the most clear eyed, and honest, about the global drivers of violence — geopolitical tension, incentives for militarism, and war.

By ‘peace’ we mean the capacity to transform conflicts with empathy, without violence, and creatively—a never-ending process
— Johan Galtung
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The Origin of “Peacebuilding”

IN 1975, JOHAN GALTUNG COINED THE TERM