Letter from Geneva
November 16, 2011
A focus on peacebuilders
In a world obsessed with indicators, achievements and the bottom line, our greatest successes are often manifested in precisely what does not happen: the violence that did not break out; the political compromise that did not fall apart; or the parents who no longer fear for the safety of their children.
There is no better way to highlight our accomplishments than to focus on the people who make peace possible. Over 300 local peacebuilders are working with Interpeace around the globe to help their societies manage tensions in non-violent ways and build lasting peace.
Our work centers around these peacebuilders. They are all great examples of the heroes who, if truly successful, you will probably never read about or see in the news. But, of all their qualities, it is their dedication to ensuring that the peace is as inclusive as possible that offers us an important lesson. In our ‘Faces of Peace’ section, we share their personal stories.
Peace must be broadly owned
We have witnessed the danger and fragility of solutions dictated by one group or another to the exclusion of others. They rarely last. For peace to be sustainable and legitimate, the priorities must engage as broad a cross-section of society as possible. Peace must be broadly owned.
Peace must be inclusive
Inclusive peacebuilding begins to restitch the social fabric of a society. It ensures that all viewpoints are represented and all groups begin to feel the future belongs to them too.
Inclusivity requires us to fight the temptation of quick-fix solutions and of surrounding ourselves with like-minded allies. It requires us to challenge our assumptions and to ask: Who else should be involved? Who might be impacted by this issue? How can we get them involved in the decision so that they feel a sense of ownership? These are some of the questions that we ask ourselves every day as we seek to build lasting peace.
Everyone can make a difference
All of us at Interpeace are deeply grateful for the encouragement and contributions we receive from the global community, individuals, families, governments and institutions. We are most appreciative of these unique partnerships for peace. Everyone can make a difference.
I am proud to share with you the 2010 Annual Report (PDF), which showcases just what a difference the support we receive makes.
Scott M. Weber
Director-General of Interpeace