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Interpeace launches new initiative - International Peacebuilding Advisory Team (IPAT) at the United Nations

March 6, 2014
Est. Reading: 3 minutes
Michael Møller, United Nations Under-Secretary-General, Acting Director-General, UNOG (right)and Scott M. Weber, Director-General Interpeace (left). Photo credit: Charlescannon for Interpeace

Interpeace launched its new initiative, the International Peacebuilding Advisory Team (IPAT) at the United Nations Office in Geneva. The event was co-hosted by Michael Møller, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Acting Director-General of United Nations Office at Geneva, and Scott M. Weber, Director-General of Interpeace.

Attended by over 70 high-level participants, the launch was an opportunity to showcase the services that IPAT can provide to national and international actors.

Watch the video of the launch event!

What is IPAT?

IPAT, the International Peacebuilding Advisory Team, is an initiative of Interpeace. IPAT is a select group of experts that can be called upon by national and international actors. IPAT advisers provide tailored advice, capacity-development support and training in different aspects of peacebuilding with a focus on process design and fostering local ownership.

IPAT is made possible through the support of the Netherlands, Sweden and France.

Why is IPAT needed?

Building peace is a complex long-term process fraught with a multitude of political and practical challenges. Many peacebuilding processes fail not because of deficiencies in their content, but because of deficiencies in their process. IPAT fills this important gap by assisting national, regional and international actors to strengthen their capacities to analyse, design and implement inclusive multi-stakeholder processes, policies and programmes to reduce violence and strengthen peace.

At the launch, Tore Rose, Senior Peacebuilding Adviser for IPAT shared his personal experiences from Mali during his time as UN Resident Coordinator. He explained that he had thought the UN had contributed well but within a few years, the conflict re-emerged. "In retrospect, I regret that IPAT did not exist then because I now see we were not familiar enough with the kinds of processes that were needed to lay the foundations for a more durable peace."

Bernardo Arévalo de León, Senior Peacebuilding Adviser spoke about the importance of dialogue within all societies. He noted that conflict of interests are inherent to all societies: "That's not the problem. How conflicts of interest are resolved within a society is what matters. This is what dialogue is about."

What has IPAT done to date?

Renee Larivière, Interpeace's Deputy Director-General for Development and Learning, highlighted IPAT's current assignments. IPAT has successfully embarked on several partnerships and initiatives with national and donor governments, foundations, as well as United Nations agencies. Advisory assistance provided included participatory context analysis, dialogue support, and constitution-making as well as course design and delivery. A full list of mandates to date can be found here and a list of trainings conducted can be accessed here.

What are people saying about IPAT?

"The establishment of IPAT is an important new step in the history of Interpeace facilitating multi-stakeholder processes in the field of peace and security."

- Reinout Vos, Chargé d'Affaires, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

"IPAT is a very innovative way of strengthening actors in doing peace both in terms of international policy and in terms of peacebuilding practice. We hope IPAT will function as an interface between local and international actors. We need these connectors to make the whole system work."

- H.E. Jan Knutsson, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Sweden

"France supports IPAT because of its participatory approach, its focus on local ownership, and its sharing of experiences."

- Natacha Tolstoi, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of France to the UN in Geneva

"The International Peacebuilding Advisory Team initiative – IPAT for short – adds further capacity to respond to the requests for support, and I welcome the focus on practical activities and advice that can help sustain local peacebuilding efforts. IPAT is already providing support to the United Nations system. The UNDP/DPA Joint Programme on Building National Capacities for Conflict Prevention has asked IPAT to facilitate its bi-annual internal reflection process with select Resident Coordinators on leadership in complex political contexts. Hopefully, one day we can expand this to other colleagues in the field, and we hope to make more use of this new capacity."

- Michael Møller, United Nations Under-Secretary-General, Acting Director-General, UNOG

"IPAT is a very strategic way for Interpeace to share its knowledge in order to have a wider and deeper impact than what we would be able to do ourselves."

- Scott M. Weber, Director-General Interpeace

Watch the video of the launch event!