Home - Interpeace : Interpeace
Home - Interpeace : Interpeace
Home - Interpeace : Interpeace

History

Building peace since 1994

The origins of Interpeace lie within the United Nations

May, 1994

Interpeace was created in 1994 as the “War-torn Societies Project”, a United Nations project to assist the international community and national actors to respond better to challenges of countries emerging from war.

Matthias Stiefel championed and founded the project and is now Vice Chair of the Governing Board. Initial field projects were in Eritrea and MozambiqueGuatemalaSomaliland and Puntland (Somali Region) quickly followed.

May, 1994

The methodology developed in the early years provides the foundations of Interpeace work today

To address the specific challenges societies face in post-conflict situations, and the shortfalls of many peace interventions, a participatory action-research approach was developed. It embodies the principles of strengthening local capacity and responsibility, inclusive participation, use of relevant data and analysis, consensus based decision-making and practical policy impact. With adaptations over the years, this participatory methodology remains the foundation of the work of Interpeace today.
1994

Becoming an independent organization from the United Nations to better address the challenges of peace

In 2000, the project transitioned from within United Nations auspices to become an independent non-governmental organization. It maintains a strong link and partnership with the United Nations and can operate either as an NGO or through the United Nations.

In this period, new programmes were initiated in South-Central SomaliaRwandaMacedoniaIsrael and Palestine.

2000

A change of name to Interpeace

In 2006, the organization changed its name to Interpeace to reflect the new scope and scale of its work.
2006

Even more people benefiting from our approach to peacebuilding

Interpeace developed new programmes in Guinea-BissauBurundiAceh (Indonesia)Nimba County in Liberia and Central America.  The thematic programme ‘Constitution making for peace’ was also initiated.

 

2006

15 years of enabling people to build peace

In the summer of 2009 Interpeace celebrated 15 years of peacebuilding work around the world.  Programmes in Cyprus and the national roll out in Liberia were launched.

Former President of Ghana, President John A. Kufuor, became Chair of the Interpeace Governing Board, accepting the Chairmanship from former President of Finland and 2008 Nobel Peace Laureate, Martti Ahtisaari.

2009

Further strengthening transparency and accountability for all stakeholders

Interpeace transitioned to the highest financial reporting standard (IFRS) to further increase its transparency. In 2010 Interpeace also received ZEWO certification from the Swiss charity evaluator, demonstrating our focus on providing transparency and accountability for all our stakeholders.

2010

Establishing a solid presence in West Africa

In 2013 Interpeace opened its Regional Office for West Africa. With two new programmes in the region, Côte d’Ivoire and Mali, the Regional Office allows Interpeace to reinforce and strengthen its strategic engagement in the region and provide assistance to conflict-affected societies.

The same year, Interpeace co-organized the first ever Geneva Peace Talks and launched an international platform that aims to raise awareness of the need for peace around the world.

2013

Our history shows us that peace is possible

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Interpeace now operates in over 20 countries and territories. To mark two decades of peacebuilding around the world, Interpeace hosted an evening of debate.

At the same time Interpeace continues to innovate and has launched a pilot project in Sweden and the cutting-edge work on Frameworks for Assessing Resilience (FAR).

2014

Interpeace joins the Maison de la paix

Interpeace is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and since 2015 the organization is strategically located in the Maison de la Paix complex.

The Maison de la Paix is a hub of expertise, located in the heart of International Geneva. The building hosts diverse organizations that work on international issues, providing a great opportunity to create networks and significant exchanges between partners. These synergies foster and enable solutions to promote peace, security and sustainable development.

2015

Interpeace is recognized as an international organization

Interpeace is officially recognized as an international entity by the government of Switzerland. This acknowledgement reaffirms the important role played by the organization in peace processes.

2018

25 years building peace worldwide

Interpeace turns 25, marking a quarter century of experience building peace in over 20 countries in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe. Over this period, Interpeace has learned and applied several fundamental lessons about the nature of peace and conflict.

2018

Launch of the Principles for Peace Initiative

Incubated and founded at Interpeace, the Principles for Peace Initiative was launched in 2018 to develop the first- ever global standards for peace processes. From 2019 - 2022 the initiative engaged thousands of stakeholders in more than 60 countries, involving 150 consultations and analysis of over 700 case studies. This was the largest and most inclusive effort to shape principles for peace, a framework of how to design, implement and carry out peace processes. In 2023, Principles for Peace became an independent foundation, which unites 120+ organisations to promote a unity of vision for peacemaking at global, regional and local levels.

2018

2024 – Interpeace’s 30th Anniversary

Working for 30 years in over 20 countries around the world has shown us that peace is possible. In the past three decades, Interpeace has advanced peacebuilding strategies in many of the world’s most conflict-affected regions. We continue to work with local partners to build trust, using inclusive dialogue as a critical tool to collectively work together to find sustainable solutions for peace. We have developed innovative initiatives to re-think peace, enhance resilience for peace, and embedd peace: through the Principles for Peace Initiative, the Finance for Peace Initiative, Rethinking Stability, Peace Responsiveness and Youth, Peace and Security (YPS).

2024