Building peace since 1994
The origins of Interpeace lie within the United Nations
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 Council. Initial field projects were in Eritrea and Mozambique. Guatemala, Somaliland and Puntland (Somali Region) quickly followed.
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.
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.
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.
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 Council, accepting the Chairmanship from former President of Finland and 2008 Nobel Peace Laureate, Martti Ahtisaari.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.