Peacebuild held its re-constitutive AGM on 11 January 2016, generously hosted by the
World Federalist Movement - Canada.
Over the last four years, Peacebuild has remained involved with the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), with Rena Ramkay as our delegate. The North American region of GPPAC (Canada, US and Mexico) has focused on information exchange and attempts at policy influence with respect to extractive companies from Canada and the US active in Mexico. GPPAC's Peace Education working group has continued with strong support in the US. GPPAC's Preventive Action working group has recently launched a publication on Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue Processes. GPPAC's Dialogue and Mediation working group has released a publication with lessons from four dialogue processes.
Between 2012 and 2014, Peacebuild has engaged in a project under Eric Abitbol's lead promoting North-South dialogue and learning opportunities on peace and conflict impact assessment. Researcher-practitioners from Kenya, Somalia, Pakistan, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Canada and elsewhere participated in a series of online presentations and discussions and a conference at York University leading to a special edition of the Journal of Peace and Development. Peacebuild now hosts an exhaustive bibliography on peace and conflict literature.
We were informed that European organizations see Peacebuild as an inspiration for how to bridge the government and civil society divide and hope that Peacebuild will indeed be reinvigorated!
Peacebuild's history is one of forming a bridge between Foreign Affairs/CIDA and civil society, with a modus operandi of setting up working groups to dialogue with different bodies at Foreign Affairs about different dossiers (e.g. conflict prevention, women and peacebuilding, peace operations, small arms, children and armed conflict, Sudan and Afghanistan). The current government may be more receptive to supporting such a working group structure again.
There was debate at the meeting whether we should work on local peace issues in Canada (Aboriginal issues, gangs, youth, criminal violence). The drawback is that the numbers of possibliities and potential partners are very high and that other networks are already working in these areas. Traditionally, Peacebuild has focused on being a network for Canadians working in or on international peacebuilding. A compromise might be to focus on thematic areas where national and international conflict issues intersect, e.g. resource extraction by Canadian companies and transnational crime and gangs.
It was decided to produce a scan including domestic and international conflict issues, organizations active in Canada on these issues, and government priorities in related areas. This scan will be carried out by an interim board elected to oversee the exercise and proposing elements for a new vision and direction for Peacebuild by June 2016. The new interim board consists of Flaurie Storie (Co-Chair), David Lord (Co-Chair), Morio Fukunaga (Secretary), Silke Reichrath (Treasurer), Rena Ramkay, Jean Devlin and Erica Noordermeer.
Produced with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT).