|Posted: April 30 2010,11:57
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Postal address of organization/institution
Rue Belliard 205
E-mail address of organization/institution
Website address of organization/institution
Telephone of organization/institution
+32 2 648 0076
PRIORITIES: All of the organization's domains of culture of peace activity
INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY
TOP PRIORITY: The organization's most important culture of peace activity
INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY
PARTNERSHIPS AND NETWORKS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?
Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) has 66 member organizations in all inhabited continents.
NP is also a member of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict; the European Peace & Liaison Office; AlertNet and the Alliance for Peacebuilding.
ACTIONS: What activities have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the ten years of the Decade? If you already made a report in 2005, your information from 2005 will be included in the 2010 report.
Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) is an International NGO applying non-violent strategies in partnership with local groups to protect human rights of conflict-affected populations, deter violence and help create space for local peacemakers and human rights’ defenders to carry out their work.
Constituted in the 2002 Convening Event in India, the international constituency of Nonviolent Peaceforce now includes 66 member organizations from Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, and the Americas. Together they elect the International Governing Council, governing body of Nonviolent Peaceforce, whose members currently come from 13 countries of all continents.
* Deploys international, trained, civilian field teams to conflict areas upon invitation by local civil society.
* Builds capacity for nonviolent intervention through trainings, assessment, recruitment, rosters, and rapid response mechanisms for crisis areas.
* Conducts public awareness work and political advocacy to increase international support and recognition of civilian nonviolent intervention’s effectiveness in preventing violence and fostering a global culture of peace.
NP launched its first field project in Sri Lanka in summer 2003 at the invitation of -- and in partnership with -- local groups. In the aftermath of a civil war that has ravaged Sri Lanka since 1983, NP is providing accompaniment and support to local civil society particularly in the East, the North and the capital of the country. NP Sri Lanka programme currently counts on a staff of approximately 50 individuals, both international and local field staff, and has been supported by UNICEF, UNDP, UNHCR, European Commission and other governmental (Belgium, Germany, Sweden, France, UK) and independent (CORDAID, Bread for the World, etc.) agencies.
NVP field staff in Sri Lanka
In spring 2007, after 2 years of thorough preparation, NP has deployed its teams in Mindanao, Philippines, to support the locally-led peace initiatives by the civil society in a very complex civil war. This programme is now counting on the support of several European governments and the European Commission's Instrument for Stability and is expanding to a field staff of over 30 people. In December 2009, NP was invited to join the Civilian Protection Component of a new International Monitoring Team along with the Governments of Malaysia, Japan, Brunei and Libya and with the Mindanao People's Caucus.
In April 2007, only after one month from the initial request, NP deployed a rapid reaction team to accompany an association of Human Rights’ Defenders in Guatemala, where the electoral year brought increased threats to them. NP team successfully completed the assignment in February 2008.
NP is currently deploying field staff in southern Sudan.
NP is working also to set up additional field projects in other regions such as Southern Caucasus and Honduras to answer local civil society demands.
Our multinational, trained Field Teams support with their proactive non-partisan presence the local communities in conflict-prone areas. They use various techniques to reduce and prevent violence, each applied specifically to the circumstances. These include:
* Accompanying civil society activists, especially human rights defenders and peace workers.
* Providing protective presence to vulnerable groups and communities, such as IDPs.
* Monitoring ceasefire agreements, demonstrations and other volatile situations.
* Connecting remote communities to national and international resources.
* Consulting local leaders, authorities, community-based organizations and other individuals aiming at peace about their needs in times of crisis; linking them with each other and with international actors.
* Providing safe places to let conflicting communities meet and dialogue.
Since 2007, NP enjoys Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). In the framework of our advocacy activities, NP organised events such as briefings at UN Headquarters, contributed speakers to the European Commission conference “Making the Difference: Strengthening Capacities to Respond to Crises and Security Threats” in June 2009; co-organised the “Peace project Europe: civil society dimensions” events in the European Parliament in October 2009 involving panellists from several political groups as well as INGOs.
Funding for NP comes from a diverse base, including donations from individuals and religious communities, foundations, governments, European Commission, independent aid agencies and UN agencies.
* Hague Appeal for Peace: Mel Duncan and David Hartsough meet and share a vision with some of the 9,000 human rights leaders attending.
* International committee prepares to found global non-violent peace force.
* $50,000 expenses.
* Feasibility Study researched and compiled – 360 pages available online.
* Requests for peacekeepers received from 11 countries.
* Eight Nobel Peace Laureates and others endorse Nonviolent Peaceforce.
* $110,000 and $250,000 expenses, respectively.
* Official convening in India involves 130 representatives of 40 organizations from around the world to found Nonviolent Peaceforce.
* Members Organizations elect International Governance Council.
* Sri Lanka selected as 1st deployment.
* $570,000 expenses.
* First 15 peacekeepers recruited, trained and deployed in Sri Lanka.
* Regional programs launched in Europe, Asia and the Americas; exploratory visits to the Middle East.
* Exploratory visits and training given on unarmed civilian peacekeeping in Mindanao, Philippines, which initiated an invitation for a NP deployment.
* Website established.
* Informational video short produced.
* In USA, nonprofit status awarded.
* $1,000,000 expenses.
* United Nations Secretary General assigns staff liaison to Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP).
* Member Organizations grow to several dozen NGOs on every continent.
* As member of the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO), NP begins active advocacy towards the European Union bodies.
* Possible deployments enter research & planning: Uganda, Philippines, Burma, Colombia, Middle East, and others.
* Tsunami devastates coastal areas of Sri Lanka. NP helps ensure fair distribution of aid, and routes over $100,000 in international emergency relief donations to Sarvodaya, a national partner of NP.
* $1.5 million expenses.
* Sri Lanka team increases to 30 people from 16 countries.
* 1st United Nations agency funding - UNICEF partners with NP to protect and recover children from abduction and forced military service.
* NP succeeds in adding unarmed civilian peacekeeping to figure prominently in UN’s Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), profiled in GPPAC materials.
* NP trains and coordinates 100+ international election observers for Sri Lanka national elections, in collaboration PAFFREL (People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections), an NP partner.
* In India, NP trains for months Hindu and Muslim Shanti Sainiks (‘peace soldiers’) who gather in New Delhi to take a public oath of nonviolence.
* Emergency Response Network is strengthened to more than 250 volunteers prepared to contact officials and influential supporters, worldwide, as needed on request by NP.
* Research and visits to Israel-Palestine. Report recommends ‘go-slow’.
* NP prepares for potential deployments Mindanao, Philippines; northern Uganda and southern Sudan; and the Colombia-Ecuador border
* $2 million expenses.
* Sri Lanka team increases to 50, approximately one-third international peacekeepers and two-thirds Sri Lankan expert and support staff.
* New deployments are approved pending funding. Advance Teams work in-country to raise project funds in Colombia, Philippines and Uganda/Sudan.
* Palestinian national elections—Thirty-five international volunteers are recruited, trained and deployed for proactive violence prevention during the election.
* NP held a Training of Trainers in Thailand, certifying 22 NP trainers.
* New Capacity Building Department focuses on peacekeeper training. Peacekeeper trainings held in India and Kenya.
* $2.85 million expenses.
* 2nd deployment opens in Mindanao, Philippines
* A rapid response team is sent to Guatemala for 10 months to protect human rights defenders during the election period.
* Invitation, investigation, and research for possible violence prevention deployment around the elections in Sierra Leone. (Funding not acquired.)
* NP awarded Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
* NP and Mel Duncan receive International Pfeffer Peace Prize from the Fellowship of Reconciliation.
* NP convenes 2nd International Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, with 165 leaders from 50 countries. Long-Term Plan is approved for 2008-2012. Second International Governance Council is elected by Member Organizations.
* Most Reverend Desmond M. Tutu of South Africa becomes ninth Noble Peace Laureate to endorse NP.
* On invitation from the Organization of American States, NP participated in a Peace Keeping Operation Exercise in Quito, Ecuador.
* In North America, NP developed and presented Nonviolent Conflict Intervention training for local groups.
* During and after the war in Lebanon, NP and several of its Member Organizations began plans to deploy but were unsuccessful in finding funds.
* Peacekeeper trainings conducted in Ecuador and Romania, resulting in over 100 deployable civilian peacekeepers. New recruits sent to Sri Lanka, Philippines and Guatemala.
* $3.6 million expenses.
* Successfully completed Guatemala project protecting human rights defenders.
* Implemented moderate growth amidst global economic downturn; fundraising efforts suspended for Colombia and Uganda.
* Five-year anniversary serving Sri Lanka. Co-established violence prevention structures in Sri Lanka to outlast NP’s presence there. Growing numbers of threatened children, journalists protected.
* Based on NP’s exemplary protection services, European Commission, France, Dutch, UK and Belgium award funding to help triple NP’s Philippines team.
* Briefed UN Mission representatives including Security Council, Peace Building Commission, and Agencies; sponsored by the Canadian Mission to the UN.
* $2.9 million expenses.
* In the Philippines, doubled staff team, extended presence to three more “hotspot” regions in Mindanao, and established a diplomatic office in Manila
* In Sri Lanka, moved a new team to Vavuniya District in response to the plight of 250 000 people displaced by war in Sri Lanka
* In Sudan, deployed an advance team to explore potential field sites.
* NP International Governance Council agreed to explore a deployment in South Caucasus.
* Restructured peacekeeper training based on lessons learned.
* Launched media presence to establish NP as a leading global expert in unarmed civilian peacekeeping, and released a professional documentary on NP and unarmed civilian peacekeeping
* Drew scores of supporters to join the NP Hartsough-Duncan Founders Circle.
* In the Philippines, began officially providing civilian protection within the formal structure of the International Monitoring Team as part of the new Philippines ceasefire agreement.
* In Sri Lanka, expanding protection of journalists and lawyers, and continuing to provide support to hundreds of thousands of displaced persons seeking to return home.
* In Sudan, currently deploying peacekeepers in advance of referendum in 2011, including NP’s first-ever national peacekeepers.
* Exploratory missions visit South Caucasus and Honduras.
* 18-minute professional documentary now available on DVD and NP’s website.
* Global headquarters have relocated from Minneapolis, USA, to Brussels, Belgium.
* Memorandum of Understanding signed with UNITAR (United Nations Institute for Training and Research) for NP to produce online training in unarmed civilian peacekeeping
Nonviolent Peaceforce is a nonpartisan unarmed peacekeeping force composed of trained civilians from around the world. In partnership with local groups, NP peacekeepers apply proven nonviolent strategies to prevent death and destruction, protect human rights, and help create space for
local peacemakers to carry out their work.
PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the second half of the Decade?
Nonviolent Peaceforce has seen progress during the past decade towards a culture of peace and nonviolence. This is true both in the operational and the policy spheres.
Operationally, our field projects in Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Sudan have gathered growing political and financial support. We have received dozens of invitations to deploy unarmed civilian peacekeepers in other regions. Other international and local organizations have begun incorporating the methodologies of unarmed civilian peacekeeping into their activities and programs.
At the policy level, we find that often we no longer have to explain the basic concept and practice of unarmed civilian peacekeeping. From the highest levels at the United Nations and its member states to the most valued grassroots peace workers, we meet individuals and organizations who are advocating for the use of unarmed means of proactive presence to defend and protect civilians from armed violence.
OBSTACLES: Has your organization faced any obstacles to implementing the culture of peace and nonviolence? If so, what were they?
Financial constraints have been the number one challenge. We would not say ‘obstacle’ since we have managed to grow despite that challenge.
One of the continuing difficulties regarding finances has to do with securing unrestricted funding. Once we establish a project, we have been able to acquire restricted funding from institutions to maintain and expand these projects, based on the positive evaluations of their success. But we also must find the funds to investigate and explore new projects, as well as to support administrative and networking functions. For that we must more often rely on unrestricted funds. We are fortunate that nearly half of our funding derives from individuals, much of it unrestricted. But we still lack a reserve to be able to respond more quickly or to establish new projects as we would like.
Another constraint, shared with other international NGOs, is the concern of some governments to allow international involvement in their internal affairs. In response to this concern, Nonviolent Peaceforce is careful to maintain a strict non-partisan position; only goes where invited by reputable civil society; acquires all necessary official working papers; and engages in protection of civilians from all sides of a conflict
PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization in the short, medium and long term to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence?
In brief, our four guiding objectives are: International field projects and project preparedness; Regional development; Organizational capacity building; and Public awareness, policy advocacy and constituency building
Short-term plans include strengthening and expanding our current projects in Sri Lanka, the Philippines and southern Sudan.
Mid-term plans include opening new projects that are currently or soon-to-be researched. We also want to increase opportunities for education and training about unarmed civilian peacekeeping.
Our extensive long-term plan is posted at http://nvpf.org/resources/long-term-plan.
GLOBAL MOVEMENT: How do you think the culture of peace and nonviolence could be strengthened and supported at the world level??
First of all, we should recognize that we – the global movement for a culture of peace and nonviolence – are ourselves, our own major means of strength and support. Globally, we comprise the largest social movement on earth. Until recently, this movement of non-governmental organizations has not been recognized for the force it is. So, step one is simply to become aware of the great power of ‘being the change we want to see’.
In the sphere of human security that Nonviolent Peaceforce and others have been developing outside of nation-state structures, it is encouraging to see that at least some officially-sanctioned (and, important to acknowledge, often democratically-elected) institutions are welcoming such innovative and courageous civilian initiatives. More financial and political support for the further development and deployment of unarmed civilian peacekeeping will help change this tool from being an optional response to violence -- to becoming a required first consideration.
Although Nonviolent Peaceforce focuses rather narrowly on the protection of civilians in situations of violent conflict, the abolition of war itself should be a goal that the larger movement should not defer. For millennia, slavery was thought to be natural and inherent to the human condition. Let us develop the culture -- and the practice – in which we know what we can say ‘yes’ to … when we say ‘no’ to war.
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