The inclusion of local civil society in peacebuilding initiatives is vital to building sustainable peace. Two new policy initiatives introduced in Washington this month demonstrate significant progress towards international recognition of the critical role played by local people. The initiatives bring the United States closer to a more focused, high-level policy response to address violence and instability in the world’s toughest places; one that places locally-led peacebuilding at the forefront.
As we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr., Peace Direct and the Alliance for Peacebuilding are launching a new effort to lift up and support local peacebuilding in the United States. Our new U.S. section of Peace Direct’s global online website, Peace Insight, is an interactive map that includes information about groups working for peace across the U.S.
On Human Rights Day, a day commemorating the brave and inspiring activists that stand for a better world, we are announcing the winners of our 2017 Tomorrow’s Peacebuilders Awards. Over the last few months, the Peace Direct team has reviewed 268 applications from 57 countries and elected three of the most exciting and innovative peacebuilding organisations as winners.
Two fearless female activists, Gulalai Ismail from Pakistan and Gauri Lankesh from India, have won the prestigious RAW in WAR 2017 Anna Politkovskaya Award for their courage speaking out against extremism against a backdrop of armed conflict. This award is testament to the power local people have to make a difference to thousands of lives.
As global violence surges in the form of humanitarian crises, racial injustices and political oppression, it is important to show just how non-violent resistance can transform lives and communities. We share an inspiring story of nonviolent change from Pakistan, where recruitment by militant organisations threatens young lives and longer term peace.