Saturday 25 March 2017, 03:52

Ukrainian Institute
of Research of Extremism

UIRE TOOK PART IN THE INTERNATIONAL PEACEBUILDERS FORUM 19-23 JULY 2016, CAUX (SWITZERLAND)

26.07.2016

Peacebuilding among people displaced by violence and war

Representative of UIRE Olga Bud took part in International Peacebuilders Forum 2016, Caux, Switzerland.
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In light of current trends in mass forced migration across the globe, this year’s theme of the forum was ‘Peacebuilding among people displaced by violence and war.’ The aim was to provide a platform and safe space for reflexivity for practitioners in refugee and migrant work, and people from these communities to deepen contextual understanding, foster collaboration and joint action, and establish an international community of peers.

The world is currently facing the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. Globally, one in every 122 humans is now either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum according to the UN Refugee Agency. If this were the population of a country, it would be the world’s 24th biggest. To establish a peaceful and inclusive world for everyone, peacebuilders’ around the globe address, tackle, and come up with new ways to create a safe space and reduce violence.

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IPF 2016 opened on with Janet Lim’s reflection on her work with UNHCR. Ms Lim invited participants to consider how to use grassroots projects to better involve migrants in addressing the societal problems associated with mass migration.

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During her speech ‘Exploring the Big Picture on Refugees and Migrants.’, she drew on her 34 years of experience to present an overview of the present situation, operational challenges, and changes within the migration sector of development. Among the changes she noted, she included the emerging relevance of acknowledging the agency of migrants themselves: ‘Another area of change, one that is close to my heart, is the need to recognize that displaced people, whether they be refugees, IDPs, or migrants are people who have capacities and need also to be given a chance to help themselves.’

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Participants worked together to identify challenges to peacebuilding in their own contexts. They then broke into workshops to explore peacebuilding methods and approaches that they have not previously encountered. These workshops inspired them to consider new ways of addressing the challenges they identified.

After identifying challenges and exploring new ways of addressing these challenges, participants were given a day of reflection. Participants shared stories with each other and reflected independently on the ways in which they have each changed since arriving at Caux this week.

Participants broke into discussion groups to engage with the topic ‘How the big issues play out in our own contexts.’ After this discussion, participants have been invited to attend an exclusive comedy show at the end of the day. Comedy for Change presents four internationally acclaimed comedians: Conrad Koch, Stuart Taylor, Celeste Ntuli, and Dana Alexander. Participants will explore the element of comedy and how it can be used in conflict transformation through their own experience of comedy at the show tonight.

Members of the IPF had the opportunity to choose between seven workshops that address various relevant topics such as how to create calm in chaos and that are lead by professional peacebuilders from around the world.

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Olga Bud also have made presentation and acquainted peacebuilders with projects and researchesof the Institute.

An important aspect of the forum was embodied work. Although some participants found it challenging to engage with exercises, one man expressed that it increased his awareness of his body. One woman asserted that this kind of work helped her to better connect to the other participants, especially as the participants were linguistically split between English and French. Embodied work allowed everyone to connect, overcoming linguistic barriers.

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Sessions  encouraged participants to brainstorm possibilities to progress, improve, and collaborate in their work. The forum was closed on Saturday, 23 July, with a speech by Mpanzu Bamenga, former asylum seeker from Zaïre and founder of the Dutch Inclusion Leaders Network.

But most broadly, participants walked away from the forum inspired by new ideas, encouraged by learning of others’ experiences, and connected to an international community of peacebuilders.