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Make space for local peacebuilders to lead.

Local people are often the first to respond to crisis, and they have the power to act as catalysts for positive change. But local voices are often marginalised or overpowered by external forces such as Western governments, institutions like the UN, and national elites. Engagement that does occur is often top-down, exhaustive and extractive. To address this imbalance, we must create more inclusive ways for local peacebuilders to lead, shape, and influence the peace process in their regions.

We call on international institutions, Global North governments and NGOs to:

  • Find, support and advocate for local communities, peacebuilders and civil society actors. Ensure they can participate, engage in and lead the agenda for the peace negotiations, mediation efforts, policies and peacebuilding programmes that impact them. Do this through policy and governance reforms in current international peacebuilding infrastructures.
  • Establish inclusive dialogue platforms as a core priority in conflict prevention programmes. These platforms must bring together local peacebuilders, community leaders, government officials, religious leaders, and international stakeholders to jointly address conflict-related issues and shape peacebuilding strategies.
  • Invest in and join peace processes where the agenda is clearly led and delivered by local peacebuilders and civil society. Stop creating alternative structures.

Sign the Manifesto!

  • Le, Local Peacebuilder & Co-Creator

    I believe that local peacebuilders are the link between policymakers and communities they work with. Peacebuilders put their hearts into the people we work with and want the best for them. We hope that local peacebuilders get all the support they need to make sure that the needs of the communities are met. We are as diverse as the communities we represent so we only want the best for them.

Photo Credit: Juan Felipe Rubio, Efeunodos, Shift the Power Summit 2023.

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