31 May 2017

Moving beyond crisis mode! What's next for the new German guidelines for managing crises and conflicts?

The Working Group on Peace and Development (FriEnt) hosted the third FriEnt Peacebuilding Forum in Berlin on 31 May 2017.

Moving Beyond Crisis Mode? New German Guidelines for Managing Crises and Conflicts

For almost a year, the German government has engaged experts from government institutions, civil society and academia in a dialogue on the future German engagement in the field of civilian crisis prevention, conflict resolution and peacebuilding. But what follows from this dialogue process for the actual design and implementation of German peace policy? Can the new guidelines move long-term and cooperative approaches to civilian crisis prevention and peacebuilding into the center - in the face of increasing nationalism around the globe? Which concrete implementation steps are needed now – and which steps should the next German government take? How and where can the critical and constructive dialogue between state and civil society be pursued further? The FriEnt Peacebuilding Forum 2017 offered the opportunity to discuss these and other questions.

In his opening address, Michael Hippler, Co-Chair of FriEnt, emphasised that the multitude and simultaneity of current wars and conflict situations pose major challenges for development and peace policy actors. The pressure to react to crises in the short term has increased significantly. Moreover, global trends, such as authoritarian tendencies and renationalisation, are destabilising the international order and potentially affect crisis prevention and peacebuilding negatively.

Sustainable funding for peacebuilding

It is certainly important to react to immediate situations of need. At the same time, however, it is essential to not lose sight of long-term and cooperative approaches to peacebuilding. In order to "move beyond crisis mode", the 2030 Agenda offers a suitable framework that must be ambitiously implemented. Political impetus and sustainable financing of peacebuilding and its structures are central. This requires coherent, coordinated and inter-ministerial action by the German government.

What works?

There is a lack of long-term approaches to reflect on the consequences of an intervention and to precisely define the role of development cooperation. State-building does not automatically lead to a better relationship between the state and civil society. It is necessary to learn from the experience of previous crises in order to increase positive influence and avoid the repetition of mistakes. For example, experience shows that countries are more stable in the long run when domestic power structures are fair and economic development is inclusive, and when fragile countries are supported in developing mechanisms to deal with violence at the local and national level. Participants also agreed on the need to adress the question of "what works" more systematically.

German government should focus on prevention

The audience agreed that the new German government should focus on prevention in the future. It was demanded that the international community should take the long-term consequences of global financial flows and economic interdependencies in crisis prevention and peacebuilding strategies into account. The real work is just beginning with the implementation of the new guidelines.

FriEnt will gladly continue to offer a forum for trustful, structured dialogue, to encourage cooperation and to strengthen the discourse in the policy field.

Looking back at the FriEnt PBF 2017
We would like to express our warmest thanks to all resource persons and participants for the fruitful, lively discussions we’ve had during the evening event.
Voices ahead of the FriEnt PBF 2017

In the run-up to this year's FriEnt Peacebuilding Forum, we have asked international partners of FriEnt’s member organisations to formulate their expectations on the German commitment to peacebuilding and conflict prevention. Where do international partners see the greatest challenges for building sustainable peace from their working experience? What do they expect from the German engagement for civilian conflict prevention and peacebuilding? Where to set priorities, and where not to?

The FriEnt Peacebuilding Forum is a series of events on current and overarching challenges and trends in peacebuilding. With the Peacebuilding Forum, we want to provide future-oriented impulses for the development of peacebuilding and strengthen the visibility and importance of the policy field in its entirety.


Arbeitsgemeinschaft Frieden
und Entwicklung (FriEnt)
c/o GIZ

Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 36
53113 Bonn

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