Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation


Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO)

Insightful Quotes
"HR make peace possible, but these are not just rights claimable against the State, but embedded in rights-respecting communities and societies."
Insightful Quotes
"Securitization and the pervasive influence of counter-terrorism and CVE, presents a potential parallel threat to peacebuilding, development and HR approaches – particularly for young people who’s change agency is often seen as threatening."
Virtual Session 26

'Both Feet on the Ground': Innovation at the Nexus of Peacebuilding and Human Rights

Whether through the practice of HR defenders or peacebuilders, or in the leverage of multi-lateral HR instruments to contribute to peace and conflict prevention, the resourcefulness of practitioners reveals creative collaboration at the nexus of peacebuilding and HR. There is much common ground but also challenges– whether in 'dealing with the past', from the perspective of YPS or WPS programming, in the risks of securitization of peacebuilding, or resilience approaches associated with justice.

Main Questions
  • What are the sources of collaborative innovation and creativity of practitioners in working across this disciplinary divide? What are the barriers or challenges?

  • How can these 'shake loose' policy debates that are often stuck, including within the multilateral system, and how do policies inhibit innovation or create potential harm to this practice on the ground?

  • How can funding strategies shift to incentivize integrated rather than bifurcated funding and to enhance intersectional approaches across the peacebuilding and human rights nexus, that better reflect the complex lived experiences at the local level?

Key Theses, Thoughts and Ideas

This notion of intersectionality of rights, and complementarity between human rights, justice and peacebuilding is inherent to the UN Charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was seen as essential to guarantee a certain minimum set of ‘rights’ to sustain peace.

The lived experience of local practitioners confirms this notion: from youth that advocate for participation and protection as a transformative rights; the need for human rights-based approaches to violent extremism rather than securitized non-solutions that do more harm; to just transitions for sustainable solutions to the human impact on climate change; or ‘peace responsive’ approaches to human rights as a source of resilience for peace.

Siloed policy debates, a private sector that still fails to acknowledge its own impact in societies, a UN that struggles to overcome its fragmentation., and bifurcated funding by most donors, all continue to push against the complex realities – undermining transformation to a sustainable, just and peaceful global society.


James Turpin
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), United States
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Lorraine Degruson
United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY)
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Marc Batac
Initiatives for International Dialogue, Philippines
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Prisca Ntabaza
Embassy of the Netherlands, Kigali, Rwanda
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Florence Foster
Quaker UN Office (QUNO), Switzerland
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Graeme Simpson
Interpeace, USA
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Current Topics

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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.


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