International Organization for Peacebuilding and Palestine

Jiwoo Kim (Grace)/ Professor Romano/ George Mason University/ 07 October 2019

Interpeace and Their Work in Peacebuilding

Palestine females advocacies for women’s rights in peace and security through art activities.
  • What is this article about?
  • Why is peacebuilding necessary?
  • What are the mission and value of Interpeace?
  • Conflict example
  • Interpeace supports women in Palestine
  • How can this be used for education purpose?
  • Goal
  • Audience

What is this article about?

The article focuses on introducing what the “Interpeace” is and what it works for. There is an example of what conflict the Interpeace has interfered in order to build a peace, and what kind of peacebuilding programs or projects they have reached out to. Among numerous peacebuilding communities and associations, the Interpeace was the most interesting non-profit organization to write about, regardless those popular organizations such as the United Nations.

The Interpeace is an abbreviated word for “International Organization for Peacebuilding.” This is an organization that is independent and works to support the United Nations very actively. Furthermore, they work for a prevention of violence and building long-lasting peace for those individuals, groups, or nations whom are in conflicts. Thus, the students from all education levels, teachers, and professors may be use this article to learn about peacebuilding example, process, implementation for school activity, and the non-profit organization’s activities for peacebuilding.

spreading the peacebuilding processes and those conflicts that need such processes are one of many mission and values that are stated by the Interpeace. By doing so, the educational settings that this resource is best placed are: scholars, professionals from different organizations or peacebuilding, and students in any level who could understand the pressing issues and complexity of conflicts that need a transformation into peacebuilding. Depends on what programs or what pressing issues the Interpeace is onto, it could be formal and informal.

Why is peacebuilding necessary?

A conflict could happen in any kind of situation and any kind of relationship. It could be intercommunal, communal, international, and many more. Therefore, a peacebuilding process and its necessity are what people must learn about, in order to understand and implement one of the most preferred conflict resolution strategies.

There are many peacebuilding organizations and communities world-widely: the United States Institute of Peace, Search for Common Ground, Peace Direct, International Alert, Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict, and so on. This is how much a peacebuilding work is important in conflicts, and its necessity is highly highlighted because peacebuilding does not only establish a peace between disputing parties, but it helps them to connect and communicate by understanding the root cause of conflicts and embracing differences.

Thus, students and professionals may learn: (1) what the Interpeace does, (2) what are their mission and values, (3) women in Palestine conflict, and (4) how can this article be used in education.

What are the mission and value of Interpeace?

The mission of Interpeace is to strengthen the abilities of societies to deal with conflicts, by transforming violence to non-violence. Furthermore, they assist the international community such as the United Nations, to be more effective in their role in peacebuilding, for the global world issues that are going on today and also seem to protract or escalate.

In order to do so, they upload current pressing issues, that talk about what approaches they desire to take for long-lasting peacebuilding, and run peacebuilding programs that they created to interact with students and citizens to have them get involved in this organization’s events such as “peace talk.” Thus, this resource is not only for those who are in profession of conflict and peacebuilding, but also those individuals in any level who are interested in peacebuilding processes and world’s pressing issues.

Conflict example

Freedom of Theatre

It is very necessary to learn about what conflicts are ongoing in nowadays. If we look at conflicts all around the world, it may seem very intractable and inevitable. Therefore, the role of international peacebuilding organizations and communities is significant. For example, there are conflicts such as, ethno-religious conflict that is going on in Myanmar and Rohingya tribe, regional conflicts between Palestinian and Israeli, and both ethno-religious and regional conflict in Nigeria. These conflicts all require the interference of peacebuilding organizations such as the United Nations and Interpeace as mediators.

Now, to inform about what the Interpeace has put its efforts on, is that they have worked for those women in Palestine to cover their rights in political, social, economic, and security decision-making. Since the country “Palestine” has a political and societal ideology that are based on male dominance, women are excluded in Palestine society. Females are not welcomed to speak for their rights nor participate in influential decisions. Therefore, they have been experiencing discrimination and lack of security issues.

Interpeace supports for women in Palestine

In order to support women in Palestine to find their equality and justice, the Interpeace launched a Palestine program called the “Mustakbalna,” in 2004. This program’s purpose is to establish a civil peace between women and the Palestinian community, that let women to be engaged in the society by strengthening the role of young women and their advocacy in peace and security in Palestine.

Under the UNSCR (United Nations Security Council Resolutions) 1325 – which is about women, peace and security – the Mustakbalna had an important role in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, humanitarian response and peacebuilding. This conflict resolution recognized the power of role of women in Palestine, and gave them opportunity to practice in art works such as photography, videography, theatre, drama, technology, and so on.

The Interpeace wrote a press release about its impact on change of women’s role in Palestine, by stating that “These comprehensive training efforts helped 120 young women between the ages of 15-25 to find their “own voice” using creativity and art. Throughout the sessions, young women improved their ability to have oftentimes difficult conversations about security concerns, covering issues such as domestic violence, sexual harassment and abuse with their peers, project staff, and key stakeholders, while at the same time linking these concerns to broader reflections about UNSCR 1325 and to what extent it can be used as an advocacy tool.”

To inform the world about their lives in Palestine as women, they often take photos or videos that describe their experience in restrictions, harassment, and discrimination in Palestine. After their practices and opportunities in becoming decision-makers and women leaders in Palestine, they could actively advocate for themselves even stronger and with a greater role as women.

Resource used: https://www.interpeace.org/2019/07/strengthening-the-role-of-young-women-in-palestine/?fbclid=IwAR2LUzq2LZyPerO6s0XiDDRUIODDE9PJgu_X-mddxlX_fLrvFLmtzIayuXg

How can this be used for education purpose?

The peacebuilding is one of the most important skills that is taught to practice in conflict resolution and conflict de-escalation; thus, I believe an educator may incorporate to use this source in classrooms for peacebuilding practices.

Create a peacebuilding conference based on what the Interpeace has done, for example, the establishment of a project called the “Interpeace and Freedom Theatre Project.” People will firstly form a group which represents different organizations and parties. Then, they will discuss about a particular pressing issue, and the way to build a peace for that case. People will be needed to discuss about what peacebuilding processes they should take and how it could be implemented in such conflict.

  • Peacebuilding Conference (Time: 60 minutes/1 hour)
  • Materials
  • Laptop or Paper
  • Pen or Pencil
  • Name Tags
  • Instructions

1) Five people per group will be representing different parties and organizations.

            a. Interpeace

            b. UNSCR (United Nations Security Council Resolutions)

            c. Parties from particular pressing issue (ex: government, external forces)

            d. Peacebuilding groups

2) Ask group to discuss about a particular pressing issue. (5 minutes)

3) Parties and organizations will be sitting in a circle and discuss about the issue. (10 minutes)

4) Come up with ideas to result peacebuilding, by enabling people to participate in peace and security processes at the national level. (35 minutes)

5) Analyze and organize the peacebuilding plan that is discussed during the peacebuilding conference. (10 minutes)

– Tips for Peacebuilding Conference

            a. It is very important to discuss as many peacebuilding processes as possible.

            b. This practice/implementation is focused on having a deep discussion about a particular pressing issue, that requires scholars’ knowledges and skills that are        learned from conflict courses.

– How to use this Resource

The Interpeace offers people to read news, journals, articles, and publications that speak about pressing issues. They suggest what peacebuilding processes that people or organizations could step into, depending on cases. Furthermore, this resource gives many opportunities for those who are interested in conflict analysis and resolution, and also peacebuilding, to get involved in projects, events, peace talks, programs, and also become a member of this non-profit organization.

Goal

The International Organization for Peacebuilding aims to support those organizations such as the United Nations, to work for peacebuilding more effectively. Furthermore, this resource states what pressing issues there are, so that many people and organizations from the globe could discuss about the issues, how to prevent it, and how to create long-lasting peacebuilding. It is a very good tool to learn about the conflicts and peacebuilding programs. The Interpeace deos not only address what current issues are going on today, but also suggests resolutions.

The article about young women in Palestine could be one of the goals that Interpeace has achieved. Young women in Palestine are not protected or secured as it was mentioned in the previous section. Therefore, the UNSCR and the Freedom Theatre used creativity and art to strengthen the role of young women as advocates of peace and security in Palestine.

The types of peace education, that the Interpeace mostly support, are conflict resolution training, democracy education, human rights education, world view transformation, CAR scholars, and so on that talks about peace and prevention of conflicts. Engaging with this resource will develop student’s understandings in peacebuilding processes, and also what worldwide pressing issues there are, to implement the peacebuilding and further conflict preventions for the future.

Audience

Two stakeholders who may be able to benefit from my post are other peacebuilding organizations or community centers who would like to have a collaborative works in peacebuilding, and also those educators who teach conflicts and peacebuilding. Yet, the network is not limited to reach to this resource because it is widely open for those who are in any level of education, and for those who are interested in peacebuilding and conflicts.

Think about…

Why is peacebuilding process emphasized in conflict resolution?

How can such strategy be implemented in our real lives?

Why is peacebuilding significant?

Share your thoughts with classmates, scholars, and professors!

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