Background

The International Civil Society Network on Infrastructures for Peace (I4P) was active in the 2010-2014 period to enhance the cooperation between civil society and other stakeholders such as governments and the United Nations for the purpose of promoting institutional mechanisms that are based on the commitment to cooperative conflict resolution. Whilst most of the participants remain active in the topic, the network itself has not pursued the organisation of joint activities or projects after its 2013 seminar during the GAMIP Summit in Geneva (see Resources section). Nevertheless, as the concept of I4P continues to be relevant in the global context, not least in view of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, the knowledge and contacts brought together by the International Network have been preserved on this site as a resource for peacebuilders everywhere.  
 

In line with the International Network, this website aims to:
 
Collect & exchange experiences and best practices of local peacebuilders Broaden the knowledge on I4P and LPCs, nationally and internationally Facilitate a dialogue on the potential of I4P and LPCs with different stakeholders Enhance the position of LPCs and NGOs within I4P

 

Rationale
The World Development Report 2011 emphasised the need of ‘national efforts to build an institutional infrastructure for conflict prevention and prevention and risk reduction' in several parts of the report.
 
Infrastructures for Peace were and still are timely and urgent: most countries lack structures, capacities and mechanisms to deal adequately with ongoing and potentially violent conflicts.
 
Violent conflict is widespread: it requires dialogue and relevant mechanisms to resolve violent conflicts – that affect some 1.5 billion people in some 90 countries – skilfully and non-violently.  
 
Expected increase in violent conflicts: At the time of setting up the International Network, experts expected an increase in violent conflicts. The UN report on mediation stated: "...,new dangers are on the horizon. Competition for scarce resources is a powerful driver of conflict, especially when added to existing grievances between groups. As a result of the economic downturn, climate change and the growing depletion of resources, from arable land to water to oil, disputes within and between States may become more common in the future.(...) We, the United Nations, have a responsibility to "we the peoples" to professionalize our efforts to resolve conflicts constructively rather than destructively and to "save succeeding generations from the scourge of war" " (April 2009 report by the SGUN on enhancing mediation and its supprt activities).
 
As illustrated in the case studies provided on this site, peace structures enable a greater preparedness for conflict; 
 
Such mechanisms are inexpensive and cost-effective: compared to the costs of armed conflicts. Infrastructures for Peace sums are minute and ultimately offer tremendous financial rewards. For instance, the UN Flash Appeal estimated the recovery costs from inter-ethnic violence in mid-2010 in Kyrgyzstan at 71 million US dollars. In contrast, regional and UN efforts to restore political and inter-ethnic confidence cost approximately 6 million US dollars. Subsequently, the constitutional referendum and parliamentary elections in 2010, both expected to be plagued by significant turbulence, transpired peacefully. In 2011, the IMF forecasts a 4-5% growth rate for the country, significantly higher than last years. 
 
Other institutional structures: we need institutional structures for peace, just as Health and Education have. To eradicate or control disease, governments initiate immunisation or vaccination campaigns. There now exist similarly effective methods to prevent violence.
 
Peace Infrastructures need to be inclusive of all stakeholders: they can create a forum for all peace actors and stakeholders for dialogue, consultation, cooperation and coordination.