UN Photo / Marco Dormino
Local Peace Committees (LPCs) - often called Local Peace Communities or Zones of Peace -
can be found in many countries. In many conflict-affected countries, LPCs have an impact on local communities by keeping the violence down, solving community problems and empowering local actors to become peacebuilders.
LPCs are "committees or structures formed at the level
There are such committees in many countries. It is remarkable to see that in countries like DR Congo, Colombia and Afghanistan, hundreds of LPCs exist, with a relatively strong impact.
Informal Local Peace Committees
When LPCs have a national mandate, they have more clout and have more access to national and other resources. They can also establish a critical link between local and national peacebuilding. But quite a lot of countries have weak, fragile or collapsing governments. They may also be ruled by authoritarian regimes, which are not interested in such peace structures.
What can people do when their national government will not support them in their pursuit of peacebuilding? What can people do at the local level when conflict and violence are escalating in their neighborhood and the government is failing to give protection?
The answer, in many countries, has been to create informal Local Peace Committees.
Local Peace Committees are the foundation of an effective peace infrastructure. It is often at local level that tensions can be contained before they become violent, or that the dynamics of conflict can be channelled in a way that begins the process of transformation. An effective Infrastructure for Peace is dependent on strong, vibrant and empowered local peace committees.