IPF 2015: Closing of the IPF conference in Caux

19/07/2015
IPF

Today marks the conclusion of the 2015 International Peace-Builders’ Forum (IPF).  The forum, co-organized by CAUX-Initiatives of Change Foundation and the Institute for Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding, brought together professionals in the peace-building sector to discuss their practices and experiences of non-violent conflict transformation. 

Over the course of the past four days, forum participants have engaged in small discussion groups, listened to lectures by key leaders in the peacebuilding field, collaborated in structured workshops, and participated in team-building as well as introspective and meditative activities.

This morning’s closing session asked participants: What will I take away? How do I feel different? What will I do differently?  Reflecting on these questions helped individuals draw out what they have gained from this forum and how they will apply these insights in their day-to-day work upon their return.

Forum highlights included Friday’s panel discussion led by Koenraad Van Brabant of Interpeace, Ajsa Hadzibegovic of Civic Alliance, Catriona Gourlay of PeaceNexus, and Daphrose Ntarataze Barampama of Creators of Peace who spoke on their own experiences in their work of implementing the values of dignity, participation, and inclusion. Afterwards, Abbas Aroua of the Cordoba Foundation of Geneva presented Islam/Arab perspectives on non-violent conflict transformation, leading into a discussion among participants of how they bring their own cultural backgrounds into their peacebuilding work. Workshops on Saturday gave peacebuilding professionals an opportunity to collaborate on various aspects of applying the principles of dignity, participation, and inclusion in the practice of non-violent conflict transformation.

Participants cited that some of the most powerful insights that they will take with them from this forum include a feeling of solidarity and shared responsibility among peace-builders, the realisation that one must first know oneself before one can help others to heal their wounds, and the importance of non-violent communication in their work, moving them from the role of  “peace dreamers” to becoming “peace practitioners”.

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