Peacebuilding – Can Civilians Do What the Military Cannot?

The Arab world’s spring gives a hope of democratic peoples’ movements, but there is also increasing violence. How to support people in Syria, in Bahrain in Libya? Or in long term conflicts as in Sudan, Sri Lanka or Afghanistan. Is it “our responsibility” to help and protect? How should we do it? Military means and interventions fail, again and again. Can civilians do more? How can different approaches contribute to statebuilding? Is something missing?

Two international networks, Nonviolent Peaceforce and European Network for Civilian Peace Services are going to have their annual meetings at Åland Islands. In this context we organize a public discussion on how to build peace by negotiations, how to support state building from below? How civilian peaceforces and non-armed intervention can work as tools in supporting peace mediation, conflict resolution to defend human rights defenders and humanitarian aid workers. This seminar is open for all those interested in these issues.


Friday 3rd June 2011

Venue: Åland Parliament; Strandvägen: Åland, Finland

13 – 14.30 Chair: Oili Alm

– Greeting from the President of rep. of Finland Tarja Halonen
Barbro Sundback, Member of Åland Parliament, demilitarized by international agreement: Welcome
Elisabeth Nauclér; Member of parliament of Finland: Peace building / state building after conflict
Outi Ojala, Chair of Committee of 100: NGOs and civil society a active role in peace building, mediation and civilian crisis management


14.30 – 15.00 Coffee break

15.00 – 16.30 Chair: Jochen Schmidt

Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark, Director of The Åland Islands Peace Institute; Åland and Libya – Concerns about the increased use of military means in international affairs
Tim Wallis: unarmed protection of civilians ( Sudan, Philippines, Sri Lanka)
Dr. Tillman Evers, Forum Civil Peace Service: Civilian peace services in the Middle East and Balkans


16.30 – 17.00 end of seminar concluding words Oili Alm, KATU

R.S.V.P. and queries: Laura Lodenius,
Peace Union of Finland;
phone: +358 407177762; fax: +358-9-147297

Sponsoring organizations:

KATU – the Civil Society Conflict Prevention Network is an open network, a forum combining the efforts of conflict prevention of Finnish NGO’s. There are at the moment some 30 NGO’s and research institutes as well as many individuals cooperating within KATU.

Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) fosters dialogue among parties in conflict and provides a protective presence for threatened civilians. With the headquarters in Brussels, NP peacekeeping teams are presently deployed in Sri Lanka, in the Mindanao region of the Philippines and in Southern Sudan.

The European Network for Civil Peace Services (EN.CPS) is an European network of NGOs with the common goal of promoting Civil Peace Services (CPS) on national, European and European Union levels as an instrument of nonviolent conflict intervention. For this purpose, EN.CPS network members co-operate transnationally in the fields of information sharing, political advocacy, awareness raising as well as training and joint projects for the deployment of qualified civil society personnel in conflict areas.

Peace Union of Finland is a Peace Ngo and umbrella organization of over ten Finnish peace organizations. Peace Union is an advocacy organization working on disarmament, peace, security and conflict prevention issues. Peace Union is an active member of the International Peace Bureau.

The Committee of 100 in Finland is a pacifistic, anti-militaristic, politically and religiously independent peace organization. The main goals are disarmament and demilitarization of society.

Photo from Åland by pedro prats. Some right reserved.

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