News Type: PCi News

The Peacemakers Network – Libya, Launches Video Campaign to Improve Public Awareness of Electoral Process in Libya

The Peacemakers Network, a group of individuals from Libyan civil society, local government, media and academia, who work to find solutions to promote sustainable peace (supported by PCi) worked on a video campaign at the end of 2021, to improve public awareness of electoral process in Libya. Elections were scheduled for the 24 December 2021 but have been postponed.

The Peacemakers Network distributed four videos across a broad range of Libyan media and social media and a fifth video will be released shortly focusing on the process of candidate selection. Click on the links below to view the videos:

For more on the Peacemakers Network, click here.

The Peacemakers Network – Libya, collaborates with the Italian NGO – Agency for Peacebuilding – to comment on Libya’s postponed elections

The Peacemakers Network, a group of individuals from Libyan civil society, local government, media and academia, who work to find solutions to promote sustainable peace (supported by PCi) have collaborated with The Agency For Peacebuilding (www.peaceagency.org) and produced an article commenting on Libya’s postponed elections, that were scheduled for December 24 2021. This was published by Huffington Post Italia on December 24, 2021 which can be read in Italian here.

Click here to read an edited English version of the article on the Agency For Peacebuilding website; an extract is outlined below:

“Members of the Peacemakers Network truly believe that holding an election is the only way to save Libya, get it out of its current crisis, and put an end to the state of division. And they are not the only ones. The elections will pull the rug out from under all parallel bodies created since 2011, as well as those who want to impose their views and control the country, including the many actors are standing in the way of realizing the Libyan people’s aspirations and desire to build a civic and democratic state.

There are, indeed, high expectations for the anticipated elections, which many Libyans see as a historic and pivotal event that shall end the conflict, and it would be a mistake to think that these expectations can simply be ignored. Past and recent events have, in fact, left the country’s three historic regions and various ethnic groups (Arabs, Tebu, Amazigh, and Tuareg) dissatisfied with the current situation. Each group is a volcano on the verge of erupting as a result of what it perceives as marginalization and an attempt to control its rights.

Elections are therefore important to stability and peace, and in order for them to be rescheduled shortly, Libyan actors and the international community must commit to and support its results and endorse what the Libyan people vote for in the ballots boxes.”

For more on the Peacemakers Network, click here.

New Research on Civil Society in Serbia and Kosovo

Peaceful Change initiative is pleased to present new research, jointly undertaken by the Universities of Belgrade and Prishtina, which explores the current landscape of cross-community initiatives in Serbia and Kosovo. 

The research – which was undertaken as part of the UK-government funded project, ‘Amplifying local voices for equitable development’ – sought to explore two key dimensions. First, the standing of civil society organizations (CSOs) amongst the very constituencies and communities that they claim to represent. Second, the new issues which have mobilized citizens who had not previously been civically engaged, the reasons for why such mobilizations have been successful.

One of the key recommendations deriving from the research is that civil society should continue to promote equality, solidarity, and reciprocity, and to counteract divisive and ethnicized narratives on identity and dealing with the past. As such, civil society organisations should be encouraged to engage with difficult topics and issues that concern communities, and not only foster issues deemed less political in their cross-community initiatives.

As Dr. Jelena Loncar, an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Belgrade, and one of the research leads, concluded, ‘in Kosovo civil society is more forward looking, more optimistic than in Serbia, with more developed intra- and inter-community co-operation at the local level. On the other hand, in Serbia, the main impression is a lack of hope and motivation for activism, with participants insisting on the lack of expertise, resources and visions of the future. At the same time, we noticed there are emerging youth organisations that give hope that grassroots activism is possible.’

Dr. Vjollca Krasniqi, a Profesor of Sociology, at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Prishtina, who also spearheaded the research, emphasized that, ‘the history of conflict has left a difficult legacy, both in Kosovo and in Serbia, and also for civil society organisations. They have to restore trust – promote tolerance and co-operation – between communities. One important finding is that civil society organisations believe cross-community initiatives are important and relevant to foster inter-ethnic relations, even despite the fact the main narratives remain divided.’

Dr. Orli Fridman, head of the Center for Comparative Conflict Studies at the Faculty of Media and Communications (FMK), Singidunum University, and an advisor on the researcher, added that ‘the strength – even the beauty – of the research is its rich empirical data. There are some excellent quotes from participants demonstrating the presence of the fieldwork itself. As a result, the report reflects a complex and more nuanced reality on the ground, which challenges what is out there in terms of daily discourses.’

The research is available to download from the PCi website by visiting:

For further information about the research, please contact Ian Bancroft (ian.bancroft@peacefulchange.org).

‘A Force for Good?’ Examining UK Engagement in Fragile and Conflict Affected Countries

The virtual event (6 December 2021) discussed the findings of the Foreign Policy Centre (FPC) and the Peaceful Change Initiative (PCi) publication.

The event and publication seek to re-examine the UK’s presence in fragile and conflict affected countries (FCACs) around the world at a time of continuing global geopolitical competition and added fragilities generated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of climate change.

To download the publication, click on this link: ‘A Force For Good?’ Examining UK engagement in Fragile and Conflict Affected Countries

Panel:

  • Rt Hon. Andrew Mitchell MP, former International Development Secretary
  • Fleur Auzimour Just, CEO of Peaceful Change Initiative
  • Dr Naho Mirumachi, Reader in Environmental Politics at Kings College London
  • Tim Molesworth, Senior Adviser, Conflict Sensitivity and Peace Technology at Peaceful Change Initiative

Media Award in Kosovo and Serbia: Deadline for applications is extended

Peaceful Change initiative is calling on journalists, editors, media representatives, and others, to share with us their stories on multi-ethnic coexistence in Kosovo and Serbia. The idea was initiated by the Media Consultation Dialogue, an integral part of PCi’s Balkan programme. 

With gratitude to all who have applied so far for the Media Award, PCi hereby announces an extension of the deadline for entries by three months. This means that stories published/broadcast between now and November 15th can also compete for the Award. The new deadline for submitting applications is now November 16th 2021. Stories going back to 15th August 2020 are also eligible. 

The reason for the deadline extension is to try and stimulate journalists to generate media content which explores the positive sides of multi-ethnic co-existence. All entries sent so far remain in contention, but we want to give journalists and editors additional time to pursue stories that qualify for recognition by PCi’s Media Award. Good luck to all who want to compete for the Award. 

For detailed information about how to apply, please click on the Terms of Reference below, available in English, Serbian and Albanian languages.

Stories published between 15 August 2020 and 15 November 2021 are eligible for the Media Award. To apply click on the following link: https://forms.gle/3XWBbGFMMJqBtiw47. The application deadline is 16 November 2021.

Third Media Consultation Dialogue tackles empathy for “the other” in Serbia and Kosovo

PCi’s Amplifying Local Voices for Equitable Development (ALVED) project has been gathering media experts, journalists, editors, civil society and institutions from Kosovo and Serbia in what will eventually be a cycle of eight Media Consultation Dialogues (MCD). Their goal is to bring together media related experts from Kosovo and Serbia who would not normally have a chance to meet and discuss their respective media scenes. The overarching goal is to try and galvanize change in a rather toxic media pool of division and hate speech. The project is funded by the UK Government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF).

Having tackled a PCi commissioned comprehensive study of the media scenes in Kosovo and Serbia during the first MCD, the second one looked into the media regulatory bodies. The third Media Consultation Dialogue was held online on March 3 2021, and titled “Unpleasant Truths and Unfounded Beliefs”.  The discussion focused on a universally acknowledged belief by all participants that empathy for “the other” is very conspicuous by its absence. Three questions were discussed in detail:

  • Why is it so difficult to see the suffering of “the other”?
  • What could the Media and the Civil Society do to facilitate reconciling with the past, including reporting on unpleasant truths?
  • How could the Media (and possibly the Civil Society) change the current state of affairs?

Just like after every other Media Consultation Dialogue, together with its participants, PCi will draft a set of conclusions and recommendations to be shared with media outlets, civil society and state and international institutions. To access the document entailing the Conclusions and Recommendations click here in English, Albanian and Serbian.

ILO launches new guide to promote social cohesion and peaceful coexistence in fragile contexts

PCi’s trustee Joan McGregor and Senior Peacebuilding Advisor Raj Bhari have been working with ILO to produce a new guide:  Promoting Social Cohesion and Peaceful Coexistence in Fragile Contexts through Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). 

The guide is now available to download here: Promoting Social Cohesion and Peaceful Coexistence in Fragile Contexts through TVET.

The guide is aimed at TVET practitioners to consolidate their role as active promoters of social cohesion and peaceful co-existence.

The guide seeks to strengthen the role of skills development policies and programmes in peacebuilding efforts through inclusive learning methodologies and training in relevant core skills. 

It also provides practical guidance on how to adapt training, to mixed community groups, embed conflict resolution skills, cooperation, and other relevant core skills into training curricula, and create conflict sensitive, inclusive, and diverse learning environments for all.

The guide will be launched at a Webinar on International Day of Living Together in Peace on May 17 2021 at 2pm UK time. To participate in the Webinar, please click on the following link:  https://ilo-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_jr1K9WatS4yB2qDJRILlpg

Media Award in Kosovo and Serbia: Call for applications is open

Peaceful Change initiative is calling on journalists, editors, media representatives, and others, to share with us their stories on multi-ethnic coexistence in Kosovo and Serbia. The idea was initiated by the Media Consultation Dialogue, an integral part of PCi’s Balkan programme. 

The call for entries is open until mid-August 2021 and the entries will be evaluated by a professional jury who will select the winning stories and media outlets.

For detailed information about how to apply, please click on the Terms of Reference below, available in English, Serbian and Albanian languages.

Stories published between 15 August 2020 and 15 August 2021 are eligible for the Media Award. To apply click on the following link: https://forms.gle/3XWBbGFMMJqBtiw47. The application deadline is 16 August 2021.

Peaceful Change initiative – working to make the world a safer place

Peaceful Change initiative was highlighted in the Guardian newspaper over the weekend in a feature about interesting charities. We are exploring new ways of supporting the conflict resolution work we do in some of the world’s most challenging places. If you would like to get involved in supporting the work of Peaceful Change initiative, please visit https://peacefulchange.org/get-involved/

Building a Lasting Peace in Bosnia

Peaceful Change initiative’s Programme Lead on the Western Balkans Programme, Ian Bancroft, participated in the Foreign Policy Centre  Webinar  on “Building a lasting peace? Power sharing and sectarian identities in Bosnia” on 9 February 2021. The panel discussion was focused on the complex relationship between peace building, power sharing and sectarian identities in Bosnia; it also examined the real challenges of improving public trust and reforming institutions in ways that enhance and protect peacebuilding in Bosnia.

To listen, please click here

The panel

Dr Allison McCulloch, Associate Professor at Brandon University

Anne Kirstine Rønn, PhD student at Aarhus University and attached to SEPAD

Ian Bancroft, Writer, diplomat and Programme Manager at the Peaceful Change Initiative

Baroness Helic, Board Member of the International Criminal Court Trust Fund for Victims

Chair: Fleur Anderson MP, Vice Chair of APPG for Bosnia and Herzegovina