International Day of Peace 2015

21 September, 2015

We reflect on the International Day of Peace 2015, and its theme ‘Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All’

On 21 September 2015, the world observes the International Day of Peace. This year, the theme will be ‘Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All’, emphasising the need for cooperation, both in ending conflicts and creating stability in which societies can grow and flourish.

The day is a celebration of stakeholders coming together to collaborate to end hostilities; ensuring grievances are heard and reconciliation can begin. From the setting of the rules-based international system at the end of the Second World War, to the ongoing Iran nuclear deal today, sustained peace between societies is only achieved through dialogue, partnership and agreement.

This is well illustrated by the Iran nuclear deal, which through the productive partnerships between UK, Russia, China, France, the US and Germany with Iran, decades of hostile relations are to be reduced by lifting sanctions on Iran in exchange for easing on its nuclear programme.

Partnerships between allies, and extended to enemies, are crucial to creating peace and reducing human suffering. Here at Wilton Park, we have done much to develop multilateral work in this area, through our Programme Theme Conflict, prevention, resolution and state building, as well as in others.

Our event Syria: engaging with local actors to increase humanitarian outreach brought together NGOs, international agencies and policymakers to a forum with local and diaspora Syrian groups working to provide humanitarian assistance in Syria. Building partnerships between the groups working on the ground and the international community of backers and funders is vital to ensuring aid is effectively delivered to the local population who need it.

Part of the discussion in Peacebuilding in Africa: evolving challenges, responses and new thinking focused on the expanding range of actors that are increasingly involved in peacebuilding processes throughout the continent, and how these actors – from local and non-state to international agencies and governments – can partner in a more complementary fashion and work more effectively.

Sustainable solutions for peace not only need new partnerships to be created, but also require the strengthening of existing ones. EU programmes and action in fragile and conflict states: next steps for the comprehensive approach took a frank look at EU partnerships working in war zones and post conflicts areas, and how these might be improved. Our series on the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) regularly takes a frank look at issues surrounding international chemical weapon agreements – our most recent event in The Hague looked at 100 years of chemical weapons and the future of the OPCW. The importance of such agreements has been underlined by the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war. While the UK took a leading role in the destruction of state chemical weapon stockpiles, militant groups reportedly continue to use agents such as mustard gas in indiscriminate attacks.  Partnerships like the OPCW are essential in protecting populations trapped in conflict zones from the use of chemical weapons, and restoring peace and dignity to the area.

Strong partnerships are integral to building peaceful relations, and Wilton Park is proud to continue its key role in strengthening existing relationships between stakeholders as well as creating new partnerships with emerging actors.

Related events

Syria: engaging with local actors to increase humanitarian outreach (2015)

Peacebuilding in Africa: evolving challenges, responses and new thinking (2015)

100 years of chemical weapons and the future of the OPCW (2015)

EU programmes and action in fragile and conflict states: next steps for the comprehensive approach (2014)

Further information

UK completes incineration of Syrian chemicals (govuk)

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