Annual Conference 2016
The next annual conference will take place in fall 2016. More information to follow.

Watch the keynote address at the Annual Conference 2015 by Michael Møller, UN Director-General in Geneva
More videos from the conference

Previous annual conferences

13 October 2015

Responding to Violent Conflict in the Future

Important players in peacebuilding and peacekeeping such as the UN Peacebuilding Commission and Support Office, the UN Department for Peacekeeping Operations and the Swiss government are currently reflecting on past strategies and on the changing international context in order to formulate new avenues to respond to violent conflicts. The swisspeace 2015 annual conference aims to discuss future responses both from a global and Swiss perspective by bringing together representatives from government agencies, academia, international organizations, businesses and NGOs. Flyer, program and media release.


12 November 2014

Resilient Societies: Alternatives for Better Conflict Prevention

Prevention before violence breaks out is preferable to conflict management during armed confrontations and to reconstruction in the aftermath of violent conflict. First of all, it saves lives and alleviates human suffering. Secondly, it is far less costly for all parties concerned, the affected societies themselves as well as the international community called in for assistance to overcome the legacy of war. Yet, despite recurrent acknowledgements of this irrefutable fact by researchers and practitioners alike, only marginal progress has been made during the past decades in making conflict prevention a top priority in international politics. The 2014 swisspeace Annual Conference aimed to invigorate discussions about conflict prevention. Conference program.


10 September 2013

Anniversary conference: "What is a just peace?" - A discussion between Jakob Kellenberger and Francis Cheneval

swisspeace conference to celebrate it's 25th anniversary at the aula of the university of Basel. Presentations by Sara Hellmüller and Rachel Gasser. Program. Video.


20 November 2012

Is Local Beautiful? Peacebuilding between External Intervention and Locally Led Initiatives

The concept of local ownership is often used in peacebuilding and development debates. It is also highly relevant for practice. The swisspeace annual conference 2012 brings together local representatives and international actors from government agencies, international organizations and NGOs to discuss the interplay between external interventions and locally led initiatives in peacebuilding and development. Conference Program. Video. Media contribution on Radio RaBe.
See also the related conference publication published by Springer Verlag.


15 November 2011

Money Makers as Peace Makers? - The Role of Business in Conflict Zones

Private business actors can potentially contribute to post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding, while at the same time posing a risk to exacerbating violent conflict. The swisspeace Annual Conference 2011 brings together representatives from the private, public and non-governmental sectors to explore how business can engage in conflict transformation processes. Conference Program. Media Release. Article on Swissinfo. Media contributions on DRS 1 and DRS 4.


16 November 2010

Ballots or Bullets? The Potentials and Challenges of Elections in Conflict Contexts

Elections have become a core element of post-conflict peacebuilding. The goal is to legitimize governance and to promote stable democracy. However, empirical examples have shown that elections can also further or even cause renewed violence. Under which conditions elections are likely to contribute to peace or conflict? Conference Paper.


03 November 2009

Rebels with a Cause? Understanding and dealing with non-state armed groups during and after violent conflicts

Non-state armed groups play a central role in most violent conflicts all over the world, and their importance has risen sharply since the end of the Cold War. Understanding the origins, the functioning as well as the rationale of such groups is a particular challenge for both academics and practitioners. Whether or not these 'rebel' have a 'cause' to defend has been a constant object of debate. Media release(F|D). Media contribution.


11 November 2008

The Politics of Peace: From Ideology to Pragmatism?

The annual conference 2008 focused on the political and ideational context in which peacebuilding strategies are being developed by states and international organizations. It explored concrete topics and instruments used by these actors in peacebuilding strategies. What are the functions of states? Where does civil society or private firms come in? What will be the core issues of peacebuilding in 15 years? And how can research contribute? These were the key questions addressed by our international experts. Conference publication.


13 November 2007

Environmental Peacebuilding: Managing Natural Resource Conflicts in a Changing World

Over the past decade, natural resources have attracted considerable attention as a source of violent conflicts worldwide. Drawing on four years of research conducted within the framework of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South, swisspeace invited international experts from the scientific and development communities to explore the links between renewable natural resources and conflicts. The conference also looked into challenges and best practices for the peaceful management of water and land in developing countries in Africa, South America and Central Asia. Conference Paper.


07 November 2006

Dealing with the Past in Post-Conflict Societies - The Years after the Peace Accords in Guatemala and Bosnia- Herzegovina

Dealing with a legacy of human rights violations is one of the most difficult challenges facing any society in the aftermath of violent conflict. A decade after internationally mediated peace agreements ended wars in Guatemala and Bosnia-Herzegovina, both countries continue to struggle with a culture of impunity and violence. The conference addressed the following key questions: What lessons can be learned about the effectiveness of transitional justice mechanisms in dealing with the past? How does a society learn to live with the memory of genocide? And how can external actors contribute to the process of reconciliation? Conference Paper.