N° 149
February 2017

An introduction to swisspeace

swisspeace published a new presentation video in December. The aim is to visualize the activities of the Swiss peace foundation in a short and succinct way and illustrate why peace work is of global significance. swisspeace’s visions, goals, and approaches are also explained. Share this video and help swisspeace raise awareness of peacebuilding work!

Three videos have also been launched about swisspeace’s key topic areas. The first one shows why taking the initiative to deal with the atrocities of our past is an absolutely central and necessary step in achieving sustainable peace. The video about statehood highlights the major challenges associated with fragile states and explain why it is crucial to understand how states and societies operate in conflict-affected countries. The topic of mediation is the focus in the third video, showing how important it is for peace negotiations to be more effective and inclusive in order to build peace in a lasting way. Other presentation videos are yet to follow over the course of the next few months.

swisspeace Franziska Sigrist academy@swisspeace.ch Head of training

Is religion a cause of conflict or peace? The new CAS in Religion and Conflict

The phenomenon of the “rediscovery” of religious issues can be observed across the world. Religion is emerging more and more as a factor of conflict, be it on a domestic or international level, in Switzerland or in other countries. The swisspeace CAS in Religion and Conflict therefore puts emphasis on the relationship between state and religion, the conflict dimensions of religion, the potential of religion to resolve conflicts and build peace, as well as methods and tools to tackle conflicts with religious dimensions.

Gain a deeper understanding of the so-called world religions, analyze case studies on current conflicts with religious dimensions, and learn more about Switzerland as a multi-faith country.

The CAS certificate program starts in April and finishes in October 2017. It consists of 17 course days and can be completed in one or two years. The course blocks will be held in German from Thursday to Saturday at the University of Basel. It is aimed at professionals and academics who are interested in religion as a factor in conflict and would like to combine the latest research findings with practical experience. The deadline for applications is February 28, 2017.

swisspeace Franziska Sigrist academy@swisspeace.ch Head of training
swisspeace Ursina Bentele academy@swisspeace.ch Program Officer, training

swisspeace course on preventing violent conflicts

Despite increased international pressure and action to prevent violent conflicts and mass atrocities after the shocks of Rwanda and Srebrenica in the 1990s, the number of armed conflicts has increased in recent years. Whilst the wars in Syria, South Sudan or Ukraine differ with respect to the actors, driving factors and dynamics, they all raise the question of whether and how violence and its escalation could have been prevented. The renewed attention to conflict prevention thus comes as no surprise, especially in light of a cost-benefit-perspective: investing in prevention is more sensible than post-conflict reconstruction.

The swisspeace course on preventing violent conflicts provides insights into the concept of conflict prevention and its shortcomings and explores how it relates to issues such as the prevention of violent extremism and mass atrocities. Based on lessons learnt and best practices, it examines practical tools and methods for applying conflict prevention in your work context.

This course is designed for professionals working in peacebuilding and development including policy-makers, practitioners and academics. Registration closes on February 28, 2017.

swisspeace Ursina Bentele academy@swisspeace.ch Program Officer, training