Geneva is home to a large number of international organizations, including more than 40 United Nations entities, a thriving community of non-governmental organizations and renowned academic and research institutions. Together, all these actors work for peace, rights and well-being, touching the lives of individuals across the world. Geneva Peace Week offers an opportunity to connect and highlight the work of these actors and to expand the space for dialogue about building peace and resolving conflict in Geneva and beyond.
Geneva Peace Week is a collective action initiative facilitated by the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, and the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform in collaboration with the Swiss Confederation. By synchronizing events on different topics related to the promotion of peace during one week, Geneva Peace Week attempts to maximize synergies between organizations in Geneva, focused on the cross-cutting nature of peace.
Geneva Peace Week underlines that each and every person, actor and institution has a role to play in building peace and resolving conflict. It also highlights that peace promotion occurs in many different contexts and cuts across disciplines and sectors. In this sense, Geneva Peace Week breaks down the silos which all-too-often characterize the international community in order to enable more creative responses to conflict and peace.
Geneva Peace Week 2017 will for the first time focus on a dedicated theme, which builds on the prioritization of prevention by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. In his address to Members of the UN Security Council on 10 January 2017, he said that “Prevention is not merely a priority, but the priority. If we live up to our responsibilities, we will save lives, reduce suffering and give hope to millions.” Given the multitude of prevention activities at multilateral, national, and sub-national level in 2017, Geneva Peace Week is an opportunity to take stock about the progress towards solutions for the prevention of violent conflicts and to look into the future of prevention practice jointly with representatives of multiple sectors and institutions that work in this field.