Interpeace and its local partner, the Malian Institute for Research-Action for Peace (IMRAP) aim to help establish a culture of dialogue that is inclusive, participatory and constructive. This programme aims to restore and strengthen trust between different segments and levels of Malian society and to jointly address current and future challenges to peace and social cohesion.
Through long-term commitment, local ownership, inclusiveness, justice, representation and active participation of all stakeholders, the programme aims to contribute to:
- Identify challenges and opportunities for peace and social cohesion;
- Developing consensual, tailor-made and sustainable solutions to current and future challenges to peace and social cohesion;
- Rebuilding trust within and between communities by creating sustainable spaces for dialogue between different components of society; and
- By defining a common vision for a common future for Mali that transcends all divisions.
Principles of Interpeace Peacebuilding
As a peacebuilder, Interpeace's role is to contribute to the development of local and national capacities for peace - political and social institutions of values and attitudes, relationships and social processes - all necessary to overcome the dynamics of conflict that lead to polarization, violence and destruction.
Peace must be locally owned
Local ownership begins by ensuring that peacebuilding priorities are determined locally. If local groups and populations are included in defining the problem, they can be engaged in taking ownership of solutions as well. PI works on the basis that if people feel that peace belongs to them, they are more likely to take personal responsibility for preventing its collapse. In this way, every citizen becomes a peacekeeper and peace becomes sustainable.
Reaching out to all parties in the process
Participatory processes are at the heart of Interpeace's approach to peacebuilding. By reaching out to all relevant groups in society in the dialogue and priority-setting process, actors from each social group are instilled with a sense of responsibility for the reconstruction and reconciliation process. By adopting a comprehensive approach, they enable societies to find compromises and develop constructive relations between all sectors and levels of society.
At the heart of the challenge is trust
Interpeace sees confidence building as at the heart of peacebuilding. Trust cannot be taxed, imported or purchased. It emerges slowly and is built through collective engagement on issues large and small. Trust is also built through a constant commitment to a common vision and is the most difficult outcome to achieve. More than infrastructure revitalization or government presence, trust is the glue that holds societies together in an intangible but essential way. It is trust that gives institutions their legitimacy and helps individuals and groups to remain engaged as a society builds lasting peace.
Peacebuilding is a long-term commitment
Interpeace is committed to societies that accompany it along the often long and bumpy road to peace. Supporting local efforts must be patient, adaptable and consistent. There are no shortcuts or quick fixes. Recognizing that the process of overcoming distrust and deep divisions can be difficult, Interpeace aims to give local actors the tools to establish independent peacebuilding institutions, which continue to address root causes of conflict and promote long-term peace.
Interpeace puts as much effort into what needs to be done to enable a society to build peace in terms of how the process is approached. The focus must be not only on the ultimate goal of peacebuilding, but also on the process that will lead to a sustainable peace.
Consolidating the foundations of a society that is divided is not the same as usual. Mistrust tends to be deeply rooted. Every major issue is explosive, political and urgent. Because of this urgency, the tendency is to provide technical solutions to problems rather than seeking comprehensive solutions to complex problems. How the process is managed and how commitment from all sides is made will largely determine the success of an initiative.
The Institut Malien de Recherche-Action pour la Paix (IMRAP) is an association under Malian law, created on 31 October 2013 following the multifaceted crises (particularly security and institutional) that Mali experienced in 2012. Its creation receipt is number 0590/G-DB. IMRAP is located on the Avenue de l'Union Africaine in the Badalabougou-Est district, 27 rue 27 porte 357 Bamako, Mali - Phone: +223 20 22 18 48 - E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org - Website: www.imrap-mali.org