The Lebanese Foundation for Permanent Civil Peace (LFPCP) was founded in 1987, and was initially convened and operated from Cyprus. It was established at a time when Beirut was divided into East and West, with one side inhabited by Christians and the other side by Muslims.
The division of the city widened the gap between the communities themselves and made it easier for warring parties to manipulate people for their own political gain. The LFPCP was established to reconcile differences between these different communities. Today, the LFPCP is comprised of permanent staff and around 70 members. They have implemented many projects tackling issues of human rights and initiated intercultural dialogue aimed at resolving the conflict in Lebanon.
The organisation believes that understanding common suffering can generate a stronger collective memory, and better immunise civil society against internal and external dangers. It has put forth concepts that have already been integrated into the Lebanese cultural landscape, such as the right to a memory, national contrition, a school of the people, identifying different types of suffering and more. The Foundation sets out to generate a civic culture free of controversy among rival associates.
LFPCP aims to: Create a collective memory in order to prevent the past from repeating itself. Maintain civil peace in Lebanon. Disseminate studies for researchers and activists who take an interest or wish to benefit from the Lebanese experience in peacebuilding.
In attempting to accomplish these goals, the LFPCP follows the strategy of thinking globally but working locally. The Foundation’s mission should benefit from different international experiences concerning the resolution of conflicts or building peace, and then apply these lessons to Lebanon.
The LFPCP aims to promote permanent civil peace in Lebanon as follows:
- Making the collective conscience aware of the senselessness of transforming external conflicts into internal ones, the cost of such conflicts, the interests of the population, and the geopolitical role of Lebanon. LFPCP further points out that national unity is the criterion of allegiance to the country, and that harmony between communities represents Lebanon’s supreme cause.
- Contributing to the construction of a Lebanese culture based on united national history and contemporary human sciences, whose principal elements are: the rejection of all forms of triumphalism, exclusion and isolationism, the consolidation of the constants of the system related to democratic participation, peaceful regulation of conflicts, the dynamic evolution of these principles, and the development of internal patterns.
The Foundation, removed from politicized competition and mobilization, principally focuses its attention on the problems of civic culture. This is considered to be the central infrastructure for permanent civil peace, especially in Lebanon where history is rich with negotiated regulation of conflict.
One of the projects of the LFPCP was hosting seminars with round tables, where members of civil society, politicians and academics discussed how to maintain peace in Lebanon. During the conferences, it was discussed how different actors can contribute to peace in the country, including the role and importance of judges, NGOs, and the media.
Given the rising tensions in Lebanon since the outbreak of the civil war in Syria, LFPCP together with other NGOs developed an ‘Action Response Plan’ on responding effectively to the flaring up of tensions in the future and avoid the outbreak of a new war on the Lebanese soil.
LFPCP endorsed the Lebanese uprising in 2019 as it always believed civil society has a pivotal role in peacebuilding, economic reforms and transparency.