Friends for Peace (FFP) is a membership-based non-profit organisation composed of a team of professionals committed to the study and practice of conflict resolution and sustainable peacebuilding in Nepal. It works with local and international partners on specific issues of concern, convenes workshops for the sharing of experiences on peace processes from around the world, and acts as an institute for peace by providing critical information to a range of actors on conflict-related issues.
FFP also aims at enhancing the capacity of Nepalese researchers in undertaking research on various dimensions of conflict resolution and peacebuilding. It is committed to ensuring that its activities reflect the genuine voices and concerns of people at the grassroots level, and facilitates greater participation of individuals and civil society organisations in bringing about a peaceful resolution of conflicts.
Establishing Friends for Peace
FFP was established in May 2004 following an initiative in 2003 at a time of intense armed conflict, when Professor Dr. Mathura Prasad Shrestha (now the Chairperson of FFP) led a 10-member team to Rolpa, the headquarters of the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) (Maoist), to save the people caught in the conflict. There, the team had a very successful dialogue with the CPN leaders for the peace process, as well as with the serving government and army generals in Kathmandu.
Although the first peace dialogue between the rebels and the government failed, FFP continued in their efforts of advocacy and lobbying for the establishment of an inclusive and participatory democracy. Following the success of the nineteen-day People’s Movement in 2006, FFP members played crucial roles as observers in the historic peace treaty, the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA).
The aims of Friends for Peace
FFP’s work aims to:
- Organise interactions among civil society leaders, politicians, media personnel and other individuals in order to better understand and address conflict-related issues
- Expand and update the research centre with relevant books, periodicals, magazines, journals and newspapers that will help with the development of knowledge on peace processes
- Facilitate a greater exchange of ideas through seminars, conferences, public forums, informal discussion, and international exchanges
- Synthesise regional, national and international experiences, knowledge and expertise on conflict transformation and peacebuilding
- Establish links with the a range of national and international organisations in order to facilitate the development of relevant research.
Examples of previous projects
Local Peace Initiatives
- FFP has carried out many research studies which focus on the local districts by recording people’s first-hand experiences and perceptions of conflict, and the peace initiatives carried out at the local level.
Media Response to Conflict
- FFP has carried out extensive research on the media’s role in conflict from which it has developed a regular monitoring system. It has kept newspaper clippings on political events and issues related to conflict transformation and peacebuilding.
Security Sector Reform (CSR)
- FFP has launched advocacy programmes on ideological and structural reform, democratic control, security budgeting processes, the strengthening of civil society, the democratisation and capacity building of security institutions, the improvement of security sector and community relations, transparency and accountability, judicial-penal reform and strengthening of the rule of law, the management of small arms and explosive materials, regional security measures, demilitarisation and demobilisation, and the linking of security with sustainable development.
- FFP has carried out a series of research work on various themes of Nepal’s international relations in the context of the current political crisis. Due to Nepal’s historical connection with India, the first series of research was devoted to four specific areas of this relationship: Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in Nepal and its Future Challenges; Nepal-India Open-Border and its Implications on the conflict situation in Nepal Focusing on how it has Benefited the Maoists as well as Other Armed Actors in Nepal; Nepal-India Water Resource Projects and Associated Conflicts; A Socio-Political Analysis of Nepal-India: Relation in the Context of Political Crisis Situation in Nepal.
Post-Conflict Transformation (PCT)
- FFP has identified PCT as one of the most important areas of research. In order to expand understanding about specific requirements of post-conflict management, FFP is involved in the following main areas of interaction with the view to facilitate future work in this field: Arms Management and Integration of Armies; Rehabilitation of the Ex-Combatants and Conflict Victims; Truth and Reconciliation; Humanitarian Response; Restructuring of the State (focusing on the federal structure).