PARIS, FRANCE, 11 – 13 November 2018 100 years after the First World War; civil society, private businesses, world leaders and international institutions met in Paris to inaugurate the first Paris Peace Forum. The Forum had the aim to bring stakeholders together to strengthen multilateralism and international cooperation in order to create the first platform for solutions to international challenges.
On the first day, Angela Merkel stressed that we shouldn’t take peace for granted, “We have to work for it.” and exactly these words were followed in the following days.
During these three days, over 150 projects, concerning issues ranging from global warming to international conflicts, were presented. The projects were not only presented in the ‘classical’ way of just listening to a presentation, but the Paris Peace Forum enabled discussions of different formats. The central point was mostly focused on participatory conversations in a more cozy, familiar atmosphere, where experts had the opportunity to exchange ideas and opinions with the participants in a horizontal way. Small sessions, brainstorming sessions and a fishbowl setting were introduced, and more direct participation fostered.
Since the main aim of the Forum was to find solutions to pressing international issues, the Forum chose 10 out of 120 submitted projects, which will be supported financially and politically in the long term, to help the individual project with its implementation. These 10 projects will receive support from the Paris Peace Forum to connect with the right people, raise their visibility and receive capital venture.
The Paris Peace Forum was concluded by Justin Vaisse, the Chairman of the Paris Peace Forum and Trisha Shetty, Founder of SheSays. One of the most important messages was:
‘We cannot have peace without global governance. Problems don’t have borders. We are bound together by our problems, so the solutions must bring us together.’
On that note another point was raised that the Paris Peace Forum will be held annually until the international system is finally cooperative and is guided by multilateralism and cooperation. This year’s Forum brought forward the Paris Call for trust and security in cyberspace which shows that solutions to issues were found.
Next year’s Forum will open their call for proposals already in spring 2019 and the Chairman encouraged all potential Project Leaders to apply and endeavour to change the world together.
Sunium is a social enterprise that engages in training, research and facilitation of conflict resolution and negotiations activities. Our mission is to foster and safeguard the open and informed society by promoting participatory democracy through new ways of thinking and new tools for governing.
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