ZIF at the Basel Peace Forum 2019

16.01.2019

The Basel Peace Forum has been initiated two years ago to bring together various actors of different disciplines and branches to think ahead in the area of peace and conflict management. Its aim is to foster innovation and cross-disciplinary exchange and hence invites all participants to change perspectives and get involved in debates and workshops.

The third Basel Peace Forum took place on January 13-14, 2019, hosted by the Swiss research institute SwissPeace. Participants represented NGOs, private companies with affiliation to conflict countries, artists, activists, IT specialists and governmental actors. It offered a diverse programme included keynotes - as OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger's turn on the OSCE commitment to digital challenges in conflict management - and panel discussions - as a debate about the cooperation of private companies and humanitarian actors with the directors of MSF and the International Red Cross. Furthermore, workshops were taking place during the day, using innovative methodologies to discuss future topics like the use of Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Social Media in mediation processes, the role of architecture in conflict areas or impact investing.

Six pavillons had been set up to present the work of associations and companies. ZIF together with the Working Group on Duty of Care presented its work for increasing working conditions and staff care in peace operations. We offered insights in the work of civilian experts with profiles and short videos. Visitors could explore our interactive website www.missionsandmandates.org to get to know more about mandates of peace operations.

The working group on Duty of Care was founded some years ago. Partners are the british Stabilisation Unit, the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Swedish Folke Bernadotte Academy and it is supported by the OSCE. In yearly roundtables, specific topics in the field of personnel care are discussed. One major achievement was the publication of the Voluntary Guidelines that were discussed with various deploying organizations such as the UN or the EU.