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Peacemakers are individuals and organizations involved in peacemaking, often in countries affected by war, violent conflict, and political instability. They engage in processes such as negotiation, mediation, conciliation, and arbitration – drawing on international law and norms. The objective is to move a violent conflict into non-violent dialogue, where differences are settled through conflict transformation processes or through the work of representative political institutions.
Peacemaking can occur at different levels, sometimes referred to as 'tracks'. "High level" (governmental and international) peacemaking, involving direct talks between the leaders of conflicting parties, is sometimes thus referred to as Track 1. Tracks 2 and 3 are said to involve dialogue at 'lower' levels—often unofficially between groups, parties, and stakeholders to a violent conflict—as well as efforts to avoid violence by addressing its causes and deleterious results. Peacemakers may be active in all three tracks, or in what is sometimes called multi-track diplomacy.
Nobel Peace laureates
The most prominent (and sometimes most controversial) peacemakers are the Nobel Peace laureates. 96 individuals and 20 organizations have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize since 1901 as a recognition of their remarkable contributions to peace.
Selected peacemaking organizations
Here is a selected list of prominent inter-governmental and non-governmental peacemaking organizations.
- Centre for Conflict Resolution (South Africa)
- Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (Switzerland)
- Christian Peacemaker Teams (roots in North America)
- Community of Sant'Egidio (Italy)
- Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Djibouti)
- International Alert (United Kingdom)
- Organization of African Unity (Ethiopia)
- Responding to Conflict (United Kingdom)
- American Friends Service Committee, an arm of the Quakers
- Quaker Peace & Social Witness (QPSW) the corresponding Quaker department in Britain
- John Woolman College of Active Peace
- Reverend Sun Myung Moon of Universal Peace Federation
- Search for Common Ground (United States)
- swisspeace (Switzerland)
- The United Nations