The independent resource on global security

Program Day 3 – Thursday, 6 May

day 3


11.45–13.45 CEST Drivers of Peace: Grass roots initiatives in conflict prone locations in the OSCE region

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

This session will examine how specific thematic initiatives have been implemented by non-governmental actors in different locations across the OSCE region (Southern Caucasus, Ukraine, Western Balkans) to identify points of convergence and divergence, and to assess how the OSCE can enhance their effectiveness. Online session

12.30-13.45 CEST Digital space – the new frontier of civic space

Swedish Dialogue Institute for the Middle East and North Africa  

Digital platforms can be both a detriment to and a tool for democratic engagement and peace. This session will explore the links between civic space and digital space. What are the rights and responsibilities of tech companies, governments and users and which pathways can ensure digital space is an enabler for engagement and democracy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region? Representatives from academia, civil society, media and tech companies will discuss the challenges and opportunities for digital space, content moderation and transparency. A takeaway from this session is an understanding of how digital platforms could be a vehicle to strengthen the participation of women, to promote democratic space and to mitigate risks of polarization.  Online session

12.30-13.45 CEST More with less: Enhancing peacebuilding impact with smarter financing models


Rethinking financing models for peacebuilding is central to this discussion, which builds upon experiences gained in peace work on the European continent (Western Balkans and Ukraine). PAX and partners propose to explore how ’more with less’ and increased flexibility in financing can be embedded into effective and sustainable peacebuilding strategies. Online session

12.30-13.45 CEST Behind the scenes on climate security: A comparison of peace missions in Mali and Somalia

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

This session will explore how climate-related security risks affect the mandates of the peace missions in Mali (MINUSMA) and Somalia (UNSOM), and how the missions respond to those risks. It will offer a platform for missions to discuss challenges and how they are addressing them; an exchange that does not happen within the UN peacebuilding architecture. Online session

14.00-15.15 CEST Preventing famine, promoting peace?

In partnership with the World Food Programme 

Famine is never inevitable. In 2021, 30 million people are just one step away from famine, at the emergency phase of food insecurity—the majority living in countries affected by armed conflict. In 2018, United Nations member states unanimously adopted UN Security Council Resolution 2417 condemning the starving of civilians as a method of warfare. The resolution drew attention to the link between armed conflict, food insecurity and the threat of famine, and paved the way for addressing conflict-induced hunger. Yet three years later, the need for collective action to tackle conflict-induced hunger and ensure the implementation of the resolution is more urgent than ever.

The World Food Programme was awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war. As the world’s leading humanitarian actor, it is on the front lines of armed conflict, playing a key role in preventing famine and reducing conflict-induced hunger, while leveraging its programming to support the prospects for peace.

Famine may not be inevitable but it is back on the agenda and this panel asks how it can be prevented more effectively. By looking at who produces, distributes and consumes food and asking how those responsible for food insecurity can be held accountable, this discussion explores factors that can facilitate collective action to ensure food security.

Moderator: Dan Smith, Director, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute


Agnes Kalibata, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Foods Systems Summit 

David Beasley, Executive Director, World Food Programme

Gabriela Bucher, Executive Director, Oxfam 

Muna Lucman, Founder and Chair, Food4humanity

Valerie Guarnieri, Assistant Executive Director, World Food Programme

Janine Alm Ericson, Swedish State Secretary for International Cooperation

Live streamed session

15.30-16.45 CEST Climate security: Looking back, heading forward

The discourse on climate change and security has made tremendous progress in recent years. There is a growing awareness that the human security problems climate change creates today are the hard security problems of tomorrow. But there are no hard security solutions. 
The new consensus around climate-related security risks and the change of administration in the United States have generated energy behind the idea that important steps are possible this year.

This session will facilitate a conversation that reflects on this recent progress and discusses the way forward to stem the impact of climate change on peace and security through multilateral action and across the humanitarian–development–peace nexus.

Moderator: Dan Smith, Director, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Norway

Per Olsson Fridh, Minister for International Development Cooperation, Sweden

Kwaku Afriyie, Minister of Environment, Ghana

Ilwad Elman, Chief Operating Officer, Elman Peace Centre

Online session

14.00-15.00 CEST Restrictions on civil society organizations: Strengthening accountability and SDG16 amid the pandemic

Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance 

Civil society organizations play a vital role in overseeing the security sector, but during the Covid-19 pandemic, they have been faced with new and unprecedented restrictions. This session will highlight different ways in which civil society organizations working in the fields of peace, justice and security are able to continue carrying out their oversight role and highlight practical examples of how they contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 16. Online session

14.00-15.15 CEST Systems leadership in peacebuilding

Challenges Forum International Secretariat

Today’s global context risks undoing decades of peace and development dividends, which could result in more conflicts and higher demands on peace operations. Exploring systems leadership, this roundtable appeals to those with an interest in peacebuilding as well as stakeholders in political missions and peacebuilding. It asks questions such as whether systems leadership can be used as a tool for targeting peacebuilding efforts in order to generate actionable recommendations on how UN special political missions can better ensure system leadership in peacebuilding efforts on the ground; and how to strengthen collective engagement and coherent political support to peacebuilding efforts.

This session is by invitation only. If you are interested in joining this session please contact

Online session

14.00-15.15 CEST Strengthening the African Union’s peacebuilding efforts: The way forward

Cairo International Centre for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding,  Embassy of Sweden in Egypt & ISS Africa

The speakers at this roundtable will examine how the African Union (AU) and its partners can strengthen its peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction and development efforts in the context of a changing peace and security landscape. Cognizant of the challenges imposed on peacebuilding in the post-Covid-19 era, deliberations will reflect on how the AU can enhance synergies between existing and new structures, and develop complementarities at strategic and operational levels across the peace–development nexus. In that context, the session will zoom in on the African Union Technical Mission in the Gambia as an innovative, targeted and cost-effective model. Online session

15.30-16.30 CEST Covid, emergencies and transitions: The impact of emergency law responses to Covid-19 in fragile settings

Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law, International IDEA & Political Settlements Research Programme 

Emergency law responses to Covid-19 have affected peace and transition processes in predictable and unpredictable ways, and this session looks at the consequences for levels of violent conflict and democratic consolidation. The discussion will be around the results of practice-based research with opportunities for the audience to participate with questions and interactive tools. Online session

15.30-16.45 CEST Parliamentarians as peacebuilders: Displacing online hate speech with the discourse of respect

United Nations Development Programme

United Nations Development Programme Online hate speech is an emergent threat to inclusive, representative governance. How are committed peacebuilders within parliaments working with civil society and new and old media to craft effective individual, collective and institutional responses to it? Gain a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities of parliaments and their members in addressing online hate speech during this session, which showcases good and original practices from around the world.  Online session

15.30-17.00 CEST Can a resilience perspective add value to peacebuilding?

Global Resilience Partnership, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs & Stockholm Resilience Centre

Resilience approaches that aim to strengthen the capacity of communities and systems to navigate crises are increasingly being advocated as alternatives to more top-down measures dependent on international and external actors. Do they really add value, or are they just a fad with no meaningful analytical or programmatic advantages, or a way for international actors to abdicate responsibility? In this session, we invite resilience enthusiasts and sceptics to have a frank discussion on the value of resilience approaches in peacebuilding, and share the evidence that underpins their contrasting views. Online session

17.00-18.00 CEST Resilience or deterrence: The many paths to cybersecure societies

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute & Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency 

This session will explore the strategic trade-offs between different societal approaches to cybersecurity. With the recent SolarWinds attack as a backdrop—claimed by some to be the ‘largest and most sophisticated ever’—it will invite cybersecurity and international relations experts to discuss what ought to be the goals, scope and focus of states trying to shape cybersecure societies. What roles should deterrence, robustness, resilience and other concepts play? Online session

17.00-18.00 CEST From cause to action: The impact of climate security and violent extremism on peacebuilding

United Nations Development Programme

How do climate-related security risks—the adverse impacts of climate change on human, state and international security—affect efforts to prevent violent extremism? The tackling of climate-related security risks represents, for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and its partners, a strategic focus on delivering innovative and cross-cutting approaches to promote climate action and sustaining peace. This high-level panel will pivot on UNDP’s efforts to shift the discussion from the academic debate around causality to identifying good practices, operational responses and avoiding reductionism, determinism and instrumentalization. Online session

17.00-18.15 CEST Peace in our cities: Harnessing action research and narrative change during Covid-19

Peace in our Cities (+Peace, Impact:Peace & Pathfinders)

How can international, national and local actors support cities in their efforts to reduce violence? Action research on measures to tackle urban violence during Covid-19 can inform narrative change strategies in cities and urban areas. This roundtable will explore concrete next steps for targeted advocacy in urban peacebuilding responses. Online session

17.00-18.15 CEST Peace and pandemics: Youth innovating for peace during Covid-19

United States Institute of Peace

This session will be an opportunity to listen to youth peacebuilders share their experience of peacebuilding during the pandemic, from countering hate speech to supporting those in prison. Panellists will reflect on lessons learned and how creative ideas and new technologies can be applied to other community peacebuilding efforts. Learn how organizations and peacebuilders can support youth peacebuilders in challenging times and what conditions pave the way for success. Online session

18.30-19.30 CEST Learning from multiple perspectives: What do peacebuilders need to know?

Busara Center & United States Institute of Peace

What are the knowledge needs of peacebuilding actors during transitions out of conflict and in pre-conflict situations? By asking this question the session will explore new models of learning in peacebuilding donorship and the prospects for learning across actors with different perspectives and motivations. The session is intended for development workers, multilateral actors, national governments and local implementing organizations that design and lead peacebuilding programmes, with an opportunity for the audience to pose questions. Online session

18.30-19.45 CEST Inclusive mediation: Laying the foundations for sustainable peace processes

Humanity United & Institute for State Effectiveness  

Humanity United and the Institute of State Effectiveness revisit the dialogue on inclusive mediation, building upon multi-level, multi-stakeholder dialogues from 2020, which explored the critical role mediators play in shaping inclusive processes and outcomes. This year will include a special focus on social compacts, social movements, and the use of narrative (including misinformation) in the success or failure of peace agreements, building on insights from last year’s discussion. 

In addition to considering novel approaches and technological innovations, the roundtable discussion will seek to bridge insights across the temporal dimension of peace processes: drawing on lessons learned in Colombia, Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone and to help inform approaches in ongoing and emerging peace processes, such as Papua New Guinea and Nagorno Karabakh. 

Online session