There is growing international interest in reconciliation, both as a process and an outcome. Of all peace treaties signed in the world, over half are collapsed after five years. It has been acknowledged that sustainable peace requires more transformative reconciliation that connects local and national levels in an inclusive multi-track process. Moreover, transformative reconciliation means that the social fabric and human relations damaged by violent conflict are restored, people’s rights ensured, and common national vision created.
It can be argued that peacebuilding, including reconciliation, is about influencing the behaviour of social systems that have been affected by conflict. Focusing on local insider reconcilers and their knowledge as well as local practices are key in understanding the social systems in certain context. Building of trust, addressing the socio-emotional impact of conflict and integrating psychosocial aspects to reconciliation are crucial and often missing and neglected components in political and top-level peace and reconciliation processes.
The development of the #reconciliation international programme aims to help improve the effectiveness of the reconciliation processes. Research on local practices and methodologies of insider reconcilers aims to increase knowledge on these approaches and help integrate them into broader reconciliation processes. #reconciliation aims to provide policy guidance on reconciliation.
In the international policy level, including the UN, more comprehensive understanding of how local actors and traditions can be a foundation of effective reconciliation processes and how external actors best can accompany them is essential for the Sustaining Peace Agenda.
#reconciliation enhances interaction between Finnish and international actors with the longer-term objective to establish an International Support Center for Reconciliation in Finland.
Learn more about Insider Reconcilers’ Dialogue for Sustaining Peace on Antti Pentikäinen’s article What can we learn from the failing reconciliation process in Northern Ireland: https://www.mhcr.gmu.edu/news/insider-reconcilers-dialogue-for-sustaining-peace