By Mazhar Iqbal
Beginning with just two second-hand computers and a small office space, which was donated by a local institution, this group of passionate peace lovers and volunteers have now become the most effective global peace movement. Conciliation Resources (CR) is a London based international peace building and conflict resolution organization, which was established in 1994.
This organization is working with individuals, organizations and governments both in regions of conflict and globally. Their main focus is on promoting understanding of peaceful ways to resolve conflicts in some of the boiling regions of the world. These regions include East and Central Africa, Southeast Asia, South Asia, South Pacific region and South America.
Conciliation Resources considers that people living with differences of political opinion can get advantage of seeing old problems in a new perspective. While living with incongruities and dissimilarities, they can find opportunities to gain new ideas for resolution of political differences.
Conciliation Resources supports those people who are at the heart of conflicts and are striving to find solutions. With a highly skilled team of dedicated staff and associates, it functions in a highly professional and coordinated fashion to improve peace building policies and practice them worldwide.
The organization’s work is multi-dimensional ranging from producing films, writing publications and articles to organizing awareness-raising events. The earliest project successfully launched by Concilitation Resources was in Fiji in 1995. In 1997, they launched another program in the South Caucasus. This was followed by a new program in Uganda in 1999, which has since expanded to include the East and Central Africa region.
This organization has been involved in Rwanda, Ukraine, Russia, Somaliland, the Gambia, Liberia, Sri Lanka, the Balkans, Angola, Nepal, the Philippines and Colombia. More recently their work has widened to also include working in India and Pakistan.
Conciliation Resources receives funding support from a wide range of donors. Major donors are the governments of Australia, UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Germany. The multilateral organizations funding CR’s projects include Australian Agency for International Development (AUSAID), European Commission (EC), German Federal Foreign Office & the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), UK Department for International Development (DFID) and UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
World renowned trusts and foundations like Allan & Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust, Berghof Foundation for Conflict Studies, Blandfordlake Trust, Commonwealth Foundation, Cumber Family Charitable Trust, Eva Reckitt Trust Fund, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (JRCT), Rowan Charitable Trust, Souter Charitable Trust and The Ardwick Trust support Conciliation Resources financially.
During last few years, Conciliation Resources has been highlighting issues of paramount security of divided communities and global sensitivities surrounding these communities. Over the years, Conciliation Resources has gained reputation as a professional conflict transformation organization, experienced in the theory and practice of peace building and peace processes.
In South Asia, Jammu & Kashmir is a conflict zone which is politically and administratively divided between India and Pakistan. Conciliation Resources has been issuing publications and policy briefs on peace and confidence building measures across the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir.
In a major move on enhancing cross-Line of Control (LoC) cooperation in Jammu and Kashmir, Conciliation Resources facilitated signing of the first written agreement on non-governmental cooperation in Istanbul last year. This was a major development in this conflict area of South Asia.
In countries affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army conflict, Conciliation Resources has recently taken part in workshops focusing on strategies to deal with land disputes arising out of the violence. It also contributed to a recent peace building forum in Manila which discussed options for a process that could lead to an International Action Plan on women, peace and security in the Philippines.
Working together with a number of civil society organizations, peace activists and local NGOs around the world, Conciliation Resources is dedicated to produce an environment of trust and confidence among communities trapped in conflict. Their struggle is theme based and result oriented. Public participation, peace process and dialogue, peace building and governance, cross-border peace-making efforts and engaging with local communities are hallmark of their struggle.
The writer is a peace and human rights activist and could be reached at [email protected]
This article was first published at Ground Report and is reprinted with permission.