Cure Violence Re-thinking Conflict at London Peace Talks

Approximately one fourth of the world’s population live in violent environments. The greatest challenge of the 21st century is not the violence of armed conflicts but that which grows out of criminality and chaos. The Global Journal recently wrote on this trend and the need for peacekeepers to adapt to this shifting dynamic in an article titled “Blood-Stained Peace: Re-Thinking Conflict Resolution” identifying Cure Violence as one of the innovators on the cutting edge of responding to this new style of peacekeeping.

Global Journal author Alexis Kalagas wrote: “…90 percent of all violent deaths worldwide are not the direct result of civil war, interstate aggression, or other forms of headline grabbing, saber-rattling, combat and confrontation. Rather, the permeation of violence into the mundane rituals of daily life is an ever more common reality for millions of individuals existing in a perverse state of ‘peace’.” And, this week (January 28th), The Royal Commonwealth and International Alert kept the conversation going by asking “what does that mean for violence prevention and conflict resolution?”

At London-based peace talks in a panel entitled: “Armies and gangs, cliques and cartels,” Dr Gary Slutkin, Founder and Executive Director of Cure Violence joined Patrick Alley, Co-Founder and Director of Global Witness,Dr Vanda Felbab-Brown, Foreign Policy Fellow, The Brookings Institution, Katrine Hoyer, Senior Research Consultant and Dan Smith (Chair), Secretary General, International Alert for a discussion on the new shape of peacekeeping and conflict in the 21st century.

Cure Violence adapted its US-based violence prevention model–designed initially to intervene in gang conflict, but applied to militia and tribal groups– for an international context in 2008 by partnering with American Islamic Congress to launch Ambassadors for Peace (A4P) (check out this 2010 case study published in Beyond Suppression).

Since, Cure Violence has explored applying the intervention to armies, gangs, cliques and cartels in “peaceful” communities where violence is in excess, including London, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Honduras and most recently to election violence in Kenya (check out our work in Latin America and read  more about our international partners). Global Journal recently named Cure Violence in the top 100 NGOs worldwide for the second consecutive year (click here to learn more). In 2013, we ranked in the top 10 out of the 100 that made the list, based on our “impact, innovation and sustainability.”