IPI Senior Policy Analyst, Lesley Connolly, discussed the importance of ensuring international actors are always working to support local actors in efforts to build and sustain peace in an interview conducted at the 2018 Geneva Peace Week, held in Geneva from November 5-9, 2018.
Ms. Connolly notes that those who are most directly impacted and living with the realities of violent conflict are the experts on the problem they face, and that they know best what solutions are needed to make peace possible for their communities. In order to truly sustain peace, local peacebuilders should be at the center, and in the lead, of all efforts in this regard. Ms. Connolly emphasized that unfortunately, local peacebuilding does not yet receive the recognition, support, or resources needed to achieve its full potential. Thus, as international actors, we need to use forums such as this one in Geneva to create awareness of the work of local peacebuilders are involved in, create the space to learn from these peacebuilders and create a better understand of the challenges they face, she said.
She concluded, by connecting the local to the global, together we are working to ensure that these messages meet the ears of the right people to ensure that all efforts are truly locally owned, regionally anchored and internationally supported.