PeaceLab2016 – A Fresh Look at Crisis Prevention

Preventing new crises, resolving existing conflicts and stabilising crisis‑hit regions are three of the key challenges facing Germany today. But are we doing the right things to overcome these challenges?

Germany is confronted with a growing number of crises and violent conflicts, many of which are in Europe’s immediate neighbourhood. In order to be able to play a role earlier, more decisively and more tangibly in preventing and overcoming crises, the Federal Foreign Office will draw up new guidelines on international crisis management for the German Government by the spring of 2017. In line with the motto, PeaceLab2016 – A Fresh Look at Crisis Prevention, the Federal Foreign Office also wants to include input from civil society and interested members of the public.

 Foreign Minister Steinmeier delivering the opening speech

Foreign Minister Steinmeier delivering the opening speech
© Photothek / Gaertner

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 Foreign Minister Steinmeier delivering the opening speech

Foreign Minister Steinmeier during his opening speech: “Germany wants to assume greater responsibility and is therefore investing more in crisis prevention and stabilisation.”

Foreign Minister Steinmeier delivering the opening speech

Kickstarting the guidelines drafting process

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier launched the debate on the new crisis-management and peacebuilding guidelines at a conference at the Federal Foreign Office in July 2016. In his opening speech, he called for a forward‑looking foreign policy that tackled the entire conflict cycle, “from prevention, conflict resolution and stabilisation to follow‑up work and post‑conflict peacebuilding”. Germany, he said, wanted to assume greater responsibility and was therefore not only investing more in crisis prevention and stabilisation, but also working to advocate political dialogue in the interests of settling live conflicts. He said this was why Germany had taken on the Chairmanship of the OSCE in 2016 and was standing for a seat on the UN Security Council for the 2019‑20 term.

Experienced representatives of the European Union, United Nations, German Bundestag and civil society from Germany and abroad joined the discussion with Foreign Minister Steinmeier. They analysed Germany’s engagement in the field to date and outlined their expectations with regard to its future involvement in crisis prevention, stabilisation and post‑conflict peacebuilding. The forum also provided an opportunity for the many stakeholders in this area to present their work and foster ties with one another. These stakeholders included the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW), the Working Group on Peace and Development (FriEnt), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), KfW (Reconstruction Loan Corporation), the Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF) and the Civil Peace Service (ZFD).

Input welcome!

In PeaceLab2016, the German Government is focusing on a broad and inclusive debate process, with the aim of including as many viewpoints as possible. The challenges, expectations and priorities for Germany’s political endeavours in the fields of crisis prevention, stabilisation and peace consolidation will be discussed until November 2016. A large number of events organised by various civil-society stakeholders will form the heart of the process. In addition to the Federal Foreign Office, other ministries and government institutions will support the process by holding further events.

Foreign Minister Steinmeier appealed for a large number of people to get involved in the process:

We need your critical questions, experience, ideas and suggestions. We want to talk frankly about where we are doing well and where and how we can become even better and more efficient.

Everyone is welcome to take part in the debate at the events, to participate online on Twitter (@PeaceLab2016, #Peacelab2016), Facebook and LinkedIn or to write an article for the new PeaceLab-Blog, which features a large number of contributions to the debate and reports on past events.

Further Events:

Link to the Events calendar

Find out more:

Opening speech by Foreign Minister Steinmeier at PeaceLab2016 (5 July 2016)

Article about PeaceLab2016 by Foreign Minister Steinmeier (5 July 2016, Frankfurter Rundschau)

"Federal Government draws up new Guidelines on Crisis Engagement and Peacebuilding" (Article 1 June 2016)

Last updated 22.09.2016

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