Concept and Themes

2017 Annual Conference Concept Note

The politics of war and peace have shifted significantly in recent years. The institutions that have kept peace between the great powers for seventy years are threatening to erode, and there has been a significant global uptick in violence and conflict. War zones like Syria and Yemen are becoming highly complex proxy fights for larger powers. The rules of international humanitarian law have weakened, as combatants attack civilians, hospitals, and aid convoys with impunity. Famine threatens four war-torn regions, predictions of genocide loom, and violent extremism remains an intractable security problem. Fragile states continue to suffer from crises of governance and poverty. Violent conflicts from Central America to Syria have sent waves of refugees into host countries, leading to deep political divisions, humanitarian crises, and, in some states, the rise of populist leaders.

In the face of these extreme challenges, the peacebuilding community must unite and work more collaboratively for sustainable peace and security. Our field offers powerful solutions to complex problems, and global initiatives such as Agenda 2030 provide new frameworks for addressing rapidly changing dynamics. Events around the world in the past year have been a call to action for our community, and the 2017 AfP Annual Conference will provide a powerful platform for exploring both the challenges and the bright spots facing our field. There will be ample time for joint strategizing and mobilization, to ensure a strong collective voice for peacebuilding moving forward.

2017 Annual Conference Themes