The overall Geneva Peace Week 2021 theme is: "From seeds to systems of peace: Weathering today’s challenges"
GPW21 will be held under the theme “From seeds to systems of peace: Weathering today’s challenges.” Challenges to peace today have been compounded by the COVID19 pandemic. Geneva Peace Week 2021 nurtures seeds of peace in the new approaches and tools necessary to “weather” the contemporary challenges, while seeking to engage and affect change at the systemic level.
The Online Interactive Sessions and Digital Series for GPW21 will focus on four main thematic tracks. To find out more about each GPW21 thematic track, please read the information on each of the tracks below.
In the face of global crisis, political will and resources are increasingly flowing into responses to climate change and environmental degradation. Research and practice at the nexus between peace, conflict, and the natural environment stretches back decades, but now more than ever, it must be amplified and integrated into responses at the international, state, and local levels.
How might we communicate across disciplines, sectors, silos, and language, and collaborate in face of a growing crisis? Where and how are actors from these different, but linked, fields creating synergies and working together? How can they continue to mutually reinforce one another’s work while respecting their respective differences?
At a worrying pace, narratives on and approaches to today’s challenges are being presented as existential threats that are often followed by a so called imperative to address them through military or emergency measures - justifying actions outside the normal bounds of political procedure. Where do such approaches leave human rights, sustainability, or solidarity? What are the risks in constructing discourses of fear? What role for peacebuilding, and of peacebuilders, in turning the tide of securitization?
The impact of artificial intelligence, cyber operations, and digital technology was already growing in the field of peace and security before COVID19. What new risks and new opportunities are there in working for peace digitally? Can peace be built online? Is the digital space bringing us closer; closer to peace, or simply closer to war? How are government, civil society, and private actors facing these challenges? How are humanitarian actors, development agencies, human rights activists, and peace builders managing (or not) to harness the digital sphere?
What linkages are there with confronting inequalities and peace? What evidence, experiences, and stories are there of advancing inclusion as a path to peace? How integrated are either into current peacebuilding practice, and, should they be? SDG16 “seeks to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.” Is striving to implement SDG16 helping build peace? How could it do so better? What are we learning?