The year 2020 has been one of unprecedented change and disruption. From the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic – which has affected every sphere and sector of society – to protests for justice and equality, governmental elections and more, we have seen the ever-increasing need for peacebuilding practice. For the Platform, the usual yearly activities of in-person meetings and convenings had to be adapted accordingly, most of them moving to an online format where possible. Despite the disruptions and the resulting adaptation, GPP achieved important results:
- Geneva Peace Week (GPW) transformed into an inclusive multi-stakeholder forum that occurred entirely online. GPW20 consisted of 70 live sessions, 70 Digital Series productions and involved 4,261 participants from 159 countries. GPW also generated 785 podcast listens and 8,530 video streams of the GPW20 Digital Series productions.
- GPP co-hosted a 2-day thematic consultation for the 2020 Review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture (PBA), thereby continuing the GPP tradition of 2015, 2010, and 2015 to gather reflections from Geneva for the review processes.
- GPP advanced three community curation processes including the Geneva Dialogue on Environment, Climate, Conflict and Peace (ECCP), the Beijing-Geneva Digital Briefings on Sustaining Peace and Preventive Diplomacy, and activities on Trade for Peace.
- Adaptation to COVID-19 has enhanced the digital footprint of GPW, both in terms of its convening and network administration capacities, as well as through testing out new digital products during GPW, including podcasts and videos. GPW20 involved the development of an entirely new digital support infrastructure with a private sector partner – Aventri – that enabled GPW new online format and enhanced interaction with digital media.
- GPP advanced networking between professionals working on peace and security dynamics in Latin America and facilitated informal exchange between peace forum organizers to nurture exchange and collaboration between them. The latter was particularly important to draw on the insights of peer fora in view of adapting GPW to an online format.
GPP will look forward to a transition period after the departure of the Executive Coordinator, after 10 years of service, as well as of the GPW Focal Point after 3 years of service. The handover to an interim Executive Coordinator, Rainer Gude, is previewed to take place in the period February-March 2021. GPP will treat 2021 a transition year to take the necessary time to reflect on the strategic positioning of GPP in the rapidly changing landscape for peacebuilding.