8-9 September 2022, Flemish Parliament, Brussels
In 2022, the Flemish Peace Institute took the initiative to bring together representatives of European Peace research institutes to discuss the current trends and challenges for peace research, as well as how the different institutes can strengthen each other’s work and the opportunities to strengthen the network of European peace research institutes.
Academi Heddwch Cymru was represented by Jill Evans and Mererid Hopwood. Representatives were present from:
- the Flemish Peace Institute
- the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
- Tampere Peace Research Institute, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
- Peace Research Institute Frankfurt
- Post Conflict Research Centre (Bosnia-Herzegovina)
- the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy University of Hamburg
- Peace Research Centre Prague, Mirovni Institut Ljublijana
- the International Institute for Peace Vienna
- the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding Geneva
Each peace institute represented is unique in structure, funding, and staffing. Updates were provided on work being currently undertaken, and it was agreed that we need to map peace research being done across Europe. It was also agreed that the network needed to be extended beyond Europe and include independent research where possible. There was a discussion on what peace research is.
Talking about Peace
The consensus was that the war in Ukraine had made it more difficult to talk about peace in general. Linked to this was the increase in investment in defence and military technology. So, how do we strengthen the narrative around peace? How do we re-imagine peace?
Future of the Network: 2023 Conference
It was agreed that a conference would be held in May 2023 to discuss the nature of peace research and how information could be shared and disseminated between ourselves (peace institutes) and with activists. A series of thematic debates would be held, and we realised that it was essential for young people to be involved.
“Reimagining Peace: New agendas for research and policy in times of conflict” will be held in Brussels on 8 & 9 May 2023, hosted again by the Flemish Peace Institute.
Meeting in Wales House
Following the network meeting we met Catherine Marston in Wales House to share information on the work of Academi Heddwch. The possibility of organising an event in Wales House around the Peace Institutes meeting was discussed. The Director of the Flemish Peace Institute will be invited to the St. David’s Day events in Brussels.
Report by Jill Evans.