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The Global Initiative hosted the Geneva Peace Week event on “Building Peace and Managing Borders in the Sahel Maghreb” on the Friday, 11 November 2016 in our headquarters.

Questions of stability and security in the greater Sahara are increasingly focused on the capacity to manage borders and border communities that sit astride the Sahel Maghreb.

Northern Mali, Northern Niger, Southern Libya and parts of Southern Algeria have become a zone of instability, largely removed from the purview and discussions of the central state, where competing militias and illicit trafficking thrive. The reverberations of this fragile zone has transatlantic implications, as drugs, arms, migrants and violent extremist ideologies transit and intersect, steadily broadening the zone of fragility.

Responses from the international community to these challenges have focused largely on strengthening and securitising borders on the one hand and targeting development incentives to those border communities. Yet neither of these strategies either in isolation or in tandem have proven effective, and central state consolidation remains a steadily receding objective.

New strategies are needed to engage with and redefine security governance for border communities. Based upon the work of practitioners actively engaged in the region, this session will open a discussion on alternative techniques around participatory border management, creating sustainable livelihood and development strategies for trafficking communities, and building viable models for inclusive and sustainable hybrid governance on fragile borders.

The panel discussion will featured Tuesday Reitano (Global Initiative), Mark Micallef (Migrant Report) and Thomas Cantens (World Customs Organization) who presented findings from field research predominantly from Libya, Mali, Chad, Sudan and Jordan.

Why Geneva Peace Week?
Geneva is home to a large number of international organisations, including more than 40 United Nations entities, a thriving community of non-governmental organisations and renowned academic and research institutions. Together, all these actors work for peace, rights and well-being, touching the lives of individiuals across the world. Geneva Peace Week offers an opportunity to connect and highlight the work of these actors and to expand the space for dialogue about building peace and resolving conflict.

What is Geneva Peace Week?
The 3rd Geneva Peace Week will be held from 7 to 11 November 2016 and is a collective action initiative facilitated by the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, and the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform in collaboration with the Swiss Confederation. By synchronising meetings on different topics related to the promotion of peace during one week, Geneva Peace Week will maximise synergies between organisations in Geneva, focused on the cross-cutting nature of peace.

Geneva Peace Week underlines that each and every person, actor and institution has a role to play in building peace and resolving conflict. It also highlights that peace promotion occurs in many different contexts and cuts across disciplines and sectors. In this sense, Geneva Peace Week is an attempt to break down the silos which all-too-often characterise the international community and can limit more creative responses.

More information about the Geneva Peace Week can be found on Facebook and on the official website. Follow the official Twitter account @GenevaPeaceWeek and the Hashtag #GVAPeaceWeek for updates before and during the Week.