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The Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime and the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform invited to the Geneva Peaceweek event on “Building peace: Dealing with criminal agendas and illicit flows in peace processes”, held on Tuesday 8th November in the Maison de la Paix

There is an increasing recognition amongst the peacebuilding that in a growing number of conflict and protracted violence scenarios, in order to achieve a negotiated agreement and promote the consolidation of peace, negotiation and engagement with organised crime will be necessary. The risks of not doing so are being demonstrated in contexts such as Libya, Mali, Central African Republic and the DRC. The relationship of violent economies and organized crime is often stressed but rarely systematically assessed in all its facets and implications. Then in practical terms, how this can effectively be achieved remains an open challenge, and thus is often put aside.

This session, targeted at peace mediators, peacebuilders and practitioners in the field, highlighted means by which to analyse and understand the political economy of conflict to account for illicit flows, and to develop strategies and responses that can applied to those actors resourced by them to reduce violence, relinquish criminal industries and contribute towards sustainable peace.

The session raised important questions about mediating with criminal actors, issues of legitimacy, the linkages between criminal political economies and the political sphere and whether we already know how to deal with criminal actors without criminalising them in the process.

Speakers featured:
• Prof. Mark Shaw, Director, Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime
• Dr. Achim Wennmann, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
• Dr. Judith Vorrath, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik / German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)

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.