This report was written by Nizar Ghanem. This background paper has been produced for a workshop on “NGO Peacebuilding Innovations” convened by Peacebuild in Ottawa on July 15 th, 2011 with the support of the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
The Arab revolutions pose a difficult challenge for peacebuilding initiatives in the region. How can non-governmental organizations in the Arab world participate in these social and political changes and help consolidate democratic rule as oppressive political structures are reconfigured into a social order based on social justice, non-violence, and human rights? This paper will try to map the short-, medium- and long-term challenges facing NGOs already working on peacebuilding and what could be a nascent Arab peace movement. It also explores the major institutional needs of the peacebuilding field in the Arab region.