THE BERLIN MOOT – A conference pioneering new approaches to peace: 17-18 April in Berlin

THE BERLIN MOOT: A peace conference on 17-18 April

Our annual report 2022

Welcome to our annual report. Scroll through to learn about our activities.

A word from our Executive Director

The year 2022 saw the full-scale invasion of Ukraine and a surge in conflict-related deaths globally, underscoring the importance of our peacebuilding work. Read how we managed to expand our work to address violent conflicts despite manifold challenges.

 

2022 in review

The effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 rapidly made themselves felt on geopolitics, on conflicts around the world, and on our peacebuilding work.

Together with The Reckoning Project, we brought together experts, international organisations and government officials in Berlin to discuss how to collect testimonies that can lay the foundation for a transitional justice process.

Our experts at Berghof wrote guidelines for civil society activists and peacebuilders supporting the most affected groups on the ground. We spoke to Ukrainian peace researchers about what international organisations can do to support local peacebuilders and activists, and how the war has changed the fabric of national identity in Ukraine.

Our peace education team in Germany provided guidance to parents and educators addressing the fears of children and youth. We answered questions from children about the invasion on our German language online platform frieden-fragen.de, which was visited more than 600,000 times in the first four months of the war.

Amidst the backdrop of a war in Europe, our commitment to fostering peace worldwide remains resolute. Working across all levels and tracks, with grassroots and civil society actors to top decision-makers and politicians, we continue to expand our peacebuilding work in numerous other conflicts.

In the Middle East and North Africa, we intensified our work during the year. We presented a draft charter for a regional-wide security mechanism to the governments of Egypt, Jordan, and Oman. We also initiated our first local-level dialogue on climate security in Iraq.

In Lebanon, where more than 80 per cent of the county lives in poverty, we launched a dialogue process with experts and influential figures from across different fields on much-needed reforms that would address the economic crisis the country is facing. We supported 14 local projects that foster social cohesion and dialogue activities to address misconceptions and stereotypes in four Lebanese governorates. In addition, we work towards creating a shared vision for the country within these governorates and on a national level.

We marked a decade of engagement in Yemen in 2022, together with our close Yemeni partner the Political Development Forum. Throughout the year, we convened two meetings in Switzerland to facilitate dialogue between Yemeni factions. One in June was a particularly important milestone: it was the first meeting of this kind in three years in which representatives of all conflict parties met in person and engaged in a discussion on the political process.

We facilitated a meeting in Oman between representatives of key Yemeni parties and researchers and think tanks from the Gulf Cooperation Council. To date, we are the only international organisation to bring all Yemeni factions together with regional countries in a combination of track 1.5 engagements where government officials meet non-government experts (some of these include senior officials attending in a personal capacity), as well as track 2 discussions with representatives of think tanks from the region where non-government actors come together in a “diplomatic setting”. We will continue working to prepare the ground for a future peace process in Yemen with national and regional stakeholders, as well as international partners such as Germany, Sweden, the European Union, Norway and the United Nations.

In Central/ South Asia, the US-led withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021 has had a profound impact on our work in the country. Despite the dramatic shifts that followed, the fundamental need for sustainable peace remains unchanged.

Due to our long-standing engagement with a broad range of Afghan stakeholders, we were able to adjust our peace support efforts to address a new set of challenges. We continue to believe that a well-designed and inclusive National Dialogue is the most promising way forward. Non-engagement with the Taliban carries its own risks and will only lead to a hardening of positions and further delays in the normalisation of international relations.

We expanded our work in Africa in 2022. In November, the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement between the Ethiopian Government and the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front marked the end of the devastating war in northern Ethiopia and opened political space for resolving underlying conflicts through peaceful means. We intensified our efforts to support the preparations for an inclusive National Dialogue process that is mandated to address the root causes of conflicts in Ethiopia. In addition to trainings, coaching and tailored workshops with key stakeholder groups to the process, such as political parties, parliamentarians, government and civil society actors, we started a project to foster the meaningful inclusion of women in the National Dialogue.

At the same time, the overall political and security situation in the country remains fragile, with tensions running high and armed violence escalating particularly in Ethiopia’s biggest and most central region, Oromia. To this end, our support for the intra-Oromo dialogue has gained heightened significance, with participants from all sides agreeing to the need for a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

Looking ahead and considering the growing numbers of requests we receive, we will further expand our collaboration with our Ethiopian partners in fostering dialogue at national and sub-national levels. We are starting to foster local-level infrastructures for peace and community dialogues in peripheral conflict hotspots that will complement our comprehensive dialogue support strategy.

For decades, Somalia has suffered from violent conflicts caused by factors including clan rivalry, scarcity of essential resources, and religious extremism. We work with networks of local mediators in the states of Hirshabelle and Galmudug to support local peace initiatives and community gatherings that aim to foster dialogue among communities and jointly resolve ongoing conflicts.

Building on the experience of our radio program "Garasho-Wadag" in Galmudug State, which focuses on the vicious cycle of climate change, environmental degradation, and conflict, we established a new programme in Hirshabelle State – "Hiloow" – which will help reach a broader audience of Somalis. Furthering our engagement on climate security and emphasizing the critical need for localised climate risk assessments, we worked with network members to develop a comprehensive climate security action plan for Beledweyne district, a method that we are currently replicating in other districts of Somalia. We also collaborated with the United Nations Environment Program to develop a joint training curriculum on climate security tailored for Somalia.

In the South Caucasus, we increased dialogue among people across conflict lines. Together with our local team and partners, we produced animated videos that tell the stories of Georgian and Abkhazian participants in our history dialogue programme, which has run for almost a decade. The clips were picked up by the Georgian TV station “Palitranews”, marking the first time that Abkhaz stories were featured on national television. Across the wider region, we managed to expand our work toward reconciliation between Armenians and Azerbaijanis: We established physical space (“biographical salon”) where people could come together to share their experiences and reflect on grievances.

Listen to "1. Das friedliche Klassenzimmer" on Spreaker.

In Germany, we trained youth workers and educators to help children and young people identify conspiracy theories online and, over the course of the year, these trainers facilitated over 40 workshops. Together with the Service Centre Peace Education in Baden-Württemberg, we organised 50 workshops on peace education at schools and in cooperation with Rotary, our team launched a new workshop format: “Peace Days@School”. We also conducted a study on the status quo of peace education in Germany and produced a publication series and several podcasts to disseminate the findings. We were honoured that our project “Culture of Conflict 3.0” was awarded an education award by Konrad Adenauer Foundation, acknowledging the unwavering commitment of our colleagues in helping children to counter hate speech online.

We also organised workshops and spaces for online dialogue where young people from around the world could discuss how best to deal with the impact of the climate crisis in their day to day lives. In war-torn countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, or Somalia, droughts and floods destroy crops, leading desperate food insecurity and increased likelihood of conflict as people struggle to survive. One of our priorities is to develop country-specific peacebuilding programming that takes the climate-conflict nexus into account and assesses how to best implement climate-sensitive peacebuilding and mediation.

In 2022, our research investigated cross-cutting topics from around the world, including current discussions on radicalisation and prevention in Germany and how armed and political movements support the implementation the UN Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security in Myanmar.

We also researched how local government institutions work with civil society and religious actors to prevent violent extremism in seven countries in MENA and Western Balkans. We published our findings and offered concrete recommendations for policymakers. Furthermore, we have launched a new multi-disciplinary research project, which will analyse how the European Union can strengthen democracy in neighbouring countries together with 14 partner organisations.

In 2022, together with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development we initiated the Global Learning Hub for Transitional Justice and Reconciliation. We facilitated the establishment of the network and, together with eight partner organisations from around the world, we organised a conference on people-centered transitional justice which brought together 70 practitioners and experts in Berlin.

We also brought together women from nine different resistance and liberation movements and five countries to discuss the barriers women face in accessing leadership roles in peace processes. We issued policy recommendations on how former female combatants can contribute and be integrated in such processes.

In addition, we expanded Berghof’s longstanding work with armed movements. New groups joined the resistance and liberation movements’ network to which we provided trainings to support several ongoing negotiation processes. For example, we assisted in the effective preparation of the negotiations of The National Liberation Army (ELN) in Colombia.

We also brought together human rights experts to explore the role of human rights in mediation and peace processes. They explored how these concepts, which are too often wrongly perceived to be in contradiction to each other, can be linked and contribute to advancing dialogue and finding political solutions.

This is just a small fraction of what we did in 2022. Find out more about our work and ongoing projects.

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Publication highlights 2022


Our funding and finances in 2022

Our partnerships philosophy revolves around the power of collaboration. Throughout 2022, we strengthened our existing partnerships and forged new ones with local organisations across the globe, alongside esteemed international counterparts, governments, multilateral agencies, and global networks.

Baroness Valerie Amos, Hilde F. Johnson, and Caspar von Blomberg (left to right) at our headquarters in Berlin. Baroness Valerie Amos, Hilde F. Johnson, and Caspar von Blomberg (left to right) at our headquarters in Berlin. Photo © Berghof Foundation

By uniting our efforts, we have not only advanced the field of conflict transformation but also delivered tangible assistance to countless individuals affected by conflicts. We are grateful for everyone who has placed their trust in us.

We closed the fiscal year 2022 with an operational revenue of €13.8 million. You can find our annual financial statement for download below.

As an organisation, we consistently strategise, adapt, and respond to the evolving circumstances and contexts surrounding our work. Ensuring the long-term sustainability of our operations remains our paramount focus. Only with the unwavering commitment of our longstanding partners, we were able to achieve our accomplishments in 2022, and we extend our gratitude to our key government partners:

  • European Union
  • German Federal Foreign Office
  • GIZ Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH [German International Cooperation Agency]
  • Global Affairs Canada
  • Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
  • Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation
  • Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

To the individuals and institutions who share our dedication to peacebuilding, we express sincere gratitude for their support and partnership, which enables our work towards peace.

None of our endeavours would be feasible without the extraordinary efforts of our team, which in 2022 was represented by a diverse body of over a hundred people. We extend our gratitude to our Board of Trustees, whose invaluable guidance has bolstered our work throughout the year.

In 2023, we aim to amplify our positive impact on conflict-affected communities across the globe. Numerous projects within our portfolio await your support. Join forces with us with your contribution towards a more peaceful world.

The following institutions supported our work during 2022:

  • Auswärtiges Amt, Bundesverwaltungsamt [German Federal Foreign Office / German Federal Office of Administration]
  • Berghof Trust
  • Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend + Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung [German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth + German Federal Agency for Civic Education]
  • Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung [German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development]
  • GIZ Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH [German International Cooperation Agency]
  • Global Affairs Canada
  • Eidgenössiches Departement für auswärtige Angelegenheiten [Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs]
  • European Union
  • Förderverein Berghof Peace Education / Institut für Friedenspädagogik e.V. [Friends of Berghof Peace Education / Institute for Peace Education e.V.]
  • Ministerium für Kultus, Jugend und Sport Baden-Württemberg + Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Baden Württemberg [Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports Baden-Württemberg + State Agency for Civic Education Baden-Württemberg]
  • Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation
  • Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Robert Bosch Stiftung [Robert Bosch Foundation]
  • Rotary in Germany
  • Stiftung Erinnerung Verantwortung Zukunft [EVZ Foundation]
  • Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

Are you interested to read more about our work? Take a look at annual reports from previous years.


Photo: Dissemination event of the participatory action research project “Observe and Act” in Bangkok in November 2022. | © Fight for Humanity/ Nicolas Sion