The Platform is a German network of associates, aiming to promote peaceful conflict management. The preamble to the Charter of the German Platform for Peaceful Conflict Management states the networks' purpose and committment: "On the threshold of the 21st century, the world is facing an unbearable amount of violence, especially in internal conflicts. To reduce and overcome this violence, the development of diverse approaches to peaceful conflict management is essential. Therefore it is necessary, that non-governmental organisations increase their engagement and that in general society’s capability of managing conflict constructively will be strengthened."
The German Platform for Peaceful Conflict Management rises to this challenge. The Platform was founded in 1998 in Bad Honnef, Germany. It is designed as an open network.
Today the network connects more than 130 individuals and nearly 60 organisations, institutions and groups from the fields of:
- Peace work
- Conflict resolution / mediation
- Human rights work
- Humanitarian aid
- Development cooperation
The Platform "aims to support its associates in their work to reduce violence, to connect them with each other and to make their work in the field more effective.” (Charta)
Tasks and functions
- Public relation and education
- Consulting, support and professionalizing
- International networking
Initially, the Platform focused on improving the exchange of information, conducting lobby work and contributing to the facilitation of cooperations. Over time, the following services, activities and joint projects have evolved:
In 2011 the Platform has redesigned its webpage. The lively, clearly laid out and rich information source for peaceful conflict resolution is regularly updated. Peaceful conflict resolution is a cross-section topic. The Platform aims to render the different discourses on the topic more accessible by providing a bibliography of articles published in relevant magazines and anthologies.
Research and consulting: The Platform functions as a clearing board for the exchange of expertise. The Platform secretariat deals with inquiries for experts in cooperation with the associates. The Platform coordinator also communicates queries and job vacancies to the network.
Surveys on peaceful conflict resolution in Germany: in 1998, the Platform published the brochure Civilian Conflict Resolution: A Guide of German NGOs and Institutions. It was complemented in 2001 by the survey Conflict Resolution in Germany.
In late 2003, the brochure Peace needs Society (Frieden braucht Gesellschaft) was published. It serves as a stocktaking of non-governmental approaches and recommendations for action in peaceful conflict resolution.
The Platform is a member of the Working Group on Development & Peace (FriEnt) which was founded in September 2001. The group is composed of seven governmental and non-governmental organisations active in the areas of development and peace. The Platform is also a member of the European Platform for Conflict Prevention and Transformation (EPCPT), which is coordinated by the European Centre for Conflict Prevention (ECCP).
The Platform is self-financed based on subscription fees and grants from its associates, as well as external grants and funds for projects. Presently, the minimum annual subscription fee for individual associates amounts to EUR 40; from 2006 onwards the minimum annual fee will be EUR 50. Exceptions are possible. Depending on their size, organisations are expected to pay annually a minimum of EUR 50 to 100 or more than EUR 1000.
How to participate
You are welcome to become an associate by signing the Platform Charta, which defines the network’s goals. The Charta and the admission form can be requested at the Platform secretariat or be filled in on-line at the website.
Associates may create working groups or open cooperations (e.g. on the qualification of professionals). They may also organise study events. Project proposals are discussed and decided at the annual conference.
The Platform is administered by an Association (Plattform Zivile Konfliktbearbeitung e.V.) whose members are elected by the Platform associates every two years. The Association constitutes the legal body of the Platform. It was established in 2003 as a registered association and is recognized as a non-profit organisation. The Association elects a secretary, who coordinates the association’s work.
The day-to-day business of the Platform is run at the Office of the German Platform for Peaceful Conflict Management. Currently, Christiane Lammers is the Secretary of the German Platform for Peaceful Conflict Management.
The Platform's executive body is the board which is also elected by the Platform associates every two years. Current board members were elected in March 2012.