As the coronavirus pandemic causes global disruption, USIP knows what it means to adapt our expertise and resources to match the ever-shifting nature of peacebuilding. Throughout our 35 years, we've helped lead the way on matters of peace and conflict and are committed to making peace possible amid the new reality of COVID-19.

Read stories of resilience from USIP's global network of peacebuilders

Past Events

Health workers entering the Dharavi slum to conduct contact tracing and quarantining people who came into contact with a coronavirus patient in Mumbai, April 28, 2020. (Atul Loke/The New York Times)

COVID in South Asia: Regional Responses

Recorded June 17, 2020

USIP and experts from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka discuss states' responses to the coronavirus pandemic across the region and what countries can do to maintain and restore their economies, health systems, and citizens’ trust in elected officials.

People visit a statue of former South African President Nelson Mandela in Pretoria, South Africa. (Daniel Berehulak/The New York Times)

Harnessing Coronavirus for a Peaceful and Prosperous Africa

Recorded May 27, 2020

Representatives of the African Union Commission and the African Diplomatic Corps, and other experts discuss the African Union’s efforts to mobilize the fight against coronavirus while still alleviating threats to human security and international peace. 

A flash mob organized by Mutual-Aid Space, a group organized to help the needy, outside a building the group has occupied in Milan, Saturday, April 25, 2020. (Alessandro Grassani/The New York Times)

People Power in a Pandemic: How Movements are Confronting COVID

Recorded May 19, 2020

Activists and peacebuilders from South Sudan, Syria, and Venezuela discuss how nonviolent movements are confronting and adjusting to their new operating environments, how they are spreading awareness about the virus and safety measures in their communities, and how they envision the post-coronavirus era in their societies.  

The Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge that connects North Korea to China, in Dandong, China. (Lam Yik Fei/The New York Times)

The Impact of Coronavirus on North Korea

Recorded April 14, 2020

View the webcast from USIP's online discussion with experts on the latest information regarding the COVID-19 situation in North Korea, the impact of COVID-19 on North Korea’s isolation vis-à-vis the international sanctions regime, the potential for instability in North Korean society, and the potential for sanctions relief to aid coronavirus response efforts.

Latest Publications

Afghan Peace Talks: Prisoner Release Paves Way for Direct Negotiations

Afghan Peace Talks: Prisoner Release Paves Way for Direct Negotiations

Thursday, August 13, 2020

By: Dipali Mukhopadhyay; Johnny Walsh; Scott Smith

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday said that his government would release the last batch of Taliban prisoners, ostensibly removing the final hurdle to direct negotiations with the insurgent group. Intra-Afghan negotiations were originally slated for March 10 as part of the U.S.-Taliban deal signed in late February, but were delayed due to disagreements over prisoner releases. The Afghan government and Taliban had committed to releasing 5,000 and 1,000 prisoners respectively, but the final 400 Taliban prisoners had been accused or convicted of major crimes, including murder. Ghani only made the decision to release those prisoners after he called for a consultative assembly, or loya jirga, to advise on the decision. USIP’s Afghanistan experts explain why Ghani convened the loya jirga, what to expect in the early stages of talks, and what role the United States can play.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

ISIS Determined to Make a Comeback—How Can it Be Stopped?

ISIS Determined to Make a Comeback—How Can it Be Stopped?

Thursday, August 13, 2020

By: Ashish Kumar Sen

The Islamic State (ISIS), which was driven from its strongholds in Syria and Iraq over a year ago, is determined to regain territory in the region. It will take a combination of military and financial pressure, attention to public grievances, and the repatriation and rehabilitation of people who lived or fought with ISIS—as well as those who were subjugated by them—to foil the militant group’s ambitions, according to senior U.S. officials. This already tall ask has been made even more challenging by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Violent Extremism

Tunisia’s Transition Hits a Rough Patch Following COVID Lockdown

Tunisia’s Transition Hits a Rough Patch Following COVID Lockdown

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

By: Leo Siebert

Since uprisings swept the Middle East and North Africa in 2011, Tunisia has long been regarded as the lone democratic success story. But nearly 10 years later, volatile party politics and authoritarian legacies continue to plague the transition. The October 2019 election cycle, marked by low voter turnout, demonstrated Tunisians deep disenchantment with the political class for its failure to address the grievances that sparked the ouster of longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. After the elections, a government was not formed until February 2020. But months later, Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh resigned over allegations of conflicts of interest. In recent weeks, the political landscape has shifted rapidly. USIP’s Leo Siebert examines the political wrangling and Tunisia’s post-election political struggles.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

COVID Will Lead to More Child Marriage—What Can Be Done?

COVID Will Lead to More Child Marriage—What Can Be Done?

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

By: Joud Monla-Hassan; Mona Yacoubian

The impact of the COVID pandemic continues to be felt around the world, with economies shuttered and political systems increasingly strained. Another of the downwind effects of the pandemic—one that has not been leading the headlines—is that it is expected to lead to a sharp increase in early child marriage. In many countries, when crisis hits, early child marriage increases exponentially. Nearly 10 years into its civil war, in Syria and host countries with Syrian refugees, the rate of early child marriage is now four times what it was before the conflict began. As governments and NGOs continue to respond to COVID and its economic impacts, it is critical that they implement measures to mitigate the drivers of early child marriage. This is all the more vital for countries in or emerging from conflict because a lost generation of girls will ultimately lead to stunted regrowth post-conflict due to this disenfranchised portion of the population’s lack of involvement in reconstruction efforts.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Human Rights; Gender

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