As the world grapples with the COVID-19 crisis, inspirational stories of on-the-ground peacebuilding, nonviolent activism, and community leadership are all the more valuable—as practical examples for other peacebuilders around the world, as reaffirmations of USIP’s commitment to our core mission, and as beacons of hope and progress in a turbulent time.

Read USIP expert's analyis of the intersections between the coronavirus pandemic and conflict »

Generation Change Fellows: Action for Change Amid the Pandemic

USIP's Generation Change Fellows program connects young leaders worldwide with the peacebuilding training and global community they need to help transform their communities. Amid the pandemic, many of these fellows have used skills and resources from the program to find creative ways to take action for change.

Afghan Youth Unite for Peace Amid COVID-19

Youth peacebuilders from four provinces of Afghanistan (Nangarhar, Kandahar, Balkh, and Herat) united to share a message of peace amid the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing war in their country. They are either university students, social activists, or both, and all of them have engaged in USIP peace dialogues since September 2019. USIP continues to support their local actions for peace. During the pandemic, these have included online campaigns, making masks, and participating in USIP training programs.

Faten Khalfallah Hammouda

"Extend Your Hand to Save Our Land"

Generation Change Fellow

Faten Khalfallah Hammouda’s “Extend your hand to save our land” initiative has helped create over 1,300 protective face shields, masks and medical gowns for hospitals in Tunisia through 3D printing. “The skills I gained from the leadership training and conflict resolution have helped me a lot,” Faten said of our Generation Change Fellowship Program.

Latest Publications

Breaking the Stalemate: Biden Can Use the U.S.-Taliban Deal to Bring Peace

Breaking the Stalemate: Biden Can Use the U.S.-Taliban Deal to Bring Peace

Thursday, February 25, 2021

By: Scott Worden

On the eve of the one-year anniversary of the U.S.-Taliban agreement, Afghanistan remains unfortunately far away from peace. The historic agreement paved the way for a full U.S. withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and the start of intra-Afghan talks on a political settlement of the conflict. As the May 1 withdrawal deadline nears, the Biden administration is undertaking a rapid Afghanistan policy review to determine its overall strategy toward the slow-moving intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha, Qatar. A key reason for the lack of movement in talks is that both sides are anxiously waiting to see what Biden decides. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

Months After Protests, Nigeria Needs Police Accountability

Months After Protests, Nigeria Needs Police Accountability

Thursday, February 25, 2021

By: Emily Cole

In Nigeria and more than a dozen nations—the United States, Brazil and Japan are others—public protests erupted in the past year against police brutality. Across the globe, police violence traumatizes the marginalized, spares the powerful and remains unaddressed until the abuse is illuminated to broad public view. While brutality is typically rooted among a minority of officers, it persists because weak systems of police accountability offer impunity, even to repeat offenders. In Nigeria, as in other countries, the solution will require building strong accountability mechanisms—both within police agencies and externally, in the communities they serve.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Justice, Security & Rule of Law; Democracy & Governance

Libya: Amid Hope for Peace, Regional Rifts Still Pose Hurdles

Libya: Amid Hope for Peace, Regional Rifts Still Pose Hurdles

Friday, February 26, 2021

By: Simona Ross; Stefan Wolff

Libyans and the United Nations advanced their current effort to end almost a decade of instability and war this month when a U.N.-backed forum nominated an interim government to prepare nationwide elections by the end of 2021. The new transitional government brings hope that this process—the third major U.N. peace effort in Libya—might lead to stability. Still, achieving lasting peace will require that the process address the main underlying driver of conflict: the divisions among Libya’s three main regions, notably over how to organize the government. It also will need the United States and other countries to support the transitional government and hold Libya’s contesting sides accountable.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes; Democracy & Governance

Can Markets Help Foster Civil Society in North Korea?

Can Markets Help Foster Civil Society in North Korea?

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

By: Anthony Navone

After North Korea’s planned economy faltered in the 1990’s, resulting in a devastating famine known as the “Arduous March,” citizens turned to an informal market system for survival. Desperate for some semblance of stability, the North Korean state initially tolerated these rudimentary transactions as a financial necessity. These markets have grown in scale and complexity over the last two decades—and in the process, have facilitated the growth of unofficial economic networks that exhibit signs of a nascent semi-autonomous public sphere that is unprecedented in North Korean society.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

North Korea in Africa: Historical Solidarity, China’s Role, and Sanctions Evasion

North Korea in Africa: Historical Solidarity, China’s Role, and Sanctions Evasion

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

By: Benjamin R. Young

North Korea serves as a mutually beneficial partner for many African governments. Although these ties are often viewed solely through the lens of economic and security interests, this report shows Pyongyang's deep historical connections and ideological linkages with several of the continent’s nations. North Korea–Africa relations are also bolstered by China, which has been complicit in North Korea’s arms and ivory trade, activities providing funds that likely support the Kim regime’s nuclear ambitions and allow it to withstand international sanctions.

Type: Special Report

Democracy & Governance

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