Full Text Sharing

Peace is not just the suspension of war. It is made up of all the solutions that help minimize international tensions: cooperation to fight climate change and resource scarcity, institutions to channel power rivalries and administer global public goods, justice to assuage grievances and frustration, regulation to address inequalities and abuses of power.


A new annual meeting for all global governance actors

The Paris Peace Forum is neither a summit nor a conference.
It is a new annual event based on a simple idea: international cooperation is key to tackling global challenges and ensuring durable peace. To support collective action, it gathers all actors of global governance under one roof for three days – states, international organizations, local governments, NGOs and foundations, companies, experts, journalists, trade unions, religious groups and citizens. Through original formats of debates and the presentation of solutions, it demonstrates there is still a momentum for multilateralism and a better organization of the planet, both among states from North and South and civil society actors.

A platform for solutions to international challenges

The Paris Peace Forum is centered on those who seek to develop solutions for today's transborder challenges.
It is focused on their 120 governance projects and initiatives from around the world, selected from 850 applications, presented in five villages: peace and security, environment, development, new technologies and inclusive economy.
It offers these projects visibility, feedback and connections to potential implementers. 10 projects will also be elected by participants and the Selection Committee of the Forum to benefit from special support by the Paris Peace Forum until the second edition in November 2019.

An independent initiative

While the original impetus for the Paris Peace Forum came from French President Emmanuel Macron, the Forum is organized by an NGO founded in 2018 by the Körber Foundation, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, the Institut français des relations internationales, the Institut Montaigne, Sciences Po and the French Ministry for European and Foreign Affairs.
The Executive Committee of the Forum is made up of these organizations and is advised by the Steering Committee, comprised of 16 personalities with an international reputation, coming from all continents.
This annual event is funded by various partners and receives little public funding.


More info


1. Origins and objectives

What is the Paris Peace Forum and why was it created?
It all started from a contradiction. The challenges we face – terrorism, climate change, tax evasion, migration, cyberattacks and the like – ignore borders and require international cooperation. But cooperation is proving increasingly difficult as countries compete hard for advantage and turn inward under the influence of populist or nationalist parties. The multilateral institutions that were created after the Second World War to facilitate cooperation and stability are weakened by geopolitical
rivalries and by shifting political, economic and demographic balances. International norms are less respected. International justice is questioned. The Internet is becoming a jungle where hackers and propagandists seem to rule. And we are all worse off as a result.
The Paris Peace Forum seeks to tackle these challenges. The impetus came from French President Emmanuel Macron in the summer of 2017. In the face of these worrying tendencies, he encouraged the creation of an annual gathering of the people and organizations who believe in the usefulness of collective action, governance, cooperation, regulation, and international institutions. Economists have Davos, the Boao Forum and other gatherings, while security specialists have the Munich Security Conference, the Raisina Dialogue and many more. There also are useful gatherings on international affairs and governance, like the World Policy Conference. But at a time when the value of international cooperation is questioned, there is a need for an event for those who want to strengthen and improve global governance.

If it’s about global governance, why is it called the Paris “Peace” Forum?
Peace and global governance are two sides of the same coin. The first definition of peace is negative: it is the absence of war. But building and maintaining peace requires positive steps – not just diplomacy, but constant efforts to decrease the root causes of conflict. In other words, peace is made up of all the governance solutions that help minimize international tensions and shared challenges: cooperation to fight climate change and resource scarcity, institutions to channel power rivalries and administer global public goods, justice to assuage grievances and frustration, regulation to address inequalities and abuses of power, etc. Driven by this conviction, the Paris Peace Forum is concerned with the mechanisms that create and sustain peace, i.e. by mechanisms of global governance.
Is the Paris Peace Forum an idealistic push for world government?
Against the backdrop of dwindling international cooperation, idealism makes little sense. First, we need to mobilize civil societies in support of collective action and mutually agreed rules of the road. Second, we need concrete ideas and solutions that address common challenges. It is these governance projects and initiatives – driven by civil society groups, companies, states, or international organizations – that are the building blocks of global governance. Rather than creating a world government, we must foster inter-State cooperation in these arenas, strengthen international institutions, and fully associate civil societies. By encouraging cooperative action at various levels, the Paris Peace Forum thus contributes to avoiding the return of war in the coming years.
Isn’t the Paris Peace Forum weakening existing multilateral institutions?
It is just the opposite. The Paris Peace Forum is meant to mobilize support for multilateral institutions, above all the UN, and for international agendas, especially the SDGs. Because of international tensions, populism and lack of funding, many multilateral bodies are weakened, to the point of being unable to fulfill their role. Rather than inventing a “new multilateralism”, however, the Paris Peace Forum pushes for constructive dialogue on how to reform existing institutions and adapt them to the new international landscape. The presence of many large multilateral organizations among the institutional partners of the Paris Peace Forum is meant to signal that support. Faced with accumulating transnational challenges, international institutions need to be supported and strengthened, not marginalized.

What does the Paris Peace Forum want to achieve?
The Paris Peace Forum is not meant to negotiate a declaration or an agreement, let alone a treaty. It is not meant as a pledging conference either. And neither is it designed as a purely academic exercise or a “talking conference”.
Instead, it thrives to produce two primary outputs and reach several secondary objectives.
• Testifying and mobilizing in favor of collective action and multilateralism. The first expected output is to demonstrate there is still a constituency among states, elected officials, and actors of civil society in favor of international cooperation, institutions, the regulation of globalization, international law etc. and that pushing back against the worrying tendencies of the international system is possible. Because it is an annual event, the Paris Peace Forum puts collective action and multilateralism on the agenda of leaders and public opinion, re-focuses attention and mobilizes energies around multilateral issues.
• Advancing concrete projects of governance. The Paris Peace Forum features innovative projects of governance, which it publicizes, evaluates, and connects to officials from states and international organizations as well as to elected representatives, but also to philanthropists, experts or journalists. By offering itself as a platform for projects and initiatives, the Forum aims at advancing concrete solutions to better organize our planet. Drawing from all the projects presented in Paris, policy recommendations are produced in the aftermath of the Forum. In addition, 10 of these initiatives are selected to receive special backing for implementation between the 2018 and the 2019 edition of the event, when their progress will be reviewed in a special reporting session.
Beyond these large goals, the Paris Peace Forum aims at reaching the following objectives:
• Bringing a concrete contribution, through the promotion of governance solutions, to the implementation of the UN SDGs;
• Drawing attention to the crisis of multilateral organizations and reaffirming support to them, especially to UN agencies;
• Offering the opportunity for bilateral meetings, track 1.5 exercises and mediations on the sidelines of the Forum;
• Contributing to the publicization and mediatization of the launch of global governance initiatives;
• Devising digital solutions for specific transnational challenges in the Space for Innovation, where a hackathon takes place;
• Stimulating dialogue on and cross-fertilization of interconnected issues of governance (development and security, environment and new technologies, and the like);
• Promoting a collective dialogue across countries and generations on global governance issues.

2. The Forum itself

What will actually happen during the Paris Peace Forum?
The Paris Peace Forum will be a continuously active place during the three days of November 11, 12 and 13. It is conceived as a “hybrid” gathering where elements of conferences, summits, fairs and workshops are mixed. A special moment takes place in the afternoon of November 11 when Heads of State, Heads of Government, and leaders of international organizations come to inaugurate the Forum and engage with project leaders presenting their governance ideas.
Altogether, the Forum features three spaces, a Space for Solutions showcasing governance projects in five “Villages” (peace and security, environment, development, new technologies and inclusive economy); a Space for Debates where initiatives from the Villages as well as cross-cutting themes are discussed; and a Space for Innovation which invites developers and programmers to devise digital solutions for the identified challenges.

Space for Solutions and Space for Debates
The Space for Solutions is at the heart of the Paris Peace Forum. Here, participants can visit the stands of organizations showcasing governance projects and interact with them. They are also able to attend or take part in the debates happening simultaneously in the five villages. These debates are not focused on general topics like climate change. Rather, they are focused on governance projects, like the Environmental Pact or the Solar Alliance, with the objective of evaluating these projects and initiatives and formulating recommendations for their development and implementation. One stream of debates, however, is dedicated to a high-level dialogue on global governance, to tackle large key issues like UN reform, the role and place of NGOs vis-à-vis states, the conciliation among supreme courts, the governance of oceans, the governance of AI, etc.
Space for Innovation

Throughout the three days of the Forum, the Space for Innovation hosts an event during which computer programmers and other professionals involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers and project managers collaborate, assisted by governance experts, on software projects that aim to address a specific challenge of global governance – this year, financial transparency. The Space for Innovation operates in close association with the Digital and New Technologies “village” in the Space for Solutions.

What is a “governance project”?
The Paris Peace Forum wishes to promote a better organization of our planet, which means strengthening existing institutions and norms, encouraging cooperation, and pushing for reform and improvement in the current instruments of governance. Where the Paris Peace Forum wants to make a difference is in selecting 120 concrete governance projects (they can be initiatives, blueprints, ideas for reform and the like), evaluating them, presenting them (Space for Solutions) and discussing them (Space for Debates) during the Forum, and formulating recommendations for their implementation.

A governance project can be large or small, it can be local or international, it can be advocated by a State or non-State actor, but, as a governance project, it is either normative – i.e. pushing for the adoption of a legal instrument or soft law – or organizational – i.e. building new actionable capacity to tackle current challenges. In that respect, projects presented at the Paris Peace Forum have to deal with the mechanisms of governance or offer a model replicable elsewhere. Drilling wells in Sub-Saharan Africa is a laudable undertaking, but the Paris Peace Forum is interested in those projects that aim at creating better conditions for doing so – for example, by making new technologies available in that field, or by pushing forward legal empowerment of local communities on the issue of water rights. Lastly, while projects of all maturity are welcome, the Paris Peace Forum does not feature projects that do not have a decent chance of realization.
The following projects can be mentioned as illustrations, with two examples for each village – one more normative, the other more organizational or capacity-building.
• Peace and security:
o Paris Call for Digital Peace, an multistakeholder declaration outlining the duties of all actors of the cyberspace to restore a safer digital environment.
o E-Diplodocus, a platform to link diplomatic academies around the world and create a common documentary basis, in order to promote a common diplomatic language.
• Environment:
o The Environmental Pact, which aims at gathering and harmonizing all environmental laws in one single legally binding document.
o Eye on earth, a project by the Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi in partnership with UN-Environment to improve the creation, availability, discoverability, use and usability of environmental data, especially in countries from the Global South.
• Development:
o The World Benchmarking Alliance, an innovative way of incentivizing companies to assume more responsibility by creating an index to rank their contribution to SDGs.
o Zero budget natural farming in Andhra Pradesh, a new drought-resistant method of cultivating lands without pesticides and insecticides, which could be replicated in many other regions affected by global warming.
• New technologies:
o The Digital Democracy Charter, a project to reconcile new technologies with democracy and fair elections by imposing norms to tech companies and states.
o Enabling Multistakeholder Cooperation in Cyberspace, a platform to allow more than 200 entities to coordinate, ensure policy coherence and jointly develop policy standards to deal with critical governance challenges on the internet.
• Inclusive economy:
o The Model International Mobility Convention, a framework for mobility with the goals of reaffirming the existing rights afforded to mobile people (and the corresponding rights and responsibilities of states) as well as expanding those basic rights where warranted.
o The Global Deal, a partnership pushed by to address the challenges in the global labor market by encouraging governments, businesses, unions and other organizations to make commitments to enhance social dialogue.
How does the Forum select the governance projects it features?
The Paris Peace Forum has set up a Selection Committee to choose among the many projects of governance those that best fit the objectives of the Forum. Altogether, up to 150 governance projects will be given the opportunity to exhibit their ideas in the Space for Solutions of the Paris Peace Forum.
Chaired by Trisha Shetty, founder of SheSays and Vice President of the Steering Committee, the Selection Committee is composed of her and of four other office holders from the organization: Justin Vaïsse, president of the Paris Peace Forum, Nora Mueller and Vanessa Scherrer, both Vice Presidents of the Executive Committee, and Pascal Lamy, President of the Steering Committee.
The evaluation criteria of the Selection Committee are:
- The motivation of the candidates (20 %);
- The quality of the project (political relevance; innovative character; feasibility; size, scope and impact; value; inclusiveness) (60 %);
- The added value for the project to be presented at the PPF (20 %).

The Selection Committee also considers the need for balanced geographic representation and diversity of projects. The Selection Committee convenes three times in June, July and early September to review
the submissions. The time at which a project is evaluated does not affect its chances to be selected for presentation at the November event.
Is there any follow-up on the projects presented at the Forum?
Through a mix of votes by all participants and by the Selection Committee, the Paris Peace Forum will select 10 projects that are deemed particularly important and puts its weight behind them to push for their implementation. The Scale-up Committee, made up of 10 persons, along with the Secretariat, will be in charge of providing communications support, policy & advocacy support and venture support to these projects. The 2019 edition of the Forum will feature a special reporting session, where progress of these projects will be reviewed.
More generally, the Paris Peace Forum association will publish a report on the projects and debates, and establish metrics to evaluate degree of implementation during the 2019 edition of the Forum.
You have five themes or “villages” (peace and security, development, environment, new technologies and inclusive economy). Why isn’t there one on gender equality or on the Middle East?
First of all, the Forum deliberately does not focus on any geographical regions. Rather than zooming in on the idiosyncrasies of the Middle East, Central America, or Southeast Asia, which are addressed in other forums, we believe that functional challenges that affect all the world’s regions and citizens deserve special attention. These find their expression in the five villages that were identified as the most pressing issues of contemporary global governance.
At the same time, there are transversal issues that span the full spectrum of challenges discussed at the Forum, one of which being gender equality (or, alternatively, the role of youth and the role of cities). These topics could, for instance, be viewed from an environmental, economic, or security angle, and might thus be covered by projects and debates in either of these villages.

Why is the Paris Peace Forum at the Grande Halle de La Villette?

The Grande Halle de La Villette is a beautiful monument of the 19th century and a masterpiece of industrial architecture. It is located in the Parc de la Villette in Eastern Paris, which extends over 55 hectares. The Grande halle was designed by Jules de Mérindol and Louis-Adolphe Janvier. Besides its architectural value, the building perfectly fits the needs of the Paris Peace Forum. With its modular design, it can accommodate the different activities and spaces of the event.
Is everybody welcome at the Paris Peace Forum, and what are the criteria for selecting participants?
Everybody is welcome at the Paris Peace Forum and has an opportunity to request an invitation on the website, once the platform for invitations goes online (mid-July). The Secretariat of the Paris Peace Forum association then decides on whom receives an invitation depending on criteria set by the Executive Committee (balance of geography and occupation).

3. Who’s behind the Forum?

Is the Paris Peace Forum an instrument of the French government?
The Paris Peace Forum was initiated by the French President Emmanuel Macron. Subsequent to his initial impetus, however, the powers of organizing and implementing the event were transferred to an NGO – an association under French law (association loi de 1901). The founding members of the association are the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (representing the French state), the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, the Körber Foundation, the Fondation nationale des sciences politiques (Sciences Po), the Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI), and the Institut Montaigne. After the first edition of the Paris Peace Forum, the association is set to extend its membership to four additional institutions in order to acquire a more balanced geographical representation.
According to the association’s bylaws, the founding members have a seat in the Executive Committee, which is in charge of determining the overall thrust and direction of the Forum. The Executive Committee is advised by a Steering Committee comprising 16 natural persons with an international reputation, coming from all continents.
What is the use of the Executive Committee?
The Executive Committee ensures the successful organization of the Paris Peace Forum. Next to executing the decisions of the General Assembly, the Executive Committee makes all the decisions relevant to the organization and implementation of the Forum (date, place, and program of the event, adoption of accounts and budget etc.). It elects the President, two Vice-Presidents, and the Treasurer of the association, who constitute the Executive Committee Board, and nominates the President of the Steering Committee.
What is the use of the Steering Committee?
The Steering Committee advises the Executive Committee on the overall direction of the Paris Peace Forum. Chaired by Pascal Lamy and composed of 16 high-profile personalities with a background in global issues for a period of three years, the Steering Committee is regularly consulted about the proceedings by the Executive Committee.
What is the use of the Circle of Partners?
The Paris Peace Forum can only be implemented with the help of various partners. Some of these make it possible financially (“benefactors”), while others lend intellectual or other forms of non-material support (“institutional partners” and “media partners”). All partners are convened in the Circle of Partners. They receive an annual activity report, and may voice the opinion on the overall direction or organization of the Paris Peace Forum.
How much does the Paris Peace Forum cost and who pays for it?
The Paris Peace Forum offers citizens and organizations of the world an opportunity to present and defend their ideas and initiatives for a better management of the planet. Conceived as a public service, the Paris Peace Forum does not charge anything to participate or to present a governance project (except for the cost of the stand and travel expenses). That makes its organization dependent on external resources to fund the event, which has a budget of 5 million euros. Benefactors of the Forum include philanthropic foundations, development agencies, companies, individual donors and governments. The donation policy of the Forum provides that, to maintain the Forum’s independence,
no single donor can contribute more than 10% of the total cost. The financial contribution of the French government adds up to less than 3% of the total cost.
Is the Paris Peace Forum articulated with similar initiatives dealing with peace, like the Geneva Peace week, the Durban Global Peace project, the Jeju Forum or other French initiatives on peace, like Normandie pour la paix?
We discuss and consult on a regular basis with many other initiatives, and coordinate efforts. In contrast to other commendable conventions, the Paris Peace Forum has an explicit focus on specific projects and initiatives, and not on general (geo)political processes. In a way, then, it takes a bottom-up approach to global challenges.

Position: Co -Founder of ENGAGE,a new social venture for the promotion of volunteerism and service and Ideator of Sharing4Good

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.